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Graham Swift was born in 1949, he wrote five other novels.
Jack , a big, muscular butcher, is the dead man in the story this are his friends whom all like a drink in the pub:
Ray, also called Lucky, is a friend of Jack. He is an insurer and a good gambler.
Lenny met Jack in the army, his daughter Sally was an early girlfriend of Vince.
Vince is the adopted son of Jack.
Vic is from the funeral services.
Amy is Jack?s wife.
Explanation of the title:
The title refers to the last wishes of Jack, to disperse his ash into the sea.
Because all the characters know each other well and frequent go to the Pub called The Coach, it refers also to the final drink order before closing time.
When and where:
It is a journey from Bermondsey to Margate.
It is a day in April, it was a nice day and at the and it started to rain.
After the death of Jack, his four friends are going to disperse his ash into the sea. Amy did not want to make this journey . She was going to visit their daughter June, who has been in an institution for over 50 years. Jack has never visited June. Amy visited June twice a week for over fifty years but even then June don?t recognised Amy, June has never wait for her or longing for her coming. Amy don?t like this but she kept visiting her.
Vince is the driver of the trip. He arrives at the pub to meet the others in one of the cars form his showroom. A very nice car, to give Jack a real treat. Vince is sceptical about his stepfather?s friends who fought together in the desert and cling to old ways.
Vic is the next person in the car, he is a bloke. Ray is often the narrator, when they are in the pub or at the various places along the way. He has got flashbacks about Jack and his own life. Lenny is the last one, he had no car and no shop to speak of, he was just scratching a living. His daughter Sally went often with Jack and Amy to the sea, she was a girl friend of Vince.
These men make this journey to fulfil the final orders of their mate. It is a trip from Bermondsey to Margate. Sometimes they stop to drink something it a pub. Once they stopped, and they went in a church. They remember his past and their own. They share conversation and memories. The journey becomes their journey through life. Their lives have been examined when they have reached the pier at Margate.
The theme of the book is friendship. The journey wouldn?t have to being made if they weren?t friends of Jack. It refers also to June and Amy. Amy was still coming to June, but June don?t even recognized her.
Point of view:
The perspective exchange from man to man. The book has got very small chapters and in every chapter somebody else is talking.
I agree with all the others who gave their opinion about the book. Like Times Literary Supplement who thought it was an emotionally book and Sunday times who found it a triumph, or the Daily mail who described the book as a comical book.
It is very emotional because of the reason they make the trip. A friend of them died and that is not something funny. But there are very funny parts in the book, which makes sure the book is not to depressed.
One thing that made it a little difficult was the dialect in the book. There is a Cockney-dialect in the book which made thing sometimes not understandable. Sometimes it was also a bit confusing because of the changing perspectives.
Swift werd in Dublin geboren uit Engelse ouders. Zijn vader was zeven maanden eerder overleden en Swift werd opgevoed door zijn oom Godwin. Hij behaalde in 1686 zijn Bachelor of Arts-graad aan de Universiteit van Dublin en studeerde verder voor een Master-graad. Door politieke omstandigheden werd hij echter gedwongen de studie af te breken en hij verliet het land om bij zijn moeder in Leicester te gaan wonen (in 1692 zou hij alsnog zijn Master of Arts-graad behalen, aan de Universiteit van Oxford). Al spoedig daarna deed zich de gelegenheid voor om als secretaris te gaan werken voor Sir William Temple, oud-gezant van Engeland in Den Haag. Daar ontmoette hij de achtjarige Esther Johnson, de dochter van de jonggestorven zakenman Edward Johnson. Hij noemde haar Stella en zou voor de rest van haar leven een sterke emotionele binding met haar behouden.
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