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Summary

Brought to you by Penguin. 

'Let there be no more of this clucking and wheedling. Oh, Pa, are you sure? Or: Oh, Francis, is this really a good idea? Let me be clear. I am always sure, and it is always a good idea.'

An old man is sleeping fitfully. It's too hot. The air is thick with Spanish jasmine floating in from his overgrown garden. And he's not sure whether he'll be woken by General Franco sitting on the end of his bed.

It's 1975, and Francis McNulty is nearing the end of his life but feeling far from peaceful. A veteran of the Spanish Civil War, he is tormented by grief and guilt about a brief, terrible act of betrayal from that time, and he's started seeing his old nemesis on the street, in the garden and now in his bedroom. Neither he nor his daughter, Gillian, who lives with him in Cleaver square, know what to do.

When Gillian announces her impending marriage to a senior civil servant, Francis realises that he must adapt to new circumstances - and that the time has come to confront his past once and for all.

©2021 Patrick McGrath (P)2021 Penguin Audio

Critic reviews

"This is a wonderful, thrilling novel...in Last Days in Cleaver Square McGrath has broken through to new depths of insight and emotion." (John Banville) 

"McGrath is a conjuror of fine detail...a master of the unreliable narrator - the best in the business." (John Self) 

What listeners say about Last Days in Cleaver Square

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Wonderful

The last days of an elderly man who once fought in Spain. No clear picture of what is and isn’t real but it doesn’t matter because it all feels real. Much pathos but a fantastically funny climax before a redemptive ending. The narrator does a wonderful job of being confused, impish and peevish at various times.

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Fabulous Narrator

This was a very good story that was made truly excellent by the fantastic narration. I completely believed in the voice and the authenticity of the story telling. Definitely one to listen to rather than reading yourself in my opinion.