The end of the The Last Gentleman

The last chapter of The Last Gentleman is a mad rush toward…what? Barrett picks himself up after a post-football game assault and heads off to home, without money or Kitty or his memory. Percy dials up the wandering and has some fun with Barrett’s condition as he remembers and mis-remebers people and events. Yet harsh and sad moments are vividly detailed, such as the remembrance of the hour of his father’s suicide, and the re-connection with Jamie Vaught, who is now sick in a New Mexico hospital, covered with lesions.

Sutter Vaught’s journal is used well as a device in the novel; wonder how much of it is Percy’s own. It is a record of pathology and family, one of the weirder documents to appear in fiction, and it deserves more attention.

Advertisements