"In retrospect, it would have been better if my wife had let me stay home to see Meet the Press instead of making me schlep across town to watch Jim Wallace die." [Buck Schatz, narrator of Don't Ever Get Old.]
Yep. But Jim was afraid of dying and going to hell for the bad things he'd done. He wanted to confess and gain Buck's forgiveness. Jim was an MP, manning a road block between East and West after WWII, when up drove a disguised Heinrich Ziegler, the SS officer in charge of the POW camp where Jim and Buck were stuck in 1944. Ziegler was assumed to be dead. The trunk of his Mercedes was full of gold bars; in exchange for one, Jim let Ziegler go.
|Memphis, Tennessee, is on the Mississippi River, and it's the author's hometown|
Buck is the perfect protagonist for a read in the shade. He's a cantankerous and smart man, with a sardonic sense of humor. Buck was a legendary lawman; people used to say he was the leading cause of death among Memphis scumbags from 1957 to 1962, but Buck claims he was only fourth (tied with car accidents, but behind other scumbags, drug overdoses, and other cops). For 30 years on the job, Buck thought that he was a bulwark against social breakdown and that he made a difference. Now, Det. Jennings claims the city is setting new records in violent crime. Cops keep arresting criminals, and a Guatemalan cuts Buck's grass. Life goes on without him.
Note: I received a free review copy of Don't Ever Get Old. It was published by Minotaur Books in May 2012. In his acknowledgments, author Friedman thanks his two sets of grandparents and his great-aunt Rose for their stories that inspired Buck and the other characters. I thank them, too.