The Living End: A Memoir of Forgetting and Forgiving
by Robert Leleux



Penguin, 2012. ISBN 978-0-143-11880-0.
Reviewed by Trilla Pando
Posted on 01/29/2012

Nonfiction: Memoir; Nonfiction: Relationships

The title of this brief book is splendidly appropriate and the text fulfills its promise. Life is uneven—some rough places and some soft landings. Robert Leleux masterfully recounts the journey he shared with JoAnn, his beyond-beloved grandmother, through the slow and scary shoals of Alzheimer's. He captures it completely. Sometimes the reader has to reach for a tissue, but is it because she is laughing or crying? Both.

Leleux's writing, whatever his subject (he is a regular columnist for the Texas Observer) is art. This book, particularly toward the end as JoAnn slips away, approaches poetry. No, is poetry—"The heart is as prone to one-night stands as the flesh."

Clearly, this is a book for people who are engaged in a similar journey, whether as the main traveler or the companion. But it is also for anyone who is a parent or grandparent, or who has or has had a parent or a grandparent. It is for anyone who appreciates fine writing and clear insights.


Robert Leleux is a freelance writer and editor, and the author of two books: The Memoirs of a Beautiful Boy and The Living End. Robert is the features editor of Lonny Magazine and writes the "Tex in the City" column for the Texas Observer. He lives on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Visit his website.

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