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Last Ordersby Graham Swift
Synopses & Reviews
The author of the internationally acclaimed Waterland gives us a beautifully crafted and astonishingly moving novel that is at once a vision of a changing England and a testament to the powers of friendship, memory, and fate.
Four men — friends, most of them, for half a lifetime — gather in a London pub. They have taken it upon themselves to carry out the "last orders" of Jack Dodds, master butcher, and carry his ashes to the sea. And as they drive to the coast in the Mercedes that Jack's adopted son Vince has borrowed from his car dealership, their errand becomes an epic journey into their collective and individual pasts.
Braiding these men's voices — and that of Jack's mysteriously absent widow — into a choir of secret sorrow and resentment, passion and regret, Graham Swift creates a work that is at once intricate and honest, tender and profanely funny; in short, Last Orders is a triumph.
"Last Orders works its magic calmly and delicately." Montreal Gazette
"Deeply moving....Swift has made us love these characters. The impression we carry away is not the futility of life, but the amazing courage of human beings." The Toronto Star
Four men gather in a London pub. They have taken it upon themselves to carry out the last orders of Jack Dodds, master butcher, and deliver his ashes to the sea. As they drive towards the fulfillment of their mission, their errand becomes an extraordinary journey into their collective and individual pasts. Braiding these men's voices, and that of Jack's widow, into a choir of sorrow and resentment, passion and regret, Swift creates a testament to a changing England and to enduring mortality.
"Swift has involved us in real, lived lives...Quietly, but with conviction, he seeks to affirm the values of decency, loyalty, love."--New York Review of Books
"A beautiful book...a novel that speaks profoundly of human need and tenderness. Even the most cynical will be warmed by it."--San Francisco Chronicle
About the Author
Graham Swift is the author of five other novels, including the acclaimed Waterland, which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and won the Guardian Fiction Award. His work has been translated into more than twenty languages. He lives in London.
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