This Party's Got to Stop, Paperback
5 out of 5 (1 rating)


In his first venture into non-fiction, the celebrated novelist Rupert Thomson has produced one of the most extraordinary and unforgettable memoirs of recent years.

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 - This Party's Got to Stop works Thomson's memories into a powerful mosaic that reveals the fragility of family life in graphic and often heartbreaking detail.

It is both a love letter to a lost brother and a chronicle of the murderousness and longing that can characterize blood relationships.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Granta Books
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Memoirs
  • ISBN: 9781847081742



Free Home Delivery

on all orders

Pick up orders

from local bookshops


Showing 1 - 1 of 1 reviews.

Review by

Rupert Thomson writes movingly about his life and his family, centred around the death of his father in the 1980s when he and his two brothers return to their hometown of Eastbourne. Thomson writes about his childhood, his mother and then his step-mother in addition to his father, his relationships with friends and family, and events subsequent to his father's death. Central is his relationship with his two younger brothers, Robin his younger to whom he is clearly very close, and Ralph his youngest. while staying together in the family home immediately after their father's death a rift develops between Ralph and the other two, a rift Rupert does not understand and one that will take some twenty five years to resolve.I did not realise when I bought the book that Rupert Thomas was raised in Eastbourne, and was almost a contemporary of mine, but I must admit much of the appeal of his memoir is the familiarity of the location: I recognized the house he grew up in from his descriptions, I frequented many of the same places as he and Robin, I attended the same art school as Robin just a few years in advance; so this was a as much a nostalgic trip for me! But I mention this because it highlights the quality of the writing which brings all this alive so convincingly.This Party's Got to Stop is an engaging account, beautifully written, and at times very moving. I particularly found the closeness Rupert and Robin enjoyed very touching. While the author does bot dwell much on his own career, I get the impression from the extent of his travels alone that he has lead a very interesting life - yet he dwells little on this aspect, much of the attention is directed away from himself - this is not a book about the author, but about his family and relationships.

Also by Rupert Thomson   |  View all