Sunday, October 26, 2014

REVIEW: Curmudgeonism

Curmudgeonism: A Surly Man's Guide to Midlife
Kelly Crigger

Genre: Mid-life, Aging
Publisher: Graybeard Books
Publication date: 9.17.2014
Pages: 174

Recommended by: Worldwind Blog Tours
Date read: 10.25.2014

Summary: Discovering who you are is not just for teenagers.  Midlife men must also rediscover the world around them while struggling with their own impending mortality and legacy, especially those who change careers and lifestyles.
            Middle-aged men like me are under siege, beset on all sides by personal ambition, internal expectations, familial pressure, disillusionment, uncertainty, and legacy.  It's a constant battle to balance the needs of the self and the needs of others and a struggle to discover which ones really take priority.  Some win this battle and some tragically lose.
            Curmudgeonism is a state of mind, unwavering, unapologetic, and uninterested in what people think.  We are the proverbial old dog that can't be taught new tricks because we know the old tricks are tried and true.  We have firm beliefs that can't be shaken.  Free trade is good.  True leaders are rare.  Happiness is a luxury.  Golf is a waste of time and we don't have enough years left to be unproductive.  We don't apologize for our views because we've spent half a lifetime developing them.  Theory and idealism sounds good in school but only until it becomes cost prohibitive and the real world determines ground truth.  Curmudgeons are uncaring about what people think and have low expectations on the world because it's done little more than disappoint us.  We're middle aged and tired of looking, acting, feeling the way people want us to, so we're breaking out and being who we were meant to be: irascible curs who make the world a better place through brutal honesty.  We see this as our duty and take it seriously.
            Buy the ticket.  Take the ride.

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I wasn't so sure about this book when I agreed to read it for a blog tour.  I mean, it sounded funny and very interesting, and I have known a lot of curmudgeons in my lifetime, but most people's idea of funny is just not my idea of funny, and I end up reading the whole thing with a straight face, never laughing once, wondering how the book got so many 5 stars on Amazon.  Something was telling me I should give it a try and I am so glad that I did.

This book is beyond what I could have ever expected it to be.  Kelly and I, we think the same way about a lot of things, and he had me laughing from the very first page.  This is, by far, the funniest book I have read in a long time - and I also learned so much from it.

I love how he described the three different stages of Curmudgeonism and that he's willing to let women be a part of the group.  I now have a new fondness for the curmudgeons in my life ... and, fellas, I want to join the tribe.

About the author:
Kelly Crigger is an angry troll who lives under a bridge, eats goats that wander past, and throws their bones into the canyon of despair.

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