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The Bachelors

4.2 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Product details

  • MP3 CD
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks; MP3 edition (Sept. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786196734
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786196739
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 14 x 12.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

Product Description

Review

"A profoundly serious comic writer whose wit advances, never undermines or diminishes, her ideas" (New York Times Book Review)

"A wholly original presence in modern literature" (ANDREW MOTION)

"She has a receptive and wholly distinctive genius" (A N WILSON Spectator)

"The care with which she uses words is matched by a gloriously carefree attitude. It's all part of her sanity, her breezy authorial self-confidence; and because of this I think that reading a blast of her prose every morning is a far more restorative way to start a day than a shot of espresso" (Daily Telegraph)

"I am dazzled by The Bachelors. It is the cleverest and most elegant of all Mrs Spark's clever and elegant books" (EVELYN WAUGH)

"My admiration for Spark's contribution to world literature knows no bounds. She was peerless, sparkling, inventive and intelligent - the crème de la crème" (IAN RANKIN)

"Muriel Spark's novels linger in the mind as brilliant shards, decisive as a smashed glass is decisive" (JOHN UPDIKE New Yorker)

"Spark is a natural, a paradigm of that rare sort of artist from whom work of the highest quality flows as elementally as current through a circuit" (New Yorker)

"It's easy to see why Waugh admired The Bachelors. But the comedy here is serious in a way that Waugh's satanically energetic comedies of misery rarely are . . . comedies of English manners have rarely been darker" (Daily Telegraph) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Book Description

'I am dazzled by The Bachelors. It is the cleverest and most elegant of all Spark's clever and elegant books' Evelyn Waugh

Now available in print and eBook as a gorgeous canon

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By DAVID BRYSON TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 6 Aug. 2004
Format: Hardcover
The scene is a London courtroom where a spiritualist medium is on trial for defrauding a widow of her life savings. One of the main prosecution witnesses is a handwriting expert who suffers from epilepsy. Under questioning he suffers a seizure and the judge asks 'Is this man a medium?' It's very clever, in this instance it's very funny, and it's more than slightly heartless. It is the distinctive individual tone of Muriel Spark.
This is one of her best. I found I had to be very alert and attentive or I was liable to miss some new element lightly thrown into the plot without warning. Muriel Spark's touch is as light as thistledown. The characters in The Bachelors are a down-in-the-mouth lot, ranging from nondescript to squalid, but the author typically stays above, or at least outside, their dreary lightless existence. Thinking back over the book, I can't recall anything that I would classify as a single noble thought or piece of lofty motivation. The theme of bachelordom is not really central to the action, more a storyteller's device to help maintain a sense of unity in the narrative. One has to admire the sheer skill with which she keeps control of such a large cast and so many convoluted situations. The characters talk non-stop - virtually all of the book is between quotation-marks - and we have to get to know them, except in two instances, through what they say, not through what they think by themselves. In one of these cases we get a startling insight into what the medium is really pondering and planning, startling because of the way it contrasts with the idiom of the book generally at least as much as because of the nature of his mind. In the other instance a doctor who hardly features at all in the dialogue shines a moment's blinding light through the encircling murk.
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Format: Paperback
What a delirious and total surprise to get to know Spark's early book The Bachelors (1960)! They are a talkative lot, those unmarried men, every one has his problems but also plenty of 'solutions'. They act the way we think bachelors act and react; much of the talk is about food, but also a lot of gossipping goes on - they are not a quiet bunch of distinguished gentlemen, oh no! One is a medium and thinking back of the book makes the hair on my head stand up again.... scary and incredibly innovative by this master of quiet suspense.
I love, love, love reading Muriel Spark and I am happy that I still have some of her writing to look forward to. I won't go into the details of the book; it has been described in a much better fashion than I can do (being non English). Just one advice: If you still have the tremendous pleasure of getting to know this writer; go and search for her books ASAP. Muriel Spark died in 2006 and her books might not be reprinted in a hurry.
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Format: Paperback
Yes, we all know she's brilliant, a fierce moralist, and that her subject is evil, but for a supposedly (self-defined) Christian writer, she is extraordinarily lacking in any hint of tenderness, humanity, compassion, such as even a savage satirist like Evelyn Waugh possessed. Her slant on the world is so relentlessly contemptuous that after a while it is as predictable as the sort of mushy sentimentality she probably despised. If there is one Christian virtue she lacked above all the rest, it is humility: one senses the arrogance of a consummate egotist behind her manipulation of her puppet-like characters.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A masterpiece !!!
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Format: Paperback
I am still reading this book and enjoy it as it is set before instant communications. You could still smoke in a reastaurant and women in skin-tight jeans seemed a prescient indication of what was to come. I look forward to reading more of this book.
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