Last Friends

Jane Gardam,

Last Friends
 
 
“The satisfying conclusion to Gardam’s Old Filth trilogy offers exquisite prose, wry humor, and keen insights into aging and death” (The New Yorker).

While Old Filth introduced readers to Sir Edward Feathers, his dreadful childhood, and his decades-long marriage, The Man in the Wooden Hat was his wife Betty’s story. Last Friends is Terence Veneering’s turn. His beginnings were not those of the usual establishment grandee. Filth’s hated rival in court and in love is the son of a Russian acrobat marooned in the English midlands and a local girl. He escapes the war and later emerges in the Far East as a man of panache and fame. The Bar treats his success with suspicion: Where did this handsome, brilliant Slav come from? This exquisite story of Veneering, Filth, and their circle tells a bittersweet tale of friendship and grace and of the disappointments and consolations of age. They are all, finally, each other’s last friend as this magnificent series ends with the deep and abiding satisfaction that only great literature provides.

“[Gardam’s] 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.” —The Washington Post

“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.” —The Boston Globe

“All three Gardam books are beautifully written but it’s a pleasure to note that Last Friends is the most enjoyable, the funniest and the most touching.” —National Post


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