Famous Last Words, Paperback
4.5 out of 5 (2 ratings)


In the final days of the Second World War, Hugh Selwyn Mauberley scrawls his desperate account on the walls and ceilings of his ice-cold prison high in the Austrian Alps.

Officers of the liberating army discover his frozen, disfigured corpse and his astonishing testament - the sordid truth that he alone possessed.

Fascinated but horrified, they learn of a dazzling array of characters caught up in a scandal and political corruption.

Famous Last Words is part-thriller, part-horror story; it is also a meditation on history and the human soul and it is Findley's fine achievement that he has combined these elements into a web that constantly surprises and astounds the reader.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Thriller / suspense
  • ISBN: 9780571209057


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Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

This is a brilliant, inventive book that sends me scuttling away to find other works by Timothy Findlay. The main character in the book is writer Hugh Selwyn Mauberly, a creation of Ezra Pound's! Findlay mixes history and fiction together to create a suspenseful story set in World War II yet he never wavers from providing quality, poetic writing. The writing is on the wall (see what I've done there?) for the producers of non-literary thillers. Let's pack Fredrick Forsyth and his ilk off to the sanatorium his idiotic right-wing ravings deserve!

Review by

Findley is seriously underrated. This novel beautifully blends history and fiction, weaving together figures like Ezra Pound, the Duke of Windsor, Wallace Simpson, Charles Lindbergh, and Sir Harry Oakes. Moody, absorbing, clever; reading this book is like being submerged - and not wanting to come up for air.

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