Picture of author.

Graham Swift (1) (1949–)

Author of Last Orders

For other authors named Graham Swift, see the disambiguation page.

20+ Works 9,665 Members 253 Reviews 3 Favorited

About the Author

British novelist Graham Swift was born in London on May 4, 1949. He attended Cambridge University and York University. Swift has written five novels, including Waterland. (Bowker Author Biography) Novelist Graham Swift was born in London, England on May 4, 1949. He attended Cambridge University show more where he received a B.A. in 1970, and an M.A. in 1975. He also attended York University from 1970-73. He taught English part time at several London Colleges between the years 1974 to1983. Swift's fiction tends to touch upon the subject of World War II as well as exploring the larger subject of history. "Waterland" established Swift's reputation and was made into a major film. He also wrote "Last Orders" and his novels have won a variety of prestigious literary awards and have been widely translated. Swift was an avid fisherman and co-edited an anthology of fishing in literature. (Bowker Author Biography) show less
Image credit: Ekko von Schwichow

Works by Graham Swift

Last Orders (1996) 2,745 copies
Waterland (1983) 2,373 copies
The Light of Day (2003) 890 copies
Mothering Sunday (2016) 809 copies
Tomorrow (2007) 470 copies
Ever After (1992) 433 copies
Wish You Were Here (2011) 310 copies
Shuttlecock (1981) 307 copies
Out of This World (1988) 305 copies
The Sweet Shop Owner (1980) 280 copies
Here We Are (2020) 276 copies
England and Other Stories (2014) 152 copies
Chemistry (2008) 4 copies
Su Diyari (2007) 3 copies
Swift Graham 1 copy
Regimybės: romanas (2020) 1 copy

Associated Works

The Penguin Book of Modern British Short Stories (1989) — Contributor — 423 copies
Granta 65: London (1999) — Contributor — 218 copies
Granta 87: Jubilee! The 25th Anniversary Issue (2004) — Contributor — 199 copies
Granta 52: Food : The Vital Stuff (1995) — Contributor — 146 copies
Granta 30: New Europe (1990) — Contributor — 146 copies
Granta 69: The Assassin (2000) — Contributor — 127 copies
Granta 36: Vargas Llosa for President (1991) — Contributor — 126 copies
Granta 7: Best of Young British Novelists (1983) — Contributor — 91 copies
Granta 9: John Berger, Boris (1983) — Contributor — 43 copies
Beach : Stories by the Sand and Sea (2000) — Contributor — 32 copies
Last Orders [2001 film] (2001) — Original Book — 31 copies
AQA Anthology (2002) — Author, some editions — 19 copies


Common Knowledge

Legal name
Swift, Graham Colin
London, England, UK



Somehow this book just completely failed to make any sort of impression on me at all. It follows three people who are in show business as magicians in the 1950s, and flashes back to their childhoods and forward to their old age. The main character was an evacuee in WWII as a child, and was sent to live in an idyllic home where his host family taught him to be a stage magician. He later recruits a couple to join his act, and the relationship between the three of them gets complicated.

I think the book was fine? The characters were reasonably interesting and well-developed? The writing was pretty good? I dunno... I don't really have any complaints about the book, but I don't really have any praise for it either.… (more)
Gwendydd | 14 other reviews | Oct 22, 2023 |
Reason read: Booker award winner of 1996, by Graham Swift of a journey that group of war veterans make from Bermondsey to Margate to spread the ashes of one of them who has died. This book reminded me of As I Lay Dying by Faulkner and I guess the author did write this in homage to Faulkner. Last Orders can stand for the wish of the dead man to have his ashes scattered at sea or the last call for drinks at a bar. I liked the story well enough but I do think I liked As I Lay Dying more.
Kristelh | 42 other reviews | Sep 4, 2023 |
Firstly this book is a lot shorter than it appears, the print is big and there are many small chapters. I got through it very quickly. It starts off in a pub and spends quite a lot of time there throughout the book. It covers a day when 4 men take a friends ashes from London to Margate to scatter them into the sea, but as the day progresses we hear more about their lives, relationships, families, and past history. Its a bit bloke-centric but overall I liked how the emotional background between them all gradually revealed itself in a quiet unassuming way.… (more)
AlisonSakai | 42 other reviews | Jul 12, 2023 |
A thorough drawing and development of characters, but a little over written given an obsessive and unpromising love story about a private investigator and a gaoled woman who has murdered her cheating husband. It is good because it's written by Graham Swift who always delivers quality.
ivanfranko | 27 other reviews | May 8, 2023 |



You May Also Like

Associated Authors

Arto Häilä Translator
Fred Marcellino Cover artist, Cover designer
Simon Prebble Narrator
Rien Verhoef Translator


Also by
½ 3.6

Charts & Graphs