Coming Up for Airby George Orwell, Richard Brown (Read by)
COMING UP FOR AIR is about coping. Orwell hooks a character from among the struggling middle class and, close-up, lets us watch him wiggle. George (Tubby) Bowling is a "fat, middle-aged bloke with false teeth and a red face." He sells insurance, a task at which he grimly excels. The father of two ingrates and husband to a slattern, he dutifully makes mortgage payments
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Every middle-aged man should read this one for directions on how to make it to old age. For all the high-flown sociological and party-line interpretations this work is a manual for the man who stands on the edge--of old age, that is, and wants to look back for a moment before night closes in. It is a timeless work, at least so long as "men lead lives of quiet desperation."