• The Last Days of Roger Federer

  • And Other Endings
  • By: Geoff Dyer
  • Narrated by: Richard Burnip
  • Length: 11 hrs and 31 mins
  • 4.0 out of 5 stars (21 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

National Book Critics Circle Award-winning author Geoff Dyer—“one of our greatest living critics” (New York Magazine)—presents an extended meditation on the late styles and last works of some of the world’s most gifted and celebrated people.

Much attention has been paid to so-called late style—but what about last style? When does last begin? How early is late? When does the end set in? In this endlessly stimulating and ingeniously structured investigation, Geoff Dyer sets his own encounter with late middle age against the last days and last achievements of writers, painters, athletes, and musicians who’ve mattered to him throughout his life. With a playful charm and penetrating intelligence, he examines Friedrich Nietzsche’s breakdown in Turin, Bob Dylan’s reinventions of old songs, J. M. W. Turner’s paintings of abstracted light, John Coltrane’s cosmic melodies, Jean Rhys’ return from the dead (while still alive), and Beethoven’s final quartets—and considers the intensifications and modifications of experience that come when an ending is within sight. Oh, and there’s stuff about Roger Federer and tennis, too.

Ranging from the Doors and an attempted DMT breakthrough to Victorian landscapes and poetry, Dyer’s book on last things—written while life as we know it seemed to be coming to an end—is also a book about how to go on living with art and beauty, on the entrancing effect and sudden illumination that an Art Pepper solo or an Annie Dillard reflection can engender in even the most jaded sensibilities. Praised by Steve Martin for his “hilarious tics” and by Tom Bissell as “perhaps the most bafflingly great prose writer at work in the English language today”, Dyer has now blended criticism, memoir, and serious banter into something entirely new. The Last Days of Roger Federer is a summation of Dyer’s passions and the perfect introduction to his sly and joyous work.

©2022 Geoff Dyer (P)2022 Macmillan Audio

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The title is false advertising

I love many of Dyer's books, and enjoyed an essay he wrote years ago about tennis. So I was disappointed when I listened to this book expecting it to be about Roger Federer. It's only marginally about tennis. What it is is Dyer's musings on "endings" in life and art. Those are often fascinating, but I wish he'd been more honest in titling and introducing the book. Call it "Endings" and explain at the start that it's really a random collection of thoughts on that theme. This would have made me more accepting of its lack of organization and direction, instead of feeling slightly cheated. That said, I still listened with interest to the whole book.

1 person found this helpful