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Last Night at the Ritz
Elizabeth Savage
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Last Night at the Ritz

3.52  ·  Rating Details ·  477 Ratings  ·  93 Reviews
Published (first published January 1st 1973)
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May 04, 2015 Jana rated it really liked it
Thank you Nancy Pearl for rediscovering this gem and thank you Lisa for sharing it in our postal book group. What fun to keep company with this witty narrator and see the world through her very unconventional eyes.

I carefully recorded many of the quotable lines into an app that has since gone to unsupported app heaven (hell?) with my notes. So I am going to reread it and capture them again. It's worth that.

What fun to visit "The Ritz" (no longer called that, but we can pretend) in Boston with m
I really loved this. It practically zings with great lines and sly, perfectly formed observations about women's inner lives. It concerns two young women who met in college in the 60s and where life and love takes them. It delves into subjects like affairs and abortion in a pre-Roe v. Wade world. And it captures a truly interesting friendship between two women who love each other but hold their cards close to the chest.
Oct 27, 2014 Jennifer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
I loved this book. I loved the narrator's voice, her wise cracking attitude, and the setting of Boston and the Ritz hotel. There is a lot going on in this little book that kept me thinking for days after. So many great lines. "She would rather be home with an adequate book - and if she didn't have an adequate one, an inadequate one would do."
Kasa Cotugno
"There is no knowledge like the bitter knowledge of old loves." This sentence, appearing early in the novel, pretty much sums it up. The unnamed narrator has had a complicated relationship with her "best friend" Gay since they first met in college 30 years before. Their story is told in interior monologue formed of reminisces and flashbacks over the course of a day in which the two women meet at the Ritz in Boston, but this is a tricky novel and all is not as it first appears. As revelations dev ...more
Mar 10, 2013 Simone rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013
I have no idea how to explain this book. It’s about everything and nothing. A woman and her friends go out for drinks and dinner and through flashbacks we learn about her life.

Sounds boring put that way, but it wasn’t! I liked this woman very much and “enjoyed her company” so to speak. I also enjoyed the fact that it was set in Boston – I went for the first time last December and really enjoyed it; since it’s still fresh in my mind it was easy to picture the story… never mind that it’s set in t
Jun 15, 2013 Julie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“It is very dangerous to get caught without something to read.” So says our very gin soaked narrator who you can either trust or not, she won't care. She is beyond caring. By the time you have decided in this slim novel that maybe you don't really like her, a slow revelation hits and then you don't want to say good bye. I'd love to have been her friend, even with her faults. I'd love to have been her friends' friend about whom she has much to tell.
Mar 20, 2013 Elizabeth rated it really liked it
I think I'd like to read this again. It's very cleverly written and I imagine I've missed things and it'd stand up to multiple readings.
Jun 27, 2013 Isabel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novel
Initially, I wasn't captivated by this book. I found the narrator annoying and judgmental, always condescending about her friend Gay's good qualities. But as the story continued I became attached to all the characters and missed them when I wasn't reading.

I loved the organization of the story. Plot wise, we're tagging along on a progressive party with some friends who are meeting up in Boston while they're all in town. They have drinks at one place, move on to dinner at another and wrap up elsew
Ananya Ghosh
Okay, so I'm giving this 3.5 because I don't think I'm competent enough to be judging the quality of a work like this. When I was halfway through the book, I read the reviews on goodreads to see if I'll get any insight into what I'm actually trudging through. There was only praise about the book but no real information. People gave their opinions about the need of the introduction of the narrator. But I found it to be the least of my worries. The narrator was pretty likeable because she came off ...more
I was in the mood for a classic type of literary fiction & so I finally got to this on my Kindle. I'm very glad that I did. Our narrator is unnamed & not wholly reliable but she has a wit & way about her that really makes the story. She & her married friends Gay & Len are boozing it up one "last" time & as the drinks flow, so do some not so pretty truths & long held secrets about each of them. At just over the midpoint I was getting a little bored of her tangents & ...more
Apr 04, 2015 Karen rated it really liked it
Shelves: 50-states
This was a wonderful read. How can you resist a book with this quote: "It is very dangerous to be caught without something to read." The story is about a unnamed narrator and her college friends that meet in Boston at the Ritz many years later. The story is told in one day, starting with drinks at lunch, and ending at Midnight after a night of drinking. It's a small book with a lot of thought, and an interesting look how women's lives in particular and people in general have changed since the 40 ...more
Jan 03, 2016 Rose rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I almost stopped reading around page 50. I couldn't "get" the narrator. But I kept going and I began to be intrigued by her observations. By the final 100 pages I couldn't put the book down. The ending stunned me. I almost want to start reading it all over again.

The writing is amazing. This book is not an easy read, but it is definitely worthwhile.
Nora Gaskin Esthimer
Jul 07, 2014 Nora Gaskin Esthimer rated it it was amazing
I am stingy with the fifth star, and this book is why. I loved the characters and how they are revealed and I loved the story and how it is revealed. I am glad I stumbled onto Nancy Pearl's list, Book Lust Rediscoveries. I'll be working my way through that list.
Jun 17, 2014 Dana rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
A real gem. I've just finished it, I need a break to think it over, and for sure I need to read it again, this book should to be sliced idea by idea, I feel I've rushed through it and I must go back to be able to put the right feelings and thoughts in the right drawers.

Feb 09, 2016 nancy rated it really liked it
Beautifully constructed and written...the unnamed narrator is complex yet caring. In "one night" I learned so much about the lives of these
people. It was a living breathing tour of Boston like no other.
Feb 06, 2013 Susan rated it really liked it
This is a book about friendship and relationships, and it's a wonderful read. Maria will love it, I think!
Great writing, great character development, in a completely convincing voice. A book and author I never heard of, but I was completely sold.
May 09, 2014 Lisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
I very much enjoyed listening to this wonderful book brought back into print by Nancy Pearl.
Nov 28, 2014 Diane rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels, favorites
I ran across "The Last Night at the Ritz" by accident when it was on sale on Amazon's Kindle Daily Deals page. I had never heard of the book or its author, Elizabeth Savage, before, but something about the description hooked me. I kept thinking about it and actually went back and bought it a few days later. That's the only time that's ever happened.

The story, which is told in flashbacks, is about two women, Gay and the unnamed narrator, who have been best friends since they were freshmen in col
Michael Armijo
May 15, 2014 Michael Armijo rated it liked it
Well, I finally finished this book last night (May 14, 2014).

I came across it only because I was playing Words With Friends (a sort of scrabble game) with a longtime school friend, Marjorie Darrow. We had to use words that were in book titles. I used the word ‘RITZ’ and I found THE LAST NIGHT AT THE RITZ by Elizabeth Savage when I did an search. I bought the book and now I’m finished.

I wouldn’t highly recommend it. It has some pros and cons. The story revolves around three friends w
Oct 03, 2013 Mainon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Have you heard about Nancy Pearl's "Book Lust Rediscoveries"? She inked a deal last year with Amazon to republish some of her favorite out-of-print books. By my count, there are nine so far (the plan was to publish six a year), and each has an introduction explaining her reasons for republishing it.

Last Night at the Ritz was my first Book Lust Rediscovery. Originally published in the early 1970s and set in the late 1960s, it's not a novel I would have been likely to find on my own. I purchased i
Sep 20, 2016 Jlnpeacock rated it really liked it
The book proved to be a surprising read. The narrator was not a sympathetic character for me at the beginning of the book, and most of the friends she dealt with initially were difficult. As the author proceeded, layers and layers of story unfold. The reader is invited to live through the friendships, death, births, happiness, and sorrows of four individuals over twenty plus years. Although the author is remembering the events of years past, even her character evolves in the course of the narrat ...more
Jun 27, 2013 Suzan rated it it was amazing
"It is very dangerous to get caught without something to read." The Last Night at the Ritz is one of the Nancy Pearl book lust rediscovery series of older books, recently brought back to life and print. this was a great book. my copy is covered with highlighted sections which I hope to go back to and reread over and over again.
Elizabeth Savage wrote the book in the early 1970s and the events of The Last night occur a few years earlier in the late 1960s. the narrator tells the story of her long
Apr 10, 2014 Joodith rated it it was ok
I have been intrigued by this book for some time but had ther things to read, so left it on the back burner, so to speak, and now, having ploughed through it a feel disappointed and ever so slightly cheated.

Firstly I will say it is well written; I do like Savage's style, her use of prose and the almost nonchalant way she throws down a surprise. She manages to evoke a certain atmosphere that I found really pleasing. The narrator, who remains unnamed throughout, has arranged to celebrate her birth
Sarah Beaudette
Feb 26, 2015 Sarah Beaudette rated it it was amazing
Here's what I loved about Last Night at the Ritz: perfectly chosen words in a perfect pace, full characters who reveal themselves slowly at just the right time, and an acute but naughtily humorous observation of the best and worst in all of us.

To a certain type of reader, and I count myself among them, it may seem humdrum at first. Even some of your favorite books must be approached in the right mood. Since it's the remembered chronicle of a friendship between two women who met in college durin
Sep 10, 2016 David rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A 95-year old friend in this retirement facility recently read this 1973 novel five times. He found it rich, much local color -- actually of the locale exactly where my wife grew up and where we courted in the 1950s. He wondered what we thought of the simple mystery that puzzled him. So we bought the book (paper, please, never for a Nook or Kindle), excited to read this tale of our own younger days.

Savage early lived in Maine, and seems to have modeled her fictional college (near the Kennebec R
Oct 02, 2012 Damaskcat rated it really liked it
The narrator of this interesting novel is never named and that makes her all the more mysterious and untrustworthy. The last night referred to in the title of the novel is a visit to the Ritz hotel in Boston by three long time friends – Len, Gay and the narrator herself. Len and Gay are married and the narrator’s husband is not present though a friend of hers appears in a carefully stage managed accidental meeting. But it is not the evening itself which takes up most of the book but the narrator ...more
Jul 09, 2013 Terry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Finally! Librarian Linda Pearl and I agree on something! “Last Night at the Ritz” is part of the Linda Pearl Presents A Book Lust Rediscovery. I haven’t enjoyed the “Rediscoveries” as much as out-of-print novels published elsewhere (like from the friendly folks at Pomegranate, or Bloomsbury Group.) And Pearl’s reviews of books I’ve enjoyed have been snarky at best. Still, we do agree on this one. I some ways, it reminds me Jacqueline Susanne’s “Valley of the Dolls,” as you’ve got women growing o ...more
Jan 16, 2013 Corina rated it really liked it
It was very tempting to give this one 5 stars. I don't give 5 stars lightly so I didn't do it for this one. However, I really, really enjoyed this one.

It isn't only the "plot", which some argue doesn't exist. It isn't the time period, although I felt it was a very good rendition of the early 70's. It isn't the setting, which was mainly Boston and done quite well, at least in terms of describing the layout of the city around the Commons and the State House and the surrounding businesses.

I think o
Jun 04, 2013 Judy rated it liked it
I enjoy listening to Nancy Pearl on NPR and this book is one of her Book Lust selections of rediscovered works. Originally published in 1973, Last Night at the Ritz takes place in one day as four friends who met in college meet for drinks at the Ritz-Carlton in Boston and that meeting continues through the afternoon, for dinner, and beyond. The unnamed narrator has had a long relationship with Gay, her college roommate, and twenty-five years later they still are best friends with all that entail ...more
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“It is very dangerous to get caught without something to read.” 10 likes
“The last days before graduation are bad enough, God knows--out of the womb you go, ready or not. The halls rang with the laughter of the girls who were going to be brides in the next week (and widows shortly after)...” 8 likes
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