‘But how much time could a man spend remembering the best of boyhood? What about enjoying the best of old age? Or was the best of old age just that – the longing for the best of boyhood.’

What is this book about?

Everyman tells the story of a man who is so uninteresting, he doesn’t even get a name. The modern day version of ‘The Death of Ivan Ilych’ chronicles the life of Roth’s everyman through the trials and tribulations of a Jewish ad-man who deals with all the stuff regular people deal with, but he doesn’t really come out on top. Not to spoil the ending, but he dies at the start and the rest of the book tells you how terrible life can be as an older man who lost his charm. The more accurate title for this book would be ‘Getting Old is a Bitch’.

Why is it boring?

If you read this book you will be getting a lot of descriptions of hospitals, diseases and old people wishing they were young again. It’s also quite frustrating to see the main character make the same mistakes over and over and throw away a good life for a woman who teaches him about anal sex.
Just so typical.

Who would you recommend it to?

Anyone who worries about getting older and falling ill.
This book will make a great present for that old and feeble uncle you don’t like or for recently divorced parents. They will be so worried about dying alone and they will shower you in treats to win over your affectation. It’s also a great read for the waiting room of a hospital while you are waiting for the doctor to come back with your test results.

Why should I read it if it’s boring?!
It’s really short! With only a 182 pages you blow through it and you can add another book to your Goodreads account in only a couple of days. Besides the length it does give you an insight into the terribleness that is awaiting you once you pass the age of forty. And even though the main character is kind of an asshole, he’s deeply human. Roth describes the death of relationships beautifully and it’s hard not to feel sad when proud characters are weighed down by the decay of their bodies.

Rating 3,5 /5

Author

Esmée de Heer is head honcho over at the Bored to Death book club website, writing the daily content and making sure the site stays up and running. She's one of the founding sisters of the book club and enjoys reading and giving unsolicited love advice.

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