Graham Swift: Last Orders

(4982 words)

In Last Orders (1996), Graham Swift's sixth novel, a day of mourning develops into a cathartic ritual of remembrance that mingles duty with anger and eventually understanding. On April 2, 1990, four men embark on a car journey from Bermondsey, in South London, to Margate, in Kent, in order to honour, as the title implies, the final request of a dead man. Ray Johnson, Vic Tucker, Lenny Tate, three lower-middle-class small-business owners in their late sixties, and the middle-aged Vince Dodds, the deceased's adopted son, drive east to scatter the ashes of Jack Dodds, a master butcher. Jack's widow, Amy, is not with them; she makes another journey to their daughter, June, who was born severely retarded and has lived all her life in a…

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Logotheti, Anastasia. "Last Orders". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 25 August 2004
[, accessed 28 September 2016.]