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Last Orders

3.68 of 5 stars 3.68  ·  rating details  ·  8,777 ratings  ·  281 reviews
Winner of the 1996 Booker Prize, and now a major new film starring Bob Hoskins, Helen Mirren and Michael Caine. 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, Amy, declines to join them. On the surface the tale of a simple if increasing ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published December 7th 2001 by Picador (first published January 1st 1996)
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31st out of 50 books — 1,508 voters
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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
Jane Odgers

Jack 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 -
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 there any need t
I won't describe the plot here. You can find that in the Goodreads 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 w ...more
"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 ch
Sunaina Khurana
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. ...more
محمد المرزوقي

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 سهلة القراءة، ولكن يجب عليك قراءة الصفحات ال 50 الأولى بدون توقف وإلا ستصاب بالحيرة حول الكثير من الامور وستضطر إلى إعادة قراءة العمل من جديد
. العلاقات معقدة ومتشابكة ومليئة الخداع وخيبة الأمل

ذكرتني بقصة فيلم من ألف الى باء و
Aug 30, 2014 Rob rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: fiction
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.

carri farrand
let's stop in for a pint. jack would've wanted it. jack would've expected it.

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 ...more
Sidharth Vardhan
Full of deceptively ordinary people with their little adventures, secrets and compromises, truths and lies, uninteresting lives and professions, and the very language hey speak in; 'Last Orders' brilliantly captures life few books ever manage to. Those are the people that you are likely to meet in your life - butchers, car dealers, insurance agents etc. The things they will do for their families and friends which show their character and courage will go unnoticed by the rest of the world.

This was a wonderful elegant, so real. The story moves back and forth between past and present, from character to character. Most of the time, for me, this doesn't work very well. It takes a talented writer to be able to pull this off so that the reader can follow along without confusion and so the story doesn't break up and fall apart. Graham Swift is a success in every way. He beautifully captures the feelings, thoughts, and dreams of each and every character. The relationships betwe ...more
Tudor Ciocarlie
Unfortunately I couldn't connect to this book..the language, the words, the English working class just could not engage with my 2011's mind in any way.
Last Orders is a seemingly simple story about very complex relationships. Jack Dodds has made a last request to have his ashes scattered at sea. The novel takes us through that day as Jack's friends gather in the pub and set off to fulfill his wishes. Over the course of the day, we learn about their friendships interwoven with individual and collective stories.

I was caught off-guard by the subtlety and layers of the characters. The dialogue was remarkably nuanced with all the subtext you would
This is Swift's Booker Prize-winning novel from 1996. Some have noted similarities between it and Faulkner's As I Lay Dying, but that does not detract from its quality which has been evident in Swift's writing since his earlier success with Waterland (a novel that was short-listed for the Booker). While I found it a bit slow at first, it eventually evolved into a captivating tale of English working-class families in the four decades following WW II. When Jack Dodds dies suddenly of cancer after ...more
As with Waterland, Swift has, again, bypassed my brain and gone straight for my heart; that is, I felt this rather than understood it. And, as with Waterland, I'd feel dishonest giving it four stars but don't doubt that it'll get there on a second reading. He has a real talent for making the mundane beautiful.

I have been close to encountering this story twice in my life. I distinctly remember nearly buying it back in the 90's based purely on the (pint glass) cover, but this was probably more due
An apparent homage to Faulkner's 'As I lay Dying', a long drawn out funeral entourage is used to outline in falshback the entangled lives of a group of Londoners and their relationship with the dead man, Jack Dodds, whose ashes they are carrying to be scattered on the sea at Margate.
The writng style is plain, reflecting the austerity of the post war setting of a lot of the reminiscence. The story is engaging and was made into a star studded film and yet someting about the book does not quite wo
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 ...more
I listened to the amazing audiobook version of this (on cassette, no less). Multiple narrators helped to make the frequently-shifting perspectives easier to keep track of while listening. I don't know that one narrator could have really managed it. The book centers on a group of men (and a couple of wives given occasional voice) as they travel together to release the ashes of one of their own. The perspective shifts between the characters and the time frame shifts between the present-day journey ...more
Ludmila Kovaříková
Depresivní příběh. Oceňuji práci s hlasy jednotlivých postav. Nabízí se mi otázka, zda život není jen přežívání (melancholická nálada knihy, rekapitulace života, bezmoc). Zamlžují podobně naše osobní tragédie pocit štěstí?
Kathy Ahn
Four grown men and the follies of their lives and relationships, and the love that ties and keeps them all together. They carry the ashes around from the bar to the meadows to the cathedral and to the end of a dirty old pier and each tells his own story along the way.

It's an easy read, but read the first 50 pages straight through or else you'll get confused about who's who like I did and have to re-read them. The relationships are complex and interwoven and riddled with deceit and disappointment
This is a deceptively simple novel. On its face it tells the tale of four Englishmen honoring the last wishes of a deceased buddy. The deceptive part is that through an adroit use of dialect and an insightful presentation of the lives of these men, and their related women, we get a rich psycho-sociological snapshot of the English zeitgeist of the late 20th C. This book apparently caused a stir in some quarters with charges about the author's sources, and some charges of being hackneyed. Don't kn ...more
Picking up and turning the first few pages of Last Orders, by Graham Swift, was like entering a quiet, basically empty British pub, sitting in a comfortable chair, relaxing, and hoping to just let the warmth and ease of the room take over and finding that you are listening, not intentionally, but because of close proximity, to the conversation of some older gents sitting close by, a band of men, who are toasting and reminiscing about a long-time “mate” whose ashes they have been asked to toss in ...more
Graham Swift este unul dintre cei mai apreciați romancieri contemporani din Marea Britanie. Publicistica sa este demnă de urmărit, opt romane și un volum de nuvele intitulat Learning to swim (1982). Este primul roman pe care l-am citit de Swift (Graham, nu Jonathan! ) și, după două zile de savurat, afirm clar și răspicat că o să-i ”vânez” cele opt romane. Omul merită să fie citit și are cu ce să te întâmpine la nivel emoțional și psihologic.

Romanul spune povestea unei prietenii frumoase și durab
This Booker prize winning novelization of a band of friends doesn't break any new ground on behalf of it's plot, but Swift's narration was mesmerizing and well-structured, that this emotionally rich tale of friendship and love will remain as an example of masterful storytelling in our hearts. Jack Dodds, a butcher from London, had a wish, that his ashes should be scattered in the sea of Margate. To fulfill his wish, his friends and his adopted son embarks on a journey. From there, swift shows us ...more
Mathew Owens
The death of Jack Dodds, family butcher, causes family and life-long friends to reflect on the choices they've made, the chances they've missed and their ability to still change. Just the kind of melancholic introspection I love to wallow in. But Last Orders never quite clicked with me in the way I hoped/expected.

But if you've ever found yourself wishing for a cockney Alan Bennett, this could be just your thing.
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 ...more
Aoife Horgan
I loved this book.. he, for me, is a great writer, so natural. No pretension whatsoever. It is like being there with him. Great imagery. The only reason it took me so long to finish this book was because I wanted to finish another one first.
Perry Whitford
A group of friends get together shortly after a funeral in order to act out the final wish of the recently deceased, one Jack Dodds, Master Butcher, which was to scatter his ashes off of Margate Pier. As you would expect, the mourners have a tangled past together, full of shared and separate secrets, life-long grievances and regrets.
Begun during WWII and cemented over the decades, much of the time spent down 'the Coaches' in Bermondsey over a few pints, the friends' lives have impacted on each

The weirdest trip I have ever been on, but it has been so much fun. In this book, Graham Swift invites you to take a tour with an extraordinary set of characters. 4 men set out to bring the remains of their deceased friend Jack to his resting place. The crew: Ray (insurance agent), Lenny (greengrocer, ex-boxer), Vic (undertaker) and Vince (used car dealer).

Jack has worked as a butcher in the shop he inherited from his father all his life. His son, Vince, didn’t want anything to do with his fathe
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Graham Colin Swift FRSL (born May 4, 1949) is a British author. He was born in London, England and educated at Dulwich College, London, Queens' College, Cambridge, and later the University of York. He was a friend of Ted Hughes.

Some of his works have been made into films, including Last Orders, which starred Michael Caine and Bob Hoskins and Waterland which starred Jeremy Irons. Last Orders was a
More about Graham Swift...

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“It makes you feel sort of cheap and titchy. Like it's looking down at you, saying, I'm Canterbury Cathedral, who the hell are you?

Last Orders”
“It makes you feel sort of cheap and titchy. Like it's looking down at you, saying, I'm Canterbury Cathedral, who the hell are you?” 0 likes
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