From Kevin Quinley from Fairfax, VA:
True confessions: my Gmail address is firstname.lastname@example.org Compared to John Casey, author of ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT, though, I readily concede my poseur status. Now well into his 70’s, Casey is The Real Deal when it comes to Geezer Jockdom.
In ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT, Casey devotes each chapter to a phase of physical and athletic passion that he has engaged in during his seven decades. Each chapter is a stand-alone essay. Weaving them together is a clear and strong passion for the outdoors, for sports and for the vigorous life. Detractors might dismiss Casey as an athletic dilettante, but I think that would be harsh. The chapters cover a diverse array of athletic and outdoor passions, including:
* A 50-mike hike (in the heyday of the JFK era)
* A maritime-themed Outward Bound course off Maine’s coast
* Various rowing and canoeing adventures
* Cross-country skiing
Casey brings a palpable sense of passion as he writes of the physical life and the pleasures of exercising. It’s amazing what he is able to do as he gets older. If he suffers from many injuries or ailments, these never made the cut for the book. Well into his 70’s, he is able to sustain a level of physical activity that would drop most people have his age.
There is the sense that modern life, with all its technology and conveniences, has made our existence too cushy and easy. There lingers among some a desire to take the harder, more rigorous route and to test themselves. ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT taps into this vein. Even if you have never engaged in any of the sporting or outdoor avocations depicted by Casey, his sparse prose makes for an absorbing read and may inspire you to get outside, chop some wood or dust off your bike.
Though there may be room for improvement in ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT, I’m hard-pressed to specify what that may be and give it five stars!