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And When Did You Last See Your Father? Paperback – 12 Jan 1998


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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Granta Books; New edition edition (12 Jan 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1862070938
  • ISBN-13: 978-1862070936
  • Product Dimensions: 19.7 x 12.9 x 1.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 934,121 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

"A painful, funny, frightening, moving, marvellous
book...everybody should read it" -- Sunday Times (Nick Hornby)

"A splendid book...it leaps with life" -- Irish Times

"Morrison's dialogue is bitingly funny, his examination of family
life painfully acute"
-- Sunday Business Post

"Tender, honest, angry, loyal...(an) extraordinary book" -- The Times

"The life (is) held up so close to one's face that one can smell
it, touch it"
-- Spectator --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Publisher

To celebrate the film adaptation of Blake Morrison's ground-breaking memoir, Granta Books are proud to publish this special edition film tie-in of "And When Did You Last See Your Father" --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
A HOT SEPTEMBER Saturday in 1959, and we are stationary in Cheshire. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. K. A. Wheatley TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 24 Jan 2008
Format: Paperback
This is a fascinating book. It is about the loss of Morrison's father to cancer at the age of 75. He was diagnosed late and died within four weeks of diagnosis. The book swings between memoirs of Morrison's time with his father as a child and at other key points in his life, interspersed with narrative of the last four weeks, and the funeral afterwards.
This edition is particularly good. It has been republished as a film tie-in and has an afterword by the author written in 2006 about how and why he wrote the book and what it meant to him, his family and those who read it. I felt it finished the book off perfectly and I would have felt a bit cheated if I hadn't read this section because of buying an earlier publication.
Morrison is quite painfully honest about the complexities of his relationship with his father. His enduring love for him is always clear but he never flinches from the ambiguities that love for a parent can throw up, and it is this which makes this book rise above the ordinary.
The fact that he is willing to show himself and his father in a less than perfect light makes it tender and touching and real in a way that a glowing obituary or sanitised eulogy never could.
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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Bantam Dave TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 14 Dec 2006
Format: Paperback
Arthur Morrison was not a famous man, except perhaps in the small Lancashire village of Earby where he had a doctors practice for many years. This excellent book reminds us that you don't have to be famous or to have performed any extra-ordinary feats to have a story that is worth telling.

The book, written by his son, tells of how Dr Morrisons life slowly slips away during the last few weeks of his life. Interspersed with this are the authors recollections of his father, who whilst being a difficult man at times, always remained a loving husband and father. The author is at all times open and honest - sometimes brutally so - and lays open his feelings for all to share.

One of the strengths of the book is that whilst it is about the death of a loved one it never gets too mawkish or sentimental and remains at all times a good read.

After finishing the book I found from the internet that a film of the book is currently in production. I look forward to seeing what sort of treatment it receives on the silver screen.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By The Kinniburgh Kid on 24 July 2007
Format: Paperback
Morrison offers a clear and intimate insight into his feelings over the life and death of his father. The very ordinariness and anonymity of his father makes the story ideal to overlay your own father-son relationship or, as in my case, gain an insight into what you might be missing.

It is a very thoughtful book, a fine testament to his father, but also - possibly - an inspiration to other sons and fathers to recognise and enjoy what they have before it is too late.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 17 Feb 1999
Format: Paperback
I read this book not long after my own father died and I opened it with a sort of dread that it might overwhelm me with feelings I'd rather not have, but the experience was not quite like that. Blake Morrison's honest account of his own father's death, gave me so much I could identify with, and made my own issues so much clearer. In a world where it is the habit to say what we think we should feel and not what we actually do, it is an act of rare generosity for someone to tell the brutal truth about such things. There is much humour in the book and by the end of it, I had a real affection and appreciation of that collection of ambiguities, which was his dad. Far from finding it a painful read, although there are some jarring moments, I felt a huge weight lifted from my mind. I feel a real sense of gratitude that Morrison took the trouble to write it.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By R. A. Davison TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 22 Jan 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Unlike most reviews I write in which I more or less say whether or not I like the book, this review proved extraordinarily difficult to write. It's a Life Memoir, a biography/autobiography of a man, Blake Morrison and his father Arthur. In criticising a life memoir you are essentially criticising the author themselves, I suppose.

Before I read it I felt like I had some idea of what to expect, a story of how difficult it is to live up to your father's expectations, how awful life with a difficult father who is somehow abusive can be. I was attracted to this book for personal reasons.

When the story begins at Oulton Park as Blake and his sister hide with embarrassment as their father bluffs and bullies his way into the best enclosure without queuing appropriately or paying appropriately, I thought this was very much the story I would read.

As it goes on, Arthur Morrison is revealed to be bluff, bombastic, something of a philanderer, and unable to stop interfering in his adult children's lives, but these really are his only crimes. He is very much a man of his time, a 1970's Yorkshireman, and nothing more despicable or insidious than that.

In the great scheme of things when they handed out fathers, Blake Morrison seems quite lucky comparatively, it seems that the worst thing his father ever did was embarrass him in front of Julian Barnes and Salman Rushdie. There are a great many people who would yearn to swap their patriarchal recollections for such a first world, privileged accusation to launch against their father. Middle class naval gazing and whinging spring to mind.
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