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The Finishing School Hardcover – 4 Mar 2004

3.1 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Hardcover, 4 Mar 2004
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Viking (4 Mar. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670911739
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670911738
  • Product Dimensions: 13.8 x 1.8 x 18.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 390,719 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Amazon Review

The elegantly written The Finishing School reminds us again of Muriel Spark's unique talent, combining a wry sympathy for human behaviour with a clear-eyed assessment of our foibles. All her books, from the The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie to the lesser known volumes, possess an insinuating charm and an understated but often lethal satirical thrust; few middle-class absurdities have gone unanalysed.

The Finishing School is concise but it has all the insinuating charm of her best work. Rowland Mahler and his wife Nina run a mixed-sex finishing school called College Sunrise. Rowland has aspirations as a novelist but he has an unconscious rival--a talented pupil, Chris--whose literary efforts effortlessly outpace Rowland's. Soon a poisonous atmosphere suffuses the school as Rowland falls prey to agonies of jealousy. Spark has always been good at the tensions and rivalries of the school environment, and her touch is as sure as ever in this highly diverting piece. --Barry Forshaw

Review

Praise from Great Britain for "The Finishing School "The most sharply original fictional imagination of our time . . . Starting her career as a poet, Spark in many ways remains one--not least in her deftness at finding images in unexpected places."--"Sunday Times "What a rich seam Spark has quarried here. Moreover, it is cunning how, to the extent her purpose requires, she exploits the reader's own jealousies or envies, in regard to these imagined students, so rich, so beautiful, so unanxious and so dreadfully young."--"The Spectator "[Spark's] faculties are in a state of crystalline sharpness, delineating a world of detail so fine . . . that there is no need to crack the surface to find what lies beneath. The inner workings are all there, visible and faintly absurd, as though fixed in a translucent sheet of fictional ice."--"Sunday Telegraph "A delightful book, laced with wry and witty observations, which makes a timely call for a return to a world where the quality of a novelist's prose counts for more than the colour of his hair or the freshness of his face."--"Daily Mail "Wittily recalls Spark's best-known work, "The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie . . . Spark so brilliantly captures extreme states of mind--paranoia, hysteria, neurosis, psychosis--because she organizes her chaotic and centrifugal subject matter through tightly structured plots and luminously precise language."--"Times Literary Supplement "Another Spark classic . . . An exploration of teenage homosexuality, attempted murder, jealousy, adultery, all dealt with in the most polite and darkly comic way."--"The Tattler

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3.1 out of 5 stars
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on 28 February 2016
Format: Hardcover|Verified Purchase
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on 8 September 2005
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 19 March 2008
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