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Editorial Reviews

Old men talking trails only young lovers loving and young fighters fighting as a rich source of dramatic material. In this short, sweet audiobook by French master Guy de Maupassant, listeners are taken to a summer evening where two old men recall their loving days of yesteryear. Performed by Walter Zimmerman with a sense of humor and rueful satisfaction, "Growing Old" is notable not only for its characters but also for its articulate revelations of love and loss. Says one old man to the other, "There are some faces whose charm enters into us suddenly, invades us at a single blow.... It is a frightful and delicious thing." So is this audiobook.

Publisher's Summary

Guy de Maupassant was a popular 19th-century French writer. He is considered one of the fathers of the modern short story. As a protégé of Flaubert, his short stories are characterized by their economy of style and their efficient effortless resolution.

In Growing Old two middle-aged men discuss their feelings about aging which leads to one telling a heart rending story about young love and its unexpected aftermath.

Public Domain (P)1986 Jimcin Recordings

What members say

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

In An Age Of...

Viagra, hair dye and face lifts, it might be difficult to appreciate this story if it is only read on the surface: looks fade over time. But beneath this surface message swims one more ominous: "life, it passes like a fleeing train." While in a day of better health care and physical fitness regimens, it might be hard to see a forty-five and fifty year old as "old men," we need only push the limit a few more years to understand the difference between going to the beach to seek out young women and going merely to passively recall the connection to youth and understand that life passes by us with each moment, although we rarely perceive it stealing away like a ghost.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Worthwhile

A brief but excellent exploration of how we measure our own aging by seeing others around us become old. Vivid and memorable without overstaying its welcome. Definitely worth a buck and twenty minutes of my time.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

When You Are 78, You Will Understand.

If you could sum up Growing Old in three words, what would they be?

It does happen.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Growing Old?

Standing before the mirror seeing the metamorphasis and you realize the speed of time is faster than the speed of light. Time has compacted you and all the events of assimulation are reflected in a moment before that glassy, mystical surface....."backward, O backward, O time in your flight..."

Any additional comments?

."...take me back home if just for a night!"

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  • Judy
  • Kitchener, ON, Canada
  • 03-26-16

Sigh

Wistful view of lost youth from the perspective of age.
De Maupassant's treatise focuses strictly on the loss of physical attractiveness and makes no mention of the wisdom and peace conferred on the aging soul by the accumulation of experience and years.
And what is that about the once-beautiful young woman who has lost her physical beauty to the birthing and rearing of four healthy children? Both he, and the woman Into whose mouth he inserts these words, seem to feel that she has made a poor exchange.
De Maupassant's description of the inevitability of aging is touching but shallow.

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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Michael
  • Walnut Creek, CA, United States
  • 08-17-13

Good but Too Obvious

This is a good but rather obvious story. Anyone of a certain age has already had these experiences and, it seems to me, anyone below a certain age will likely not really get it. The narration is good, but not great. For a buck and 13 minutes it is certainly worth the time and money, but it not one of the great short stories available on Audible.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful