Last Orders

Last Orders 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

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  • Title: Last Orders
  • Author: Graham Swift
  • ISBN: 9780679412243
  • Page: 327
  • Format: Hardcover
  • 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 choirFour 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 livesQuietly, but with conviction, he seeks to affirm the values of decency, loyalty, love New York Review of Books A beautiful booka novel that speaks profoundly of human need and tenderness Even the most cynical will be warmed by it San Francisco Chronicle

    One thought on “Last Orders”

    1. Scene : the smoke room at the Bag of Grandmas, Old Kent Road, Bermondsey, East End, London.Three novelists are propping up the bar and grouching.Ian McEwan : My Booker Prize is bigger than yours.Julian Barnes : No it fucking isn’t, they’re all the same size. Ian McEwan : No they’re not, they make em bigger if they think it’s a better fucking work of literature. Graham Swift : No they don’tIan McEwan : Yes they do, if Shakespeare has won it his’d be as big as the London Fucking Eye. S [...]

    2. This was easily the least exciting Booker Prize winner I’ve ever read. You know that other London all us new hipster Londoners never get to know? Even though we all live together, on the same streets, we are divided by our pubs. There are the new hipster pubs with craft beer and a cosmopolitan atmosphere, and then right next to them, there is an old man pub. The Weatherspoon’s kind of affair with a tatty carpet and a clientele that has known each other for decades. If I ever end up in a pub [...]

    3. It ain’t like your regular sort of day.Nope. It ain’t. It ain’t my regular kind ‘o book, neither.

    4. This begins: “It ain’t like your regular sort of day.” Not exactly “Call me Ishmael” but you have to start somewhere. A little workshoppy, but there’s some promise there. Perhaps it could turn into a one-day, colloquial journey through themes and characters.But then again, maybe not. In a few brisk chapters we have encountered (the word met suggests more purchase than we are given) Ray, Jack, Sue, Sally, Vince, Vic, Lenny, Amy, Bernie, Brenda, Joan, Mandy, Carol and Charlie. Was ther [...]

    5. I loved this almost as much as Mothering Sunday. This one is very male-focused, populated by a group of bumbling, inarticulate, hard-drinking Londoners on a road trip to scatter their friend Jack's ashes, each man's grief complicated by tangles of Jack-related secrets. The polyphonic audio version is amazing. It took me a while to get into it, but the intensity gathered and gathered and cracked me wide open.

    6. CharactersJack Arthur Dodds (deceased) - "Dodds and Son Family Butcher, since 1903". Vince Dodds (Vincent Ian Pritchett) - "son" of Jack and Amy. "Dodds' Autos" Ray "Lucky" Johnson - "if you want to put a bet on, he's your man". Lenny Tate, Grocer - "Gunner Tate, middleweight. Always pissed. Always late". Vic Tucker, Funeral Director - " your disposal". Amy Dodds - Jack's wife, mother of June (mentally disabled). " was hop picking that started it.It's all pickings." Mandy Black - wife of Vince. [...]

    7. My negative for this is largely due to my own lack of knowledge rather than the work itself. I think if I had been familiar with London and its environs my appreciation would be greater. It begins in Bermondsey. A Google search tells me it is one of the oldest areas of south London, but even that doesn't tell me what I think locals would know. From the story, I gather it is more of a working class neighborhood - but I gathered that from reading, not from foreknowledge. Foreknowledge would have b [...]

    8. Jack, a Butcher and propper up of the bar at his local (alongside his mates Raysy, Lenny, Vic and Vince, Jack's unofficially adopted son) dies. He wants his ashes scattered off Margate. His widow, Amy, passes the batton/urn to Jack's mates, who all have a soft spot for Amy. They set off from Bermondsey to Margate in Vince's flash car (he's a second hand car dealer and mechanic)for this purpose.The story of their pilgrimage is endearingly human, sometimes tense, often funny, almost always full of [...]

    9. What a beautiful, beautiful book. Graham Swift has got to be one of the greatest writers of our generation. This is not a large book, but one should take his time reading to savor his language, his great skill in crafting amazingly simple stories of everyday people. Swift brings his characters--in this book, butchers, junk dealers, used car salesmen, funeral directors, housewives--great dignity. Four friends set out to scatter the ashes of a mutual friend, at his request. Not an original plot de [...]

    10. I won't describe the plot here. You can find that in the description. I will make some observations, among them my idea that, whether by design or not, LAST ORDERS is Joycean. It is also accessible. The reason I think it may not be a conscious imitation of Joyce is that I suspect Joyce, fundamental innovator though he was, wrote in a tradition. Somebody once said you could go to any bar in Dublin and hear the sort of conversations you'd read in ULYSSES. Graham Swift's Englishmen (and women) are [...]

    11. This is one of those books where I could not decide if I like it until after I had finished reading it and thought about the book. It took me some time to get used to the language and Swift's style of writing. The book is told in various characters point of view. This actually was what I enjoyed most about the book. There are a lot of characters and people to keep track of. It took me some time to figure out who everyone was in relation to other characters in the book. In the end, I liked it but [...]

    12. Influenced by William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying, this novel was criticized by some reviewers as too derivative to deserve the Booker Prize it was awarded. I find that criticism irrelevant, since many authors are influenced by the works of other writers, and in this case the book stands well on its own. It is the story of a small group of friends, drinking buddies and neighbors, who take the ashes of one of them from London to Margate to throw them into the ocean, in accordance with the wishes [...]

    13. "I'd like to be all kinds of people.but I can't because I'm me.I don't want to be like me, I want to be like them but I can't I can't I can't."It took me about one third of the book to straighten out the characters in my mind. I was thinking I should go back and re-read the beginning, but now I think it was better that all the stories were jumbled and then clarified. Or somewhat clarified. The characters themselves have not sorted out their relationships or their pasts either.Each short chapter [...]

    14. Different lives, different rules! 1996 Booker Prize Winner.And Worst Booker Winner ever for me.I would say during 1996 one of the judges named A L Kennedy was very upset with result and she said Booker as 'Crooked pile of non-sense' and after reading this (And also applicable only to this book as per my experience) and I understand her frustration.This is nothing but just a story of a dead man who last wish to scatter his ashes in sea has been carried out by his friends. I think the voice are in [...]

    15. Last Orders is a strange one for a Booker Prize. Somehow its both hard and easy to read, deep and shallow, simple and convoluted. My book club and I decided this was probably intentional. While many parts of the tail are almost soap opera-like many parts cut much deeper, all while with a humourous bent and plain language.The books blurb is fairly explanatory but one note I will make is there is very little war in this book. One could be forgiven for expecting a harrowing tale similar to the Long [...]

    16. Meh. Don't get me wrong. The writer is really good. He has to be to be able to get into the skin of so many characters and portray them so distinctively. The plot is interesting too or could've been, if it were less convoluted with so many breaks for each character's narrative. But that's just it. It took me halfway down the book to get a grip on the story and the way it ended left me wondering what the point was. And throughout I couldn't wait to get over with it to go on to the next book. But [...]

    17. Upon reading the premise, I remember that the film has been watched: /title/tt0253200/Dedication: For AlOpening quotes:But man is a Noble Animal, splendid in ashes, and pompous in the grave. Urn Burial by Sir Thomas Browne.I do like to be beside the seaside. John A. Glover-KindOpening: It ain't like your regular sort of day.

    18. I have been disappointed with Booker Award winners in the past, but this winner from 1996 was deeply satisfying to me.My only reason for not giving it five stars is that I felt it was harder than it needed to be to learn the identities and backgrounds of the main characters and keep track of the time hopping that went on, even though I know that was a key to the novel's construction.The story is built around a last wish by butcher Jack Dodds that his ashes be scattered off the end of Margate Pie [...]

    19. رواية بسيطة مخادعة وتحكي قصة اربعة رجال يحملون رماد صديقهم المتوفي معهم اثناء رحلة تجمعهم وخلالها يقوم كل واحد منهم برواية قصته استخدام بارع للغة في ايصال كل قصة بطريقة شيقة وجذابة ، الكثير من القصص ستروى علاقاتهم الرومانسية مع النساء واخفاقهم في العديد من هذه القصص انها سه [...]

    20. Recommended by my son. Someone told me you'll either love this book or hate it. I LOVED it! By the very last chapter I was beside myself with emotion. A good few times it made me laugh out loud. This book has everything but if you're looking for something fast paced and full of action you've come to the wrong book. It's slow paced and full of the complexities of ordinary people going a out their lives and their inter weaving relationships. A memorable story.

    21. This book made me cry. Seriously. So you know that it is going straight to the list of best reads of the year. For real. Which is surprising because the narrative structure of the book is one that I typically don't like. The story is told from a multiperspectival point of view, with chapters being named for the person who is narrating that chapter, or, from where the events in the chapter are taking place, in which case Ray is the narrator. This isn't my favorite narrative style, but for this st [...]

    22. We live in the present and the past. I have only realized the last few years that time is not linear. We are constantly dipping in and out of the past, the present and the future. We are living it all at the same time. Graham Swift has written a complex book that tries to blend this truth with the other truth that "our" stories are not solely ours. We are part of history, of communities and families. Our inner worlds bump up against others and our inner worlds are shaped by historical forces. So [...]

    23. LAST ORDERS. (1996). Graham Swift. ****.Although I found it hard in the beginning keeping all of the characters straight, it soon became a non-issue as I moved through the story. The story is pretty simple. A man has died and been cremated. In a letter he wrote before he passed he put down his request: His ashes were to be cast off the pier in Margate. It fell to the lot of his drinking buddies to carry this request out. We meet them all as they gather for a drink in their usual haunt, and then [...]

    24. I'm not sure I can find a fault in this novel. I didn't expect to love book about crazy old people on mission to scatter the ashes of their deceased friend, but I did. All different POVs, thoughts, history, troubles going way back into their youth, lives never lived to the fullest, failures and wrong choices are what can happen to every one of us. Story of missed chances, having no choice, or making a wrong one, being happy with who you have been all your life and questioning whether that person [...]

    25. I feel the need with this review to point out that my rating has to do with how much I enjoyed the book/how much I got out of it rather than how I would rate the book as a piece of literature, capable of standing the test of time, etc. This is a technically accomplished novel, interesting characterization, but it just didn't do it for me. It was too straightforward with the narrative to interest me on that score and the characters created, while feeling quite true to life with all their faults a [...]

    26. I had to reread this for my book club, and chose the audio version. I also cheated, looked up the cast of the movie on , and thus was able to more closely identify the characters, as there are numerous first person accounts. Thus, the book really fell into focus for me, the narrators' stories packed more of a punch.

    27. I actually enjoyed the short chapters told from different points of view. In fact, there was one really funny, really short chapter. Sadly, I also felt that the book, despite its excellent tone and prose was about 125 pages too long.

    28. Unfortunately I couldn't connect to this book.e language, the words, the English working class just could not engage with my 2011's mind in any way.

    29. The fast switch in focus between the different characters is a bit confusing. Probably would be more enjoyable if read in one or two sittings. I didn't grasp the characters until almost at the end and that's the part that would get 4 stars. Very skillful and leaves a great impression. Swift is an amazing author but like the other books I read by him more.

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