Rules for Old Men Waiting Author:Peter Pouncey A brief, lyrical novel with a powerful emotional charge, "Rules for Old Men Waiting" is 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 m... more »ost important rule, to "tell a story to its end," spurs the old Scot to invent a strange and gripping tale of men in the trenches of the First World War. 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 memories of this own role in World War II and of Vietnam, where his son David served; and both stories and memories alike are lit by the presence of Margaret, his wife. As Hears 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."« less