Jogle's Reviews > Last Orders

Last Orders by Graham Swift
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Jul 13, 11

bookshelves: fiction, booker-winners
I own a copy

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 work. The brief focus on each character is not enough to bring them to life - a feat which Faulkner managed to do. The book won the Booker Prize which somewhat reflects Swift's eminent command of the English language. Books, however, are not just about the language and for me this book failed to inspire much feeling. It has been critically described as 'hackneyed'and I can understand that description - always a risk when using a plot line so much used before and with such obviuos allusion to a previous classic.
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