Really enjoyed William Trevor’s The Old Boys.
“As the future narrows one turns too much towards the past. One sees it out of proportion, as though it matters.”
“Mr Nox was not lonely … but he had faced loneliness as a boy and come to terms with it. It was like getting over measles, knowing they had taken their turn and would not return.”
“Once Mr Turtle had kept photographs of his wife, faded sepia prints that became absurd as the years advanced. There was nothing of her in them, just a face that was now a stranger’s face; for in his mind he had forgotten what she looked like and remembered more poignantly other things about her. He tore the photos up without any emotion at all.”
“The middle-aged are … most in need of reassurance. They are strait-laced in their different ways, serious and intent. They have lost what they have always been taught to value: youth and a vigour for living. They suspect their health, scared to lose it too. Prime of life is a euphemism.”
“Cridley, have you taken to much to drink? You are rambling on like a sheep in a fog.”
“Cast gloom aside and let us see how best to make the gesture. Come now, how shall we prove we are not dead?