Listening to Alpha Trivette perform Not Dead Yet feels like listening to a vivacious and engaging friend tell life stories over dinner. Trivette’s background in acting and comedy lends itself to an ideal treatment of decades’ worth of rich, moving, and often hilarious autobiographical material. Even Trivette’s somewhat Americanized pronunciation of French phrases (Gold spent several years in postwar Paris) is charming.
Gold’s words make vivid both his Beatnik past with Ginsberg, Kerouac, and Bellow, and his ever-bohemian present, as he approaches "the art of growing old" with humor and self-deprecation. Listeners will relate to the author’s struggles with grief, loneliness, and physical decline, but also take solace in his wise reflections about life and love.
An NPR Book of the Year, “worth, oh well, its weight in gold. . . . vivid and eloquent.” (The New York Times Book Review)
An upbeat memoir to savor and admire, Not Dead Yet proves that in your later years you can still be going strong . . . and having fun!
“Old age is a shipwreck,” Charles de Gaulle once observed. Not so, says Herb Gold in this lively, often hilarious memoir of his first seven decades. He is clearly enjoying every moment to its fullest. This is a book about how time overtakes us, how reminiscence, loss, hope, pain, success, failure—the lifelong accumulation of dreams and reality—crowd about us with every passing day. Combining a fascinating selection of people, places, and key events from a long life into the alembic of his ever-fertile imagination, Gold has distilled gold from his uncanny ability to recall conversations, anecdotes, atmosphere, and telling detail. By turns wickedly funny (“Prostate surgeries and hysterectomies are not immediately visible at art gallery openings.”) and touching (“It’s harder to learn how to laugh alone.”), Not Dead Yet, in this age of overheated memoirs, will surely find its way to a grateful audience both young and young at heart.
What would have made Not Dead Yet better?
Less of a flip attitude. More attention to detail.
What was most disappointing about Herbert Gold’s story?
The distance between the writer and his own story.
What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?
Performance was standard.
Any additional comments?
Consider essays and non-fiction by first-rate writers like Philip Lopate, David Foster Wallace, Jonathan Ames, David Rackoff, etc.