Early Bird: A Memoir of Premature Retirement

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9780743242172: Early Bird: A Memoir of Premature Retirement
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Everyone says they would like to retire early, but Rodney Rothman actually did it -- forty years early. Burnt out, he decides at the age of twenty-eight to get an early start on his golden years. He travels to Boca Raton, Florida, where he moves in with an elderly piano teacher at Century Village, a retirement village that is home to thousands of senior citizens.

Early Bird is an irreverent, hilarious, and ultimately warmhearted account of Rodney's journey deep into the heart of retirement. Rodney struggles for acceptance from the senior citizens he shares a swimming pool with, and battles with cranky octogenarians who want him off their turf. The day-to-day dealings begin to wear on him. Before long he observes, "I don't think Tuesdays with Morrie would have been quite so uplifting if that guy had to spend more than one day a week with Morrie."

Rodney throws himself into the spirit of retirement, fashioning a busy schedule of suntanning, shuffleboard, and gambling cruises. As the months pass, his neighbors seem to forget that he is fifty years younger than they are. He finds himself the potential romantic interest of an aging femme fatale. He joins a senior softball club and is disturbed to learn that he is the worst player on the team. For excitement he rides along with a volunteer police officer on his patrols, hunting for crime. But even the criminals in his community seem to have retired.

Early Bird is a funny, insightful, and moving look at what happens to us when we retire, viewed from a remarkably premature perspective. Any reader who plans on becoming an old person will enjoy joining Rodney on his strange journey, as he reconsiders his notions of romance, family, friendship, and ultimately, whether he's ever going back to work.

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About the Author:

Rodney Rothman is now living in Los Angeles. He is a former head writer for the Late Show with David Letterman, and was a writer and supervising producer for the television show Undeclared. His writing has appeared in the The New York Times, the New York Times Magazine, the Best American Nonrequired Reading, The New Yorker, McSweeney's Quarterly, and Men's Journal.

From Publishers Weekly:

What happens when an able-bodied 28-year-old decides to "retire" in a Florida senior community? It may seem like the setup for a Carl Hiaasen novel, but it's actually the project Rothman thinks up after losing his television job. Following through with his plan, Rothman comically probes Boca Raton's Century Village. He infiltrates the social hierarchy of the "pool group," eats dinner at the local early-bird specials and joins a shuffleboard club. He captures these experiences in short, humorous chapters, consistently detailing his own physical and mental failings compared to the seniors he meets. The book's laconic and self-deprecating tone brings to mind Rothman's former boss, David Letterman, but unfortunately, Rothman doesn't balance the two traits as well as Letterman. During a Thanksgiving dinner in the community, when Rothman competes with his neighbor Sylvie's son for Sylvie's attention and says, "I'm committing Grand Theft Mother, directly in front of him. I don't feel bad about it. Why should I?" his humor can feel uncomfortably callous. Much of Rothman's angst stems from his idleness, but it's hard to muster sympathy when that situation is self-imposed. This undermines what is otherwise a funny and engaging memoir of a quarter-life crisis. Agent, David McCormick. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780743270588: Early Bird: A Memoir of Premature Retirement

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ISBN 10:  0743270584 ISBN 13:  9780743270588
Publisher: Simon & Schuster, 2006
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9781615526017: Early Bird: A Memoir of Premature Retirement

Simon ..., 2006
Softcover

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