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Last Orders
by Graham Swift

Published: 1997-01-14
Paperback : 304 pages
1 member reading this now
3 clubs reading this now
0 members have read this book
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 ...
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Introduction

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

Editorial Review

From the author of Waterland and Ever After, Last Orders is a quiet but dazzling novel about a group of men, friends since the Second World War, whose lives revolve around work, family, the racetrack, and their favorite pub. When one of them dies, the survivors drive his ashes from London to a seaside town where they will be scattered, compelling them to take stock in who they are today, who they were before, and the shifting relationships in between. Both funny and moving, this won the Booker Prize in 1996.

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Book Club Recommendations

Try a YA alternative
by DebraF (see profile) 04/29/16
I would recommend The Ostrich Boys by Keith Gray, as the premise is broadly similar, but the story is transposed into the hormonal, angst-ridden teen years of the protagonists. Highly enjoyable, laugh-out-loud moments and deeply memorable.

Member Reviews

Overall rating:
 
 
  "Read 20 years ago - doesn't age well"by Debra F. (see profile) 04/29/16

a book of it's time, the language and petty sexism seem out dated

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