Books That Deal With Middle Age

Salinger

Woodpecker
Anyone know of a good book where a man has to deal with hitting middle-age? I like books and films where I can empathize with characters who are in the same boat as I am so I'm trying to find a book that deals with this topic.
 
The books of Michel Houellebecq mostly fit this age range. Middle age is a constant theme is his books. The main character is usually a middle aged man who reflects on his status and time.

I only read 'Submission', which I quite liked. Its about a future France where an Islamist is elected as President of France. The main character is a middle aged literature professor who is left by his young girlfriend, and he mostly contemplates his role in a postmodern western society. The book deals with his temptation by a new, Islamist France: Due to his status as a university lecturer, the new Islamic government, backed by Saudi money, is willing to pay him handsomely and gift him a beautiful young wife if he accepts his new role as an intellectual in the new Islamic society.
Recommended reading!
 
Last edited:

kel

Pelican
The main character in "Rabbit Run" is 26, but still kinda going through a mid-life crisis kind of experience (the idea of the "mid-life crisis" being a new invention, but I digress), and each sequel (which I haven't read, only the original) is ten years later.
 

Days of Broken Arrows

Crow
Gold Member
Some of the Tom Perrotta books have characters that are middle aged men, although the books aren't necessarily about those men per se. However, Perrotta was middle aged himself when he wrote most of these books, so there is some insight into that period of life.

The books of his that come to mind are "The Wishbones," "Election," "Little Children," and "The Abstinence Teacher" (to a much lesser degree).
 

BoiBoi

Kingfisher
The books of Michel Houellebecq mostly fit this age range. Middle age is a constant theme is his books. The main character is usually a middle aged man who reflects on his status and time.
Yeah, his works are good. I read Whatever, Platform and Atomised.
 

Thomas More

Hummingbird
I googled this. There was a bunch of absolute crap mostly targeted at women, like Eat Pray Love. However I found a few interesting items

-20 Years After: This is a 3 Musketeers book by Alexander Dumas, who is a great writer. The musketeers are drawn back into action, and are all middle aged. I don't think middle age is addressed directly, but the age factor shows in a lot of ways. I want to read this myself. It's a literary classic
-The Winter of Our Discontent, by John Steinbeck. Again, after reading the description, I want to read this myself. I found the book on a Barnes and Noble page listing books about middle age. I don't know how middle age plays in the story. This is a literary classic, like the Dumas book.
-A Man in Full, by Tom Wolfe. Not a literary classic, but well rated, and the main character is a middle aged man in the business world in late 20th century Atlanta. I thought it looked pretty interesting. Tom Wolfe is an edgy writer, so I'd be interested to see how he portrays the middle aged man's plight and/or possibilities.

Well, that's all I found. There were so many books that appear to be targeted at cat ladies, but very few that seem to have middle aged men as main characters. I was looking for fiction books, not self-help books. I can certainly relate to the interest in this topic. Finding the red pill has been a major factor in my own middle age journey, and it hasn't all been rainbows and unicorns for me.
 
Last edited:

Salinger

Woodpecker
The main character in "Rabbit Run" is 26, but still kinda going through a mid-life crisis kind of experience (the idea of the "mid-life crisis" being a new invention, but I digress), and each sequel (which I haven't read, only the original) is ten years later.
Ha! I just picked up the audio book of this the other day as it looked like something I'd be interested in. I noticed on GoodReads that some people don't care for the main character (short on redeeming qualities) but nearly everyone seems to like the author's prose. Hopefully, I'll enjoy the first book and will want to go through the entire series as the sequels are getting higher ratings than the original.
 

kel

Pelican
LMK if/when you get to the sequel, I'll read it with you, I liked the first one (which I read like a decade ago at this point) and have been meaning to try at least the first sequel.
 

Gimlet

Woodpecker
A good film is 10 With Dudley Moore and Bo Derek
No it isn't. Spoiler alert

It's terrible, subversive garbage in which a middle aged man is a buffoon because he can't control his lust. He ruins his marriage and gets treated like dirt by the object of his lust, who in fact is a cheating skank just like him, then crawls back to his wife as though it's all a happy ending.
 

SlickyBoy

Ostrich
The main character in "Rabbit Run" is 26, but still kinda going through a mid-life crisis kind of experience (the idea of the "mid-life crisis" being a new invention, but I digress), and each sequel (which I haven't read, only the original) is ten years later.
This is probably because the author, John Updike, was in middle age when he wrote it, if I recall correctly (edit - nope, not quite). It's not an uncommon theme, and very difficult for an average author to pull off, especially when it comes to anything hinting of pop culture references. Sometimes you can just tell when a boomer wrote a character. Steven King pulp comes to mind.

Forum member Delicious Tacos is in his forties - if you like Charles Bukowski, you'll probably like his stories too.
https://www.amazon.com/Delicious-Tacos/e/B07MG5GVSN/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Rum

bubs

Pigeon
American Beauty is a film that deals with a middle aged man. Just forget it’s Spacey and enjoy the film for what it is.
 
  • Dislike
Reactions: Rum
I purchased an academic text about the experience of middle age, which caught my eye at a thrift shop. I was impressed by the table of contents. And I paid a whole dollar for it! I'm sure the original college student who bought it, paid far more. It is currently in my storage unit, back in America.
 
Top