Middle Age: A Romance

Middle Age A Romance In Salthill on Hudson a half hour train ride from Manhattan everyone is rich beautiful and though they look much younger middle aged But when Adam Berendt a charismatic mysterious sculptor dies

  • Title: Middle Age: A Romance
  • Author: Joyce Carol Oates
  • ISBN: 9780060934903
  • Page: 485
  • Format: Paperback
  • In Salthill on Hudson, a half hour train ride from Manhattan, everyone is rich, beautiful, and though they look much younger middle aged But when Adam Berendt, a charismatic, mysterious sculptor, dies suddenly in a brash act of heroism, shock waves rock the town But who was Adam Berendt Was he in fact a hero, or someone flawed and human

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      Joyce Carol Oates

    About Author

    1. Joyce Carol Oates is a recipient of the National Book Award and the PEN Malamud Award for Excellence in Short Fiction She is also the recipient of the 2005 Prix Femina for The Falls She is the Roger S Berlind Distinguished Professor of the Humanities at Princeton University, and she has been a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters since 1978 Pseudonyms Rosamond Smith and Lauren Kelly.

    One thought on “Middle Age: A Romance

    1. I think I need to take a break from reading JCO I love her books, but the last two I ve read were definitely not my favorites.The beginning of this book leads you to believe that it s going to be a mystery, of sorts We were at least going to find out why the person who died, Adam, was not exactly who he said he was Ok, so maybe we did find that out eventually, but I was surprised that that ended up being a very small part of the story Instead, it goes on and on and on into the self centered ridi [...]


    2. Adam Berendt dominates this story from Page 1, even though he is involved in a fatal accident An enigmatic man, who avoided any questions about his past or his personal life, he was a sculptor and philosopher, physically unappealing but every man s friend and the lover every woman coveted The impact of this character on everyone else in the book is explored in Joyce Carol Oates signature way courageously, with unstinting honesty, and in many instances, uncomfortably real Even when I was cringing [...]


    3. On these pages, someone mentioned Anne Tyler and Joyce Carol Oates in the same breath I m a big fan of Ms Tyler and I ve read all her books, some than once But I d never read than a short story from Ms Oates So with this reading I repaired that error.Comparisons are irresistible Unlike Ms Tyler, Ms Oates does not love her characters unconditionally The narrator s attitude seems to be one of newspaper journalist cynic All of her characters are fools Rich, spoiled fools Which tempts another comp [...]


    4. This is the second book I ve read by Joyce Carol Oates and I think despite the fact that she is Alison s favorite author it will be the last I find all her characters to be too whiny and unsympathetic I think This book had a lot of characters and I struggled to like a single one of them Plus I wonder, at least based on this book, about Oates s view of women All of them were middle aged unself fulfilled women chasing after men who didn t care about them or allowing themselves to be taken advantag [...]


    5. The first time I read this book, I was in my early thirties, and I probably would ve scored it lower then if I d had a account Now as a middle aged woman, this book speaks powerfully to me, which I think is kind of the point The blurb for this book makes it all about Adam Berendt, but the book really isn t about Adam Adam is merely the event, the shock to the characters comfortable and settled lives that is the impetus for the changes they go through And every character is confronted by change, [...]


    6. Nowhere near her masterpiece level Blonde, The Falls , but pretty good, and I give her major props for the meaty section about the racist prison injustice system and the death penalty, and the privileged fancy lawyer learning a little something about the real world from his work on a death row case Much class consciousness and social commentary throughout, as always, which makes reading about a bunch of highly overprivileged people palatable Unusually, there s a confluence of happy endings excep [...]


    7. This lengthy, literary soap opera follows an ensemble of affluent characters whose lives are deeply effected when Adam Berendt, a mysterious sculptor they are all acquainted with, suddenly dies Mid life crises unspool, opening a depressing window on what lies ahead for those who have yet to acknowledge they re old Most of the wealthy Salthill characters are so self centered, it s hard to care about them Sure, they all have their romances, but they re passionless and disconnected As a result, the [...]


    8. At the very start of this novel, one of the main characters dies when saving the life of a drowning young girl The remainder of the story revolves around the people around him, whose life s were, and are, very much affected by him As the story unfolds, we learn that no one really knew him and a lot is perhaps never unveiled, but a number of sub plots involving the other characters instead develops Good storytelling and prose, interesting and believable characters, I have no problem seeing why JC [...]


    9. Loved the book and Adam Nicely weaved story of all the women Adam touched, before and after his death They didn t even know Adam, but Augusta finds out all the mystery of Adam s origins It was very interesting to see how many people were in love with him, and how giving Adam was Interesting to see how after his death, so many of his friends changed directions with their own life Great Book A real find.


    10. If you like Desperate Housewives you will probably like this book.Adam has just died in a heroic boating accident, leaving behind a tight knit community of well to do NYC suburbanites who are as confused about his death as they are about how they should continue on with their own lives One woman decides to run away to the Pennsylvania mountains for a year Another just runs away Various men become involved with far younger women, and one of these men s abandoned wives turns their million dollar e [...]


    11. Wavering between a five star read and four stars Five for the ultimately redemptive close of the book, with ends tied up and possibilities opened up like windows, to admit fresh air Five for the intricately woven plot, embedding a mystery which serves as a touchstone for multiple story threads you can re invent yourself, in some pretty surprising ways Five for character growth lots of originally annoying characters show some amazing but believable transformations There s some dark humor although [...]


    12. Vivir Lo que damos por supuesto que las otras personas saben hacer En A Media Luz la escritora Joyce Carol Oates se sirve de la muerte de un vecino de la peque a localidad de Salthill on Hudson para realizar un retrato de la madurez de las personas que estuvieron relacionadas con l de una u otra manera amantes ficticias, reales, albacea, amigos La muerte del protagonista desencadena el avance de las vidas de los dem s, una evoluci n que no es sencilla es dura e implacable Pero la escritora lo ha [...]


    13. My first Joyce Carol Oates I thought it would be funny there is a misleading blurb on the back but it s really quite thoughtful and sad I love how Oates weaves together the different stories of so many individuals whose lives touch You get to feel like you know everyone in Salt Hill on Hudson, New York.Everyone is rich and middle aged I was briefly horrified to realize these middle aged characters were frequently my age or younger So like the characters themselves There is a lot of dealing with [...]


    14. Oates has been on my must read someday list for almost forever and I finally got around to reading this, on my shelf since it came out in paperback I do understand why she is compared to Updike in that she offers a window onto American life in a way that is uniquely hers.While I laughed at the characters weaknesses in the first half of the book, by the second half, I was tired of them and felt the outcomes where quite predictable Using Platonic allegory as a character tool wears thin for this mo [...]


    15. Ok, I couldn t finish it, but here s what I got that Adam is Socrates, he s a cyclops, he s a centaur His dog is a sad, devoted disciple, a stray sheep from the cave Adam s death frees every intolerable fool in town from his or her own flawed self perception, except the dog, who doesn t need that BS It s all a bit of a stretch, I felt the philosophic conceit cowers in the weak shadows of these characters anemic lives The book excelled at putting me to sleep, which was good, so there s that Oh, a [...]


    16. Middle aged I suppose so, but from my point of view they seemed young Fascinating how this one mysterious man has an influence on so many after his death Fascinating for awhile at least I did begin to tire of it Especially after I began to for get who was who in the cast of characters Still it was a good, if lengthy read.


    17. As a big JCO fan, very disappointing book The book comes to a nice resolution by the end but it takes a LONG time to get there The characters are not particularly engaging so I was never quite sure who I was rooting for A true reflection of middle age for some, but fortunately not all


    18. Although Joyce Carol Oates writes really well, I found this a difficult book to read very confronting and emotionally exhausting.


    19. One of the best modern American authors Being middle aged , this story ran true, either in my own life, or that of family and friends While Oates can be rather dark or depressive in her writing, the bottom line of this beautiful, sad and so very real story is the hope we can all share in second chances new beginnings.


    20. In spite of my contrarian nature, sometimes I like to fit in When a moved to Virginia eight years ago, I started to drink sweetened iced tea We southerners call it sweet tea So now, here I am on GR and I seem to be surrounded by people reading and loving romance novels I have never been a romance or soap opera person and I have been reading a long time I would even call my attitude about the romance genre as derisive But I am reading Middle Age A Romance by Joyce Carol Oates and it says romance [...]


    21. Wow this is the first book I have read by Joyce Carol Oates and I take my hat off to her as a writer After reading the first few pages, I thought the subject matter of this book was going to be depressing a man loses his life after saving a small child in the water and it relatively is After the first quarter of the book or so however, the story unfolds with the deceased man as the pinnacle character and role model of the book who has the power to influence and change other people s ordinary liv [...]


    22. Quotable When Marina and some others, at a dinner party, chided Adam for not taking his talent seriously, he d told them that, in middle age, he took nothing seriously except Truth he d become far interested in the moral life than in the aesthetic life I love you But now I m gone Even my ugly battered body gone.My love isn t gone.You can t love a dead man, Camille Love the living.But, Adam Love the living.With a shudder Camille awoke M arriage isn t passion but tenderness, pure sentiment When [...]


    23. Joyce Carol Oates s Middle Age is an intriguing tale which takes place in an affluent town called Salthill on the Hudson, and in the opening pages, we meet Adam Berendt, a very popular character in his town, who tragically dies a few pages later while rescuing a little girl from drowning during a boating accident.Adam Berendt was known to everyone in Salthill as a talented sculptor and a warm person who was a confidante to many His sudden death has a profound effect on everyone who knew him in S [...]


    24. I ended up liking this book in the end, but it sure didn t seem that way in the beginning I found the first 100 pages maybe 150 or 200 very tedious and Oates writing style tiring so many long, long sentences, endless tangential description, and pages long paragraphs I hated all of the characters I felt as if I d read this story somewhere before a man dies, and a small, wealthy, white Northeastern town reels from the loss of a person the residents had all believed in as someone better than themse [...]


    25. It s been years, maybe 35, since I last picked up a book by this author, and that book was Bellefleur I did not like it and, therefore, avoided her work for a very long time Despite the terrible, boring title of this book, I came across it how, I don t know , read the sample, and decided to give it a try I have to say that, to my complete surprise, it sucked me in so hard and so fastI ve not done much else but read it The central character is a dead man, Adam Berendt, a sculptor philosopher with [...]


    26. This book was excruciating to finish I disliked the characters who inspired no sympathy for their wealthy, over indulged problems , and who spouted sophomoric philosophies and demonstrated no ability to learn from their collective experience and wisdom, and all of whom needed constant reassurance that they were beautiful, wealthy, important, artistic I disliked Adam, the dead guy, who was not a believable character, nor inspiring as well, his secret in the end was banal and pointless They all th [...]


    27. 2001Another excellent, insightful novel by Oates.Gracious, what a lot of characters, but they do keep coming back, and are bound together by all living in the same village in the present day, i.e 1990s.Oates sure knows her psychology, we hear a lot of each character s inner thoughts And what a lot of behaviors we see, from parent teenage interaction to marriages and liaisons.Quite positive optimistic on the whole one father, and one mother, each get a chance to raise a child again later in life, [...]


    28. I read someone praising this book recently and suggested it for my book club I owe all that book club s members a sincere apology, because this was just awful Endless, first of all Meandering, second I could not tell whether JCO was writing in a way that she thought was beautiful but I found it completely affected and precious The constant repeating of what the reader already knows Salthill on Hudson Marina found herself living there Managing a bookstore Yes, we knew this, a thousand times over [...]


    29. I have read JCO in the New Yorker, shorter pieces and so I picked up this book wondering if it would grab me The first line Is this fair You leave your home and return days later in a cheesy looking funeral urn The first character has lived and died within the first paragraph I was hooked.The whole book examines the question of our lives in middle age often characters wonder, why am I here I wonder that every day One character s answer to the question because it was the alternative to swallowing [...]


    30. Middle Age I like other novels by her far better but she will always receive at least 3 stars because she is a beautiful writer, even if she wrote about a goldfish swimming round and round it would still be somewhat fascinating It wasn t my favorite Oates novel I think you always learn something about life when you pick of her novels as her characters are always very human flawed, beautiful, terrible and you swear you know someone like them I won t go on and summarize, just to say all of her wor [...]


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