Old Men in Love

Old Men in Love

by Alasdair Gray

As in Alasdair Gray's Lanark, 1982 Janine, Poor Things, and The Book of Prefaces, this one has many styles of narrative and location.

More than 50% is fact and the rest possible, but must be read to be believed.

  • Language: English
  • Category: Fiction
  • Rating: 3.43
  • Pages: 312
  • Publish Date: 2007 by Bloomsbury
  • Isbn10: 0747593531
  • Isbn13: 9780747593539

What People Think about "Old Men in Love"

It includes Tunnock's house and numerous miscellaneous writings. The book reads very much like what it is purported to be: a grab bag of miscellaneous writings. Like other books by Gray, including the masterwork Lanark, the novel gives one a glimpse of present-day Glasgow. Not his best book despite some fine writing.

There was simply no way, having read eighteen other books by Alasdair Gray, and sampled two others, plus a biography, I wasnt going to read Old Men in Love, his last novel. In this universe, in this incarnation of me I was always going to read Old Men in Love at some point. As Grays self-annihilating alter ego Sidney Workman writes in the afterword, the novel comprises bits culled from old TV plays, dreary historical narratives, and previously published articles on politics and place. Bits are merely Gray chatting to himself.

Alasdair Gray's book Old Men in Love is, instead, a hodgepodge of loosely-connected fragments, all (or almost all) ostensibly from the pen of the departed John Sim Tunnock, a Glaswegian schoolteacher and would-be author. These historical fictions are tied together with excerpts from Tunnock's diary, which show him to be another old man in love, although the object of that love seems primarily to be himselfvarious young women do show up in these sections, and are variously involved with John, but none of them seems especially loving or lovable. Also, the bulk of Old Men in Love was typeset in Zapf Optima (or a very similar fontI'll admit I don't have a reliable eye for such distinctions, and I could not find a note on the type itself).

Gray's fiction can mostly be divided in two: those based on plays written in the 60s and 70s (The History Maker, McGrotty and Ludmilla, Agnes Belfridge, Something Leather) and that written fresh (Lanark, Poor Things, 1982 Janine).

Eh. Lanark was great, and this book in the realist memoirs section and the diaries of the main character is still really vibrant.

Oh dear, Gray is one of my favorite all-time novelists and story writers, and much of this is quite good, but the lengthy part on Henry James Prince and his cult of pseudo-Anglican egotism is unbearable.

Alasdair Gray este un scriitor al carui romane sunt precum piersicile zemoase: lipicioase si delicioase. Ambiia lui John Tunnock este de a scrie un roman despre trei personaje, astfel încât s arate evoluia omenirii.

This novel feels like an attempt for him to get in his last thoughts on literature, socialism, etc, and while I would have appreciated something more ambitious--I think Gray is a genuinely great writer who, later in his career, simply hasn't tried hard enough--it's still worth checking out for people interested in his work.

He was a contributor to Lean Tales (1985), a work that prompted a revival of interest in Scottish writing.