Classical scholarship and showbiz chutzpah combine in Frederic Raphael’s stylish prose to bring his Adam Morris trilogy to a surprisingly sombre, heroic conclusion. The Glittering Prizes portrayed Adam and his ambitious contemporaries in Cambridge. Fame and Fortune showed their rise to professional success in London, even at the highest levels of media infighting. Final Demands is a scintillating depiction of the rewards and penalties for intellectual and sexual rivalry among the most ruthlessly talented of the Thatcher generation. As before, there are implications of moral seriousness beneath the flippancy; and the seriousness comes to the surface with increasing menace as time passes and the protagonists notice that they are not immortal.
Raphael is a seasoned pro, having written more than twenty novels, five volumes of short stories, and many film and television scripts. He was seventy-eight when he finished Final Demands, while his principal fictional spokesman, Adam, is seventy-one by the end of the novel. Raphael is able to