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The Final Passage

3.31  ·  Rating Details  ·  108 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
As nineteen-year-old Leila surveys her island home from the ship that will carry her, her husband, and baby to England, she contemplates the Caribbean life of the 1950s that is chaotic, hand-to-mouth, and offers no way but out.
Paperback, 208 pages
Published October 31st 1995 by Vintage (first published February 1st 1985)
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May 05, 2014 Alex rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
I would like to make it clear that I thought this book was well written. I enjoyed the imagery as well as Phillips' narrative style. I also enjoyed Bradeth and Millie and was sad that I did not get to spend more time with them. I gave this book two stars only because it left me feeling depressed. While I sympathized with Leila's situation (distant mother, absent husband, foreign land) I could not help but wish she would have tried a little more to stand up for herself. Granted, this is set in th ...more
Michael Arnold
Jun 09, 2016 Michael Arnold rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I should have read this in uni, but was too lazy. It was a good book, a bit overwritten in places which does put me against it. All the characters have in some way either gone through already, or are taking their own final passages, and it shows British racism at its most ugly. It actually made me a bit upset. I don't mind admitting that.

Weirdly I had a break from it around page 100 to watch that recent film about Dalton Tumbro who was blacklisted for 'unAmerican' sympathies. I can't seem to ge
Ivan William
Jul 20, 2016 Ivan William rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Phillips made great use of imagery to describe the places (islands, England) in the book, and seamlessly included flashbacks as the story progresses. I could deeply empathize with the characters through their journey in his writing, although the story line is somewhat too simplistic for my liking.
Jan 28, 2014 Rob rated it really liked it
Phillips does a great job capturing the dashed hopes and powerlessness felt by the main characters as they leave their impoverished island home and journey to England in search of a better life. The grass is not always greener and poverty in a place you know may be easier to endure.
Aug 15, 2014 Marina rated it liked it
Shelves: 3-star, own
I really don't like Phillips' writing style in general, but he has an amazing way of describing scenery. I felt the heat of the island and the isolation of London. I did not like any of the characters, except for the minor ones, but still. This was for English.
Oct 29, 2010 Tyler rated it really liked it
Shelves: drama, grad-school
This was the first novel so far in my 20th Century Brit Lit course which I've really enjoyed. It's beautifully, yet sadly, written.
I have to write a paper on it now, otherwise I'd add more to the review!
Trish Lata Gooljarsingh
Sep 04, 2011 Trish Lata Gooljarsingh is currently reading it
This is the second book from Caryl Phillips that I am reading and I have to say that I am thoroughly enjoying this writer. He reminds me a bit of Naipaul with his cutting sense of humor.

Lazarus P Badpenny Esq
I discover myself to be in a minority who find this book loathsome: unconvincing characters, undeveloped motives, half-hearted attempts at stream-of-consciousness, sloppy metaphors.
Apr 28, 2008 Christina rated it liked it
Very well-written, but just so bleak. I kept wanting to shake several of the characters, they are just so human, so completely flawed.
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Murie rated it it was amazing
May 12, 2016
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Caryl Phillips was born in St.Kitts and came to Britain at the age of four months. He grew up in Leeds, and studied English Literature at Oxford University.

He began writing for the theatre and his plays include Strange Fruit (1980), Where There is Darkness (1982) and The Shelter (1983). He won the BBC Giles Cooper Award for Best Radio Play of the year with The Wasted Years (1984). He has written
More about Caryl Phillips...

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