Ebook Ù The Next Big Thing ¶ 247 pages Download

Book ç The Next Big Thing Ê Anita Brookner

The Next Big Thing'This would soon be a new day all too closely resembling the others the normal days of his present existence in which nothing happened nor could be expected to happen' At seventy three Herz is facing an increasingl Who really wants to read Anita Brookner's repellently accurate novels about the intricacies of loneliness? I'm sure this isn't a uestion that troubles the Booker Prize winning author who's managed to publish a book a year since 1981 But a critic confronting her 21st novel has to wonder if readers want to subject themselves to Brookner's searing insight Indeed Making Things Better is a sort of literary toothache an all absorbing pain that brings thoughts into unwelcome clarityAt 73 Julius Hertz is a survivor He escaped the Nazis as a child but as an adult he endured rather than fled his claustrophobic family a decision or lack of decision that essentially cost him his life Now he's finally outlived all the needy people who consumed him His parents whom he cared for even as they destroyed his marriage are dead; his mentally ill brother who stole all the family's attention and enthusiasm has passed away; and his only employer has left him a comfortable retirementThese were to be his golden years but at heart he was still a young man a boy even to whom adulthood had come as a surprise and had never ceased to be a burdenFreed from the problems of supporting himself or anyone else he rises to meet each boring day of his present existence in which nothing happened nor could be expected to happen And so he spends his life getting the paper eating a bowl of soup and hoping to catch life on the wing and to make himself into a semblance of gentlemanly old age which others might find acceptableIt's not an accident that Random House has released this novel about a nearly dead man in the nearly dead weeks of January Earlier this year it appeared in England under a slightly bitter title The Next Big Thing where it received tepidly appreciative reviews from apologetic critics Even assuming that older people read than younger people how many of the 65 million Americans over 65 will want to subject themselves to the alarmingly still story of Julius's final years? And how many of the rest of us have the courage to confront Brookner's warnings about the challenges of retirement? Especially in the wake of our relief that the perky models on Friends have agreed to give us one yearBut the reasons to pay attention to Anita Brookner grow no less compelling First she's one of the great English stylists an artist of such extraordinary precision that her novels serve as an antidote to the overwritten tomes from so many contemporary writersSecond in a literary marketplace excited by the bizarre she remains committed to the mundane No she can't tell us about a hermaphrodite whose grandparents were siblings for advice in that situation you must go to Jeffrey Eugenides's widely praised Middlesex but if you're considering the somewhat common predicament of getting older Brookner is as wise a guide as you'll findFor Julius the challenge is not so much the burden of age but the burden of believing that he must always make things better for others A lifetime of self sacrifice and excessive obedience has yielded him none of the satisfaction promised by religious creedsHe feels as if he were one of those victims in the French Revolution who were tied to a dead body and thrown into the river to drown Trapped between thoughts of grotesue self pity or embarrassing himself in an adolescent search for new friends Julius suffers a delicate sadness which his distracted young doctor hopes to correct with blood pressure medicationA chorus of acuaintances offers advice His cordial ex wife admonishes him to cheer up his lawyer suggests travel his distractingly beautiful neighbor tells him to stop staring But none of these courses can solve the problem of learning how to live with an abundance of unaccustomed freedom Keeping one's dignity he admits is a lonely business And how one longs to let it goOf course there's something ruefully comic about a man who thinks of himself in a posthumous condition but what laughter Brookner inspires sounds like whistling past the graveyard It's clear she has no intention of soothing our anxieties with some deathbed conversion to happinessIndeed when an old cousin writes to Julius for assistance presuming on his devotion which she cruelly brushed aside many decades before he finally earns a degree of self knowledge that's harrowingly profound His will had been at the service of others to use as they thought fit and in allowing this in the fallacious enterprise of making things better he had surrendered that part of himself that others could not and would not supply and in so doing had forgone his right to respectThis is bitter medicine for sure but Brookner draws a portrait of despair so perfectly that it might serve a homeopathic purpose for anyone in or slipping toward a pale simulacrum of life Only a writer of her astonishing wit and insight could get us to swallow it

Ebook The Next Big Thing

Ebook Ù The Next Big Thing ¶ 247 pages Download  ❮BOOKS❯ ✵ The Next Big Thing ✫ Author Anita Brookner – Helpyouantib.co.uk 'This would soon be a new day all too closely resembling the others the normal days of his present existence in which nothing happened nor could be expected to happeOld friend he has not seen in thirty years? Herz believes that he must do something only he doesn't know what this next big thing in life should be 'Beautifully written it draws you in and holds you fast' Daily Mai In detailed inner dialogues Julius Herz examines memories of his 73 years and gains insights into how he ended up alone at the end of an unfulfilled life He has spent his life observing the rules and attempting always to do what was expected of him from the people in his life His loneliness is palpable as he now attempts to connect with people and somehow alleviate his anxieties about how to spend the rest of his life The prose is exuisite in this typical Brookner novel

Anita Brookner Ê The Next Big Thing Text

Y bewildering world He cannot see his place in it or even work out what to do with his final years uestions and misunderstandings haunt Herz like old ghosts Should he travel sell his flat or propose marriage to an Herz is 73 and living a half life alone in London He thinks back to his stifled childhood with his formal parents and ill brother to when he was married for a brief time and to his German cousin Fanny whom he was once in love with and to whom he once proposed Now his days are only enlivened by tiny acts such as taking in some post for his neighbour Sophie which make him 'grateful that this event would give the day some shape' For a time Herz becomes obsessed with Sophie and makes an error of judgement when this passes he becomes fixated on Fanny after receiving a letter from her He overthinks and worries without anything to fill his day except occasional lunches with his ex wife or solicitor for which he is charged He finally makes up his mind to visit Fanny but then 'the next big thing' happensIt's a very introspect book but Brookner's prose is wonderful as always This is the third novel by her that I've read and I am sure to read some