Rules for old men waiting : a novel
Rules for old men waiting : a novel

Pouncey, Peter R.


1st large print ed.

Publication Information
New York : Random House Large Print, c2005.

Physical Description
401 p. ; 22 cm.

Robert MacIver is an 80-year-old war historian, a proud Scot long resident stateside, dying slowly and alone in an ancient house in the woods on Cape Cod. His beloved wife, Margaret, has died recently in the same house, and MacIver sees no reason to linger. He is not, as the famous Dylan Thomas poem has it, raging against his going, but neither is he going gentle, though rage and gentleness are the novel's key concepts. Instead, he chooses a middle way, an orderly departure. Alarmed by visions clouding his mind, he takes himself in hand, fixing regular meals; he also embarks on a short story, containing through art the rage that grips him at the loss of loved ones. MacIver's creation is deftly interwoven with highlights of his own life: the death of his father in WWI (his first great loss); his success as a rugby player and academic; his meeting Margaret, an accomplished painter, in New York; his blissful life with her and their only child, David; David's early death after serving as a medic in Vietnam (his second great loss); MacIver's subsequent marriage-threatening rages; and then the return of calm and marital happiness. A constant theme is MacIver's violent nature and the antidote of Margaret's gentleness. In his short story, MacIver envisions a drama played out between four soldiers in the WWI trenches. One, a good soldier but a psychopath, murders his commanding officer; that murder is avenged by a private, an outstanding artist stirred to his own murderous rage. Completion of the story eases MacIver's path to death.

Older men -- Fiction.
Vietnamese Conflict, 1961-1975 -- Casualties -- Fiction.
World War, 1939-1945 -- Veterans -- Fiction.
World War, 1914-1918 -- Veterans -- Fiction.
Reminiscing in old age -- Fiction.
Military historians -- Fiction.
Fathers and sons -- Fiction.
Storytelling -- Fiction.
Widowers -- Fiction.
Large type books.
Psychological fiction.
War stories.

Geographic Term
Cape Cod (Mass.) -- Fiction.

LibraryCollectionMaterial TypeCall NumberStatus
Hurricane BranchLarge Print - FictionLarge Print - FictionF PounceyChecked In