Publication Date: 09/04/2015 ISBN: 9781408841020 Category:

Pondlife

Al Alvarez

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Publication Date: 09/04/2015 ISBN: 9781408841020 Category:
Paperback / Softback

£9.99

Quantity:

Description

The ponds of Hampstead Heath are small oases; fragments of wild nature nestled in the heart of north-west London. For the best part of his life Al Alvarez – poet, critic, novelist, rock-climber and poker player – has swum in them almost daily.

An athlete in his youth, Alvarez, now in his eighties, chronicles what it is to grow old with humour and fierce honesty – from his relentlessly nagging ankle which makes daily life a struggle, to infuriating bureaucratic battles with the council to keep his disabled person’s Blue Badge, the devastating effects of a stroke, and the salvation he finds in the three Ss – Swimming, Sex and Sleep.

As Alvarez swims in the ponds he considers how it feels when you begin to miss that person you used to be – to miss yourself. Swimming is his own private form of protest against the onslaught of time; proof to others, and himself, that he’s not yet beaten.

By turns funny, poetic and indignant, Pondlife is a meditation on love, the importance of life’s small pleasures and, above all, a lesson in not going gently in to that good night.

Publisher Review

The adrenalin still flows in lively extracts from 11 years of journals * The Times * A beautiful unfolding of a story, told in deceptively simple prose but with a great power to move * Sunday Times * A marvellous book. Even the title Pondlife is spot-on: unlaboured, light and right. But it has no business to be as invigorating and absorbing - its success is against the odds * Observer * Al Alvarez is a writer's writer whose brilliant insight has illuminated everything from suicide to his love of poker ... A miniature classic of a man's defiant assertion against ageing * Metro *

Book experts at your service

What are you looking for?

A recommendation
Something specific
  • Mr B's Recommendation Station
  • Fill in the three questions below, along with your name and email address, and our book experts will be in touch soon with their personal recommendations
  • I'm after something specific
  • Tell us about the book, author or subject you're looking for, along with your name and email address and our book experts will be in touch as soon as possible