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ISBN:0375435360
Author: Peter Pouncey
ISBN13: 978-0375435362
Title: Rules for Old Men Waiting: A Novel (Random House Large Print)
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ePUB size: 1883 kb
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Language: English
Category: Genre Fiction
Publisher: Random House Large Print; Large Print - 1st edition (April 12, 2005)
Pages: 416

Rules for Old Men Waiting: A Novel (Random House Large Print) by Peter Pouncey



Rules For Old Men Waiting: A Novel (Hardcover). Published April 1st 2005 by Chatto & Windus. Hardcover, 210 pages. Author(s): Peter R. Pouncey. ISBN: 0701178116 (ISBN13: 9780701178116). Published April 12th 2005 by Random House Large Print. Large Print, Hardcover, 416 pages. ISBN: 0375435360 (ISBN13: 9780375435362).

People Who Read Rules for Old Men Waiting Also Read. Inspired by Your Browsing History. Advance Praise for Rules for Old Men Waiting. A deeply sensual, moving, thrilling novel that calls for a second and third reading–it is that rich. This is a wonderful novel of a man’s experience, and it touches every chord: a wholeness to which each incident crucially contributes so that wars and loves and losses, and mortality itself, are lived by the reader.

Rules for old men waiting. Rules for old men waiting Close. 1 2 3 4 5. Want to Read. Books to read from CP. Are you sure you want to remove Rules for old men waiting from your list? About the Book. calls for a second and third reading - it is that rich. Frank McCourt, author of Anglela's Ashes  . 2005, Random House Large Print. Rules for old men waiting. in English - 1st large print ed. Find a Physical Copy via WorldCat. in English - 1st ed. Borrow eBook. DAISY for print-disabled.

Advance Praise for Rules for Old Men Waiting. A brief, lyrical novel with a powerful emotional charge, "Rules for Old Men Waiting is about three wars of the twentieth century and an ever-deepening marriage. In a house on the Cape "older than the Republic," Robert MacIver, a historian who long ago played rugby for Scotland, creates a list of rules by which to live out his last days. The most important rule, to "tell a story to its end," spurs the old Scot on to invent a strange and gripping tale of men in the trenches of the First World War.

The house and the old man were well matched, both large framed and failing fast. The house had a better excuse, MacIver thought; he was eighty, but the house was older than the Republic, had been a century old when Thoreau walked the Cape, though he couldn't have seen it tucked away in the nondescript maze of scrub oak. It had been the willful seclusion of the place that had appealed to them when they first saw it-that and the equally hidden pool, about two minutes away through their woods, which must have decided the builder to choose the site. Excerpted by permission of Random House, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Membership Advantages.

A brief, lyrical novel with a powerful emotional charge, Rules for Old Men Waiting is about three wars of the twentieth century and an ever-deepening marriage. In a house on the Cape older than the Republic, Robert MacIver, a historian who long ago played rugby for Scotland, creates a list of rules by which to live out his last days. As Hearts and Minds director Peter Davis writes, Pouncey has wrought an almost inconceivable amount of beauty from pain, loss, and war, and I think he has been able to do this because every page is imbued with the love story at the heart of his astonishing novel. Результаты поиска по книге.

Written by Peter Pouncey, Audiobook narrated by Simon Vance. A brief, lyrical novel with a powerful emotional charge, Rules for Old Men Waiting is about three wars of the 20th century and an ever-deepening marriage. In a house on the Cape "older than the Republic", Robert MacIver, a historian who long ago played rugby for Scotland, creates a list of rules by which to live out his last days. The most important rule, to "tell a story to its end", spurs the old Scot on to invent a strange and gripping tale of men in the trenches of the First World War.

The opening lines of the novel note that the house and the old man were well matched, both large framed and failing fast. In the days after Margaret’s death, MacIver considers the features of the house that need addressing: the roof, the siding on the windward side, the boiler, the gutters, and the porch. In MacIver’s present at Night Heron House, however, Pouncey does, upon occasion, tend to veer into the elegiac and wax perhaps a bit too poetically; similarly, his crafted World War I story lacks the immediacy and the vitality that MacIver’s own past contains. The entire section is 1,860 words.

With VitalSource, you can save up to 80% compared to print. Publisher: Random House. Print ISBN: 9780812973969, 0812973968. eText ISBN: 9780307431721, 030743172X. Save up to 80% by choosing the eTextbook option for ISBN: 9780307431721, 030743172X. The print version of this textbook is ISBN: 9780812973969, 0812973968.

Peter Pouncey's elegiac novel is an ode to this sorting and shifting of memory, but it is also an exquisitely realized homage to narrative itself: the fine thing molded from the lump of clay that is human consciousness. But I have already made "Rules for Old Men Waiting" sound all high-minded and fancy-pants dull, and Robert MacIver, its 80-year-old roaring Scots narrator, would upbraid me royally for so doing

A brief, lyrical novel with a powerful emotional charge, Rules for Old Men Waiting is about three wars of the twentieth century and an ever-deepening marriage. In a house on the Cape “older than the Republic,” Robert MacIver, a historian who long ago played rugby for Scotland, creates a list of rules by which to live out his last days. The most important rule, to “tell a story to its end,” spurs the old Scot on to invent a strange and gripping tale of men in the trenches of the First World War. Drawn from a depth of knowledge and imagination, MacIver conjures the implacable, clear-sighted artist Private Callum; the private’s nemesis Sergeant Braddis, with his pincerlike nails; Lieutenant Simon Dodds, who takes on Braddis; and Private Charlie Alston, who is ensnared in this story of inhumanity and betrayal but brings it to a close.This invented tale of the Great War prompts MacIver’s own memories of his role in World War II and of Vietnam, where his son, David served. Both the stories and the memories alike are lit by the vivid presence of Margaret, his wife. As Hearts and Minds director Peter Davis writes, “Pouncey has wrought an almost inconceivable amount of beauty from pain, loss, and war, and I think he has been able to do this because every page is imbued with the love story at the heart of his astonishing novel.”
Reviews: 7
Bys
Robert MacIvor, an eighty year old retired Professor of History, is sitting alone in the dark winter cold of his old house on the Cape - It's "a hundred years older than the Republic" the author says. He's dying. Almost each chapter begins with some new symptom - retching, swellings, night sweats, pain, fainting spells, vomiting, diarrhea inability to swallow, to digest He's finally reduced to ground biscuits in a little Laguvullin. After the Lagavullin he listens to somber music - Mahler, Mozart, the Vespers De Confessore ("he replayed the exquisite Laudate Dominum three times aching over and over at the soprano's long "Amen"). Moreover he's cold all the time, but he's writing and he keeps at it - sitting at his desk in his hooded sweat shirt and sweat pants, wrapped in his bathrobe with a rug over his knees, his feet in old Wigwam socks and down-at-the-heel old slippers, writing with his Waterman pen with his Smith-Corona on standby. He's alone. He has no help, no medicine. Nobody comes to see him. So far as we know nobody has come to see him all winter - at least not since his wife wasted away and died in the same room; and that was not too long ago. There's little wood in the house any more, precious little food (the last trip to the grocery store was three months ago) and there's nothing the old boiler can do to make the house warm enough to be livable. In fact the house and MacIvor share the same condition. They are in physical ruin, and the chill of the tomb is creeping into every joint, every tissue, every board, every room and every part of his being. But he keeps writing. That's his rule - to tell the story to the end; and that he does

There are two stories here. The one that MacIvor is writing and the story that Peter Pouncey, the author of this book and a retired professor of classics and President Emeritus of Amherst College, writes about MacIvor. I'll treat each separately.

Robert MacIvor is a Professor of History, his specialty being World War I; and his sketches of soldiers in the trenches are right on and reason enough to recommend this book to every reader - although I think this is really a "guys" book. Everyone who has served in the military will instantly recognize the personality of MacIvor's psychopathic Sergeant Braddis, or his Lieutenant Dodds - the second lieutenant under whom every man would be lucky to serve. But they are doomed men. All of them except for his Private Alston are k.i.a. before MacIvor ends his story. There's no hope here.

Pouncey's story of MacIvor himself is - and here are some of my notes - sad, doleful, disturbing, depressing, enigmatic, cheerless, full of grief and full of pathos. (I think you can get the idea of it from the first paragraph of this review.) It ends with MacIvor, having "written (his) story to the end", being found by one of his former students motionless and alone in his chair in the stone cold snow bound house. "...They rushed towards him, but he had been quick in his day and he slipped away before they reached him". There was no one to mourn for him

All this is tragedy - pure tragedy. As I remember my literature courses the Greeks invented tragedy and they insisted that any tragedy on the stage or on the page should end with a catharsis, an outpouring, a release from the emotions generated by the story; but there is no catharsis here. When I finally put the book down after reading it twice and giving it a lot of thought, and after making more notes than I can remember for any other book, my feelings were much worse than when I began. Of all people a professor of classics should know about catharsis and how to end a Greek tragedy
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Having said all this I need to give Pouncey's story of MacIvor himself its full due. He has invented two characters that will not be forgotten - MacIvor himself, the strong, athletic, brilliant and temperamental Scot and his lovely wife Margaret, artistic, forgiving, generous and loving to the end. And he has given us some of the lovelies scenes, some of the most moving anecdotes I have ever read. One needs to read the book to capture the quality of the writing - the opening pages describing the pond on the MacIvor property where they have summered for thirty five years (reading it put me in mind of Edward Hicks's "The Peaceable Kingdom") or the story of the life and death of their only son David, the idealistic young man who, avoiding the draft, volunteered for helicopter stretcher bearer duty in Vietnam.

This is an emotional book, a lovely book, a dense story about stories and every reader who finally puts it down may have a different "take" on it; but for me it was sadness. There was no catharsis, no resolution. MacIvor died sick and alone in the cold; and that simply wasn't right.
Truthcliff
After the death of his wife Margaret in the spring of 1987, Robert MacIver himself fell into disrepair--failing to eat properly or to keep in contact with his former colleagues, not seeing to the work that needed doing on his isolated house on the Cape, more decrepit and older, even, than he. Given his failing health, some malady, never named, from which he suffers, MacIver's further decline is inevitable. He is resigned to it, nearly welcomes it, but after an accident jolts him from his despair he determines, as he puts it, to retrench. He establishes a set of ten rules for himself, "a simple skeleton of the well-ordered life for a feeble old man," by means of which he intends to live with some dignity until the end, and to approach death on something like his own terms. The rules include practical instructions for keeping himself fed and clothed and clean as well as directives for keeping the house heated. Having failed to lay in firewood during his months of lethargy, this last is a serious issue. MacIver decides that he will burn picture frames and furniture--though not "articles of fine craftsmanship"--as well as "books of rival scholars and other trash, before good books and my own." Arguably the most important of MacIver's ten rules, however, is that in which he imposes on himself some manner of work. As a retired professor of history, specializing in the First World War, it is not surprising that MacIver elects as his final project in life to tell a story set in the trenches of that conflict. The story he writes, of men consumed by rage over private grievances, is as nuanced and well-written and compelling as MacIver's own. It spills into the book in fragments as MacIver writes it, the stories of his life and his imagination moving in lock-step toward their inexorable, parallel ends.

Rules for Old Men Waiting does not merely record the final months of a once fearsome man. Readers are shown MacIver also in earlier periods of his life as the old Scot, literally feverish in the evenings after long hours at the typewriter, allows himself to remember them: MacIver as angry adolescent, fatherless after World War I, his venom given purpose on the rugby field; Lieutenant Commander MacIver on board the HMS Constant in September 1944; MacIver as historian and teacher and as husband to Margaret, the near perfect woman who "tamed the wild boar on Parnassus"; MacIver as father. To readers it feels as if Pouncey's character were spat whole into vastly different circumstance from one moment to the next, his character remaining much the same, though of course this is the effect of looking at a long life in disconnected segments.

Pouncey's novel, his first, is a beautifully written piece of prose, punctuated by innumerable well-wrought sentences that slow the reader: "The house and the old man were well matched," the book begins, "both large framed and falling fast. The house had a better excuse, MacIver thought; he was eighty, but the house was older than the Republic, had been a century old when Thoreau walked the Cape, though he couldn't have seen it tucked away in the non-descript maze of scrub oak." The author clearly knows his way around the English language, and his classical training--Pouncey is a retired classicist--is likewise apparent in his vocabulary and Homeric theme and references. Rules for Old Men Waiting is a thought-provoking read, gentle, and sad in the way a life lived tolerably well but ended, or due to end, is sad. The dialogue in the book, of which there is not much, does not always ring true. And the final chapter--not the epilogue--goes on a few pages longer than necessary as MacIver remembers a further episode from his rugby-playing days which seems, however, out of step with what has preceded.

I'm not precisely sure yet what we are to make of the relationship between Pouncey's powerful story-within-a-story and the narrative that frames it, whether the shorter work is intended to bring out the themes of the larger work, for example, the menis motivating MacIver's characters to mirror his own, but it bears thinking on. And Pouncey's slender volume, if it hasn't already been made abundantly clear, definitely merits your time.

Debra Hamel -- author of Trying Neaira: The True Story of a Courtesan's Scandalous Life in Ancient Greece (Yale University Press, 2003)