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gertrude

December 2017

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Last Friends, Jane Gardam

lastfriends

I was really surprised by how short this book is; I read it in an evening. Silly me, to start a trilogy with the last book! The title says it all: the characters from the previous novels are ancient and tottering on gamely, or dead. I was entranced by the dotty inhabitants of Old Filth’s Dorset village and the back story of pre-war Teesside. Now that I’ve got so interested in Old Filth, Veneering, Fiscal Smith, Dulcie et al I simply must read Old Filth and The Man in the Wooden Hat. Absorbing reading about bizarre characters, just slightly reminiscent of Kingsley Amis’s Ending Up.

Has anyone else read Bilgewater? I really liked it.

I read the book courtesy of NetGalley. To be published 6th March by Little, Brown.

Comments

Happy Birthday! I meant to get a real live card in the post, and of course failed to manage a card of any kind. Sending you happy birthday thoughts from here all the same xxx
Thank you!
Ooh! I liked Ending Up.

A Dutch book blogger I follow read Old Filth a couple of years ago. She awarded the highest score and fully agreed with the reviewers who called it "magnificent" and "strangely moving".
Was Ending Up the one which won the Booker? Can't remember, but I like most of KA's books.

Definitely going to read Old Filth!
Happy birthday! I hope you're having a lovely day in spite of the awful weather. x
Thank you!

I'd be a lot happier if I didn't know huskyteer is making her way here from London on a motorbike :-( I don't think she realises how bad the weather is here.
Well, I made it all right! I generally do.
I hope she arrives safely!
See above! I'm a born worrier, unfortunately.
Goodo! I worry when my family travel as well.

(Anonymous)

Last Friends

I am reading this as we speak. I read too slowly to read it in one sitting, but I'm really enjoying it. I was a little muddled as to who the various families were to start with, and who Dulcie was, even though I've read the first two books in the series (Old Filth definitely the best one.) How great to read books which are both entertaining and poignant about really old people (not just 'older' people, but those in their 80s.)

Re: Last Friends

books which are both entertaining and poignant about really old people

Yes!
A belated happy birthday!

I read Bilgewater when I was too young for it (still at school), I think.
Many thanks!

I think it's an in-between sort of book, neither for children or adults.

(Anonymous)

As with Anonymous, I was also a little puzzled at first who some of the characters were, including daffy Dulcie. But eventually I began to latch on to them, and really enjoyed it in the end. I liked the early life of Veneering, especially when he meets Parable, best of all. Overall an interesting and delightful read, but it isn't a stand-alone novel; readers would have had to have read the first two novels to have even a glimmer of hope of following the story.
Margaret P
Although I intend to read the first two novels, I hadn't done so when I read this one and had no trouble following the story. I didn't need to know exactly who Dulcie was in order to be interested in the character.