This Party's Got to Stop

Rupert Thomson

This Party's Got to Stop

On a warm, sunny day in July 1964, Thomson returned home from school to discover that his mother had died suddenly while playing tennis. Twenty years later, Thomson and his brothers get word that their father, who suffered chronic lung damage during the war, has died alone in hospital. In an attempt to come to terms both with their own loss and with their parents' legacies, the three brothers move back into their father's house. The time they spend in this decadent, anarchic commune leads to a rift between Thomson and his youngest brother, a rift that will not be addressed for more than two decades. 3.3 out of 5 based on 8 reviews
This Party's Got to Stop

Omniscore:

Classification Non-fiction
Genre Biography
Format Hardback
Pages 272
RRP £16.99
Date of Publication April 2010
ISBN 978-1847081629
Publisher Granta Books
 

On a warm, sunny day in July 1964, Thomson returned home from school to discover that his mother had died suddenly while playing tennis. Twenty years later, Thomson and his brothers get word that their father, who suffered chronic lung damage during the war, has died alone in hospital. In an attempt to come to terms both with their own loss and with their parents' legacies, the three brothers move back into their father's house. The time they spend in this decadent, anarchic commune leads to a rift between Thomson and his youngest brother, a rift that will not be addressed for more than two decades.

Reviews

The Independent

Boyd Tonkin

Do not go to this book for grief counselling or for self-help sententiousness. It does not tell; it shows ... It sketches feelings and relationships — the conspiratorial closeness of son and father after Wendy's death; the "shared history" with Ralph that persists through long years of suspicion — with imagistic tact and grace.

16/04/2010

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The Observer

Julie Myerson

I read this entire memoir with my breath held. It's a piece of writing so desperately honest, so full of warmth and unease and emotional daring, that you can't help but be pulled along.

28/03/2010

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The Times

Angus Clarke

It is a clever, funny book, uncomfortably honest and in places even — if you can ignore the sneaking, faint suspicion that some of it is fictional — rather moving.

30/04/2011

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The Economist

The Economist

Most of us lose parents. Yet, despite the universality of the experience, it is chronically difficult to care about other people losing theirs. In this memoir, Rupert Thomson overcomes this instinctive audience apathy — so-your-dad-died-too-bad-but-we-didn’t-know-the-guy — to portray the aftermath of his father’s death in a way that is emotionally honest and genuinely affecting.

15/04/2010

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The Guardian

Alfred Hickling

You might cynically wonder why Thomson should wish to tap into the lucrative memoir-market eight novels into his career; and there are points at which he lapses into the standard tropes of the genre: "My grief is like a jigsaw, I can only deal with it one piece at a time." But for the most part it is written in the precise, wiry prose that brings hallucinatory intensity to his fiction.

17/04/2010

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The Sunday Times

Robert Collins

Constrained by real life, his memories never quite yield up the same hinterland of tension as his best fiction. But it remains intriguing to watch the novelist in Thomson, with his sure eye for the uncanny, peer into his fractured family history.

04/04/2010

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The Daily Telegraph

James Walton

He writes with a winning kindliness that never turns soppy … And yet, the question persists of whether Thomson’s heart was really in the project.

22/03/2010

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The Literary Review

William Palmer

… the promised echoes of a fairy tale, of a taut novel exploring inheritance, sibling rivalry and jealousy, somehow dissipate in this rambling memoir … despite the brilliance of the writing, a weary feeling of ‘Why are you telling me this?’ descends as yet another family skeleton is taken from the cupboard and duly dusted down.

01/06/2010

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