A Blog For and About Today's Seniors

by Sandra K. Sprague

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Sandra's Summer Book and Movie List

Books and Movies Featuring Care Givers

Okay, you can search high and low on eBay or Toys-'R'-Us and you won't find a single Care Givers action figure! But that doesn't mean care givers are not a part of our popular culture. The fact of the matter is that care givers are featured in many of yesterday and today's popular books and films. Summertime is here and I usually take that time of year to catch up on my reading and film-watching; I thought I'd share with you a few of my favorite books and films in which care givers play prominent roles!

A Man in Full
By: Tom Wolfe
Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1998

Published eleven years after his acclaimed and wildly popular Bonfire of the Vanities, the much-anticipated A Man in Full started out, according to Wolfe, as "a book about everything".; at a hefty 744 pages, one's first impression could very well be that Wolfe achieved his objective! The good news is that in spite of its heft, A Man in Full is an absolute compelling work of modern literature and, once started, is nearly impossible to put down.

A Man in Full introduces us to Charlie Croker, an Atlanta-area real estate developer tycoon and businessman. We find Charlie on the slippery down-slope of a "rags-to-riches" career. Having ridden an Atlanta boom-cycle to the top of the heap, Charlie is scrambling to keep from surfing a wave of crushing debt onto a rocky shore of massive foreclosure, bankruptcy and disgrace. To complicate matters, Charlie is beginning to have serious self-doubts about his personal values, moral compass and his genuine place in life.

Enter Conrad, a wrongly-convicted California fugitive who is working for an Atlanta-area in-home caregiving agency using a false identity. Although circumstances might suggest otherwise, Conrad's life has actually been changed dramatically for the good by a recent conversion to the Stoic school of philosophy; while being retained as an in-home caregiver for a post-operative Charlie Croker, he proceeds to introduce Charlie to his new-found wisdom in an attempt to help Charlie find his way to a better life.

DISCLAIMER: In real life, Conrad would never have been able to secure work as an in-home care giver! At CARE GIVERS NW, all my care givers are subjected to a thorough background check and must provide proof of identity, a valid driver's license and current automobile insurance. Additionally, my care givers are trained to provide our clients with quality care such as medication reminders and assistance with Actitivies of Daily Living, but will probably be less effective in helping to salvage a failing multi-million dollar real estate development firm.

As you may have guessed, a 744-page novel ranges much farther than the simple plot I've just described. A Man in Full is a delightful parade of corrupt politicians, unscrupulous bankers, craven star athletes and other unforgettable characters of all stripes! This is Tom Wolfe at his best and you won't want to miss a word of his incisive, all-observant wit and social insight. Get an extra-strength beach bag and hoist along A Man in Full to your beach blanket and umbrella - you'll be glad you brought it with you!

Read Sandra's Other Reviews!

Rear WindowThe Savages"T" is for TrespassScent of a Woman