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on 5 May 2000
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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on 13 May 2001
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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on 30 December 2001
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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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 2 April 2010
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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on 2 February 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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on 3 June 2013
Let it be said that McInerney is my favourite author. I love his efficient way with language and the growth he has shown throughout his works, being highly interested in the themes and issues he covers in his novels and his general ideology.

This book is not your typical Jay McInerney novel i.e. does not centre on protagonists based in Manhattan in the 1980s and 90s. The book charts the American landscape throughout the 70s, 80s and 90s and it's a clever book.

The only reason I've given it four stars is because, even though it is an ambitious effort by McInerney, it does not quite reach the heights of some of his works.

Insofar as Jay McInerney, my recommendations would be Bright Lights, Big City, Story of My Life, Brightness Falls and The Good Life and both of his shorty story works, How It Ended and The Last Bachelor.
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on 3 February 1999
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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on 20 August 2013
Maybe I'm just not clever enough, but I didn't enjoy this one. I found it to be tedious and gave up 2/3 of the way through.
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on 28 May 2000
I think I have now read all of Jay's books and while "The last of the savage" is different from the others, in terms of style (more classical and "stylish") and plot (characters are less extreme than, say, in 'the story of my life'), I found that the end was a bit weak and that 3/4 through the book the plot looses its strength. However, it remains a very good book, the way it's written reminding me of a 50's film, you really feel you're taken back to the 50-60's and can nearly "smell and see" Will's background and life. It is also possibly Jay McInnerney's less 'acid' book.
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