38 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Totally compelling
There is definately the touch of the Ian McEwan about this book. Like the other author, the prose is extremely well written and the narrative so exciting that it was really difficult to put this book down. Like McEwan, Morrison has the knack of unsettling you and I hurtled through the pages as I was anxious to discover what exactly happened to the characters in the end,...
Published on 22 Jun 2010 by Ian Thumwood
3.0 out of 5 stars Hmmm
Not my favourite book. Too many strands of the story just didn't hang with the tapestry of the main narrative. The television version was even weaker.
Published 5 months ago by Salli
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38 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Totally compelling,
The story concerns two couple who are reunited for a Bank Holiday weekend on the East coast with the two male characters being old friends from university. What I loved about the story was how the author managed to get right inside the head of his principle creation and conjure situations where we eventually start to realise that things aren't exactly what they seem. In the beginning we are offered glimpses of the main character's past and, one by one, these start to piece together into the jigsaw of the main thread of the novel, only that the picture we are trying to put together might not necessarily be the one that we had started off with. Consequently, the story becomes increasingly more exciting as the clues start to fit together and the last thirty or so pages had to be finished off late at night as I could not bare the suspense!! Not going to say any more as I don't want to spoil anyone's enjoyment but hope this is sufficient to prompt your curiousity.
Blake Morrison is not an author I had heard of before and I was prompted to buy this book after reading an excellent review in my Sunday newspaper. I am glad that I followed my interest up and, as the other reviwer stated, agree that this would make an excellent film or drama. Modern literature is a bit of a mixed bag for me. I like a good story but I hate pulp fiction. "The last weekend" is well crafted with some wonderful descriptions but is a thriller at the same time. All in all, I would thoroughly recommend this book although buyers should be aware that they will want to finish the thing once they have got their teeth into the first few chapters! Really enjoyed this book.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gripping read but . . .,
There is a sort of feel good feel to it to start with (think This Life, Peter's Friends, The Priory (Royal Court Play)) but as things unfold old rivalries and unfinished business becomes exposed.
It is a fairly short read and pretty page turning - I read it in a day which says alot for it's plot pace. The book is unusual because it doesn't patronise the reader - which is a real strength. So when a scene is described from one character's perspective that may not be all it seems to be, rather than having another character explain what actually happened (eg. Bret Easton Ellis Rules of Attraction), the reader is left to work it out and form his/her own conclusions.
The only real weakness in the book is the ending which was to me unsatisfying, very disappointing given the strength of the book and several of the ending strands were implausible. It's a shame and this is the only reason it gets 4 stars from me - otherwise would have been a clear 5.
It's kind of sad that authors can't include "alternative endings" in future editions of books a la DVD extras!! This book could be made perfect!
Good read though and would recommend nonetheless. Ideal reading for a weekend away.
15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Last Weekend,
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gripping,
This review is from: The Last Weekend (Paperback)I read this after watching the television series so I did already know what was going to happen, but this did not detract from the enjoyment and I still found myself hoping that something else would happen. The Last Weekend is set over a bank holiday weekend in August and as the time progresses you get the feeling that something terrible is going to happen. The characters that Blake Morrison has created are varied and interesting although the character of Ian is not likeable and it becomes clear throughout that he twists the truth. I did enjoy the book and the way it slowly unfolded until you know what happens but for me I felt that there was something missing from it to make it really really good, but it is a good psychological thriller all the same.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A compelling read,
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Compelling story that gathers pace,
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent read,
This review is from: The Last Weekend (Paperback)This is the first time I have read a book by this author and it will not be the last.
A well written novel with believable characters. The scene setting, character construction and plot are well crafted. I particularly enjoyed the way the author made my emotions, in relation to the main character, swing from liking him, feeling sorry for him, thinking he is a loser, to thinking he is underhand. A true to life weekend experience which could have happened to any of us in these unfortunate circumstances. I am looking forward to reading more of Blake Morrison's work.
3.0 out of 5 stars Hmmm,
This review is from: The Last Weekend (Paperback)Not my favourite book. Too many strands of the story just didn't hang with the tapestry of the main narrative. The television version was even weaker.
4.0 out of 5 stars Mid life crisis in technicolour,
This review is from: The Last Weekend (Paperback)Found this by chance in my local library and vaguely had heard of Morrison's poetry - worth a punt and I wasn't dissapointed. This book evokes an arid atmosphere of mid-life disappointment and disillusionment. The narrator is wholly believable as a hacked-off teacher whose life is crumbling. The tension builds slowly and deftly throughout what is ostensibly a snug middle class drinkies weekend, but in reality is a seething cauldron of vanities and insecurities. What makes the novel so excellent is the fallibility of the Ian - he is at once sympathetic and loathsome - very human.
This novel really rocks - and if you, like me, delight in the subtlety of human relationships, you'll just love this book. The flashbacks to univrsity life are particualry well done - perhaps done with a movie script in mind but nonetheless valuable for that. The only weakness lies in the rather ridiculous plot whereby the two males engage in a series of challenges - a thoroughly uneccessary and rather forced plot device.
Overall I really enjoyed this novel and I thoroughly disagree with some of the comments about it being an "airport novel" This is in a totally different universe to the sort of trash one reads on an aeroplane.
3.0 out of 5 stars An easy read with a psychological twist,
This review is from: The Last Weekend (Paperback)Ollie and Ian became friends at University. Ollie comes from a relatively privileged background, Ian from a more working class background. Ollie is socially successful, Ian more of a loner. Some twenty plus years on, both Ollie and Ian are married and the two couples see each other infrequently.
Then Ollie and his wife Daisy invite Ian and his wife Emily to a long weekend in East Anglia. It is to become a pivotal weekend for both couples.
The story is narrated by Ian, coloured by Ian's own personal slant on people and relationships, so we get to know more about Ian than about any of the other characters.
I read this book quickly and didn't really feel that it lived up to the blurb that describes it as a 'darkly haunting tale of friendship, sexual passion and jealousy, confirming Blake Morrison's reputation as one of Britain's most unpredictable and talented writers'. Not really. It is a pale shadow of a not dissimilar story by Sebastian Faulks, Engleby.
It is however, an easy and enjoyable read for people who enjoy stories with a psychological twist, but also want to relax at the same time.
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The Last Weekend by Blake Morrison (Paperback - 5 May 2011)