K-Lunk / books

The Last Days of Roger Federer

Books January 3, 2023

It’s always a pleasure to learn there’s a new book from Geoff Dyer. The Last Days of Roger Federer: And Other Endings is the latest such treat, a looping “book about last things, some of which are late, while some are precociously early.” The theme gives Dyer, sharp and funny as ever, free reign to bounce around associatively from one pet subject to the next. All of Dyer’s obsessions, which will be familiar to anyone who has read his previous books (you should), endlessly recur again here – D. H. Lawrence, John Berger, Theodore Adorno, jazz, photography, himself, not doing yoga, a dozen other things. The main text of the work has exactly 86,400 words (the number of seconds in a day), split into 3 parts each divided into 60 numbered segments, a clever structure that echoes one of Dyer’s favorite touchstones, Christian Marclay’s looping 24 hour video installation “The Clock” (2010). This isn’t a great place to start with Dyer (I recommend But Beautiful: A Book About Jazz for that, even if you don’t care at all about jazz), and if you’ve already started, then you already know. This is one I’d like to revisit when I’m 60.

If you’re interested at all in getting to know Dyer a bit, I recommend checking out the episode “It’s Always Sunny in the Dialectic” from novelist Hari Kunzru’s “Into the Zone” podcast – Kunzru and Dyer have breakfast at Cafe Gratitude and then go to Adorno’s house in L.A.