Last Orders

Last Orders

Book - 1996 | 1st Vintage International ed
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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
Publisher: New York : Vintage International, 1996
Edition: 1st Vintage International ed
ISBN: 9780679766629
Branch Call Number: x
Characteristics: 294 p. : ill. ; 21 cm


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Nov 17, 2017

I found this book to be very hard to follow. The language is difficult to understand, because of extensive use of the vernacular. There are too many references only a few readers would pick up on, because they have traveled or lived in the area where the book is set. Also, each time the POV switches, it picks up in the middle of a train of thought. I had to read for a few paragraphs before I could even begin to understand how it related to the rest of the book. The POV changes so often, that as a reader, I felt annoyed that I would have to do so much guess work to figure out the meaning of the story. Too much work for so little payoff.

May 06, 2010

?Last Orders' means more things than the title for this book. Three friends Ray, Lenny and Vic and a ?son' Vince accompany the ashes of Jack whose dying request is that they scatter his ashes at sea at Margate. More ?last orders.' Missing on this day-long excursion is Amy, his wife. The action takes place in the here and now and in the memories of these characters. The day they drive to Margate, with several diversions on the way, is a trip with lots of memory for these men who participated in WWII or saw their lives changed by it.

The 1997 Booker prize winner is a story with little action, great vernacular dialogue, compelling characters and a lot of love for Amy. Agree about the movie. Great cast.

Also read his more recent 'Making an Elephant: Writing from Within.'


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