Book review: A Shed of One's Own, By Marcus Berkmann


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The Independent Culture

Marcus Berkmann is so perceptive on the entropy of male middle age that for some of us this book is like looking in a mirror. We nod empathically as he reports on bouts of rage, droopy wattles, rampant eyebrows, of which he says: "I have pulled enough to stuff a chaise longue."

It might be helpful, he concludes, "to see youth as a disease… symptoms include full head of hair, shortage of wrinkles..." All most reassuring until you see the author's snap, which reveals a beaming, hirsute, unwrinkled stripling. What the hell is he complaining about?