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There’s never been a better time to be middle aged

By Julie Burchill   January 2012

A Shed Of One’s Own: Midlife Without the Crisis by Marcus Berkmann (Little, Brown, £12.99)

Every sociology student learns the basic laws of consumption: first people thirst for things, then they thirst for experiences. But when you’ve had the car and the Caribbean holiday, what comes next? In my jaundiced opinion, the new taste-thrill is mild personal trauma; it says so much more about you than money ever can. A personality crisis raises one above the uncomplicated, cheery peasants of this world; it’s sexy to be a screw-up.

These days, everyone appears to have a famous mental ailment for 15…

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