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.
"A profound, intricately stratified novel full of life, love lost and love enduring." The Globe and Mail
"Swift is surely one of England’s finest living novelists….The tale he tells is as affecting as it is convincing….Quietly, but with conviction, he seeks to reaffirm the values of decency, loyalty, love." The New York Review of Books
"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
About the Author
Graham Swift was born in 1949 in London, where he still lives and works. He is the author of six novels: The Sweet-Shop Owner, Shuttlecock, which received the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize; Waterland, which was short-listed for the Booker Prize and won the Guardian Fiction Award, the Winifred Holtby Memorial Prize, and the Italian Permio Grinzane Cavour; Out of This World; Ever After, which won the French Prix du Meilleur Livre Étranger; and Last Orders, which was awarded the Booker Prize. He is also the author of Learning to Swim, a collection of short stories. His work has been translated into more than twenty languages.