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Tomorrow Hardcover – Unabridged, 20 Apr 2007

26 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Picador; First Edition edition (20 April 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330450182
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330450188
  • Product Dimensions: 13.8 x 2.5 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,203,538 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Graham Swift was born in 1949 and is the author of nine acclaimed novels, a collection of short stories and Making an Elephant, a book of essays, portraits, poetry and reflections on his life in writing. With Waterland he won the Guardian Fiction Prize, and with Last Orders the Booker Prize. Both novels have since been made into films. Graham Swift's work has appeared in over thirty languages.

Product Description

Review

'Nothing rings false, all the emotions are just large enough...
the book weaves and undoes its quiet magic.' -- Guardian

'Swift's writing throughout is as assured and subtle as ever.' -- Spectator

'This is a writer of easy subtlety...whose writing gets its best
effects from tiny but striking abstractions.' -- Independent on Sunday

'characters are appealing and vivid, the details of their
courtship and marriage tenderly rendered.' -- Daily Mail

'this is Graham Swift at his impressive best' -- Times Literary Supplement

Book Description

Booker Prize-winner Graham Swift offers a masterful and compassionate novel about the mystery of happiness. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

2.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 30 people found the following review helpful By David Beck on 13 May 2007
Format: Hardcover
First, I will say that I am a HUGE Graham Swift fan. In fact, I believe that he, along with Don Delillo, is one of the greatest living writers. Living in the U.S., I saw that the book wasn't to be released in the states until Sept. So I bought it from Amazon. UK.

Anyway, it's very "Swiftian," in that it deals with time and memories and how choices affect history.

The problem with the book is a) the main character who tells the story is not a very strong character (in fact, she is somewhat annoying, as she keeps saying to her kids, "you will know tomorrow").

Swift often uses this technique: to draw in the reader to a mystery. But in this case, not only is the story line uninteresting, so are the characters. Moreover, the "mystery" is not that shocking. What we find is a rambling and, quite frankly, boring narrative of people, relatives, we don't care about. No character, including the narrator, is interesting; in fact, no character seems "real."

For me, this book was a chore to finish. Read Waterland, Light of Day, Ever After, if you want to see Swift, a talented and gifted writer, at his best.

This book is a big disappointment.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mary Whipple HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on 22 Sept. 2007
Format: Hardcover
It is 1995, and Paula (Campbell) Hook is lying awake in bed on the eve of a dramatic announcement which she and her husband Mike will make to their sixteen-year-old twins. They have delayed this life-changing occasion for several years, having decided to wait until after the twins, Nick and Kate, have celebrated their sixteenth birthday, fearful that they might be "wrenching [them] forever from [their] childhood." In the course of the night, Paula reminisces about her past, her thirty-year relationship with Mike, her wedding, the marriages of their parents and their parents' histories, the deaths of family members, the childhoods of the twins, and the concept of love across three generations.

Throughout the novel, Paula contrasts her present family life with the lives of her parents and Mike's parents, showing how each person's expectations for the future grow out of his/her upbringing, relationships with those who love them, and the historical period in which they happen to be living. Paula's meditations are conversational and very intimate, sometimes revolving around the sexual freedom she and Mike experienced, separately and together, in the sixties. While her personal confessions may be more than she ever actually plans to discuss with the twins (and it is certainly more than the twins need to know), they do add to the developing themes for the reader, preparing him/her for the announcement which is the crux of the novel.

Swift deliberately ignores two of the canons of fiction writing in order to relate Paula's story. First of all, he writes (surprisingly effectively) as a woman--sharing all a woman's intimacies, points of view, and attitudes.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Lionel Wall on 16 Aug. 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Let me say from the start that I own all of Swift's books in 1st Edition hardback. I look forward to every novel. But lord, this book is tedious. This is a good idea done to death. Anyone who can't see the long drawn out punch line 50 pages in must be totally lacking in imagination. My advice would be to stop at that point and spend the time doing something more interesting - like watching paint dry! Swift's style is as pleasing as ever. I would like to think this book is an aberration - but that's what I thought about Iain Banks about 8 years ago and he has been writing rubbish ever since.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By jfp2006 on 24 July 2013
Format: Paperback
I will concur that "Tomorrow", while typical of Graham Swift's themes, is far from being the novelist at his best, as in the masterpiece "Waterland", for example.

Swift's most general theme is the past : the influence the past has on the present, the way decisions or events from the past are sometimes misunderstood, even deliberately misrepresented, and the way such misunderstandings or misrepresentations may also influence present situations, particularly within families.

Part of the failure of "Tomorrow" is quite simple to pinpoint, I feel: the narrator, Paula, lying awake at night, is going over in her mind the revelations to be made, by herself and her husband, Mike, to their teenaged twins the following day. But, of course, Paula is speaking simultaneously to both her twins (who, of course, have already known their mother for sixteen years) and the reader, who gets to know her and everything about her through the text. And it's perhaps difficult to speak to a reader and to one's own children in the same way.

The major revelation to be made to the kids, as many reviewers pointed out, is not exactly earth-shattering. The novel's shortcoming is that the reader focuses on the nature of the revelation, and then, once it has been made, realises that not much else has been said - and consequently feels rather cheated.

What saves the novel from being really banal, however, is that there are in fact two revelations, which are closely linked - and Paula's husband is party, so far, to only one of them. That being the case, will both revelations be made to the children? If so, Mike is in for a shock as well as the kids. If not, then how reliable a narrator is Paula in the first place?
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