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Somewhere Towards the End

Narrated by: Claire Bloom
Length: 4 hrs and 32 mins
4 out of 5 stars (6 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

National Book Critics Circle Award, Autobiography, 2010

What is it like to be old? Diana Athill, born in 1917, made her reputation as a writer with the candour of her memoirs.

In Somewhere Towards the End she reflects frankly on the losses and occasionally the gains that old age brings, and on the wisdom and fortitude required to face death. This is a lively narrative of events, lovers and friendships: the people and experiences that have taight her to regret very little, to resist despondency and to question the beliefs and customs of her own generation.

©2008 Diana Athill (P)2009 Orion Publishing Group Ltd

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Alison
  • Porirua, New Zealand
  • 12-05-11

Not just for the aging

This is a heartfelt narrative about life in general through the eyes of an elderly lady. It is humorous, true to reality and even a little bit saucy in places; with an irreverence which only old women can get away with. There is something to learn and relate to here, not just for those over 50, but also for those trying to understand their aging relatives. While the title may suggest a depressing subject, this narrative handles its subject matter in a light manner while imparting wisdom to all ages.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Alison St Pierre
  • 09-18-12

An interesting perspective of ageing and death.

A far too rare insight into ageing and death. Honest and informative in parts. Too much information about her friends operations and illnesses and rambles far too much towards the end. Refreshing to hear of the advantages of later life and great to hear much older people have healthy active sex lives.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Alice
  • 10-21-10

Wise and Wonderful, a rare treat before bedtime

I am but 23 years of age, not old, not yet concerning myself much with the matter of my own mortality and able for the large part to put 'the end' to the back of my mind but this book was more pleasurable to listen to, and more relevant than any I have recently consumed directed at my own demographic. I love Diana Athill and the way she reflects upon life and how she and others of her acquaintance choose to live. This book is not only warm and gently amusing, but enlightening and my week has been the richer for it.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • E M Bradley
  • 03-12-17

Beautifully read

The author has an amazing talent for saying things just how they are. The story of her life is not only interesting, honest and frank. Though slightly repetitive at times her unique style of life broadens the mind. I would recommend this book to both male and female adults from young to old and believe that every one who does read it will face the future in a different and more positive light.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Createmate
  • 04-02-19

The End - A refreshing listen

Death has not been part of polite conversation in the UK for...ever?
I've always wanted to ask people of a certain age about their lives, their hopes, dreams, failures and how they feel waking up every day knowing, this could be my last day.
Thank you Diana Athill for providing me with some sense of one person's view as they neared the end of their life; fortunately a long one. I appreciated the 'warts and all' candour of her writing which blended humour and melancholy in equal parts.
I didn't learn anything I hadn't already surmised about the view (I'm mid 50's) of increasing in age and reflecting on one's own mortality, but it was well worth the listen to confirm my own suspicions and conclusions.
And her philosophy for life is just as good for us all as it was for her irrelevant of personal circumstances, "enjoy yourself as much as you can without doing any damage to other people.”

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  • Maria
  • 02-11-19

Ultimately dull

Had high hopes but it rather put me off her. I found it dull and even dozed off in parts. Unless you are a stalwart fan, try another biography