50 by Avery Corman


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Corman's fourth novel (Oh, God!, Kramer Vs. Kramer, The Old Neighborhood): an utterly spurious tale of a New York sportswriter finding himself as he turns 50. Doug Gardner is a slightly nebbishy, middle-aged guy whose life is circumscribed by various humiliations and who feeds off nostalgia like a piranha. His divorce from his beautiful, somewhat younger ex-wife, Susan, appears to have been the central fact of his life--he is constantly harkening back to happier days when he and Susan used to walk through Central Park wearing flannel shirts--and otherwise his world is filled soulless Yuppies who've never heard of Gershwin. Doug is a popular columnist at Sports Day, a national USA Today-like sports paper, but even there he's got problems: his new boss wants him to write his columns from computer printouts given him by soulless Yuppie marketing analysts. Things don't get any better when Susan marries an extremely rich jeans-tycoon named Broeden, who immediately starts winning away the kids (Andy and Karen) from Doug, who is helplessly in love with the two and says things like ""You're my MVPs."" As Doug approaches the big Five-O, all would seem doom and gloom--except that he then meets a lovely young lawyer named Nancy, leaves his job to become a high-paying consultant, and has the very real satisfaction of seeing Susan's marriage fall apart. Happy now that Susan is unhappy again, Doug marries Nancy and goes back to work as an honest sportswriter--for the Daily News, where they don't give soulless Yuppies the time of day. Familiar urban corn, smoothly done.

Pub Date: Aug. 14th, 1987
Publisher: Simon & Schuster