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The Last of the Savages Paperback – 4 Jan 2010


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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (4 Jan 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1408800950
  • ISBN-13: 978-1408800959
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.8 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 280,563 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

'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

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.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 5 May 2000
Format: Paperback
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 By A Customer on 13 May 2001
Format: Paperback
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 By A Customer on 30 Dec 2001
Format: Hardcover
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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By Benjamin TOP 500 REVIEWER on 2 April 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Patrick Keane and Will Savage come together by pure chance as they find themselves roommates at a New England boarding school in 1967. Different in many respects, Patrick from a somewhat ordinary background, a local scholarship boy; Will from a wealthy, privileged and notable Southern States family, yet with an affinity with black soul music and blacks.

The story, related by Patrick, spans thirty years of their unusual friendship. They have no doubt they are best friends, and keep in touch throughout Will's successes and near failures, and his turbulent life as a notable music producer while Patrick steadily climbs to great success as a lawyer. While the story is predominantly about Will, we gradually learn about Patrick too, and the secret he carries and has revealed to few.

While the story progresses more or less chronologically, it also regularly jumps back and forth, but it never confuses. Covering the period from the sixties to the nineties, it is as much a record of social change, of Southern attitudes and prejudices. The story is peppered with the names of the famous musicians of the period, giving it a sense of reality and an identity easy to related to. It is a story of family, of interracial love, but above all the story of a remarkable friend.

The Last of the Savages is beautifully written, there is drama, there is humour, but above all there is the overriding love and affection of a great and enduring friendship.
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