The pact that Kay and Cyril Wilkinson make to lead their best lives and then end it all/commit suicide when they turn eighty and eighty-one respectively, always seemed so sensible and Kay's 80th birthday a long way off. But now it's 2020, the time is nigh and they are faced with the dilemma: should we stay or should we go?
Presented through twelve thoughtful and entertaining scenarios, readers accompany Kay and Cyril through these alternate futures all woven through with the familiar challenges of contemporary living, whether it be coronavirus or climate change. [Small-medium font]
A robust discussion of this book!
Lionel Shriver is a polarizer! Most people didn't finish reading the book. Even the finishers found it depressing. A couple of people acknowledged that it made them think though, and that it was a different kind of book from those they would normally choose.
A very different book for our group, two didn't complete it - but we did have a thoughtful discussion on the topic of how to regard living in older age. Three of our members are mid-80s and 94 - all very sharp minded and physically fine.
None of our group rated this book highly, although it did generate good discussion, and made us realise we should have documented arrangements ( as in Question 8),if we haven't already done it. We thought the author was out to shock us, but a lot of it was repetitive and far-fetched, and we didn't think much of Cyril and his opinions on life, and the NHS.
Most members of our group found this book challenging and annoying. But it did spark a lively discussion.
Wow - what a diversity of thoughts and opinions. Some found the whole thing depressing, far fetched and uncomfortable - disliked it a lot. 2 of us thought it interesting, thought provoking, sometimes funny and quite insightful. The rest refused to read it after about 80 pages. Definitely a lot of discussion!
An original story exploring possible outcomes and solutions to ageing. Not everyone in the group felt comfortable with some of the solutions or possibly the whole ageing conversation. Comments included: the black box seemed sinister and overbearing; the idea of a TV series appealed but with a N.Z. focus that explored the loss of personal agency, financial choices, health etc. The book notes were comprehensive, focusing our attention on the themes in Shriver's novel.
Mixed reviews - but it certainly sparked a lot of discussion around age and euthanasia, so led to a very good meeting.