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The Last of the Savages Paperback – April 29, 1997


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The Last of the Savages + Brightness Falls + Story of My Life
Price for all three: $39.83

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 271 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; Reprint edition (April 29, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679749527
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679749523
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.3 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,000,569 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

McInerney recounts nearly three decades of history through the lives of prep school roommates Patrick Keane and Will Savage. Keane, the narrator, goes the corporate law route. Savage is the rebellious scion of an aristocratic family from the Deep South. Anxious to atone for the misdeeds of a family whose history includes the brutal suppression of a slave rebellion, Savage becomes a leader of the 1970s counterculture and, later, a music company executive whose mission is to record blues musicians. Along the way he marries a black singer at least in part to get a rise out of his family. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Affirming and wise, McInerney's latest (after Brightness Falls) opens in a setting familiar to other extraordinary American novels: the ivy-swaddled campus of a New England boarding school. Here, two students meet as roommates in the mid-1960s: Will Savage, a quixotic Southern bad boy bewitched by the blues, and Patrick Keane, the more reserved and ambitious narrator, bent on defying his humble origins. The two form one of youth's unlikely yet intangible friendships, permanently tethering their quite different paths. Will scours the back roads of the Delta for blues, quickly emerging as a player in the booming record industry, while Patrick grinds his way to the top of the country's elite academic and legal institutions. As Will disavows his old-fashioned, wealthy father, Patrick finds in the patriarch a beguiling mentor. Will is a radiant character?the sort of self-consuming talent who sinks his teeth into life's fruit while the rest of us wait in line?the sort we look upon, as Patrick does, with a volatile mix of admiration, pique and envy. With the humanity of an older man, yet with an accuracy that trips nerves long left for dead, Patrick recalls bygone days when, as he says at the end of this warm, wondrously empathetic work, "I knew, at least for a little while, what it was like to be free."
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Jay McInerney is the author of Bright Lights, Big City, Ransom, Story of My Life, Brightness Falls, The Last of the Savages, Model Behaviour, How It Ended and The Good Life. He lives in New York and Nashville.

Customer Reviews

My advice: READ THIS BOOK!
JohnWbanjo@aol.com
Last of the Savages has very well developed characters and tells an interesting story in a fairly complicated way.
Z. Freeman
LOS is, unfortunately, a really, really bad book.
"jaephraim"

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Z. Freeman VINE VOICE on October 16, 2006
Format: Paperback
Patrick Keane is recounting the history of his life, but as he's doing this we realize that really it's the history of his life as it pertains to Will Savage, his best friend and roommate from prep school who went on to become a huge record producer. A bit of the present is thrown into the mix, I guess to remind us that this is, in fact, history, but 95% of the book takes place in the past. At first this is a little strange and you wonder when the REAL action is going to take place, but once you realize that the back story IS the story, it's quite enjoyable.

McInerney makes his way through the 60's, 70's, and 80's, interweaving real events with fictional ones and real characters with fictional characters. It's an exciting read, and the writing style is very much in character for Patrick Keane, the narrator. At times you feel like big vocabulary words are thrown in just to impress, and when Patrick does just that in a letter to Will, it solidifies the idea that Patrick Keane, the grown-up, is the one telling the story. Patrick recounts the life of Will Savage in relation to the Savage family history, almost like a modern-day telling of the life of a prince, asserting that we do still live in times where royal families exist, and lineage does matter, when we're talking about money.

It's a great read, and definitely worth the time.

This novel is the fourth I've read by Jay McInerney (Bright Lights, Big City, Story of My Life, Ransom) and the first one that convinced me that he's actually a very talented writer. Ransom was a mediocre novel (at best), and both Bright Lights, Big City and Story of My Life were written in a meandering, almost intentionally pointless style. Last of the Savages has very well developed characters and tells an interesting story in a fairly complicated way.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Renee Thorpe on August 14, 2002
Format: Paperback
Tragic but always amusing tale of two friends, both divided and united by complex issues. Moves quickly, full of style and moments of brilliance. Probably one of the better novels about what it means to be hip, late sixties fashion.
McInerney has always liked creating parallel plots and metaphors in his writing; he does it best in this novel: Civil War, North and South, hip and square, gay and straight, black and white are explored in this very enjoyable if not exactly flawless novel.
McInerney is uneven in his conveyance of the language and taste of the hip, circa 60's and 70's: sometimes brilliant (descriptions of haute hippie home decor) sometimes bad (makes one character say "cut to the chase", a late 80's phrase, in the early 70's). But even when a character or some dialogue doesn't ring true, his writing certainly leads the reader into realms that do.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Brendan on March 22, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This book does not have the feel of all of the other novels by Jay McInerney. This work deviates from all of his other efforts. It is not as comical as past works. Not too pretensious.
What I like the most about this novel though, is the contrevorsy it stirs over, the Martin Luther King Jr. assassination as well as other historical events which took place during the 30 year span of this novel. It seems there is a little hint at hidden "facts" in this work of "fiction".
A must read for sociologists and contrevorsy theorists, and oh yeah the disciples of McInerney. Be forewarned disciples, this is not the usual Jay.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By JT was Here on February 8, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is highly underrated - I couldn't put it down, as the characters were so interesting and different.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 25, 1997
Format: Hardcover
I really liked this book. The two characters remained interesting throughout and the story ended believabley. I've read two other books by the author which I enjoyed but this one is my favorite. The writing seems more mature. Yes, it's a little pedantic and I did have to go to the dictionary one in a while, but it didn't mar my enjoyment of the story.
The first sentence really grabs you and I was pleased that the rest of the book wasn't a letdown after that. Will and Patrick were dynamic characters and I appreciated the bond which formed between the two of them as one conforms to rebel and the other rebels to conform.
On the surface the book is really about "white boy" problems that anyone who makes less than $100,000.00 a year couldn't really care about. But then, this is what Mr. McInerney writes about so the reader should be pre-warned before shelling out his hard earned bucks for one of his books. Once you get past this obstacle, there really is some wonderful writing and character development.
I thought the end was especially good when Patrick and Will have their last conversation. I felt they both assumed as youths, that happiness in life required some type of affirmation which ultimately, they both found incorrect. It is the choices we consciously make that determine who we are and we determine the degree of our life's successes. Will and Patrick end up as who they are because of their choices, the only "divine intervention" in the story is the families into which they were born.
The only part of the book I found a little ridiculous was Will's post-prep school years when he's off discovering the world. In the last fifty years Somerset Maughm did that "Razor's Edge" thing better than anyone, that man's search for truth, yada, yada, yada. It's old and tired and these worldwide treks should really be edited into a sentence or two.
Overall, I'd recommend this book.
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