Last Friends (Old Filth Trilogy) Paperback – 2 Apr 2013
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An ambitious and complex portrait of extraordinary times (Guardian)
Sharp, humane, generous and wonderfully funny, she is one of our very finest writers (Hilary Mantel)
This is as mordantly precise and moving a novel as you will find anywhere (Daily Telegraph) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
The witty and sparkling new novel from Jane Gardam, bestselling author of Old Filth. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
LAST FRIENDS, the third novel, is ostensibly the story of Sir Terence Veneering, a man of mysterious origins, Filth's rival and possibly Betty's lover. The novel opens as the villagers of St. Ague in Dorset, to which all three retired years ago, are preparing to travel to London for Old Filth's funeral, Betty and Veneering having passed on some time ago. The irrepressible Old Dulcie Williams, the village elder and widow of "Pastry Willy" Williams, a judge who was also in the foreign service, becomes the "voice" of the novel. Clearly dotty, and never shy, Dulcie provides the backstories of these characters, though she "sees" events which may or may not be real, has conversations with people who are long dead, and ignores anything (like the increasingly urgent communications from the bank) that might possibly complicate her life. She is joined in St.Read more ›
Me of little faith. I borrowed Last Friends from the library, but now shall have to buy it so I can foist it on friends who haven't been lucky enough to read it so far.
You found so many frayed ends to tie up and gave us new insight into Veneering in particular. And people who played only walk on parts in the first two books were fleshed out in this one, as well as new characters being introduced which added to the whole. I cried at one point and felt desolate at the end - as that really is The End.
One has to start with Old Filth to get the most out of Last Friends. These characters are never to be forgotten, by me, at any rate.
This novel is so funny, clever, poignant, insightful, quirky, and original, with lots of surprises.
Last Friends and Old Filth go into my Top 20 novels of All Time.
I didn't think it added much to the earlier stories, except by introducing more aspects or characters, but they were all rather peripheral, and one got the impression that this whole book was made up of what had been cut from the earlier versions of the story.
However, when you love a book and are sad to lose touch with the characters when you finish it, the one redeeming feature of this volume is that it delays the inevitable ending.
Sir Edward Feathers, the central figure of the first volume and his wife Betty, the central figure of the second, have both died. So had Sir Terence Veneering, with whom Betty is believed to have had an affaire and who becomes the central figure in this volume, though it takes some time to realize it: half-way through the book we realize that he has changed his name, and it is easy to miss the time-shift between two of the chapters. They are all remembered by Sir Frederick Fiscal-Smith, who knows Veneering’ surprising past - how he rose to be a barrister from the humblest of circumstances. He, too, appears under a different name in some chapters, and again it is more than half-way through the book that we can make a connection. Before we can make them, the earlier incidents in the novel seem somewhat inconsequential, but then of course things begin to fall into place, though I have to say that I didn’t find the story all that interesting, and the ending ragged. I had given five stars to the other two volumes, which were far better than this one.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The stories of Old Filth, Betty, Veneering at al are so touchingly accurate of the way we as human beings behave.Published 3 months ago by blossom
A fascinating conclusion to an interesting trilogy, where many questions raised in the first two books were finally answered in this one.Published 3 months ago by A. Jevons
Last in the trilogy, here the loose ends are more or less tidied up. Some surprises in store.Published 4 months ago by Fikiri
The Third in her "Old Filth" trilogy, winds up the three sagas of the personalities we've met and followed in the first two, but this time from Veneering's point of view. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Brenda Young
“Last Friends” is more, though perhaps not a great deal more, than a tidying-up novel. It back-tracks as well as looks forward from the events in Jane Gardam’s loose trilogy,... Read morePublished 8 months ago by DT
I never found out much about Old Filth's middle years and how he made his money when younger and feel the author missed out what might have been another whole book on the... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Christine Clegg