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About the book
  • Published: 1 February 2011
  • ISBN: 9781409090731
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 272

The Last Weekend

Set over a long weekend in East Anglia, Blake Morrison’s new novel is a taut, atmospheric, brilliantly chilling story of a rivalrous friendship and of the green-eyed monster that eats the soul.

Set over a long weekend in East Anglia, Blake Morrison’s new novel is the chilling story of a rivalrous friendship – as told with deceptive casualness by the narrator, Ian. It opens with a surprise phone call from an old university friend, inviting Ian and his wife, Em, for a few days by the sea. Their hosts, Ollie and Daisy, are a golden couple, and the scene is set for sunlit relaxation. But dangerous tensions quickly emerge.

In taut, lucid prose, with flashes of wit and moments of troubling uncertainty, Blake Morrison perfectly conveys the stifling atmosphere of a remote cottage in the hottest days of summer. Ominous revelations from Ian’s past slowly intrude. And his rivalry with Ollie intensifies as they resurrect a seemingly forgotten bet made twenty years before. Each day becomes a series of challenges for higher and higher stakes, setting in train actions that will have irreversible consequences.

The Last Weekend is a deftly crafted page-turner, where little can be taken for granted and nothing is quite as it seems. It offers a dark, haunting tale of friendship, sexual passion and jealousy – and confirms Blake Morrison’s reputation as one of Britain’s most unpredictable and talented writers.

  • Pub date: 1 February 2011
  • ISBN: 9781409090731
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 272

About the Author

Blake Morrison

Born in Skipton, Yorkshire, Blake Morrison is the author of bestselling memoirs, And When Did You Last See Your Father? (winner of the J.R. Ackerley Prize for Autobiography and the Esquire Award for Non-Fiction) and Things My Mother Never Told Me ('the must read book of the year' - Tony Parsons),. He also wrote a study of the disturbing child murder, the Bulger case, As If. His acclaimed recent novels include South of the River and The Last Weekend. He is also a poet, critic, journalist and librettist. He lives in South London.

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Praise for The Last Weekend

“An insidiously gripping tale”

Country Life

“A compelling psychological thriller that, in parts, will cause you to actually flinch”

Ben Felsenberg, Metro

“Morrison's Last Weekend is delightfully twisted”

David Mills, Esquire

“This is one achievement among several for Blake Morrison, who has written a novel that is at once artful and naturalistic, restrained and yet suggestive, and faithful to a perspective from which the readers wants to recoil”

Stephen Abell, Times Literary Supplement

“The story is beautifully crafted, astutely observed and peopled with believable characters.”

David Robson, Sunday Telegraph

“Morrison handles the elements of his novel with impeccable control”

Stephanie Merritt, Observer

“The fascination is horrible, the prose addictive, the situation magnificently claustrophobic, the denouement shocking”

Glasgow Herald

“Morrison has created far more than a sinister take on the country-house novel... This is a suspenseful thriller, but more importantly it succeeds as an exceedingly clever investigation into the strangeness of lies”

Christian House, Independent on Sunday

“The fascination is horrible, the prose addictive, the situation magnificently claustrophobic, the denouement shocking, the plausibility questionable. In short, magnificently awful”

Alan Taylor, The Herald

“Gripping...a masterpiece of pacing and revelation”

Irish Times

“A compelling thriller”


“A terrific thriller, a page-turner of impressive literary skill”

Sunday Business Post

“It is the assuredness of Morrison's portrayal of Ian's descent which makes The Last Weekend compelling - and lifts a familiar...story skilfully above the commonplace”

Matthew Dennison, The Independent

“His truly sensational latest novel, which places him at the forefront of British novelists writing today”

Sunday Express

“Creepy and compelling, but also often extremely funny. Blake Morrison has inhabited the world of a deeply flawed character with unforgettable results.”

Mark Bostridge, Financial Times

“Tautly written and tightly structured, this is a novel that explores jealousy, rivalry, deceit and manipulation.”

Mail on Sunday

“Warner navigates the comic, the philosophical and the socially acute like no other writer we have”


“Played refreshingly uncliched games with the device of the unreliable narrator.”

Jonathan Coe, Daily Telegraph, Christmas round up

“Blake Morrison's examination of the dark heart of male rivalry makes foe a gripping read”

Aminatta Forna, Sunday Telegraph, Christmas round up

“Pacy and gripping.... wonderfully atmospheric”

Good Book Guide

“Morrison's compelling study of male competitiveness offers a discomforting account of the amoral excuses and self-deception of the compulsive gambler: "I don't have a problem. I could stop tomorrow"; "gambling is the basis of our whole economy". You reckon you could put it down at any point - though you'd be kidding yourself.”

Alfred Hickling, Guardian

“The Bank Holiday weekend from hell is the subject of Blake Morrison's entertaining new novel - a dark little tale about middle-class rivalry and midsummer meltdown. With an ear attuned to metropolitan pretension - modern parenting skills are sent up with gusto - Morrison succeeds in weaving a murderous melodrama that is grounded in the most recognizable of human impulses and desires”

Emma Hagestadt, Independent

“A tense chamber piece about a twisted friendship...the author's skilful choreography of unsympathetic characters and a menacing tone make for a sharply intelligent novel that is both unnerving and enjoyable.”

Financial Times

“The Last Weekend isn't really a thriller though its well-paced, tight and gripping narrative has you reaching for the same adjectives that you would use to describe one”

Paul Dunn, The Times

“An unsettling psychological thriller in which nothing, including the protagonists, is what it seems”

Blake Morrison, Irish Times

“This is a seriously good novel and it deserves to overtake a few more loudly trumpeted false favourites in the popularity and prize stakes”

The Lady

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