The wisdom of The Last Word by Hanif Kureishi is not a single strand of thought. Rather, it tries to unflinchingly recognise the past and the present as an organic continuation through the politics of biography, the process of shared introspection and a reminiscence of the good old days. This is Kureishi’s first novel in six years and is an extended musing on an artist’s undoing — dependencies, demons and all.
Although it is not a triumph, it contains inspired moments of black humour and some nod-worthy aphorisms that are Kureishi’s trademark. It loses out completely on basic writing devices, such as characters that are dull or annoyingly incongruous and dialogues that make the reader cringe. Instead of a cohesive background, the novel focuses on the dark side of lovemaking addiction, glorified in the artist’s livery.