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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.
‘Every artist is an unhappy lover. And unhappy lovers want to tell their story.’
Ex-tax collector and author of two unpopular novels, Bradley Pearson wishes to devote his retirement to writing a masterpiece. But the doorbell and the phone keep ringing, and every ring brings with it an ex-wife, a friend in need, a sister in trouble or a young woman seeking a teacher, and so dusty, selfish Bradley is plunged into the muddles and mysteries which will end in his doom.
Winner of the James Tait Black Memorial Prize 1973.
© Iris Murdoch 1973 (P) Penguin Audio 2020
Murdoch is at the height of her powers in this novel, combining a complex plot with a heartrending analysis of the meaning of love
The book is so great, I almost feel it has magic powers. It’s tragic, comic, mysterious, thought-provoking and so much more than the sum of its parts. It manages to be both a great detective story and a great love story at the same time. It’s the only book I’ve ever read that feels as if it encapsulates all of life and the human experience.
A source of wonder and delight...No summary can do justice to the rich intricacy of character and incident with which Miss Murdoch crowds every page
More than almost any other writer, she understands the currents beneath the surface: the way that inappropriate crushes, egotism, loathing, loneliness, can overcome apparently calm lives and leave disaster, even death, behind.
This is great Murdoch. It rings as clear as The Bell...her humour is all the more achingly funny because she keeps it on the edge of our vision
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!