Dessaix’s special skill is to be able to ask the deepest and most complex questions while appearing to be chatting amiably with the reader, all the while performing the literary equivalent of an enchanting dance.
The Time of Our Lives might be a collection of personal essays in the tradition of Montaigne, or it might be a memoir, or a self-revealing, quasi-fiction of the kind Karl Ove Knausgaard has made so compelling, or it might be a series of meditations.
At the Brisbane Writers Festival in May 2021, Dessaix spoke of his particular talent for “gossip”. This talent provides an opportunity for the reader to explore many aspects of growing older, and its natural consequence – death. He has suggested that his future still offers “the best time of his life”. For Dessaix, an abundant inner life is what will sustain us ‘right through to the end’ and it is:
… something which happens when we open up to what surrounds us and then dance it, speak it, write it, sing it, love it, turn it upside down and inside out behind our eyes.
Gold Coast Booklovers enjoyed the chance to ponder their own future and the future of their loved ones. Some thought Dessaix precocious in his choice of references to his own privileged life. Others relished these references to literature, philosophy, music and cultural understanding. In fact, they were already widening their own “inner life” by exploring new issues.
The Time of Our Lives is, by turns, philosophical, down-to-earth, sad and funny.
With thanks for references from the internet.
Ratings: Janet Jenny and Vivienne 4, Lynda and Sandy 3.5, Kim, Margie and Pauline 3.
Our next meeting will be at Preece House on 14/06/21 at 6:30PM to discuss All that I am by Anna Funder.
Hope to see you all there and happy reading!
We are a group that gets together once a month to discuss good books. Each of us gets to choose a book on a rotational basis, preferably one outside our personal comfort zone – we try to keep the trash to ourselves. After the discussion, we comment on other books we read that month. Most of the time we remain friends after the meeting.
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