Excerpt from Rules for Old Men Waiting by Peter R. Pouncey, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Rules for Old Men Waiting

By Peter R. Pouncey

Rules for Old Men Waiting
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • Hardcover: Apr 2005,
    224 pages.
    Paperback: Jun 2006,
    224 pages.

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


As Margaret had feared would be the case, MacIver did not do well after she had gone. He let himself go, and he let the house go. He knew it was happening and he felt bad about it as far as the house was concerned, but he didn't seem able to do much about it, except fitfully. His concentration was gone, along with the object of his attention. There was a backlog of work due on the house; they had loved it and cared for it year after year, as it needed and deserved, but in the fall MacIver had persuaded Margaret against all previous habits to delay some of the chores to the spring; they should hunker down and enjoy each other quietly, without ladders looming and workers banging. She had been sick enough to agree, but the house was showing its frailty now quite markedly; it was no longer a matter of cleaning gutters, checking storm windows, and calling the exterminator to keep the termites at bay. The fabric of the house was sagging visibly on the eastern side, and he was sure it needed a new roof. And what else? He mentally checked off the items he knew about—siding on the windward face of the house, boiler, always feeble, cheating him of more and more degrees against the thermostat (unless it was the cold, or the windows?), two sagging, buckled gutters. In the end, he did not call the contractors, because he did not want them to open up the house and tell him how bad it was. And he did not call them because he still did not want their banging, their company, or even their secret sympathy. Bereavement seemed to work on him as a kind of blanket allergy, making him edgy and irritable to all the outside world.

And of course it was reciprocal: the world receded on him. Even his own Blind Pool seemed to shun him as an interloper. The lens of the water, which had taken in a full orbit of creatures and their activities, their presence and their shadows, and held them for key moments for the two of them to share and admire, now stared blankly upwards, blind indeed. He could tell that his ability to focus, to fix on a detail and hold it, had deserted him, and the loss of it had weakened his grasp on the place. He did not really seem able to see what was happening anymore.

Excerpted from Rules for Old Men Waiting by Peter Pouncey (pages 3-9 of the hardcover edition). Copyright © 2005 by Peter Pouncey. Excerpted by permission of Random House, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Shotgun Lovesongs
    Shotgun Lovesongs
    by Nickolas Butler
    Nickolas Butler's debut novel, Shotgun Lovesongs, follows five life-long friends, now in their mid-...
  • Book Jacket: Gemini
    Gemini
    by Carol Cassella
    How good is Gemini, Carol Cassella's book about a Seattle intensive care physician who becomes ...
  • Book Jacket: The Goldfinch
    The Goldfinch
    by Donna Tartt
    Winner of the 2014 Pulitzer for Fiction.

    Her canvas is vast. To frame a story about art, love and ...

First Impressions

Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!

Books that
expand your
horizons.

Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only

Find out more.

Book Discussions
Book Jacket

The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry
by Gabrielle Zevin

Published Apr. 2014

Join the discussion!

Who Said...

Great literature cannot grow from a neglected or impoverished soil...

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

Solve this clue:

P Your O C

and be entered to win..

Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.

Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.