5.0 out of 5 starsthe wisdom of a zen koan
October 20, 2017
Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase
Richard Angres' book has within its pages the wisdom of a zen koan and the wit of Larry David. It is hard to be wise and witty about old age without falling into bathos. This book manages the feat. I highly recommend it, especially for those who are in the age group of the author. Although it would actually make a great read for younger people, as a road sign barely visible far down the highway. It's so far away it feels that you can ignore it, but it's good to keep it in mind. Eventually you'll be there and you'll want to be ready to face it. This book, like that road sign,
tells you what to do next. Buy it!
Larry Lasker on October 11, 2017
This book just about manages to make aging seem like fun -- and it's perfect for our era of diminished attention spans!
Gary L. Goldman on September 18, 2017
At the swearing-in ceremony, new US citizens are given a pocket copy of the Constitution. When all of us reach a certain age, somebody ought to give us a copy of this booklet. It's not safe to take a step without it.
M. Kupfer on September 15, 2017
If you are Richard Angres’s age, 70, or, like me, a few years older, and read his book, you’ll probably say to yourself, I know all about his experiences. I could have written this short book myself. Perhaps, but I doubt your version would have been half as witty and clever as his. “Holding Together the Falling Apart: Age: The Final Frontier” would be a wonderful and entertaining present for anyone you know who is Richard Angres’s age, or anyone who will eventually, we hope, get to be his age. This tiny gem is a perfect example of something most writers can agree on – less is more.
Mindful, Humorous and Delightful!
ByRonald A. Alexander on October 5, 2017
Rick Angres has written a witty, pithy, humorous and deeply philosophical book to assist all of us who need to learn to navigate the next stage of life's journey called aging. A short but rather spicy read that leaves you filled with joy, wisdom and delight. It's a rich and thoughtful book choke filled with tidbits of truth and teachings on how to become more mindful as we age. A must read !
The first thing you need to
know about “Gelson’s-adjacent”
resident, writer and raconteur
Richard Angres is that he
does not get hungry. Literally. As
in he has to remind himself to eat.
His father had the same genetic
trait, maybe something to
do with the appetite-inducing
hormones leptin and ghrelin, a
goldmine for the dieting industry
if they could work out what was
It has helped him tough it
out around the world on strange
days such as when he hitchhiked
around North Africa in pursuit of
a South American girlfriend who
had been smitten by the number
one TV star in Morocco.
Unfortunately, as he discovered
in the desert, he still gets
But, metaphorically and professionally,
a lack of appetite—
the need to devour—has its drawbacks
in the American Dream.
It may be the reason why it’s
only today, after a lifetime of writing
for Hollywood coin, that you
are hearing about Angres’ forthcoming
It’s about living well after the
age of 70.
Hopefully, if his friends have
their way, he may be promoting it
online in hip-hop rhythms.
But over the next few weeks,
before Angres turns 71 in November,
there will be a flurry of activity
from the man who jokes he may
be septuagenarian but “I still have
a bloom of middle age.”
First up is the self-published
book: “There is an enormous market
for children’s books, so why
not for our second childhood?” he
It’s called “Holding Together
The Falling Apart,” with the punny
subtitle (devised by his wife,
Kate, who is in marketing, of
course) “Age: The Final Frontier.”
The 26-page opus will be
promoted through all the modern
interwebbery: There is the You-
Tube channel, and the social media
bursts on Facebook, Instagram
and other pretty places.
The mission? To teach Palisadian
baby boomers—and there
are more Palisadians aged over 80
than between 20 and 35—not only
how to survive but thrive in a fragile-
boned new world where every
step can trip one into disaster.
This is not the third act of a
career imagined by his Chicago
parents back in the 1940s (not
that their courses were orthodox
His mother emigrated from
Egypt and was working for the
OSS (the predecessor of the CIA),
creating one of the first Egyptian-
American dictionaries when
the Second World War ended.
She was out of a job, but was
still cajoled into giving a visiting
Harry S. Truman a belly dance
when he arrived in town.
The Midwesterner’s reaction
to such exotica is, sadly, not recorded
in the presidential library.
She and Angres’ father, a leading
Freudian psychoanalyst, only
married to make him legitimate
and started the amiable divorce an
But they both expected for
young Angres to follow in middle-
class steps by becoming a
He went along until at college
he visited a law library, saw the
massive rows of massive volumes
of law (“and with such thin, thin
paper, too!”) and fled to follow his
passion: to write in Hollywood.
Like the vast majority of
would-be movie luminaries, he
had moments of opportunity, but,
as he said himself, grinning, there
were a lot of near misses, “not
quite rights” and unfortunate timing.
Angres started out in film
distribution and then, in the mid-
1970s, worked at Universal Pictures
until he got distracted by the
prospect of making a film on location
about the “aisha” or “aicha.”
She is a North African djinn
(or genie) who, perhaps aided by
boasting the legs of a goat, seduces
men with a terrifying vision of
She ruins them for any other
It could have been epic, or
But like 99 percent of film projects, it fell apart. It was an everyday
industry curse that afflicted
many of Angres’ writing projects—
or else the djinn has a long
reach. Mixed fortunes followed.
There was the day he persuaded
a famous but work-shy scribe
to share an idea, which he instantly
pounded out as a spec submission.
Exhausted, he left it in the
Ten minutes later, a producer
called in to see the famed scribe,
grabbed the script and made a fortune.
Then there was the Mariah
Carey picture, scuttled when her
management changed. “It would
have been great,” he mourned, but
not too deeply.
Not that he would have
held onto the money: A New
York Times article highlighted
him as an exemplar of bad
He confessed that, in 2008, at the
depth of the Great Recession and
the scriptwriters strike, he was
bulk-buying lilies and orchids at
the farmers market.
“On the one hand, I get a very
good price,” he said. “On the other
hand, I spent perhaps 10 times as
much on flowers as is appropriate
for a man of my means.”
Maybe the lack of acumen,
ambition and appetite means he
is not too bruised by fickle Hollywood
Yet as an often-uncredited
writer and script-doctor, and occasional
extra (with full beard in a
Yul Bryner picture), he has earned
the respect of directors from Oliver
Stone to Dutch-Palisadian
Paul Verhoeven and made enough
money to buy in town a dozen
And since then, this book, like
a silver seed, has been growing inside
“Holding Together The Falling
Apart” is a light-hearted shower
of advice for the aging multitudes:
If you are under 70, says
the back page, you needn’t bother
On the other hand, it’s always
good to prepare.
The large-format paperback is
around 10 suggestions, expressed
in a short of poetic rhythms—and
in big type, naturally.
Its co-opted narrators are the
celluloid gods of the Greatest
Generation and early baby boomers,
from Robert Mitchum to Gene
Kelly to Bette Davis who warned:
“Getting old ain’t for sissies.”
But the creature at the heart of
this encroaching darkness is a superhero
alter ego called Old Man.
“Other superheroes come to
him for advice,” Angres explained.
“His powers aren’t what they used
to be, but he’s got a big new one:
the power to know better.”
The first suggestion, or rule, is
“no sudden moves.”
Angres, who has lived a fit and
outgoing life, recalled learning
this painfully, when moving fast
caused parts to fracture and snarl
up, and old wounds from younger
years returned in fierce renewal.
“Taking your time is a good
way to avoid being sliced and
diced by the rough edges of this
world,” he warned. “Don’t fall
“As we get older we don’t
necessarily get wiser, but we can
learn to do things better. From
now on, it’s all an extended Japanese
tea ceremony, a constant
refinement, and polishing of every
move and gesture.
“Try to [approach] everything
with elegance and dispatch. It
takes practice, but you’ve got the
Rick lives his own adage: “Be
cheerful while you are alive—
you’re still alive, make an effort.”
Although he admitted he is not
making any promises about his
state of mind after that.
The book is a work in evolution:
The version that has been on
sale on Amazon since last month
is almost sold out and about to be
revamped with a different cover.
Yes, a second edition already.
It will be promoted on a Facebook
page, born three years ago as
What will be on the promotional
lifestyle YouTube channel?
Mostly advice on staying alive
or possibly staying balanced on an
exercise ball—the one exception
to his rules about staying elegant
and graceful. There may be puffing
And the rapping? “That’s
what my friends want me to do, to
put out a rap version on YouTube
or something. But one thing you
learn, as you grow golden, is that
some risks are worth taking and
others? Well, that’s the wisdom of
age. Don’t stress about them.”
Meanwhile, at 70, the delightful
Angres is happy to have
found harbor in Pacific Palisades,
or, as he calls it, America’s sweet
spot—a place where he does not
have to make any sudden moves.