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Towards the End of the Morning [Kindle Edition]

Michael Frayn
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £8.99
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Book Description

Michael Frayn's classic novel is set in the crossword and nature notes department of an obscure national newspaper during the declining years of Fleet Street, where John Dyson dreams wistfully of fame and the gentlemanly life - until one day his great chance of glory at last arrives.

Michael Frayn is the celebrated author of fifteen plays including Noises Off, Copenhagen and Afterlife. His bestselling novels include Headlong, which was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, Spies, which won the Whitbread Best Novel Award and Skios, which was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize.

'Still ranks with Evelyn Waugh's Scoop as one of the funniest novels about journalists ever written.' Sunday Times

'A sublimely funny comedy about the ways newspapers try to put lives into words.' Spectator


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Product Description

Book Description

Towards the End of Morning by Michael Frayn is a brilliantly comic drama about an ambitious journalist who works for an obscure national newspaper during the declining years of Fleet Street.

About the Author

Michael Frayn was born in London in 1933 and began his career as a journalist on the Guardian and the Observer. His novels include Towards the End of the Morning, The Trick of It and A Landing on the Sun. Headlong (1999) was shortlisted for the Booker Prize, Spies (2002), won the Whitbread Novel Award and Skios (2012) was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize. His fifteen plays range from Noises Off to Copenhagen and most recently Afterlife. He is married to the writer Claire Tomalin.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 551 KB
  • Print Length: 244 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber Fiction; New edition edition (8 Jan. 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002RI9YCS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • : Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #34,239 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
39 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really funny and worth reading 24 Oct. 2000
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I'm a journalist and although the world Michael Frayn describes is long gone, there were some moments of recognition even now. Fellow hacks will absolutely love the description of the press trip (and much else), but this isn't just a book for those in the trade: rather, it's a minor classic in the grand old tradition of British farce. Michael Frayn is extremely good at slipping in to other people's voices and the main character, Dyson, is one of the few literary examples of journalist as everyman. Read it, you'll love it.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant comic novel 24 Jan. 2001
By Pirlo
Format:Paperback
Whilst the journalists have left Fleet Street and the Lunchtime O'Booze is a thing of the past, this book feels very contemporary in its description of London: the middle class professional buying property in a destitute 'up and coming' area, the lure of television, and the tedium of work.
Brilliantly written- economical, trenchant, extremely funny. Justifiably compared to 'Scoop'
Highly highly recommended (in fact, better to my mind than 'Headlong')
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great fun.... 21 May 2011
By Wynne Kelly TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I had forgotten how funny Michael Frayn's writing could be. Towards End of the Morning is a comic novel set in a newspaper office in the 1960s - a cross between The Observer and The Guardian. Much of the story is very funny - the pre-TV programme meal could have been straight out of Monty Python - but there are also some dark undertones of ambition, job security and jealousy. Frayn is very prescient about celebrity culture and the middle-class angst about getting one's children into the "right" school.

In many ways this book is "a blast from the past". Mrs Mounce recommends the wearing of a roll-on, suitcases have no wheels, flat-dwellers shared a bathroom, and it was not the done thing to have your girlfriend stay overnight. All that, and the non-stop smoking and drinking, make it very much a period piece.

An odd thing is how little work anyone seems to be doing....I did wonder how any newspaper actually got printed and out for sale. There are some sympathetic characters but others are truly appalling. Comparisons have been made with Waugh's Scoop - and rightly so.

Great fun.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Towards the End of the Morning 31 Dec. 2010
Format:Paperback
Light hearted look at the newspaper industry when Fleet Street was the main hub of this enterprise. The story follows the hopes and ambitions of John Dyson, who tired of being stuck in some dreary office compiling crossword puzzles and other mundane information, dreams of recognition, fame and fortune. The themes of the novel centre on John's relationships with his wife Jannie and his work colleagues Bob Bell and Eddy Moulton. Dyson is invited to appear on television in a debate about differing cultures and he sees this as his golden opportunity to fame and fortune. His wife and friend Bob are not so convinced and the interplay between the three give some of the humour to the book. There are other minor characters (Mrs Mounce and Tessa being two) who add to the overall story giving it many amusing turns. I will admit that the novel is not all 'laugh out loud' humour but it is still an enjoyable light read.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
By Eileen Shaw TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
Set in the time before Wapping, when newspapers were put together in Fleet Street and streets off - like Hand and Ball Court, where a particular paper has rambling premises that rumble and tremble to life late in the afternoon as the presses start to roll, this novel is sometimes depressing and occasionally, quietly, rebarbatively funny. It tells of a different age where a man might sleep away his life, preparing staples of the paper such as the Days of Old, and the `Meditation' pieces, as does poor old Eddie Moulton who one day is found to be dead at his desk.

There are various others involved in this tale of newspapermen who seem only occasionally to write anything. Dyson is very much the angry young man who has kept some of his nonsensical ire but has lost his sense of humour in the rat race. He gets a chance to go on TV, on the kind of programme where a panel of serious men smoking their heads off sat around agreeing with each other. The description of their meeting in the Green Room is one of the best things in the book and must be read to be appreciated. Back in the office, the addition of Morris - young, TV-smart and impressively knowledgeable about almost everything, is a signal that times are about to change.

This is, in places, a bit of a slog, but it has its moments too. An amusing picture of journalism's one-time backwaters - and of the people who could never conceive of how revolutionary a change was about to strike.
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59 of 67 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The classic comic Fleet Street Novel 14 Jan. 2002
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Written in 1967 (at that time, the present day), the book is set in a Fleet Street which no longer exists. Wapping has long since superseded Grub Street, both in work practices and in technology. Frayn, in hindsight, gives us a fascinating insight into newspaper journalism as it was, not as it is now.
The setting is a monolithic and nameless Fleet Street Daily. Dyson, 40's, a married, mortgaged dreamer and father of two, is head of a backwater covering nature notes, crosswords and "yesteryear". His staff is Bob, an aimless 29 year old single graduate and old Eddy Moulton, nearer the end of his days than he realises and compiler of the "100 Years Ago This Day" column.
Dyson dreams of recognition, wider success and celebrity status but seems unable to escape the lethargy of the work, despite attempting occasional, febrile bursts of it. Bob's chief office activity is eating toffees from a bag in his desk and writing vacuous love letters to his young girlfriend Tess at her finishing school. Eddy spends his days poring over yellowed back numbers and lives wholly in the past.
Life has continued in this way for aeons. What little work done is confined to the late morning, before the staff repair to the pub for the obligatory journalistic liquid lunch and gossip with the other staff hacks. The editor, a distant, shadowy figure, has never been seen by anyone. He communicates, Howard Hughes - like, by note. At one point, he attempts to sack the pictures editor, the embittered Reg. Mounce, using an unsigned memo. Reg., believing this to be a joke perpetrated by his peers, ignores his dismissal, carries on with his job and is still employed weeks later.
The afternoon passes in the customary beery trance until the deadline approaches.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
All as it should be
Published 3 months ago by Jeff
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very well written and some very well thought out characters. Very "readable".
Published 3 months ago by MRS LESLEY PARKER
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Hilarious from start to finish. I want to work there.
Published 3 months ago by Mick Kerr
2.0 out of 5 stars I normally love Michael Frayn offerings of all types but not this ...
I normally love Michael Frayn offerings of all types but not this novel. Couldn't get into it at all. Read more
Published 4 months ago by A. Killey
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
This was recommended as a "must read." I found it rather tedious and not particularly funny.
Published 6 months ago by John
5.0 out of 5 stars A warm funny undemanding read
I read this on holiday this having really enjoyed Skios last year, and was not disappointed. Lots of genuine laughs. Not a great deal of a plot, but I didn't miss it. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Kwev
1.0 out of 5 stars But perhaps that was the point - the lack of credibility is supposed...
I read a review which assured me that this book would keep me amused and entertained. I failed to do either. The characters are pretentious and even ridiculous. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Mrs. D. B. Milledge
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully evocative
With the current British penchant for all things nostalgic, this book hits exactly the right spot. Welcome to the World in black and white, where beer was 4d a pint!
Published 13 months ago by Mike Dolphin
4.0 out of 5 stars A fun "fly on the wall" view of Wall Street journalism
Enjoyed this easy read. It was quite dated but I have often found that with Michael Frayn's previous books, that's not to say they are bad, just "of their time".
Published 13 months ago by Manda Moo
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
I expected it to be like Scoop, which I loved, but it wasn't nearly so funny or engaging. The characters were frankly irritating. I hope they weren't based on real people. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Jeannie
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