- Paperback: 256 pages
- Publisher: Abacus; Digital original edition (18 Feb. 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0349000166
- ISBN-13: 978-0349000169
- Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.7 x 19.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 96 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 54,996 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Last Friends (Old Filth Trilogy 3) Paperback – 18 Feb 2014
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Sharp, humane, generous and wonderfully funny, she is one of our very finest writers (Hilary Mantel)
She is a brilliant writer. Her prose sparkles with wit, compassion and humor. She keeps us entertained, and she keeps us guessing. Be thankful for her books. Be thankful for this trilogy, which is ultimately an elegy, created with deep affection (Washington Post)
An ambitious and complex portrait of extraordinary times (Guardian)
This is as mordantly precise and moving a novel as you will find anywhere (Daily Telegraph)
Last Friends is evocative, elegiac, and shaded in autumnal tones, as suits the final volume in a trilogy. Like Evelyn Waugh's Brideshead Revisited, the Old Filth trilogy restores us to an era rich in spectacle and bristling with insinuation and intrigue. Vivid, spacious, superbly witty, and refreshingly brisk . . . the story (and the author) will endure (Boston Globe)
Her effortless command of character and narrative sweeps you right along...Among other things, she provides an unsentimental but oddly hopeful vision of old age (New York Times)
The satisfying conclusion to Gardam's Old Filth trilogy offers exquisite prose, wry humor, and keen insights into aging and death (New Yorker)
[Gardam] is the best kind of literary escape: serious, mesmerizing, and deeply satisfying (Los Angeles Review of Books)
If Rudyard Kipling was the laureate of the British Empire, then Jane Gardam is surely the closest thing we have to a laureate of its demise . . . Spanning nearly a century, the three novels offer a compelling, finely nuanced tableau of the end of an era and the passing of the generation that sustained it. Part of the genius of each successive book is that it does not continue the story so much as rework it from a different angle. (Times Literary Supplement)
It's hard...not to be charmed by a writer with Gardam's substantial gifts(New York Times Book Review)
The witty and sparkling new novel from Jane Gardam, bestselling author of Old Filth.See all Product description
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For me the best part was the unexpected and welcome return of the prep school head, 'Sir', and the way Gardam tied that in with [Fiscal]-Smith. I wonder if that was planned from the start? I should like to hear Gardam talk about the trilogy some time, whether it was all worked out or evolved as she wrote each of the sequels.
There are times when the book becomes 'Rumpolesque' in style but she pulls it back with passages like Veneering's Teesside upbringing, which are touching without becoming sentimental.
For anybody who has finished the trilogy and is wondering what to read as a follow-up, I recommend A long way from Verona, which is also set in the North-East and has many of the hallmarks of the trilogy, indeed certain passages form clear parallels to Last Friends.
Edward Feathers (Old Filth) is trying to move on after his wife Betty has died. He decides to go on a journey to see an old friend and in due course we meet many people from his past and find out how their lives have intertwined and been effected by each other. Her ability to move between the past and the present in such a seamless way never ceases to amaze me. Her sly humour, witty observations and brilliant characterisation make this book every bit as as enjoyable as the others.
The law has always provided us with eccentrics – vastly intelligent people possessed of precious little common sense. Added to which Old Filth and his peers are gifted with that unspeakable British – of maybe English – trait of the art of not quite saying things. They also lack the basic emotional quality of love.
“Last Friends” is the third novel in Jane Gardam’s series about a dying generation. Society is no longer so tolerant towards the post-war arrogance of public school and Oxbridge educated lawyers and their ditzy wives, Often so much what is not in a story that makes it a good read; what is left out gives pause for much intriguing thought. This book provides us with the fascinating and surprising back stories behind the first two – and of course, as in life, people are never precisely what they appear to be.
To an extent these wittily and kindly written novels mirror the slow and inevitable decline of Britain’s influence in the far east. Hong Kong is severely multinational nowadays; the old traditions and alliances can no longer be assumed.
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