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All That Follows

by Jim Crace

In this wryly humorous take on the male midlife crisis, a jazz musician finds himself creatively stuck. Reflecting on his past, his current lack of self-belief forces him to confront the moral dilemma of taking the path of least resistance in a life devoted to art, rather than acting on his principles by engaging with a cause he once believed in. Be prepared for a thought-provoking and absorbing reading experience.

Extract

Of late, his life has shrunk by stages .... He has been drug-free and loosely vegetarian since his thirties, but now he is a dieter as well, a resister of alcohol, chocolate, dairy, modified foods and whatever produce is currently targeted as unsafe or unsound. In his household, shopping is a morally burdened expedition; cooking is a series of ethical quandaries. Dietary self-defence has turned every meal into a combat zone .... Certainly he does more these days to combat sticky deposits in his own bloodstream than any failings in the body politic. He is more regularly engaged by the struggle to keep below seventy-five kilos in weight than by any dogma or belief. And while it has become a simple matter to exile his aspirations for the world to the back of his mind, his ambitions for a trimmer waist or a lower pulse are never far from the front of it.

Parallels

The Fear Index by Justin Cartwright
 

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