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The Public Image Paperback – 30 Oct 1975


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Product details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; New Ed edition (30 Oct. 1975)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140031316
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140031317
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 0.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 837,184 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Book Description

First published in 1968 and shortlisted for the Booker Prize, The Public Image couldn't be more relevant for today's celebrity-obsessed culture. This is Spark at her wittiest, wickedest best. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From the Back Cover

Annabel Christopher is every inch the star: a glamorous actress with a devoted, handsome husband. To keep the paparazzi and her adoring public under her spell, her perfect image must be carefully cultivated, whatever the cost. Beneath the facade, though, her husband cannot bear her or their vapid existence. Envious of her success, and with a sense of drama far greater than her own, he stages a scandal that even Annabel will find it a challenge to recover from.

'There is no question about the quality and distinctiveness of her writing, with its quirky concern with human nature, and its comedy' William Boyd

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Blyth on 13 May 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read this book waiting for something to happen. Not much does. It feels as though it is written by an outside and relatively disinterested observer.
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 19 April 2001
Format: Paperback
Annabel Christopher is an actress who is well on her way to becoming a star, but she lacks one crucial element:talent. Despite this she invests all her energy into creating and mainitaining the optimum public image to propell her to stardom.
Annabel's husband, Frederick, who believes himself to be a talented scriptwriter, is at a loss to understand why his superficial, untalented wife is a success while he struggles to gain respect for his work. He becomes increasingly exasperated at his wife's shallow behaviour and is frustrated at the public image created for him to compliment Annabel's and to present them as the perfect couple. Halfway through the novel, Frederick takes his own life; an 'unspeakable trick' which Annabel regards merely as an inconvenience which may tarnish her public image, an asset she would go to any lengths to protect. She makes the mistake of believing her own carefully crafted publicity, so much so that she becomes obsessed with what people think of her, wrapping herself in her own deluded beliefs.
Muriel Spark's prose, as always, is controlled, witty, sharp and original. She is able to be just cruel enough to her characters - none of whom are particularly likeable and only have a few redeeming features - but this serves only to make for a more interesting read, and Spark carries this off well. The novel covers a very relevant topic for today, despite having been written in the late 60s, by exposing the superficiality of celebrity, how flimsy an image can be, and how quickly it can slip.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By R. Phillips on 18 Jun. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Sadly dated, this entertaining story passed a few happy hours in Rome, where it is set. it is a tame tale of fame, fortune all the horrors (poor things!) that entails. None of the characters received much sympathy from me or lingered long in the memory but it was good to have touched base again with Muriel Spark
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