Don’t Ever Get Old by Daniel Friedman
This title has been getting a lot of buzz – and it totally deserves it. The amateur sleuth starring here is a retired Memphis homicide detective by the name of Buck Schatz. Buck is also a war veteran who suffered in a POW camp. Buck is also plagued by the concern that he may be losing his memory; he knows he’s not in the same physical shape he once was. Here’s the kicker: he retired thirty years ago, he fought in WWII, and Alzheimer’s is a real worry, because Buck is 87-years old.
Buck is a great character. He is the quintessential grumpy old man. What makes Buck great is that we get inside his head. We get frustrated with him and celebrate his little victories (like every time he uses his age to his advantage). While Buck is an extraordinary man hunting down the treasure supposedly smuggled out of Germany by the Nazi who beat him almost to death in the war, he gives amazing insight into the everyday life of the very old. We empathize with Buck and his young doctor, both frustrated with answers that don’t seem to be answers at all.
Buck turns 88 during the course of the narrative. I can’t wait to see how he celebrates his 89th.