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The Last of the Savages [Paperback]

Jay McInerney
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Book Description

April 1998
Savage and son is the story of a dysfunctional, rich, feuding southern family, narrated by an outsider who becomes the confidant of the son.

Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd; New edition edition (April 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140259023
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140259025
  • Product Dimensions: 18 x 11 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,298,037 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


'His best work to date' Kate Saunders, Sunday Express 'Giving Scott Fitzgerald's fictional world a modern make-over increasingly engages Jay McInerney's energies as a novelist Like Fitzgerald, he is enthralled by the casualties of affluence, the evanescent good times, the allure of glamour - especially metropolitan chic - and the disenchantment it inexorably brings in its wake' Peter Kemp, Sunday Times 'Nothing less than three decades of Stateside history, in which the changing image of America is embodied in the existential shape-shifting of the main characters' John Walsh, Independent 'An accomplished, courageous novel, beautifully constructed, able to span three decades with ease' Literary Review --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

One of a dazzling new generation of American writers (including Bret Easton Ellis and Tama Janowitz), Jay McInerney came to prominence in 1984 with his first novel Bright Lights, Big City. He is the author of six further novels: Ransom, Story of My Life, Brightness Falls, The Last of the Savages, Model Behaviour and The Good Life, the collection of stories How It Ended and, most recently, a work of non-fiction, A Hedonist in the Cellar. The Last Bachelor is his second collection of stories. He lives in New York City. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely superb 5 May 2000
By A Customer
How good this book is, may be illustrated by imagining a little scene; a busy coffee shop in London. I sat there totally absorbed in my book and only looked up once in a whole hour to see that a woman was looking at me from afar, smiling broadly. I carried on reading, and a few seconds later, she comes over and says 'That is such a great book isn't it?' And with that, she left! I must say, this undoubtedly is McInerney's best book to date. I was utterly compelled right from page one. His writing style, although as sharp as ever, is skilfully juxtaposed alongside narrative which conveys all sorts of human emotion, from humour to pain, pity to pride, hopelessness, despair and happiness. McInerney keeps our attention through three decades of a friendship between two individuals, who, when we first get to know them, seem to be the complete antithesis of each other. There is Patrick, sensible (sometimes stagnant) and perfectly pleasant, yet although is constantly aspiring to rid himself of his humble and self sneered-upon roots, never quite manages to fit in. And then of course Will - the wild child/man, genius, impetuous, fascinating and frankly crazy guy who charms the hell off everyone he meets without even trying to.
As the story unfolds and the years pass by, we are given an in-depth insight into the way this friendship operates, and it is this which underpins everything else that happens in the individual lives of these two men. McInerney's description of the goings-on of the time in Memphis is also fascinating and so well written that you are mentally transformed to the era and enjoy the blues yourself!
I could go on and on, but not wishing to write an essay about the book, all I would do is urge you to go out and buy it NOW. You will not regret it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An entrancing read 13 May 2001
By A Customer
From the moment I started reading this book, I found it hard to put down. I became involved with the characters of Will and the narrator, Patrick, from whose view point the book is told. I followed their story till the end, and was not disappointed.
Easily spanning several decades from the sixties to the eighties, this book follows the story of two totally different best friends, each with totally different, but intertwined lives. Although at times the characters, and indeed the reader, puzzle over how they ever became and remained friends, it is clear that they need each other. With Will's hectic and volatile life style, he needs the stability and solid friendship that Patrick offers, while at the same time Patrick needs Will to keep reminding him of who he really is. After all, it is Will who, in the end, provokes Patrick into telling him the dark secret that has plagued his life ...
A must-have for anyone who enjoys a good read, this book is both entertaining and deeply moving.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Passionate and consuming 30 Dec 2001
By A Customer
It took a while to get deeply involved in this book, but once i was, it was enthralling and engrossing.
McInerney writes from the perspective of Patrick, a suppressed gay, hard working lawyer who struggles with his inner sexuality, juxtaposing this character with that of Will Savage, his best friend and a white junkie who has a deep connection with the black soul music of Mississippi. He at first seems to be careless and carefree, with only his wife and Patrick holding him to the ground. Yet as the novel unfolds, the roles change, and Will becomes the provocation for Patrick's admittance to his true self.
McInerney effortlessly spans decades with his writing, following the boys from their teenage years at boarding school to Patrick's acceptance at University and becoming a lawyer and Will's establishment of a record company. The reader eagerly follows the contrasting stories of both men, constantly amazed by their intertwining lives.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Jay McInerney's Great American Novel? 2 Feb 2009
Last of the Savages isn't JM's usual novel. Most of his books are based in "glamourous" New York, a world of models, phoyographers, artists and authors. The characters in LotS do embody these lives a bit, but in a different setting, and also in a different time. LotS takes place over about 30 years and deals with the relation between two initially contrasting characters who meet at boarding school. For some reason they become best friends and spend the next 30 years being the only constants in their radically different lives.
The setting for this novel is largely around the American Deep South and stretches from the time when racism was still openly accepted to our more enlightened times. Clearly this is suppose to be the under riding element of the novel, but for me personally the most interesting aspect was the way the two main characters interact with each other.
As stated, this book is not JM's usual stuff. It took me quite a while to get into. At first I was dissappointed, later I grew to like it. Take it with a pinch of salt. There are elements of The Beautiful People, but only as an aside.
Good book or not? Well I think my mother would enjoy it more than I did.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A stunning display of narrative skills 3 Feb 1999
By A Customer
Having finished Last of the Savages, I'm left with a strange feeling of loss. Normally I'd be happy to have read a book this good, but in this case, I miss the characters and J.I's observations and narration. Reading this book I found myself putting it down at times and thinking 'Man, this is good'. After lending the book around to friends (and father) the vote is clear: 5 crowns !!
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