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The Last Days of Roger Federer

"An intriguing memoir of endings"

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LoveReading Says

LoveReading Says

In reading The Last Days of Roger Federer I found myself wondering if I was in a puzzle rather than a book. The theme is ‘endings', or more often ‘giving up’ in which Geoff Dyer explores his many passions - one of which is tennis - by studying how those people whose work he has devoted so much time to have gone about the business of bringing their careers to a conclusion. Federer, Dylan, Turner, Coltrane.. and so on, a fabulous list of iconic figures from the worlds of sport and art (which seem to merge here) are investigated in a collection of short and witty pieces. The structure of the book is in itself intriguing because, I suppose, a book which analyses endings might aim to avoid a conventional beginning/ middle/ end format. Instead we have four sections titled only by a quote, within which the writings are simply numbered. It would seem to be a catalogue of thoughts and essays until you realise there is no obvious order to it, as though each piece has been drawn at random from a hat of torn up notebooks. And on top of that the topics themselves are revisited again and again like thoughts swirling in your head, nagging away and hanging on. And always there is an elephant in the room, though Dyer does not entirely avoid the subject of his own ending as a writer it was constantly on my mind while reading the book that this is the underlying point and something which weighs upon us all. I hope The Last Days of Roger Federer is not the final such work by this remarkable writer, but should it turn out to be, what an even cleverer thing it is.

Greg Hackett

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