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And When Did You Last See Your Father Hardcover – 1 Jun 1995

4.1 out of 5 stars 69 customer reviews

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Hardcover, 1 Jun 1995
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--This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Picador USA (Jun. 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312130236
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312130237
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 16.5 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,200,334 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"A painful, funny, frightening, moving, marvellous
book...everybody should read it" -- Sunday Times (Nick Hornby)

"A splendid book...it leaps with life" -- Irish Times

"Morrison's dialogue is bitingly funny, his examination of family
life painfully acute"
-- Sunday Business Post

"Tender, honest, angry, loyal...(an) extraordinary book" -- The Times

"The life (is) held up so close to one's face that one can smell
it, touch it"
-- Spectator --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From the Publisher

To celebrate the film adaptation of Blake Morrison's ground-breaking memoir, Granta Books are proud to publish this special edition film tie-in of "And When Did You Last See Your Father" --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Bantam Dave TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 14 Dec. 2006
Format: Paperback
Arthur Morrison was not a famous man, except perhaps in the small Lancashire village of Earby where he had a doctors practice for many years. This excellent book reminds us that you don't have to be famous or to have performed any extra-ordinary feats to have a story that is worth telling.

The book, written by his son, tells of how Dr Morrisons life slowly slips away during the last few weeks of his life. Interspersed with this are the authors recollections of his father, who whilst being a difficult man at times, always remained a loving husband and father. The author is at all times open and honest - sometimes brutally so - and lays open his feelings for all to share.

One of the strengths of the book is that whilst it is about the death of a loved one it never gets too mawkish or sentimental and remains at all times a good read.

After finishing the book I found from the internet that a film of the book is currently in production. I look forward to seeing what sort of treatment it receives on the silver screen.
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By Mrs. K. A. Wheatley TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 24 Jan. 2008
Format: Paperback
This is a fascinating book. It is about the loss of Morrison's father to cancer at the age of 75. He was diagnosed late and died within four weeks of diagnosis. The book swings between memoirs of Morrison's time with his father as a child and at other key points in his life, interspersed with narrative of the last four weeks, and the funeral afterwards.
This edition is particularly good. It has been republished as a film tie-in and has an afterword by the author written in 2006 about how and why he wrote the book and what it meant to him, his family and those who read it. I felt it finished the book off perfectly and I would have felt a bit cheated if I hadn't read this section because of buying an earlier publication.
Morrison is quite painfully honest about the complexities of his relationship with his father. His enduring love for him is always clear but he never flinches from the ambiguities that love for a parent can throw up, and it is this which makes this book rise above the ordinary.
The fact that he is willing to show himself and his father in a less than perfect light makes it tender and touching and real in a way that a glowing obituary or sanitised eulogy never could.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Unlike most reviews I write in which I more or less say whether or not I like the book, this review proved extraordinarily difficult to write. It's a Life Memoir, a biography/autobiography of a man, Blake Morrison and his father Arthur. In criticising a life memoir you are essentially criticising the author themselves, I suppose.

Before I read it I felt like I had some idea of what to expect, a story of how difficult it is to live up to your father's expectations, how awful life with a difficult father who is somehow abusive can be. I was attracted to this book for personal reasons.

When the story begins at Oulton Park as Blake and his sister hide with embarrassment as their father bluffs and bullies his way into the best enclosure without queuing appropriately or paying appropriately, I thought this was very much the story I would read.

As it goes on, Arthur Morrison is revealed to be bluff, bombastic, something of a philanderer, and unable to stop interfering in his adult children's lives, but these really are his only crimes. He is very much a man of his time, a 1970's Yorkshireman, and nothing more despicable or insidious than that.

In the great scheme of things when they handed out fathers, Blake Morrison seems quite lucky comparatively, it seems that the worst thing his father ever did was embarrass him in front of Julian Barnes and Salman Rushdie. There are a great many people who would yearn to swap their patriarchal recollections for such a first world, privileged accusation to launch against their father. Middle class naval gazing and whinging spring to mind.
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Format: Paperback
I read this book not long after my own father died and I opened it with a sort of dread that it might overwhelm me with feelings I'd rather not have, but the experience was not quite like that. Blake Morrison's honest account of his own father's death, gave me so much I could identify with, and made my own issues so much clearer. In a world where it is the habit to say what we think we should feel and not what we actually do, it is an act of rare generosity for someone to tell the brutal truth about such things. There is much humour in the book and by the end of it, I had a real affection and appreciation of that collection of ambiguities, which was his dad. Far from finding it a painful read, although there are some jarring moments, I felt a huge weight lifted from my mind. I feel a real sense of gratitude that Morrison took the trouble to write it.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Last year I had the good fortune of bumping into the author Blake Morrison at the Derby Book Festival. Prior to our meeting I had not even heard of him nor his book about his father. It was a nice coincidence to have met him especially as I was a volunteer for the event. During the course of his talk he read a passage from 'And when...' which affected me quite deeply. Therefore i made sure to talk to him at the end of the event and tell him of my own experiences.

I had to speak to him because I too had lost my father and was in the process of writing a book about his death from suicide. On March 31st 2016 I released my book 'My Father & The Lost Legend of Pear Tree - Part One'. Only after the release of my book did I finally decide to read Blake's book about his own father.

The reason I waited so long to read this book was because I wanted to make sure I finished and released my book first. Having now finished reading Blake's book I'm glad I waited.

I can now understand how uncomfortable it can be for a reader to read something so personal. It would be quite easy to say that this book is not enjoyable because of its content. However that totally misses the point. As it is not the content that matters and how it is written, but the actual context.

Having also lost my father I can perfectly understand why people need to write and share their experiences with others. We don't do it for an audience. We do it to honour our fathers. They may not have always been perfect. But they made us the people we are.

More than anything we read these stories to know that we are not alone.

And if this book helps people come to terms with the death of a loved one. Then so be it.

Thank You Blake.
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