CRISIS TIME! Love, Marriage, and the Male at Mid-Life by

CRISIS TIME! Love, Marriage, and the Male at Mid-Life

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Chatty, common-sense (at best) advice for men undergoing a mid-life crisis--filled out with digressions, anecdotes, dubious opinions, and a few words to the wives. Nolen (The Making of a Surgeon) first recounts his own post-50 trauma: insomnia, decreased libido, alcoholic and drug abuse (Valium, Quaaludes)--cured by cold-turkey will power, his wife's sympathetic patience, and, apparently, passing time. Next comes the advice. First: get a physical exam, especially to check for anemia, hypothyroidism, diabetes, or biochemical depression. (More originally: the wife of the man-in-crisis should also get a check-up.) Second, the wife should try to be a ""sympathetic listener."" Third, outside help may be useful--though Nolen misleadingly gives one page to all forms of psychotherapy (suggesting it's too expensive) and 13 pages to a meandering report on a ""support group."" Then there's separate discussion of what-to-do about the major problems of a mid-life crisis: insomnia (a list of familiar home-remedies); excessive drinking (tips on cutting down); impotence (everything from a hormone/vitamin/decadron ""sex cocktail"" to pornography to an extramarital affair); fear of death (don't think about it); and job dissatisfaction--which might be solved by changing jobs. . . or maybe not. And Nolen finishes up with some humdrum counsel for wives who've been putting up with a man-in-crisis for over 18 months: ""Now is the time, if you'll excuse the phrase, to kick his ass, figuratively and perhaps, if the opportunity presents itself, even literally."" Enough solid substance for no more than a so-so magazine article (Nolen writes regularly for McCall's)--but very unsophisticated sufferers from mid-life miseries might find the basic information a helpful or comforting first step.

Pub Date: Sept. 24th, 1984
Publisher: Dodd, Mead