The Last Word

The Last Word Mamoon is an eminent Indian born writer who has made a career in England but now in his early s his reputation is fading sales have dried up and his new wife has expensive taste Harry a young w

  • Title: The Last Word
  • Author: Hanif Kureishi
  • ISBN: 9781476779201
  • Page: 473
  • Format: Hardcover
  • 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 thMamoon 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 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.

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    About "Hanif Kureishi"

    1. Hanif Kureishi

      Hanif Kureishi is the author of novels including The Buddha of Suburbia, The Black Album and Intimacy , story collections Love in a Blue Time, Midnight All Day, The Body , plays including Outskirts, Borderline and Sleep With Me , and screenplays including My Beautiful Laundrette, My Son the Fanatic and Venus Among his other publications are the collection of essays Dreaming and Scheming, The Word and the Bomb and the memoir My Ear at His Heart.Kureishi was born in London to a Pakistani father and an English mother His father, Rafiushan, was from a wealthy Madras family, most of whose members moved to Pakistan after the Partition of India in 1947 He came to Britain to study law but soon abandoned his studies After meeting and marrying Kureishi s mother Audrey, Rafiushan settled in Bromley, where Kureishi was born, and worked at the Pakistan Embassy.Kureishi attended Bromley Technical High School where David Bowie had also been a pupil and after taking his A levels at a local sixth form college, he spent a year studying philosophy at Lancaster University before dropping out Later he attended King s College London and took a degree in philosophy In 1985 he wrote My Beautiful Laundrette, a screenplay about a gay Pakistani British boy growing up in 1980 s London for a film directed by Stephen Frears It won the New York Film Critics Best Screenplay Award and an Academy Award nomination for Best Screenplay.His book The Buddha of Suburbia 1990 won the Whitbread Award for the best first novel, and was also made into a BBC television series with a soundtrack by David Bowie The next year, 1991, saw the release of the feature film entitled London Kills Me a film written and directed Kureishi.His novel Intimacy 1998 revolved around the story of a man leaving his wife and two young sons after feeling physically and emotionally rejected by his wife This created certain controversy as Kureishi himself had recently left his wife and two young sons It is assumed to be at least semi autobiographical In 2000 2001 the novel was loosely adapted to a movie Intimacy by Patrice Ch reau, which won two Bears at the Berlin Film Festival a Golden Bear for Best Film, and a Silver Bear for Best Actress Kerry Fox It was controversial for its unreserved sex scenes The book was translated into Persian by Niki Karimi in 2005.He was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire CBE in the 2008 New Year Honours.Kureishi is married and has a pair of twins and a younger son.

    694 thoughts on “The Last Word”

    1. Harry Johnson is a young and aspiring writer who is offered the chance of a lifetime - to make his name as the biographer of Mamoon Azam, a giant of British literature. But now Mamoon is in his 70's, his novels aren't selling like they used to, and he's slowly being forgotten - a biography is the last opportunity to generate interest, and for Harry the only chance to meet and work with a writer whom he greatly admires. What could go wrong?When it was first published, The Last Word attracted much [...]

    2. Thank you to Scribner and Netgalley for an opportunity to read The Last Word. Before I started reading this book, I was a bit apprehensive given all of the negative reviews on . But I was determined to read it with a positive and open mind. After all, Kureishi wrote My Beautiful Launderette, I thought. My Pollyanna attitude worked well for the first third of The Last Word, but I must admit that as I got further into the book, my enthusiasm began to wane. The story started feeling aimless and dis [...]

    3. 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’ novel [...]

    4. Mamoon é um famoso escritor indiano que vive em Inglaterra. Com mais de 70 anos, a sua reputação não está no melhor momento: as vendas de seus livros decaíram e sua nova mulher, Liana, tem gostos um tanto extravagantes, que tornam a vida do casal financeiramente insustentável. Harry, jovem e ambicioso escritor, é contratado para redigir uma biografia que salve a carreira - e, sobretudo, a conta bancária - de Mamoon. Como admirador do autor, quer fazer um bom trabalho e tenta descobrir / [...]

    5. I loved this book. It is the first Hanif Kureishi novel I have read; I had no idea he was so prolific, including short stories and screenplays. The ‘writer writing about writing’ genre is a well-trodden area, but Kureishi deftly delivers a very funny and ultimately highly affirming account of the profession.I think to some extent The Last Word was a victim of its own publicity when it was published initially, due to the perceived wisdom that Kureishi’s book would be a thinly veiled skeweri [...]

    6. Typical of Kureishi's style, but not as good and interesting as his last novel (Something To Tell You), this is a tempestuous story of a literary novelist (Mamoon Azam), an Indian immigrant who moves to England as a student, who commissions a young writer (Harry) to write his biography. In old age, and with struggling book sales and depleting income, the septuagenarian novelist sees his biography as a good publicity stunt and to come full circle with 'the last word'.A game of wits ensues: finely [...]

    7. This has to be the strangest, most perplexing, least satisfying novel I've read in ages. The tone is inconsistent and the dialogue, in places, has to be a parody of over-writing. I'm surprised I got through this, because it is quite boring in stretches, but it was so weird I just kept reading because I just could not believe it could be so bad without some kind of surprise pay-off or revelation. Like the whole thing had been some kind of joke. That's why I labelled it a satire, because that is r [...]

    8. I’m not one who’s afraid to abandon a story. I’m very much of the Dorris Lessing school of thought: If a book is boring you, throw it across the room.I had to abandon The Last Word by Hanif Kureishi after about 200 pages.It wasn't offensively bad, just incredibly bland.The characters were made up of a stock selection that you're already familiar with, even if you haven't dipped into this genre before. There's a brash, drunken publisher. There's a fading literary powerhouse who's at once bo [...]

    9. The Last Word tells how a young journalist is sent by his publisher to interview an older, established but forgotten author. His task is to dig up the dirt and write as scandalous and attention-grabing a book as possible.Hanif Kureishi has been in the news this year for his unkind comments about creative writing students. He claims that some 90 something % of them have no talent. I wanted to read his book to get a better idea of his writing style. I am an admirer of his films, I particularly enj [...]

    10. Eh I tried to like it but it got tiring rather quickly. Some parts were initially clever and intriguing, but it grew stale, like a child who's told one clever joke and wants to continue it all night. Painfully determined to be Freudian, the one dimensional characters rotate between telling us how awfully intellectual they are, bonking, philosophizing about bonking, and being upset their relationships are a mess. Potential themes are abandoned in favor of more bonking or bonking philosophy. I hal [...]

    11. Oh my. Really didn't like this. I've read and liked most of Kureishi's novels (loved The Buddha of Surburbia) but this was awful. The elderly Indian writer and the younger guy assigned to write a biography of him are both just complete shits. Not in a funny way, just rather whiny or pathetic or even worse, just dull. Also there is a whole bad smell of misogyny over the whole book. The female characters mostly wives, current and previous, of the elderly writer are depicted as needy or shrill or b [...]

    12. Right off the (cricketer’s) bat recognize this. The Last Word is an unveiled satire on the life of V.S. Naipaul. Kureishi’s assault is sometimes snarky and always brutal. What saves the work is that there is no single character admirable or even the least likeable except for the scaggy sometimes Glastonbury girl friend. The plot is that a scurrilous young man is hired to write a biography of the great man who is in his dotage and is badly in need of reputation repair. In America the author a [...]

    13. Many reviewers have said what I wanted to say, so here’s a paraphrase of comments that express my reaction:One of the least satisfying novels I've read in ages… tried to like it, but it got tiring rather quickly. Some parts were initially intriguing, but it grew stale, dull, tedious and uninteresting. It desperately lacks plot, seems aimless and the characters are forgettable. I kept reading because I couldn’t believe there wouldn’t be some kind of pay-off. To this I’d add two things. [...]

    14. Thoroughly enjoyed this warm, funny musing on the nature of biography - the subject in question is so Naipaulian - the literary genius, and what drives an author to write, to ask uncomfortable questions that goes against the tide of belonging, when the migrant breaks his ties with his race, nation and religion. I like Kureishi's writing style - witty, sardonic, cool, but not cynical as Amis tends to be. It's a warm novel that ponders on what we want to leave behind and how do we want to be remem [...]

    15. Ugh. What I hoped to get were interesting and funny insights on writing, remembering, identity etc blah blah. What I got was: sex, as usual. It’s like since authors have realised that you are indeed allowed to write about sex they don’t even try to find interesting things to say anymore, because penis is mightier than the word or whatever. This sounds overly dramatic, but books like this make me tired of literature. I just want to open one goddamn book without a penis popping up into my face [...]

    16. The Last Word by Hanif Kureishi is funny and at the same time very sad. Kureishi pokes fun at aging authors looking to revive their career and young would be novelist having to become biographers or ghost writers in order to survive. At the same time it is sad because of the desperation of keeping up appearances and having to settle for second best in relationships. No one is really in control, however much they like to be. Bittersweet but engaging and yes enjoyable, but it makes you fear for hu [...]

    17. I'm not quite sure: a) how to rate it (like, at ALL?!) b) if I liked itc) 3 stars are a go because it was shockingly brash and pervert and I never read a book quite like it; not one that would be somewhat critically acclaimed, that is. d) wow; and I did not like one single character, they were all either lunatics (not likeable ones though) or utter arseholes so me finding this book weirdly readable and fascinating is a novelty in itself because I always have to relate to the character, even if j [...]

    18. Not sure why I finished this book, laziness on my part to put it down and pick up something better. Having just read two excellent but deep and rather depressing books I thought this would be a nice break. While I really enjoyed The Buddha of Suburbia, this book was really lacking. I felt nothing for the characters, none of which felt fleshed out or real.

    19. I thought this was fascinating. Young writer tries to write biography of old writer. Recipe for disaster as young writer moves into old writer's house. Young writer out of his depth. Played with by old writer. Lots of Freudian stuff about parents and children. All characters loathsome. I cried at the end.

    20. Kureishi is the master of bitchy dialogue and his playwriting background shines through in The Last Word. I'm fascinated by biography at the moment and so this novel of a biography hit the mark. I found it difficult to put down.

    21. I've read Patrick French's book and it really turned me off Naipaul. I don't know how accurate this book is or whether its purely fiction but I feel as though I've seen the other side of the story. This is very readable and funny in parts.

    22. This book was great, a story about two men, one who is washed up, the other who is trying to boost his writing career. Both want to get ahead in life, so they have to try to help each other.

    23. The most enjoyable of Kureishi's books so far IMHO. Very funny in parts and a wonderful portrayal of irascible writers.

    24. IT MUST BE POSSIBLE to write a good book about a writer spending time with someone famous because he's going to write a biography of that person. THAT MUST BE A THING THAT EXISTS IN THIS WORLD.

    25. I found this book very irritating. I suspect there is something I'm not getting; there are endorsements on the cover from several prominent writers, who describe the book in a way that makes it sound as if they have been reading a different book to me. Some of them comment on how funny it is. I have to say that if it were not for these comments, I wouldn't have realised that it was *supposed* to be particularly funny. Kureishi is undoutedly skilled at using language, and it is this that saves th [...]

    26. Its hard to like obnoxious, self-inflated characters, especially when they are mysogynist underneath their sex-addled love of women, and there are fewer creatures of less interest then a fundamentally narcissistic old man. That said, HK has brought forward some thoughful questions about art and its function, and concernining the right of the artist to a private life. The novelist is a trickster, deceiver, con man.But mostly he is a seducer. Isn't that all art is? p39My rating was arrived at by s [...]

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