Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

  • List Price: $18.00
  • Save: $4.39 (24%)
FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
The Last Gentleman: A Nov... has been added to your Cart
+ $3.99 shipping
Used: Very Good | Details
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Ex-Library Book - will contain Library Markings. Book shows a small amount of wear - very good condition. Selection as wide as the Mississippi.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 3 images

The Last Gentleman: A Novel Paperback – September 4, 1999

3.8 out of 5 stars 48 customer reviews

See all 27 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$13.61
$5.59 $3.55

Midair
Four girls on a trip to Paris suddenly find themselves in a high-stakes game of Truth or Dare that spirals out of control. Learn More
$13.61 FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books. In Stock. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Frequently Bought Together

  • The Last Gentleman: A Novel
  • +
  • The Moviegoer
  • +
  • Love in the Ruins
Total price: $37.32
Buy the selected items together


Editorial Reviews

Review

“Brilliant...It shimmers with the chaste and civilized ornaments of irony, understatement, and compassion.” ―Time

From the Publisher

"Brilliant...it shimmers with the chaste and civilized ornaments of irony, understatement, and compassion." --Time "Splendid...a beautifully textured novel...a distinguished work of art." --New York Times Book Review

"Lovely and brilliant...a highly whimsical kind of picaresque tale that puts one in mind of both Faulkner and Canneau." --Joyce Carol Oates, The Nation

"Breaks your heart in the midst of laughter." --Philadelphia Inquirer

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

The latest book club pick from Oprah
"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead is a magnificent novel chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. See more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Picador; 1 edition (September 4, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312243081
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312243081
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.1 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #549,492 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
Marooned in New York City, displaced Southerner Will Barrett finds himself utterly abstracted
from his world and himself. When a chance encounter in Central Park leads him to make the
acquaintance of the Vaughts, fellow Southerners who knew his father, Will embarks on a journey
that he hopes will tell him what he desperately needs to know. What does he need to know?
If Will knew the answer to that, he wouldn't need the Vaughts, or the South, or the haunted
memory of his father. Traversing the country, Will seeks the one man he believes will tell
him what to do. Percy not only weaves a lush character study of lost Will, but realizes
a profound meditation on the nature of identity, place, and home. Above all, like any
good picaresque novel, Will's journey is not so much about the end, but about what he discovers along the way. However, as a testament to
Percy's imagination and probity, Will's final destination provides nothing less than utter
revelation. I closed this book and jumped out of bed immediately, my breath coming in gulps
as I absorbed and processed what Walker Percy had taught me with such love, patience, beauty
and truth.
3 Comments 62 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
Deceptively meandering at first, slow to take root in the mind, Percy's 'The Last Gentleman' will reward persistent readers with an egrossing and entertaining characterization of the human condition. Will Barrett is the literary everyman who is never happy when things are pleasant, never satisfied at the feast, never more invigorated than when his contemporaries feel hopeless. And he doesn't have any idea why. A richly sympbolic telescope brings him into an encounter with a lovely young woman, a dying youth, a pornographic and incompetent doctor and a 'mean as hell' nun - all in the same family. While Barrett travels with this crew and ponders the unanswerable questions that continue to plague him, he becomes aware that the sick youth's 'salvation' may be 'up to' him. This is a skillful novel with elusive, eclectic characters surrounding a young protagonist whose only crime is an honest search for the truth, so that his life will take on some real meaning. The scene where Barrett converses with the nun while she feeds viscera to a bird of prey is particularly insightful and stimulating. A meaty, complex, thinking-person's novel.
Comment 26 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
By A Customer on February 21, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Will Barrett, often bemused, confused, and having the uncanny ability to take on the characteristics of others to fit in as needed, seeks the meaning of life through his telescope (his powers of observation as well as a literal telescope), and a journey prompted by a girl he spys on in Central Park. While Will feels lost to himself, struggling with modern morality, the "new" South, and his family history, those he meets on his often humorous journey from New York back to the South, and finally, the new frontier of the West, often mistake him as the salvation to ease their own paths. Walker Percy is the master of fusing philosopy, religion, and an examination of the pitfalls in modern life with humor and storytelling.
Comment 20 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
I recently read The Moviegoer by Percy, and I would definately rate it as my favorite novel. I was really excited to pick of The Last Gentleman as my second Percy novel, and though I would not rate it as highly as The Moviegoer, it was far from a disappointment. It is certainly a book that I will cherish among my very favorites.
The primary character of the novel is Bill Barrett (who is more often called the engineer). The engineer suffers from amnesia and periods of deja vu, and he reads about a near-apocolyptic catostrophe and wonders if it has already happened. He is the lost (dead) American. One day, looking through his telescope, he sees a girl, and the result is that he becomes involved with her family the Vaughts. The relationship with them ends up sending him on a journey through the South and on to New Mexico, a journey in which he gains a type of salvation.
One of Percy's primary beliefs about novel writing was that it should be entertaining, and The Last Gentleman succeeds. It is at times hilarious and is often moving. It is true that there are periods where it drags a little, but the truths Percy presents more than make up for those sections. The Last Gentleman is a supremely beautiful, entertaining, and thoughtful novel.
Comment 14 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
I just finished this book and wanted to get out a review while my memory was still fresh. I consumed The Last Gentleman in small doses because there was just so much. It's still settling but I think I'll have to re-read it anyhow. Where to begin? The engineer is an ideal narrater because he is such an excellent observer. That's what he does after all, views from afar, with a telescope even in the beginning of the story. He's not sure why he is where he is (did I mention that he's amnesiac) and in getting his bearings is by necesssity very keen in observing people and places. Yet despite the absurdity of his condition his actions remain plausable and despite being a dreamer he is at times the most grounded character in the novel.
What does the engineer observe? A confused, whimsical belle named Kitty who is his love, and the displaced family around her. Her con artist (in a benevolent way) of a father, her mystic, lewd brother Sutter and her mystic, martyr sister Val, her sickly brother Jamie, and finally her caretaker for a sister-in-law. In a odyssey of absurdity the engineer travels from New York City to Carolina and finally to New Mexico, facing irate Pennsylvanians and rioting students, even the police in his native town. He does so with his keen eye and lack of dishonesty, eventually untangling his love Kitty from the "loving" clutches of her sister-in-law and caring for his friend and Kitty's brother Jamie on his deathbed, leaving a wake of bewildered men and women. A great read that takes time to ingest, and who knows how long to digest.
Comment 15 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

The Last Gentleman: A Novel
Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway
This item: The Last Gentleman: A Novel

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?