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Publisher's Summary

Winner of the Booker Prize 1996

Four men once close to Jack Dodds, a London butcher, meet to carry out his peculiar last wish: to have his ashes scattered into the sea at Margate. For reasons best known to herself, Jack’s widow, Amy, declines to join them..... 

On the surface a simple tale of an increasingly bizarre day’s outing, this Booker Prize-winning, internationally acclaimed novel is a resonant and classic exploration of the complexity and courage of ordinary lives. Intensely local but overwhelmingly universal, faithful to the fleeting rhythms and accidental eloquence of everyday speech but also to the timeless truths of life and death, it succeeds in being comic and heartstopping, affectionate and wise, and in conferring on its stumbling, disappointed characters an enduring decency, dignity and depth.

©1996 Graham Swift (P)2019 Simon & Schuster Audio

Critic Reviews

"A surpassing testament to Swift’s vibrant and powerful gifts." (The Times)

"A triumph [...] a story about the most fundamental things of all." (Evening Standard)

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  • Michael Hurley
  • 25-09-2019

Wish I could give it 6 stars.

This has always been one of my favourite books. It does as it says - depicts the ordinary lives of ordinary people, and does it brilliantly. Moreover the evocation of working class South Londoners is magnificent, but would be recognised by people anywhere. Phil Davis' reading is just right, and he creates the perfect "pitch". I can't reccomend this audiobook highly enough.

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  • Peter Grumpy
  • 10-08-2021

a real slice of the old East End

Far too much writing today concentrates on the Krays, gangs and violence. This book focuses on ex-servicemen and their families dealing with the aftermath of war and the changes that disrupt the traditional way of life.
The reading is superb, accents totally authentic. A joy start to finish.

In the spirit of reconciliation, Audible Australia acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.