You can now read 5 articles in a month for free on BostonGlobe.com. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

Excerpt from ‘Everything Could Be Worse’

It had begun to snow on my drive back from tiny KHNJ, our Haddam community station (listening range of approximately 20 feet), where I once a week read for the blind — of whom there are many fewer than once was true. Disease and disability seem to have their own showcase seasons. For a while it was lung cancer. Then AIDS. Then prostate woes (I saw duty there). Then Epstein-Barr. Then unexplained pain. Now breast cancer’s staging a comeback — even in men. Medical science knocks one off just in time for a new one to pop up.

Continue reading it below

This late fall, I’ve been reading — 30 minutes’ worth is about all they or I can stand — Naipaul’s “The Enigma of Arrival.’’ (When is arrival not an enigma?) It’s a book, in many ways, made for the old and sightless, and perfectly suited for hearing in the dark, and better than the always-enigmatic crime log in the Trenton Times, or the weekly State House Report, detailing our portly governor’s bad-tempered cavortings. Naipaul, despite his objectionable self, and rumors of epic meanness toward man and woman alike, is as adept as they get at fingering the less-obvious-but-still-worrisome that lurks in the heart of the obvious and apparently placid — subjects the old and blind are apparently happy to substitute for their own intractable woes and what-ifs. I guarantee you it’s a million times better than a dismal book club — where the members all get loaded on cheap Pinot Grigio and go at each others’ throats about whether such ‘n such “anti-hero” is just like their ex-husband orwife, or whether there’s any reason in the world ever to read a novel about people you wouldn’t invite over for a fondue party.

Loading comments...
Subscriber Log In

We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles'

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Already a subscriber?
Your city. Your stories. Your Globe.
Yours FREE for two weeks.
Enjoy free unlimited access to Globe.com for the next two weeks.
Limited time only - No credit card required!
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.
Thanks & Welcome to Globe.com
You now have unlimited access for the next two weeks.
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.