Last of the Old Guard: A Novel

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A prominent lawyer in 1940s New York investigates the mystery of his partner’s life and death in this novel by a New York Times–bestselling author.
 
Nearing the end of his days, Adrian Suydam, half the partnership of the law firm of Suydam & Saunders, reflects on his lifelong friendship and business relationship with Ernest Saunders—a tragic and complicated man incapable of properly loving anyone. In this perceptive novel, set against the backdrop of old New York, Louis Auchincloss exposes the temptations and vicissitudes that thrust his characters toward unforeseen fates.
 
Drawing on his own career as an attorney, Auchincloss “effortlessly conjures a bygone world of privilege” and elegantly brings to life a lost era (Publishers Weekly). Through interwoven tales of family members, clients, and such notables as Teddy Roosevelt and the Astors, readers get an insider’s look at a secretive world. Touching, comical, and erudite, Last of the Old Guard is a revealing portrait of both a high-profile law firm and a poignant friendship between two men—from an author whose works “have rightfully earned him a literary place alongside Edith Wharton and Henry James. His old-fashioned sensibility remains charming, even refreshing in an era of literati hipsters” (Los Angeles Times).
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About the author

In 2000, Louis Auchincloss was honored as a “Living Landmark” by the New York Landmarks Conservancy. During his long career he wrote more than sixty books, including the story collection Manhattan Monologues and the novel The Rector of Justin. The former president of the Academy of Arts and Letters, he resided in New York City until his death in January 2010.
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4.5
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Additional Information

Publisher
HMH
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Published on
Sep 24, 2012
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Pages
224
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ISBN
9780544107601
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Literary
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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“[A] certifiable masterpiece” from the acclaimed chronicler of New York City’s old money elite (The New York Observer).
 
Widely considered Louis Auchincloss’s greatest novel, The Rector of Justin is an astute dissection of the social mores of the Northeast’s privileged establishment. The story centers on Rev. Frank Prescott, the charismatic founder and rector of a prestigious Episcopal school for boys. With laser-sharp insight, Auchincloss delivers a prismatic portrait of this commanding and complicated man through the eyes of those who knew—or thought they knew—him best.
 
Seamlessly interweaving multiple points of view—from an adoring teacher to that of a rebellious daughter—The Rector of Justin presents a social history of the eighty years of his life: the sources of his virtues and failings, his successes, his love, and his crises of faith.
 
As Jonathan Yardley put it in the Washington Post, “Auchincloss is one of the most accomplished and distinctive writers this country has known . . . [and] Frank Prescott is one of the great characters in American fiction.”
 
“A daring and ambitious book . . . Its poise and taste and intelligence strike one on every page, as do its unerring knowledge and literary skill.” —The New Yorker
 
“[The Rector of Justin] should sit on the shelf of any serious reader of American fiction.” —Jay Parini, The New York Observer
 
“A taut and elegant study of a distinguished American whose closest friends cannot decide whether they like or detest him.” —The Times Literary Supplement
 
“Fascinating . . . We do come to feel the reality, the complicated reality, of Francis Prescott.” —Saturday Review
 
“My favorite of Auchincloss’s novels. Both decadent and demanding, high-hat and frank . . . A subversive in lace-up oxfords and rep tie.” —Amy Bloom
 
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