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Famous Last Words [Paperback]

Timothy Findley
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
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Product Description

From Amazon

Like it 1977 predecessor The Wars, Timothy Findley's 1981 Famous Last Words ruthlessly examines the (often violent) nature of social division and union, as well as the making of history. Together these two novels mark the peak of Findley's career. While the slim Wars focuses largely on a single Canadian soldier in the First World War, Famous Last Words observes the next war--sometimes in the wings, sometimes from a distant office--through expatriate American writer Hugh Selwyn Mauberley. The title character in a well-known poem by the infamous Ezra Pound ("born / In a half savage country-- / Bent resolutely on wringing lilies from the acorn"), Mauberley gives Findley a focus point for his forceful moral questions. Can bad people produce good art? (Good anything?) Are actions really excused by explanations?

Findley's career as a professional actor is nowhere more present than in this fascinating novel of revelatory props, coded dialogue, and emblematic settings. Mauberley's participation in an international cabal of intelligentsia and power brokers also lends Famous Last Words the suspense of an espionage novel. This fictional group, devoted to creating a new, post-national Europe, anticipates the migrant fixations of so many of Findley's fellow Canadian novelists. Like the characters of Mordecai Richler, Rohinton Mistry, Guy Vanderhaeghe, and Mavis Gallant, Findley's Mauberley is, in Michael Ondaatje's phrase, another "international bastard--born in one place and choosing to live elsewhere. Fighting to get back to or get away from our homelands all our lives." --Darryl Whetter --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"...has the reader on the edge of his seat with suspense and wonder."— -- The Globe and Mail

"Famous Last Words is a brilliant novel, a great one."— -- The Edmonton Journal

"Famous Last Words is part thriller, part horror story; it's also a meditation on history and the human soul and it is Findley's fine achievement that he had combined these elements into a web that constantly surprises and astounds the reader."— -- The Toronto Star --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Timothy Findley (1930-2002) was one of Canada's most compelling and best-loved writers. He is the author of The Wars, which won the Governor General's Award and established him as one of Canada's leading writers, as well as Pilgrim and The Piano Man's Daughter, both finalists for The Giller Prize. His other novels, Headhunter, The Telling of Lies, The Last of the Crazy People, The Butterfly Plague, Famous Last Words, Not Wanted on the Voyage, and Spadework; his novella, You Went Away; and his short fiction, Dinner Along the Amazon, Stones, and Dust to Dust, have won numerous awards and are well loved both in Canada and internationally.

Elizabeth Rex won the Governor General's Award for Drama and The Stillborn Lover won a Chalmers Award. His works of non-fiction include Inside Memory and From Stone Orchard.

Timothy Findley was made an Officer of the Order of Canada and a Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.

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