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The Last Word by Hanif Kureishi

The Last Word

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March 2015 Book of the Month.

As one would expect from such a talented writer, this is an intelligent, amusing and intimate novel. Sometimes when you look forward to something too much, you can be disappointed; therefore start with an open mind, so that you can become lost in the narrative and wander the paths of witty repartee.
The two principal protagonists are difficult, damaged males bent into shape by their upbringing. They are surrounded by loving, equally difficult females who contort and twist their lives just that little bit more.
Discover the clever, complicated characters, warts and all; as their hidden depths, secrets and weaknesses are all deftly exposed. There are real moments of wonder to be had at the author's perception and understanding of the human psyche. At times there are fleeting moments of convoluted and difficult text, before the ready wit and story again lyrically sing from the page.
Enjoy the sparring and wordplay as the entire cast battle to have the last word and feel the pain as the two writers strive to have the immortality of everlasting words. ~ Liz Robinson

Shortlisted for the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize 2014.

If you like Hanif Kureishi you might also like to read books by Maggie O'farrell, Daniel Alarcon and Armistead Maupin.

The Good Book Guide logo The Good Book Guide Review. Budding young writer Harry Johnson is commissioned to write a biography of Mamoon, a British Indian novelist, now somewhat out of favour. Harry has in mind a classy book that will help to make his own name, and revive Mamoon’s popularity. But Harry’s publisher wants a sensational kiss-and-tell book that will shock its audience and sell books. So who will have the last word? On the surface this is a satirical look at a writer and his biographer, but Kureishi’s light-hearted style gives way ultimately to something more serious.
~ The Good Book Guide


The Last Word by Hanif Kureishi

Mamoon is an eminent Indian-born writer who has made a career in England - but now, in his early 70s, his reputation is fading, sales have dried up, and his new wife has expensive taste. Harry, a young writer, is commissioned to write a biography to revitalise both Mamoon's career and his bank balance. Harry greatly admires Mamoon's work and wants to uncover the truth of the artist's life. Harry's publisher seeks a more naked truth, a salacious tale of sex and scandal that will generate headlines. Meanwhile Mamoon himself is mining a different vein of truth altogether. Harry and Mamoon find themselves in a battle of wills, but which of them will have the last word? The ensuing struggle for dominance raises issues of love and desire, loyalty and betrayal, and the frailties of age versus the recklessness of youth. Hanif Kureishi has created a tale brimming with youthful exuberance, as hilarious as it is touching, where words have the power to forge a world.

About the Author

Hanif Kureishi

Hanif Kureishi grew up in Kent and studied philosophy at King's College London. His novels include The Buddha of Suburbia, which won the Whitbread Prize for Best First Novel, The Black Album, Intimacy and Something to Tell You. His screenplays include My Beautiful Laundrette, which received an Oscar nomination for Best Screenplay, Sammy and Rosie Get Laid and The Mother.He has also published several collections of short stories. He has been awarded the Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and been translated into thirty six languages.

Photograph © Kier Kureishi

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Book Info

Publication date

5th March 2015


Hanif Kureishi

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Faber & Faber Fiction an imprint of Faber & Faber


352 pages


Literary Fiction
All Shortlists and Winners
Books of the Month
Relationship Stories
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)



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