First Love, Last Rites

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  • Topic: Ian McEwan, Leona Lewis, Rage Against the Machine
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FIRST LOVE, LAST RITES Ian McEwan has written two collections of stories, First Love, Last Rites and In Between the Sheets, and nine novels, The Cement Garden, The Comfort of Strangers, The Child in Time, The Innocent, Black Dogs, The Day dreamer, Enduring Love, Amsterdam, winner of the 1998 Booker Prize and, most recently, Atonement. He has also written several film scripts, including The Imitation Game, The Ploughman's Lunch, Sour Sweet, The Good Son and The Innocent. ALSO BY IAN McEWAN The Daydreamer In Between The Sheets The Cement Garden The Comfort Of Strangers The Child In Time The Innocent Black Dogs

Enduring Love Amsterdam Atonement The Imitation Game (plays for television) Or Shall We Die? (libretto for oratorio by Michael Berkeley) The Ploughman's Lunch (film script) Sour Sweet (film script) Ian McEwan First love, last rites VINTAGE Published by Vintage 1997 11 13 15 17 19 2.0 18 16 14 12 Copyright © Ian McEwan 1975 This book is sold subject to the condition that it shall not, by way of trade or otherwise, be lent, resold, hired out, or otherwise circulated without the publisher's prior consent in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition including this condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser First published in Great Britain by Jonathan Cape Ltd 1975 Vintage Random House, 2,0 Vauxhall Bridge Road, London SWiV 2SA Random House Australia (Pty) Limited 20 Alfred Street, Milsons Point, Sydney, New South Wales 2061, Australia Random House New Zealand Limited

18 Poland Road, Glenfield, Auckland 10, New Zealand Random House (Pty) Limited Endulini, 5A Jubilee Road, Parktown 2193, South Africa The Random House Group Limited Reg. No. 954009 www.randomhouse.co.uk A CIP catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library ISBN 0099751615 Papers used by Random House are natural, recyclable products made from wood grown in sustainable forests. The manufacturing processes conform to the environmental regulations of the country of origin Set in 10½/12 Sabon by SX Composing DTP, Rayleigh, Essex Printed and bound in Great Britain by Bookmarque Ltd, Croydon, Surrey

TO ELAINE

Contents Solid Geometry Homemade 23 1

Last Day of Summer 45 Cocker at the Theatre 65 Butterflies 71

Conversation With a Cupboard Man 89 First Love, Last Rites 107 Disguises 123

Solid Geometry

In Melton Mowbray in 1875 at an auction of articles of 'curiosity and worth', my great-grandfather, in the company of M his friend, bid for the penis of Captain Nicholls who died in Horsemonger jail in 1873. It was bottled in a glass twelve inches long, and, noted my great-grandfather in his diary that night, 'in a beautiful state of preservation'. Also for auction was 'the unnamed portion of the late Lady Barrymore. It went to Sam Israels for fifty guineas. My great-grandfather was keen on the idea of having the two items as a pair, and M dissuaded him. This illustrates perfectly their friendship. My great-grandfather the excitable theorist, M the man of action who knew when to bid at auctions. My great-grandfather lived for sixty-nine years. For forty-five of them, at the end of every day, he sat down before going to bed and wrote his thoughts in a diary. These diaries are on my table now, forty-five volumes bound in calf leather, and to the left sits Capt. Nicholls in the glass jar. My great-grandfather lived on the income derived from the patent of an invention of his father, a handy fastener used by corset-makers right up till the outbreak of the First World War. My great-grandfather liked gossip, numbers and theories. He also liked tobacco, good port, jugged hare and, very occasionally, opium. He liked to think of himself as a mathematician, though he never had a job, and never published a book. Nor did he ever travel or get his name in The Times, even when he died. In 1869 he married Alice, only daughter of the Rev. Toby Shadwell, co-author of a not...
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