Towards the End of the Morning
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Towards the End of the Morning

3.68 of 5 stars 3.68  ·  rating details  ·  300 ratings  ·  27 reviews
This tale is set in the crossword and nature-notes department of an obscure national newspaper during the declining years of Fleet Street.
Paperback, 221 pages
Published May 19th 2005 by Faber & Faber (first published 1967)
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Michael-Mess
61st out of 99 books — 13 voters
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Velvetink
Fictional account of journalists working on Fleet Street. I liked it, don't get me wrong but Frayn's updated introduction was more enjoyable than the whole book. The first couple of chapters were fine concentrating on the journalists on Fleet street & gave a pretty good rendition of how newspapers worked - not to mention the long pub lunches, but the end pretty much petered out with the domestic lives of the main characters, and recounting of John's airline screwup of his Persian Gulf trip....more
Peter
This book reeks of newsrooms smells from before computer screens and photo-setting - anyone who worked in newspapers of that era would recognise not just the characters and the events, but the wasteful, unworldly pace of journalistic life before proprietors were replaced by shareholders and the double tsunami of broadcasting and the internet swept away print journalism as it once was. This book is funny and farcical. And more than a little sad for some of us....
Peter
This novel, originally written in 1967, is an icredible capture of Fleet Street in London at the end of the 1950s. Fleet Street was the centre of newspapers and this is set in the crosswords section of an unnamed paper. It preserves an era of journalism that is both well dead and lovingly missed. Frayn is a marvelous novelist who got his start in newspapers and there is a quality of nostalgia about the book that is quite moving. As with all of Frayn's work it is about something and something els...more
Douglas Perry
On the cover of my copy of "Towards the End of the Morning" is a quote from Christopher Hitchens: "The only fiction set in Fleet Street that can bear comparison with 'Scoop'."

That’s a nice blurb. But I don’t know how one would go about comparing the two novels. Evelyn Waugh’s 1938 classic, following an accidental foreign correspondent covering a civil war in Africa, is a satire of sensation journalism. Michael Frayn’s 1967 novel, on the other hand, is a thoroughly domestic affair and doesn’t eve...more
Steve
A humorous and poignant look at the decline of old-fashioned print journalism in the face of the challenge of television broadcasting. The reader is parachuted into the mundanity of John Dyson's work as sub-editor of the crosswords and nature notes department of an unspecified newspaper. In the middle of a mid-life crisis, he is deperate to escape this journalistic backwater and establish his credentials as a broadcaster. Frayn mercilessly pokes fun at Dyson and his office colleagues' failed hop...more
Jim Leckband
This is a very "American" novel set in London in the early '60's. "American" because it has as one of its concerns the very American quest for personal transformation. Everyone in this novel is desperately trying to transform themselves. An editor into a TV personality, a reporter into a novelist, a finishing-school (can't get much more transformational than this!) girl into a wife, a housewife into anything but a housewife, a graduate into a press baron.

Fans of the play "Noises Off" will be rem...more
Christoph
Die Tatsache, dass ich eine Übersetzung dieses Buches im Regal stehen hatte, hat mich jahrelang davon abgehalten, es zu lesen, was im Nachhinein betrachtet nicht nur Unsinn, sondern auch ein schwerer Fehler war. Trotzdem würde ich unbedingt zum Original raten.
Geschrieben hat Frayn dieses Buch schon in den 60ern und in England wurde es auch 1967 veröffentlicht, aber die deutsche Erstauflage stammt interessanterweise von 2005 und irgendwie wird dadurch schon deutlich, dass dies mehr ist als der Ab...more
Patrick
There’s a quote on the back of my edition of this book from a review in The Spectator which reads: ‘A sublimely funny comedy about the ways newspapers try to put lives into words.’ Let’s break out our blue pencil: funny, yes. This is a very funny book. Sublimely? Not in the Burkean sense, no. And the newspaper bit? No, it isn’t really about that at all. In fact the quote is flat-out wrong in that respect. Which is odd, because this is commonly described as one of the great novels about the pre-M...more
Unwordy
"Dyson laskis end toolis röötsakile ja trummeldas süngelt sõrmedega vastu käetuge. Jumal oli selle maja märgile pannud, selles polnud kahtlust. Aeglaselt, aga kindlalt võttis ta tema oma rüppe. Ta tungis vihmana läbi seinte, tõusis niiskusena läbi põranda, laskus lindudena korstnasse ja sõi majavammina, hallitusena, hiirtena ja kõrvaharkidena salamahti läbi kõik toed ja talad. "Polyfila" ja emulsioonvärvi abil võitis Dyson aeg-ajalt küll väikese taktikalise edumaa, aga leidis peagi, et jumal on...more
Debra Sprague
Having read and been rather disappointed with Skios, I wanted to read an earlier "comedy" of Frayn's to see if it rated with other books, such as Spies and Headlong, both of which I thought were very good. Everything was going along splendidly until the end, which I found very weak and which spoiled the book for me.
Phil Lancaster
Fabulously evocative portrait of a vanished newspaper world - shot through with remarkably prescient observations about the fickle nature of celebrity and fame for fame's sake. Should you read it? Oh sure, sure...
Neil Denham
Brilliant! A really funny farce that really really made me laugh!
Simon Q
The second Frayn novel I've read (after Spies) and not as enjoyable. Though amusing at times and with some good characters, it didn't really go anywhere.

I'm sure there would be greater appeal for ex Fleet Street journalists from the old days, as it did well to capture the working practises of the sixties, which I'm sure don't exist any more.

Perhaps I was expecting a greater emphasis on comedy, having thouroghly enjoyed Noises Off.
Geoff
'Towards The End Of The Morning' is a comic novel about failing journalists in a 1960s newspaper. Characterisations are excellent, and Frayn's ability with words is masterly. Dialogue in particular is handled exceptionally well, and though written 40 years ago, it's big themes still resonate. I remember reading Evelyn Waugh's "Scoop" at school, and this was equally good, probably better.
Susan
Deeply humorous novel set in a British newspaper in the 1960s. The humor arises from the author's acute observations of his characters and the fine writing. Michael Dirda recommended this author in his chats/bulletin board and once again, he scores!
Glenys
I thoroughly enjoyed this comic novel satirising 1960s newspaper industry snd journalists. It was recommended on the Radio 4 programme 'A Good Read'. Very funny and, I understand, very accurate.
Manda Graham
Enjoyed this easy read. It was quite dated but I have often found that with Michael Frayn's previous books, that's not to say they are bad, just "of their time".
Trish
A portrait of the final days of the older life on Fleet Street. Funny in places. Poingnant in others as you realise that way of journalistic life is ending.
Serenknitity
I loved this novel about old Fleet Street in its dying days. It was poignant in parts, and laugh-out-loud funny in others. A delight.
Mo
I have read this maybe three times, a lovely book.

Very funny, it brings 1960s London to life for me.

highly recommended.

Deanne
Hmm! Not sure what to think of this, he's written better and a quick read but didn't like any of the characters.
Tammy
Dec 07, 2011 Tammy marked it as to-read
Recommended in the book, Tolstoy and the Purple Chair, my year of Magical Reading.
Esparkinson
The first handful of chapters in particular are atmospheric and poignant.
Neil
Funny, gentle, one of my favourite books, every now and then it gets re-read.

Henry
Funniest book I've read in a long time; nobody comes off well.
Liz
N.R.'s hire at the Guardian; weekend in Louth.
Martin
Very funny!
Bradley Parks
Bradley Parks marked it as to-read
Sep 17, 2014
Tom Ratzloff
Tom Ratzloff marked it as to-read
Sep 17, 2014
Dusty!
Dusty! marked it as to-read
Sep 16, 2014
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Michael Frayn is an English playwright and novelist. He is best known as the author of the farce Noises Off and the dramas Copenhagen and Democracy. His novels, such as Towards the End of the Morning, Headlong and Spies, have also been critical and commercial successes, making him one of the handful of writers in the English language to succeed in both drama and prose fiction. His works often rais...more
More about Michael Frayn...
Noises Off Copenhagen Spies Headlong Skios

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