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VINTAGE CLASSICS MURDOCH: Funny, subversive, fearless and fiercely intelligent, Iris Murdoch was one of the great writers of the twentieth century. To celebrate her centenary Vintage Classics presents special editions of her greatest and most timeless novels
‘I feel there are demons around.’
Everyone is thinking about Julius King. For comfortable, long-married Hilda and Rupert, he is a mystery. For Morgan, Hilda’s tormented sister, he is an obsession. For Morgan’s abandoned husband, Tallis, he is the source of ruin. For Simon and Axel, deeply in love, he stirs up jealousy and unease. What is Julius thinking about? He’s thinking about Hilda, Rupert, Morgan, Tallis, Simon and Axel, and they will not all survive his malevolent attention.
(C) Iris Murdoch 1975 (P) Penguin Audio 2020
It's easy to dismiss Murdoch; she was a clever woman, after all – frumpy, odd, middle-class. What could she know of life? But read her, then tell me: who knew the human heart better?
The most important novelist writing in my time
Above all, she was a consummate story-teller, prodigiously inventive and generous, in the realist tradition of Dickens, Jane Austen, George Eliot, Henry James, Tolstoy and Dostoevsky
She could describe the ordinary and make it magical
Her art was expansive, non-autobiographical and insistently inventive
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!