Sixty: The Beginning of the End, or the End of the Beginning? Hardcover – Deckle Edge, Sep 29 2015
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FINALIST 2016 – RBC Taylor Prize
“Brown manages to be both hilarious and serious, and I found his book impossible to put down. When I finished, I went right back to the beginning and started over. . . . [T]houghtful, heartfelt, and fearless. . . . Sixty is a lucid look at a particular kind of contemporary life. . . . [I]t’s evident long before you reach the end that Brown has worked arduously on his prose, crafting sentences and adjusting pace. His ultimate message—to pay attention, to keep our eyes open, to look at ‘what is coming down the road’—is vital.” —Quill and Quire (starred review)
“Sixty may find [Brown’s] biggest audience yet; there are so many of us in the same creaky boat. Written with [Brown’s] trademark gutsy candour, and full of self-deprecating wit. . . . [E]difying . . . accessible. . . . One of the book’s many charms is its distinctly male point of view.” —Plum Johnson, author of They Left Us Everything, The Globe and Mail
“[W]ickedly honest and brutally funny.” —Global News
“[F]unny, honest and profound.” —CBC
“Brown applies his precise insights and self-deprecating humour to the universal anxiety about aging.” —Ottawa Citizen
“Like everything Brown writes, there’s a smooth quality to the prose. The reader is carried along effortlessly on Brown’s thought waves, his regrets (he has wasted his life) and his follies (overspending yet dedicating himself entirely to underpaid journalism). Readers are granted a rare private tour of a very bright, introspective and sensitive man’s brain. It’s raw, it’s real and it’s scary as hell.”—Winnipeg Free Press
“Brown’s diaries . . . are more than readable. They are, despite his doubts, a fascinating blend of astute observation, penetrating insight and self-deprecating good humour. . . . [W]ry and hilarious. . . . [Sixty] taps his own inner and outer lives and the reader is rewarded by Brown’s musings on the existential angst he believes sets in after sixty. . . . [A] unique blend of realism and bravado. . . . Brown’s book is crisp, candid and wonderfully written. No reader, of any age, should miss it.” —The Sarnia Observer
“I would read anything Ian Brown writes. This is a particular pleasure: Humane, funny, dark, wry, and utterly engrossing.”—Susan Orlean, author of The Orchid Thief
“Finding out Ian Brown has turned sixty is like finding out my bad little brother has turned sixty: I’d expect him to have a disarming, slightly disreputable take on this least interesting of birthdays (long now in my rearview mirror). And with Sixty, I’m certainly not disappointed. Ever the witty, ever the mischievous, observant and likable, Ian Brown has written a book that other sixty-year-olds can keep on their breakfast table, to dip into with their Ovaltine. It’s a splendid companion book to aging—a condition when ordinary companionship is, frankly, not always that agreeable.”—Richard Ford
“I’ve been reading Ian Brown since before I needed reading glasses. He’s wise—poetic even—and willing to be unabashedly petty, which is what makes this book so funny and almost too true.”
—Sarah Vowell, New York Times–bestselling author of seven books, most recently Lafayette in the Somewhat United States
“Ian Brown is so wise and insightful and funny about the indignities of turning sixty that he makes those of us who haven’t yet reached that harrowing birthday believe that maybe it won’t be so bad. Surely, once we get there, we’ll all be as wise and insightful and funny as Ian is. We won’t, of course: This book, like its author, is one of a kind. A wonderful, inspiring, occasionally cringe-inducing chronicle of a very human year.”—Paul Tough, author of Helping Children Succeed: What Works and Why
About the Author
IAN BROWN is an author and a feature writer for the Globe and Mail whose work has won many National Magazine and National Newspaper awards. His most recent book, The Boy in the Moon: A Father's Search for His Disabled Son, was a national bestseller and a New York Times and Globe and Mail Best Book. It was also the winner of the Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction, the BC National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction and the Trillium Book Award. His previous books includeFreewheeling, which won the National Business Book Award, and the provocative examination of modern masculinity, Man Overboard. He lives in Toronto.
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Top Customer Reviews
An interesting and readable account but it was like watching a car crash in slow motion. Seriously, Ian, lighten up. At 60 you may have polished off more than half the glass but complaining about your lack of accomplishment and lack of money while jetting around the world, skiing, swimming, biking and getting paid to write interesting stories for a top newspaper.. ? And publish a book about it? WTF? .. Really more indulgent than insightful or inspiring.
As 'they' say: Success is wanting what you have not getting what you want. Reminds me NOT to keep a journal.
Brown details the inevitable physiological disappointments that accompany aging—prostate concerns, glaucoma, knee pain, plantar fasciitis, hearing aids, rosacea, skin tags and even his recently discovered hemorrhoid that he fondly named George, who has become an important part of his persona, sadly replacing his former preoccupation with sex. As a result of once listening to his mother-in-law and her friends endlessly talking about their operations, strokes and hernias, he promised that he would never do the same. “I would talk about literature and ideas” he says, adding “Now I talk about operations, strokes and hernias. hemorrhoids even. I used to talk about sex but no one wants to anymore. Despite its cynicism, the entire book is written with humour and honesty.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Ian Brown........what can I say? love his writing and really enjoyed this book! Picked it up and just could not put it down until I finished it! Very relatable for me (age 55).Published 4 months ago by Heather Bradner
Bit of a disappointment after listen ending to interview with Shelagh Rogers on CBCPublished 4 months ago by Verna Brown
I just loved this book. Loved his honesty and sharing of his worries about his own mind and his own social attractiveness. Read morePublished 5 months ago by susayoun
I didn't know what to expect, but this is a struggle to read... It's a dreary book.Published 6 months ago by daniel gautreau
This reads like a poor knock off of Karl Ove Knausgaard. It's boring and depressing.Published 7 months ago by Sandra Martin
I loved the honesty of this book. I devoured it in two enjoyable sittings. Brown is open, funny, and (though he might hate to hear it) wise. I'll read this one again.Published 7 months ago by Angie Abdou