THE SLIGHTLY OLDER GUY by Bruce Jay Friedman


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 A veteran humorist offers wry and shticky counsel on how to survive the ``rough patch'' of incipient male aging. Friedman (The Current Climate, 1989, etc.) has been plumbing urban neuroses for a while; here, he alternates chuckle-worthy insights with annoying absurdity. He opens with an amusing checklist for the SOG (e.g., ``You make it through the night without a trip to the bathroom and consider it a cause for celebration''), then lowers his aim by positing how memory loss might lead to an inadvertent phone conversation with Julia Roberts. On sex, he's a hoot: Using baseball terms, he proposes that the SOG should recognize the loss of his ``high hard one'' and instead ``develop a slider.'' He moves on to offer advice about diet (``listen carefully to your body''), appearance (``Nobody admires a Slightly Older Guy who looks like Howard Hughes''), and fitness (treadmills are ``an excellent way to get through Proust''). Regarding ex-wives, he is emphatic: ``The key to amiable to stay out of her life--and hope she stays out of yours.'' And on some bedrock issues, he's downright wise: Avoid feeling personal affronts at a contemporary's success, he warns. He's quite tender toward the concept of the Slightly Older Wife, who, he observes, ``has invested heavily in you.'' Be a good sport about your kids, he says, even if you suspect the child may not be yours. Friedman further offers thoughts on saving money (check Modern Maturity--in private, of course--for travel savings), possible later-life careers (limo driver, memoirist), even a run for office (oppose coddling criminals and TV violence). Finally, he counsels that SOGs tie up loose ends, decide what they want out of life, and proceed--with no whining. Slight, but for Friedman's target demographic, reliably fun. (illustrations)

Pub Date: June 1st, 1995
ISBN: 0-684-80206-6
Page count: 160pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 1995


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