Last Orders

Last Orders

Product ID: 26310

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Author: Graham Swift
Publisher: Picador India
Year: 1996
Language: English
Pages: 296
ISBN/UPC (if available): 0330345605


Four men once close to Jack Dodds, a London butcher, meet to carry out his peculiar last wish: to have his ashes scattered into the sea. For reasons best known to herself, Jack's Widow, Army, declines to join them. On the surface the gale of a simple increasingly bizarre day's outing, Last Orders is Graham Swift's most poignant exploration of the complexity and courage of ordinary lives.


‘His finest book to date; emotionally charged and technically…Last Orders is about how we live and how we die and our struggle to make abiding connections between the two’.
- Times Literary Supplement

‘Inspired…His finest novel yet’
- Guardian

‘A triumph…A novel that unflinchingly contemplates human perishability, and that also pays unsentimental tribute to human resilience’
- Sunday Times

‘Tragic, comic and wonderfully compassionate’
- Daily Mail

‘A book to match his masterpiece Waterland…Last Orders confirms his reputation as one of the great contemporary chroniclers of landscape and memory’
- Observer

‘Beautifully written, gentle, funny, truthful, touching and profound’
- Salman Rushdie

‘Graham Swift is a purely wonderful writer, and Last Order, full of gravity and affection and stylistic brilliance, proves it precisely’
- Richard Ford

‘If you think that novels can no longer move us in all the old deep ways, I’d submit Graham Swift’s Last Orders as the most conclusive and beautiful proof that they most definitely can’
- Michael Herr

‘Last Orders is not only a triumph for contemporary British fiction, it is a triumph for the hypnotic power of vernacular speech in its ability to create honest, lasting art out of life itself…Swift has given these sad, angry and human individuals voices and lives so compellingly convincing that the reader comes to know them with a depth and intimacy that fiction seldom achieves’
- Irish Times

‘This novel is a triumph…a story about the most fundamental things of all’
- Evening Standard

‘What is exceptional about this novel, apart from the marvelous prose-at once deceptively simple yet elegiac-is its visual quality: memory itself takes on a physical shape as the tale is told…It is as though Swift has brought to life the silent figures in a vast fresco on some lost wall of an old English church’
- Daily Telegraph

‘A stunning book whose principal achievement is to confer lyrical shape and dignity on ordinary people’s thoughts’
- Time Out

‘Graham Swift shifts his masterful perspective on life’s fragility to the working-class men of Bermondsey…with Swift’s unerring empathy and wit, the voices never fail to be true to life’
- Elle

‘The accuracy is of eye and ear, for visual details and the cadences of ordinary speech; but it goes beyond the merely meticulous to a sort of emotional perfect pitch’
- Spectator

‘This beautifully caculated and tender novel, the best of his six so far, speaks volumes more than mere words’
- Mail on Sunday

‘Swift has involved us in real, lived lives…Quietly, but with conviction, he seeks to reaffirm the values of decency, loyalty, love. He is, as John Dewey beautifully said of Emerson, “the sage of ordinary days”. Never blind to the horrors of life, the pettiness of human beings, their greed and resentments, Swift yet insists on the essential dignity of humble people, whose lives he portrays with deft understatement and clear-eyed attention’
- John Banville, New York Review of Books

‘Last Orders is a marvelous book with no false notes, a clear-eyed homage of great sincerity and affection’
- London Magazine