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3.9 out of 5 stars
18
3.9 out of 5 stars
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on 16 June 2001
I didn't read many books of Iris Murdoch and it wasn't because of her, that I read John Bayley's book. I discovered this book by chance.
It is by far the best book I read for a very long time. John Bayley writes about his life with Iris Murdoch, who died of Alzheimer disease. Therefore his life with Iris has not been very easy before her death.
In ordinary memoirs or autobiographies the authors tend to distinguish their experiences in good or bad (lucky or unlucky) ones. And the majority will consider the same as good or bad.
John Bayley on the other hand looks at his life totally from his own point of view. He has no fix, preconceived opinions of what is good (lucky) or bad (unlucky). Every experience can be pleasant or unpleasant. He has a wholly unprejudiced way of looking at life.
Since reading this book I try to look at my life in the same way as John Bayley. This book has given me a lot, much more than any non-fiction book about how to lead a better life.
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on 1 October 2002
I was bought this book and only read it to be polite. However it was actually one of the best books I've read in 2 years. I've never read any Iris Murdoch books but am interested in doing so now. It is written in a very gentle relaxing manner but is quite compulsive. This couple have led a very unusual life together - at times hilariously eccentric. I wouldn't have chosen to read about somebody intelligent dying of Alzheimers as it would have seemed a little depressing however the book is very cheerful and uplifting.
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on 19 November 2000
An insight into the life,and illness of a famous philospher and a writer.A most unusual life. John Bayley a professor of English himself and madly in love with this most un-conventional lady,who was his wife. Writing about their marriage he says;"Cluless as I was I did know by then that Iris had several lovers,often apparently at the same time.I also intuted that she gave her favours out of admiration and respect.Men who werelike Gods for her,were also for her erotic beings,but sex was something she regarded as rather marginal ,not an end in itself." et throughout their life together and through the long and trying years when he nursed her through her terminal illness of Althziemers disease. If one needs to restore ones faith in human nature and the love and the goodness it is capable of ,this is the book to read.
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on 24 July 2015
Iris's experience of Alzheimers is interspersed with the story of their lives together, it is quite different to the film, 'Iris', that I watched before reading this book. Their life was spent with friends who were also academics, which may not be of interest to everyone. As I was interested in the story of Iris Murdoch's Alzheimers it was not as good as I had hoped from that point of view. I have now bought the Iris Trilogy to finish the story of John Bayley and Iris.
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on 21 December 1998
John Bayley, distinguished academic and critic, has been married to Dame Iris Murdoch, novelist and philosopher, for more than forty years. This book is not a formal biography, but a thoughtful and moving account of a long love affair and the impact on it of Alzheimer's disease. It is written with great tenderness, but leaves you with no illusions about the devestating impact this condition has made on the mind of this great novelist. One of the best things I have read all year.
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on 3 February 2017
This is a beautiful book, written with love. Mr Bayley's prose is exquisite and this is the first book of its kind to make me see clearly what it's like to live with someone going down with dementia. It rises above the usual repetitive dialogue that we've all heard so often and focuses instead on the still-lovable side of the sufferer. I was held from the start
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on 28 June 2014
An interesting look into Iris's life through John's eyes. I think he has been very kind in some places going by the letters I have read of Iris's. Yet in many ways immensely honest. A brave account of their love.
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on 4 July 2015
Not what I expected.loved film but book was quite heavy going.it came across as a book for her husband to talk about his writing and less a memoir of Iris' life.
Disappointing
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on 2 December 2013
A wonderful novelist (one of the best) evoked with all her personal idiosyncrasies by an objective and supremely loving widower. Anyone who likes her novels must read this.
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on 29 March 2010
I love the way John writes about Iris as his messy and frustrating wife in such an honest way whilst always acknowledging her absolute genius and charm. Why there has to be a picture of Judi Dench on the front of the book amazes me - it's not as if there is a shortage of photographs of her. Anyway, I love the book even if it is a little pretentious at times. If you are an Iris fan you have to read this.
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