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Book Review: 'Recessional'

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Michener’s impressive career began with Tales of the South Pacific and has continued with an output of almost 40 books, including landmarks like Hawaii, Chesapeake, and Texas. Uncharacteristically, this time there’s not much plot. Michener settles instead for a superficial ramble into the lives of some of the residents of the novel’s Florida retirement home, as well as residence director Andy Zorn’s routine problems: allotting parking spaces, a malfunctioning yogurt machine (three pages!), and asking an elderly man to clean up his mildly off-color jokes. Michener includes topics of greater import, of course (AIDS, Alzheimer’s, and the country’s litigation ”crisis”), but mostly writes as if little of consequence or interest happens after the age of 65. How many real-life senior citizens spend their wisest years dwelling on — and reading about — whether supper should be served at 5:30 or 6:30? D