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The Last Night at the Ritz (Nancy Pearl's Book Lust Rediscoveries) [Kindle Edition]

Elizabeth Savage , Nancy Pearl
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (98 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $14.95
Kindle Price: $3.99
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Book Lust Rediscoveries
Nancy Pearl's Book Lust Rediscoveries series
Book Lust Rediscoveries is devoted to reprinting some of the best (and now out of print) novels originally published between 1960-2000. Each book is personally selected by librarian Nancy Pearl and includes an introduction and discussion questions. Browse more novels in Nancy Pearl's Book Lust Rediscoveries series.

Book Description

Brazen, candid, and always willing to take chances, the unnamed and not entirely trustworthy narrator of The Last Night at the Ritz celebrates her birthday with three old and dear friends. Two of them, Gay and Len, are a long-married couple and her best friends from college. The third, Wes, was once her lover.

Organizing a luncheon at Boston’s esteemed Ritz Carlton—an old favorite of the group’s—the narrator expects the occasion will be an excellent chance to catch up with her friends and enjoy each other’s company. But almost immediately upon arriving at the hotel, she senses things are different, though she can’t quite put her finger on what’s wrong. Even the Ritz has changed, no longer displaying the lion—its trademark symbol of hospitality—on its ashtrays.

As the afternoon gives way to evening and as the drinks flow, the past and present intrude upon the festivities and the atmosphere turns somber. Before the night is through, truths and secrets slip out that will change their relationships forever.

Back in print for the first time in a generation, The Last Night at the Ritz, a masterfully written novel of friendship and love and the ways we deceive each other and ourselves, is quite simply unforgettable.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Elizabeth Savage was the acclaimed author of numerous novels, including The Girls of the Five Great Valleys, Summer of Pride, But Not for Love, A Fall of Angels, and Happy Ending. She lived in Maine and was married to the novelist Thomas Savage. She died in 1989.

Nancy Pearl is a librarian and lifelong reader. She regularly comments on books on National Public Radio’s Morning Edition. Her books include 2003’s Book Lust: Recommended Reading for Every Mood, Moment and Reason, 2005’s More Book Lust: 1,000 New Reading Recommendations for Every Mood, Moment and Reason; Book Crush: For Kids and Teens: Recommended Reading for Every Mood, Moment, and Interest, published in 2007, and 2010’s Book Lust To Go: Recommended Reading for Travelers, Vagabonds, and Dreamers. Among her many awards and honors are the 2011 Librarian of the Year Award from Library Journal; the 2011 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association; the 2010 Margaret E. Monroe Award from the Reference and Users Services Association of the American Library Association; and the 2004 Women's National Book Association Award, given to "a living American woman who …has done meritorious work in the world of books beyond the duties or responsibilities of her profession or occupation."

Product Details

  • File Size: 352 KB
  • Print Length: 212 pages
  • Publisher: AmazonEncore (October 2, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007IWF6FW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #112,485 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
"There is no knowledge like the bitter knowledge of old loves." This sentence, appearing early in the novel, pretty much sums it up. The unnamed narrator has had a complicated relationship with her "best friend" Gay since they first met in college 30 years before. Their story is told in interior monologue formed of reminisces and flashbacks over the course of a day in which the two women meet at the Ritz in Boston, but this is a tricky novel and all is not as it first appears. As revelations develop, we realize our narrator is not being entirely truthful with either us or herself. Thanks to Nancy Pearl for resuscitating this fine book which is far from dated, reads more like a time capsule. Two eras are beautifully rendered, that of the college days of the two leading ladies, and their world 30 years following that and their take on the encroachment of a younger, freer generation with bare feet and peace symbols embroidered on their butts. This is a wonderful novel of manners of that transitional time, beautifully written with memorable lines including my favorite: "It is very dangerous to get caught without something to read."
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Intimacy at a remove... October 6, 2012
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Elizabeth Savage wrote and published her novel, "The Last Night at the Ritz" in 1973, which is a fact worth noting when reading it today. It has been reissued as part of the "Nancy Pearl's Book Lust Rediscoveries" series. Events in the early 1970's to which Savage alludes are as much at a "remove" from the reader as the feelings that are expressed by the unnamed narrator to those events. "Ritz" is a cool book on the surface with a fair amount going on with the characters. Unfortunately, I couldn't establish a lot of connection with the characters, and their problems left me somewhat cold. Now, that doesn't mean "Ritz" is a bad book; it isn't at all. It's just a little like reading a book about the natives of some Pacific Island; you close the book after finishing it and say, "oh, that was interesting". And then go on with your day.

The main characters - two former college roommates at an unnamed coed college in Maine - meet up in Boston for a visit. The "unnamed narrator" - who I will refer to as "UN" - has a tangled past with her roommate and the roommate's husband of 30 or so years. They all attended college together in the late 1930's and the husband, like many of his contemporaries went into service in WW2. He came back to a bride and a job in the publishing industry in Boston. They had two sons together, who, by the early 1970's were part of that disaffected generation - my generation - tangling with the societal mores of the time, as well as the ever-present Vietnam War draft. The sons of Gay and Len were a tangential - but important - part of the story because their lives affected those of their parents.

The narrator, Gay, Len, and several others - (including an old lover of the "UN") drink. They drink a lot. That was fairly common in that generation.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Unique and unnerving September 3, 2012
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I'm a big fan of Nancy Pearl and her Book Lust series. I've never been disappointed by her recommendations. I especially loved another in the Book Lust Rediscoveries series - After Life by Rhian Ellis. But this one took some warming up to. Initially, I thought that was due to the fact that it was written years ago and during the era in which it's placed, I was too young to have the same mindset as the unnamed narrator and her genteel friends, Gay, her husband Len and several other peripheral characters, past and present. But I continued to read because the writing style is so delightfully unusual, you are drawn into the stories -- and indeed, there are many stories and reminiscences -- and the writing is truly unique. There are many disturbing events in the book and shockers abound but the narrator is the type who rolls with the punches and that keeps the reader's attention. This book won't be everyone's cup of tea but it should be experienced because it unnerves you and isn't that the true test of great literature? That you should feel something you've not felt before? The narrator and the author think so, and now I do, too.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Go to the Ritz November 16, 2012
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This book was chosen as part of the Book Lust series - books that different NPR commentators select. Nancy Pearl explains the reason for her choice in an excellent introduction. It makes one anxious to read the book; but at many points that does not carry through in reality.

The narrator of the book is never named and the book consists of her reminiscences of life with her friends that she is meeting once again. For a storyline that does contain many memorable phrases and recollections, it can be vague and confusing countless times.

The narrator says she is not sleeping with Wes, when, at that point we really have no real idea of who this person is. The narrator, at another instance states, part way through the story, "I had my own thing too that I wasn't ready to think about." This part of the plot, even at the end is vague and for what has been a narrator who reveals all. It makes no sense that this part of the story is veiled in secrecy, even at the end.
It leaves the reader with an unsatisfying conclusion.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Boring October 24, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I chose Last Night at the Ritz because the reviews seemed very good. However, I found the book to be boring and had trouble staying interested. I would not recommend it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
Didn't hold my interest.
Published 11 days ago by Mary Meyer
4.0 out of 5 stars much better read than listened to
I started to listen to this but wasn't enjoying it. The reader had a snotty attitude that made me dislike the narrator. Read more
Published 3 months ago by JAne
4.0 out of 5 stars Recommend.
An interesting book. Recommend.
Published 6 months ago by Bernadette Hackett
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Well-written and enjoyable!
Published 7 months ago by Linda Hargreaves
5.0 out of 5 stars Really beautiful
And unexpectedly so. Classic, dignified prose. She should be considered one of our major U.S. post mid-century voices. A stunning read.
Published 8 months ago by air223452
4.0 out of 5 stars A real stroll backwards
A good read though you have to pay attention to make sure that you do not miss anything. I found it great fun as I am just old enough to remember when the old Ritz banned mini... Read more
Published 9 months ago by mlouise
5.0 out of 5 stars Last Night at the Ritz
This is a fascinating read with multiple levels of engagement. It keeps providing new twists and revelations right up to the last page. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Amazon Customer
2.0 out of 5 stars This author rambled too much for me!
I kept waiting for something more. Although there were a few interesting thoughts in this book, I was overall disappointed
Published 11 months ago by Jcop
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read
One of the best books that I have read for a long time. Tender story told with insight and love.
Published 11 months ago by James G. Brock
3.0 out of 5 stars Weak beginning, strong ending
I almost didn't make it to Nancy Pearl's 50 page minimum before putting this book down. At first I found the characters shallow and unappealing--but the writing and the... Read more
Published 11 months ago by N. Kreis
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