Customer Review

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thank you Iris Murdoch, 20 Sep 2006
This review is from: The Sea, The Sea (Paperback)
The Sea, the Sea introduces the reader to one of the most exquisite central characters to have emerged from the fertile imagination of Iris Murdoch. The name is Charles Arrowby, retired. The scene: a rocky English coast, Arrowby's isolated house, the Raven Hotel, a small inland village. The context: Arrowby has escaped, or thinks he has, his vigorous London existence, replacing the hustle and bustle of a theatrical career with a picturesque idyll consisting of simple food (his diet is hilarious), candles for lighting, swimming, no entertaining, writing his memoirs. But Arrowby is not allowed to enjoy tranquillity for long as a succession of unwanted people (ex lovers, work associates and James, Arrowby's mysterious cousin) crowd his repose. As Arrowby struggles to cope with the interruptions he, by chance, encounters a childhood sweetheart, last seen in the bloom of youth, who instantaneously rekindles a passionate love that consumes him with an unrelenting fever. Like the `ping' of a pin from a grenade there is a short delay before the inevitable catastrophe explodes Arrowby's uncontrolled, obsessive, delusional behaviour and sinks him into a pit of despair. The prose is charmed by colourful characters, the mystics (James is amazing), and, with all his faults, Arrowby. Ultimately the magic of the tale is conveyed through a series of vivid descriptions of the sea, which, for me, was ever present.
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4.0 out of 5 stars (68 customer reviews)
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