Last Orders

Last Orders

Book - 1996
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Random House, Inc.
Swift's first novel since his highly acclaimed Ever After is a subtle yet piercing story about the ways in which friendship and love are shaped by the past and by fate. At its center is 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 the group dies, the survivors are compelled to take stock.

Baker & Taylor
While driving the ashes of a dead friend from London to the seaside town where they are to be scattered, long-time pals, men whose lives revolve around work, family, the racetrack, and a favorite pub, reexamine their lives, choices, and personal relationships

Blackwell North Amer
Graham Swift's first novel since the highly acclaimed Ever After is a subtle yet deeply felt exploration of the ways in which friendship and love are shaped by the past and by fate.
At its center is a group of men, friends since the Second World War, whose lives revolve around work, family, the racetrack, and their favorite pub. Now, the death of one of them, and the survivors' task of driving their friend's ashes from London to the seaside town where they'll be scattered, compels them to take stock. Through conversation and memory they trace the paths they have followed by choice and by accident: through war and its aftermath, through the dramas of their family lives and of their shifting relationships with one another.
In brilliantly realized, richly humorous voices, Swift has created a narrative language that perfectly expresses not only the comforts of old habits and friendships but the profound emotional revelations this brief but far-reaching journey will bring them.

Baker
& Taylor

While driving the ashes of a dead friend from London to the seaside town where they are to be scattered, long-time pals, men whose lives revolve around work, family, the racetrack, and a favorite pub, reexamine their lives, choices, and personal relationships. 35,000 first printing. Tour.

Publisher: Toronto : Random House of Canada, c1996
ISBN: 9780330345590
0330345591
9780394224985
0394224981
9780679412243
0679412247
Branch Call Number: FIC SWI
Characteristics: 294 p. ;,20 cm.

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EmilyEm
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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harrythedirtydog Nov 30, 2016

...Vic picks up the box and flips open the flaps at the top with his thumb.
He feels inside the box and slowly pulls out a plastic container. It looks like a large instant-coffee jar, it's got the same kind of screw-on cap. But it's not glass, it's a bronzy-coloured, faintly shiny plastic. There's another label on the cap.
'Here,' Vic says and hands the jar to Lenny.
Lenny takes it, uncertain, as if he's not ready to take it but he can't not take it, as if he ought to have washed his hands first. He don't seem prepared for the weight. He sits on his bar-stool, holding it, not knowing what to say, but I reckon he's thinking the same things I'm thinking. Whether it's all Jack in there or Jack mixed up with bits of others, the ones who were done before and the ones who were done after. So Lenny could be holding some of Jack and some of some other feller's wife, for example. And if it is Jack, whether it's really all of him or only what they could fit in the jar, him being a big bloke.

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