Out of Time: The Pleasures and the Perils of Ageing explores mostly the perils of aging, it seems, and is based primarily on writers’ memoirs and essays, with many feminists in the lot, often described as “formidable”, which does not seem to make them immune to some amount of trepidation when it comes to aging. They also seem to be, for the most part, outfitted with a therapist, so much so that I sometimes wondered whether the main problem of older people is that analysts are reluctant to work with them. Perhaps aging could be a welcome closing of regular therapy sessions. But I digress.
I also felt that any happy memoir written by an older person was dismissed out of hand as a crafty evasion from a grim reality. Is it not possible that some older people are truly happy, rather than pretending to be? On the whole, I thought the book was a big downer — including the (British) author’s complaints about the poor treatment of old people by the NHS that only served to highlight the weaknesses of the US health system.