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Paperback Last Notes from Home Book

ISBN: 0679724567

ISBN13: 9780679724568

Last Notes from Home

(Book #3 in the A Fan's Notes Series)

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Good*

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Book Overview

This description may be from another edition of this product. A comic thriller. Ex visits Hawaii in 1973 to be with his brother who is dying of cancer. On the flight he falls in with Jimmy O'Twomey, an ageing boozer and professional Irishman from Dublin and...

Customer Reviews

3 ratings

This man could really write

It is true. This is a very disordered work, and at times seems to be doing its best to instill the reader with the same kind of wild confusion the writer often confesses himself suffering from. True the last part of the book seems to me anyway far less satisfactory than the first. True also that there is something sort of contemptible and dismissive in the author's attitude to most of the people he meets. But against all this is one more powerful truth. Exley could really write. His language is alive, and his characters are real characters, crazy originals who he gives a strong feeling of the presence of. He too within this all has a kind of moral outrage a stance which I think comes out most strongly in what for me is the best part of the book his writing about his brother. The tone of outrage and anger with which he tells the story is fierce and deep in feeling. His brother 'The Brigadier', ( This is a nickname as the brother has worked himself up from the ranks to 'Chicken Colonel' only) a veteran of three wars, the Second World War, Korea, the Vietnam War is diagnosed with cancer at the age of forty-three. The opening chapters of the book describe the author -narrator 's plane-trip with his mother to say farewell to the brother, and as it turns out attend his funeral. In the course of this Exley meets on the plane a stewardess who will become his off and on-mistress in the years ahead, and is another of his spectacularly crazy and original characters. She will turn out to be such an inveterate liar that nothing she says or for that matter which is said about her, can be relied on. This by the way applies to the whole story as Exley himself it is clear is a tremendous fantasizer, whose gift is not only fictionalizing reality but in letting his fantasies become his reality. The bottle apparently helps him in this. But the story of the brother is a moving one. Exley's description of the unit his brother is apart of coming to the Yalu river and looking out at vast wastes of Manchuria in the Korean War is a gripping one. His claim in the course of this that MacArthur actually knew the Chinese would make a counter- offensive that would decimate a large share of this unit is so far as I know not substantiated by evidence. But part of Exley's outrage is his sense that his brother and the grunts like him were betrayed by the military higher- ups . In fact one other fascinating side of Exley here and in his work is in general is in his involvement in and description of a very male world, the worlds of fighting and violence. This is brought out in other sections of the work when he is involved in bar- hopping with a character who proves to be incredibly violent. There is one description of a bar- fight in which this character goes overboard beating up and incapacitating two drunken construction workers. Clearly part of the charm of Exley was his toughness, a certain macho quality in his language. His work is in the tradition of Fielding's Tom Jon

An essential part of the Exley canon

This book is wonderful and should be read by all who love "A Fan's Notes." The unforgettable final image stays with me (don't want to put any spoilers in here, but check the cover illustration).

Lord Lisdoonvarna Delight

One of Mr. Exley's greatest: a whole pantheon of eclectic and original characters woven into Fred's life, from the redoubtable Lord Lisdoonvarna, Tobey and the Ass and Robin who likes to give ()... a book not to be missed. Read it with fresh eyes and think of Fred.
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