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Download Rules for Old Men Waiting: A Novel Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Rules for Old Men Waiting: A Novel, by Peter Pouncey Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (378 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Peter Pouncey Narrator: Simon Vance Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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A brief, lyrical novel with a powerful emotional charge, Rules for Old Men Waiting is about three wars of the twentieth century and an ever-deepening marriage. In a house on the Cape “older than the Republic,” Robert MacIver, a historian who long ago played rugby for Scotland, creates a list of rules by which to live out his last days. The most important rule, to “tell a story to its end,” spurs the old Scot on to invent a strange and gripping tale of men in the trenches of the First World War. 

Drawn from a depth of knowledge and imagination, MacIver conjures the implacable, clear-sighted artist Private Callum; the private’s nemesis Sergeant Braddis, with his pincerlike nails; Lieutenant Simon Dodds, who takes on Braddis; and Private Charlie Alston, who is ensnared in this story of inhumanity and betrayal but brings it to a close.

This invented tale of the Great War prompts MacIver’s own memories of his role in World War II and of Vietnam, where his son, David served. Both the stories and the memories alike are lit by the vivid presence of Margaret, his wife. As Hearts and Minds director Peter Davis writes, “Pouncey has wrought an almost inconceivable amount of beauty from pain, loss, and war, and I think he has been able to do this because every page is imbued with the love story at the heart of his astonishing novel.”

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Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Deborah | 2/20/2014

    " This was a beautiful book - so many stories are inside and they are all told at exactly the right pace. I may have teared up a time or two... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Valerie | 2/15/2014

    " I will be thinking about this book for a long time - I think it has something valuable to say about selective memory and those things in our natures that we would rather forget but need to confront in order to understand ourselves. The MALIRAB discussion was full of disagreement - a good discussion. I'm not sure how well the author succeeded and maybe he "cheated" - certainly it felt contrived at times but I loved the the feisty independence of this dying man and could identify with him. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Kathey | 2/6/2014

    " I'm sure it was a good book, but I just couldn't get into the whole army thing. A terribly sexist comment, but this was too "guy" for me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Sara Woodbury | 2/6/2014

    " A story within a story. A dying man writes the story that has been on his mind, and the story tells so much in so few words. A keeper. "

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