YOUNGER THAN SPRINGTIME by Greg Williams

YOUNGER THAN SPRINGTIME

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KIRKUS REVIEW

 A cautionary tale for aging boomers that mixes (with a heavy hand) myth, satire, and morality as it details a self-absorbed New York lawyer's brush with immortality. John Ashe is 50 years old, successful, and rich--but not happy. A partner in a prestigious law firm, he's all too aware of time's winged chariot as partners drop dead jogging, wife Elizabeth nixes martinis, and bran cereal becomes his breakfast of necessity. Commuting on the train to suburban Groveton is the pits, too, and the running that gave him some pleasure is becoming increasingly painful as his tendons play up. And John knows it's only going to get worse. But then potential paralegal-hire Elena comes by for an interview--and his life changes as magically as any poor slob's in a fairy tale. Though she's the daughter of a law-school classmate, and only 22, John is infatuated--as is Elena, who admires her elder's legal knowledge and maturity. The two are soon lovers--very energetic ones--and John finds himself amazingly rejuvenated: He can eat, fornicate, and run like a young man. Furthermore, his hair darkens, his muscles tighten, and his cholesterol drops. The doctors think he may be suffering from ``youthing,'' the result of an older man's sexual relationship with a younger woman. Meantime, he leaves Elizabeth, who soon takes up with the wronged wife of a friend, having decided that same-sex love is better. An exuberant John also decides to leave his firm. But when he becomes a medical celebrity, Elena begins to have second thoughts: John seems so immature and shallow now. When he wins the New York Marathon, she leaves for L.A., and John immediately begins to age again. Another young woman, however, is waiting in the wings. An intriguing concept, and an acute take on the '90s zeitgeist, but this first novel's punch is weakened by clunky and pedestrian writing.

Pub Date: April 7th, 1997
ISBN: 1-55611-511-3
Page count: 300pp
Publisher: Donald Fine
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 1997