This is the story of the comic, relentless struggle for survival of Austin Gibson Grey, the accidental man. Austin is one of those people who thrives through the destruction of others. The others, in Austin's case, include his successful elder brother, Matthew, and the women who, one after the other, are convinced that they can 'save' him. In this role we meet Dorina, Austin's estranged wife, Mitzi, his alcoholic landlady, and a selection of other women who involve themselves in Austin's fate, with hilarious and appalling results.
Iris Murdoch is incapable of writing without fascinating and beautiful colour
Iris Murdoch was one of the best and most influential writers of the twentieth century
A distinguished novelist of a rare kind
Behind her books one feels a power of intellect quite exceptional in a novelist
Iris Murdoch really knows how to write, can tell a story, delineate a character, catch an atmosphere with deadly accuracy
With a bank holiday approaching and no open pubs in sight, Rob Crossan rounds up the finest literary ones to indulge in, instead.
Funny, subversive, fearless and fiercely intelligent, Iris Murdoch was one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century. To celebrate the centenary of her birth, here's our guide to help you pick which Murdoch book to read first – or last!