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The Last Word (Anglais) Broché – 23 janvier 2014


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--Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Relié.

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Descriptions du produit

Revue de presse

"Wickedly brilliant. Hanif Kureshi's latest lights up the nighttime sky like a literary Tet Offensive." (Gary Shteyngart, author of Little Failure and Super Sad True Love Story)

“Kureishi has written a major work, founded on a major literary problem, set by a master of his craft…The Last Word is Kureishi’s best work to date—it is very funny and goes beyond good taste at almost every point.” (The Times)

The Last Word is a raw and weirdly unstoppable page-turner that reads like a broad Gothic farce with a coiled Pinteresque power-struggle at its centre.” (Pico Iyer)

“Kureishi, an Oscar-nominated screenwriter, has always written rock-solid dialogue, and the distinctive voices of the lead characters, each of whom wants something from the others, make this novel an erotic evocation of writer and reader at their most sadomasochistic.”
(Publishers Weekly) --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Relié .

Présentation de l'éditeur

“Hanif Kureishi’s best novel since The Buddha of Suburbia” (The Independent, UK): a mischievous, wickedly funny, and intellectually deft story about a young biographer and the famous and reclusive novelist who is his subject.

Mamoon Azam is an eminent Indian-born writer who has made a career in England—but now, in his early seventies, his reputation is fading, his book sales are nonexistent, and the expensive habits of his flamboyant second wife are bleeding him dry. In a final attempt to revitalize his career, Mamoon’s publisher commissions Harry, an ambitious young writer, to produce a provocative biography to bring Mamoon back into the public eye.

Harry sets off for Mamoon’s estate, where he finds not the literary hero he had imagined, but a vain, bigoted, cynical, and cruelly manipulative genius, who quickly turns the tables on his ambitious young biographer. Harry must insinuate, seduce, and finesse the truth out of the extravagant and damaged characters in Mamoon’s surreal sphere as the young writer and the old master battle for the last word in the story of Mamoon’s life. Acute and brilliantly entertaining, The Last Word is a tale of youthful exuberance and the misery of outgrowing it, as hilarious as it is moving. It is Kureishi’s wisest work to date. --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Relié .


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Amazon.com: 7 commentaires
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
The Last Word: and what a relief to reach it. 4 février 2014
Par Sue Kichenside - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle
Such a waste of a good idea. Kureishi's tale of two authors could have been such a dazzling battle of wits: who will gain ascendancy, the aging literary ogre Mamoon or Harry, his ambitious young biographer? Both men come across as thoroughly nasty pieces of work - which is fair enough. But the fact that these two characters are so thinly drawn really is unforgiveable.

The writing struck me as lazy, as though Kureishi knocked this off in a matter of weeks. But occasionally, there are flashes of brilliance, little glimpses of what might have been. Here he is on marriage: "One falls in love, and then learns, for the duration, that one is at the mercy of someone else's childhood."

I found The Last Word gratuitously grubby and wonder if it would have found a publisher at all had Kureishi's name not been attached to it. It was particularly interesting to read it straight after And Sons: A Novel by American author David Gilbert. Both authors chose to centre their stories on elderly, venerated, reclusive, irascible writers but in my view Kureishi comes out of the comparison totally outclassed.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
started well but got tedious 11 février 2014
Par Geraldine Rolfe - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
Maroon was too similar to Naipaul and came across as pompous and unsavory. Not sure why Hanif continued with this project when Theroux and others have gone down the same track more eloquently
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Is it me or are all these characters crazy? 20 mars 2014
Par madge hair - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
I wasn't loving this book, despite being a Kureishi fan. It was hard to like any of the characters, or care about what happened to them. Maybe that was the point, but I just didn't have that feeling of looking forward to snuggling in bed with my Kindle. Shame.
‘I hope you are turning me into a story I can enjoy. Am I interesting? ' 26 janvier 2015
Par Jennifer Cameron-Smith - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle
'I’m so looking forward to being surprised by how I come out.’

Mamoon Azam is an eminent Indian-born writer living in England. Now in his early seventies, sales are miniscule, his reputation is fading, and his current wife, Liana, has very expensive taste. Harry Johnson is an aspiring young writer who has been offered the opportunity of a lifetime - to make a name for himself as Mamoon’s biographer. Both men should be happy: a successful biography will bring Mamoon back into the public eye, and Harry will have an opportunity to work with an author he greatly admires. But is soon becomes clear that Harry, his publisher, Mamoon’s wife and Mamoon himself each have different expectations. Harry wants to reveal the ‘real’ Mamoon, the publisher wants something that will generate headlines, Mamoon’s wife wants a hagiography and Mamoon wants his own interpretation of reality.

‘He was, after all, just a man, and not merely a narrative.’

And so, the stage is set for a battle of wills: will Harry discover the real Mamoon, and the truth about some less savoury aspects of his past? Will Harry resist temptation to be faithful to his fiancée Alice? Is this novel, as some have claimed, simply a lampoon of the author/biographer relationship between V.S. Naipaul and Patrick French? Or is it something deeper?

I found this novel in equal parts enjoyable and frustrating. Enjoyable because it questions whether there are (or should be) boundaries between public and private lives. It made me wonder where any such boundaries should be, and what impact our perception of an author as a person has on our acceptance or rejection of his or her work. Frustrating because none of the characters is likeable enough for me to care much about whose view of reality prevails in the end. So, if it is simply a lampoon, it works well: both biographer and biographee are fairly one dimensional and dislikeable. And if the point is that great writers can be despicable people, I get that too. Perhaps the last word is about expectations:

‘The market had changed; these days there were more writers than readers. Everyone was speaking at once while no one heard, as in an asylum.’

It may all be in the writing, but only if anyone is reading.

Note: My thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read an advance copy of this book.

Jennifer Cameron-Smith
The Last Word 19 janvier 2015
Par S Riaz - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle
Theoretically, this should have been a novel I loved. The subject matter sounded very appealing, it is set in the literary world, which appeals to readers, and it started well. However, somehow, the book did not live up to the promise of either the storyline or the strong beginning. Harry Johnson is a young writer who has published one biography, on Nehru, and has been commissioned by publisher, Rob Deveraux, to write the life story of the great author, Mamoon Azam. Azam is a ‘serious’ novelist which, in reality, means that he has a lot of status but not a great deal of money. His reputation is fading, along with his book sales, and a new biography could be just the thing to help bring him back into the public eye.

Harry Johnson longs for wealth and security. He wants to settle down with his fiancée, Alice; to have a house worthy of his status and enhance his reputation. For him, writing Mamoon’s biography can bring him as many plaudits as the book could earn the subject of the biography. Meanwhile, as Mamoon’s second wife, Liana, begs Harry to write a ‘gentle’ book, Rob is asking him to seek out as much dirt as possible and write a salacious biography which will sell. Before long, Harry’s life is becoming complicated, he feels manipulated and his dreams begin to fall apart. Meanwhile, although Mamoon states he is happy to have Harry write his story, the author seems to avoid him at all costs – beetling away whenever he approaches and refusing to answer any questions.

Even while writing this review, I keep thinking what a good book this could have been. If I had only cared about the characters or found them more sympathetic, but somehow I didn’t. In the middle of the novel, the storyline floundered and I struggled to the end. Overall, the beginning of the book is the most enjoyable part, but it lost focus, although the author did manage to create a good ending. A reasonably enjoyable read, but it could have been so much better. Lastly, I received a copy of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, for review.
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