Last Orders (Picador 40th Anniversary Edition) and over 2 million other books are available for Amazon Kindle . Learn more
Buy Used
£1.78
FREE Delivery on orders over £10.
Used: Good | Details
Sold by Tree Savers
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: A used book that is in good, clean condition. Your item will be picked, packed and posted FREE to you within the UK by Amazon, also eligible for super saver delivery
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Last Orders Paperback – 1 Nov 1996


See all 31 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Paperback, 1 Nov 1996
£0.98 £0.01


Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Picador; New edition edition (1 Nov 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330345605
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330345606
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 1.9 x 13.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 693,241 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

Product Description

Amazon Review

From the author of Waterland and Ever After, Last Orders is a quiet but dazzling novel about a group of men, friends since the second world war, whose lives revolve around work, family, the racetrack and their favourite pub. When one of them dies, the survivors drive his ashes from London to a seaside town where they will be scattered, compelling them to take stock of who they are today, who they were before and the shifting relationships in between. Both funny and moving, this won the Booker Prize in 1996.

Review

'Inspired... His finest novel yet' Guardian 'Tragic, comic and wonderfully compassionate' Daily Mail 'A triumph... A novel that unflinchingly contemplates human perishability, and that also pays unsentimental tribute to human resilience' Sunday Times --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By RachelWalker TOP 500 REVIEWER on 27 Feb 2010
Format: Paperback
The vernacular is fantastic! A truly wonderful working-class novel, like Love on the Dole or Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, but much much more than that. It's a rumination on death, life, love, parenthood, childhood, work; in other words, the lives that all of us live, everday. I love the switch-and-cut narrative (as good as his Waterland), and, of course, most especially the various narrative voices. The every-day man doesn't need elegies, he has the words and rhythms honed down through generations. It is a perfect, perfect example of how every-day speech can be powerful and beautiful. A wonderful novel, that leaves you at significant risk of being more than significantly moved!
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By wordpress/whattoreadnow on 5 Aug 2013
Format: Paperback
I really enjoyed Last Orders by Graham Swift. It's the story of a group of working men from London carrying out the last wishes of a London butcher Jack Dodds, who wants his ashes scattered from Margate pier. We are told the story from the points of view of four of his friends who carry out this last wish, and later from the viewpoint of his wife, Amy.

Last Orders is a clever title: "last orders" was the time last drinks could be bought in the days before unrestricted drinking was allowed in England, and these friendships are based around The Coach and Horses, an East London pub. The friends who carry out Jack's last orders also share jobs on an English high street - the dead man was a butcher, and one friend an undertaker - a nice ironic juxtaposition that is played out thematically in the novel. Other links include shared experiences of the desert war (39-45), and certain infidelities and romantic entanglements that add complexity and an edge of feeling to the relationships.

The story takes place in one day but the memories of the characters stretch across the second half of the twentieth century; they show the frustrations and failings of ordinary people, but also their loyalty and friendship. It's a book of great sadness, with comic interludes, and characters that are engaging and sympathetic, very real and human - full of frailty and weakness.

Swift captures the narrative voices of these characters in a series of short chapters. Don't look for a handy resolution, but enjoy the vibrant dialogue and the sense of lived experience.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Philip Garwood on 3 Dec 2002
Format: Audio Cassette
Last Orders is a novel that asks the reader to make sense of some of the puzzling actions of the main charactors. It is a story that is related through the consciousness of those main charactors and revolves around the 'last orders' of a Bermondsey butcher regarding the final disposal of his ashes.
Four of his old drinking and business pals accept the responsibility to scatter his ashes from the pier at Margate and the story spans their day from the start in 'The Coach and Horses' to the completion of their task.
His wife, who is also a key charactor in the novel, declines to join the party because she has her own pilgrimage to make to a hospital where their daughter has been a patient for many years. She says that the ashes are bing thrown from the wrong place, anyway.
For me, the secret to the novel, the final piece to the jig-saw puzzle, is understanding why the wife considers that the ashes are being thrown from the wrong place.
The book is full of colour and memories of South East London from war time to the present day, and has humorous and tragic portraits of the main charactors.
I recommend that it must be read at least twice. Only after the whole picture has been seen in the first reading is the full detail understood up in the second and subsequent readings.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 7 Jun 2002
Format: Paperback
This is more than just a simple tale of a group of friends taking their friend's ashes to the sea-side. I found it so poignant and moving that I could hardly bear to read the last scene. It's about the big issues in life and how chance can change your whole destiny. It's also about regret and lost opportunities, love and, obviously, death. Each character is beautifully drawn. Ray, the 'lucky' gambler is a 'litte ray of sunshine', Vic, the undertaker, the only one not afraid of death, is the 'Victor' - even the characters' names mean something. It's probably the sort of book you need to read more than once to fully appreciate, but it well deserved the Booker prize and I would recommend it to anyone (as long as you're not expecting to laugh!)
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 3 Nov 2000
Format: Paperback
This was the first title I have read by Graham Swift, but has inspired me to seek out all his other titles. It is a tale of four friends, their intertwined lives and loves, spread over a fifty year period commencing in World War Two. As with all the best books, Last Orders has realistic and human characters in whom readers will take a genuine interest.
The story is ostensibly based around a journey undertaken by three of the men (with a friend) to scatter the the fourth original member's ashes in the sea at Margate. Although similar to Faulkner's 1930 "As I Lay Dying", Swift's novel is none the less a great book in its own right.
If you like novels with strong characterisation and a genuine, touching story, I strongly commend "Last Orders" to you.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By John Goddard on 12 July 2014
Format: Paperback
I thoroughly enjoyed the understated beauty of this book. The intertwined lives of a group of friends are explored through their journey to Margate to scatter the ashes of one of their number. Issues of living and dieing, loving and leaving, winning and losing, simple pleasures and long-lived tragedy are played out within the group. It is thoroughly believable at every turn (with the possible exception of Lucky's luck on the horses...). It is not a book filled with happy endings, but it does demonstrate our human capacity to keep on going.

Last Orders won the Booker Prize and is one of the more accessible and down to earth winners. Highly recommended.

I wasn't very far into this book when I started to get the sense that I knew the story... Gradually it dawned on me that years ago I watched the film adaptation starring Michael Caine and Bob Hoskins. Time to look for the film again!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews



Feedback