Rules for Old Men Waiting

Rules for Old Men Waiting

A Novel

Book - 2005 | 1st ed.
Average Rating:
Rate this:
A brief, lyrical novel with a powerful emotional charge,Rules for Old Men Waitingis 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."
Publisher: New York : Random House, c2005.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9781400063703
Branch Call Number: POUNC
Characteristics: 210 p.


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Jul 04, 2011

Rules for Old Men Waiting, by Peter Pouncey, is one of the most painful literary journeys I've taken. Robert MacIver gives us a monologue of thoughts, wishes and memories. Waiting for his certain death, suffering great pain, grieving, struggling mentally, Robert uses the last ounces of his character and discipline to structure useful days of creativity. This diary of a dying, snowbound elderly man is shot through with wry levity and raw honesty. Opening these pages after a day away required my own discipline, not wanting to let emotional cowardice win over my obligation to see Robert through to his end. Peter Pouncey had that much power over me, the power of a great writer.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at OPL

To Top