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The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, The Girls of Slender Means, The Driver's Seat, The Only Problem (Everyman's Library Contemporary Classics) #2019

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie The Girls of Slender Means The Driver s Seat The Only Problem Everyman s Library Contemporary Classics The brevity of Muriel Spark s novels is equaled only by their brilliance These four novels each a miniature masterpiece illustrate her development over four decades Despite the seriousness of their

  • Title: The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, The Girls of Slender Means, The Driver's Seat, The Only Problem (Everyman's Library Contemporary Classics)
  • Author: Muriel Spark
  • ISBN: 9781857152746
  • Page: 211
  • Format: Hardcover
  • The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, The Girls of Slender Means, The Driver's Seat, The Only Problem (Everyman's Library Contemporary Classics) By Muriel Spark, The brevity of Muriel Spark s novels is equaled only by their brilliance These four novels, each a miniature masterpiece, illustrate her development over four decades Despite the seriousness of their themes, all four are fantastic comedies of manners, bristling with wit.Spark s most celebrated novel, THE PRIME OF MISS JEAN BRODIE, tells the story of a charismatic schooltThe brevity of Muriel Spark s novels is equaled only by their brilliance These four novels, each a miniature masterpiece, illustrate her development over four decades Despite the seriousness of their themes, all four are fantastic comedies of manners, bristling with wit.Spark s most celebrated novel, THE PRIME OF MISS JEAN BRODIE, tells the story of a charismatic schoolteacher s catastrophic effect on her pupils THE GIRLS OF SLENDER MEANS is a beautifully drawn portrait of young women living in a hostel in London in the giddy postwar days of 1945 THE DRIVER S SEAT follows the final haunted hours of a woman descending into madness And THE ONLY PROBLEM is a witty fable about suffering that brings the Book of Job to bear on contemporary terrorism.Characters are vividly etched in a few words earth shaking events are lightly touched on Yet underneath the glittering surface there is an obsessive probing of metaphysical questions the meaning of good and evil, the need for salvation, the search for significance.

    • [AZW] ✓ The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, The Girls of Slender Means, The Driver's Seat, The Only Problem (Everyman's Library Contemporary Classics) | BY ✓ Muriel Spark
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      Published :2019-09-17T20:12:55+00:00

    1 thought on “The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, The Girls of Slender Means, The Driver's Seat, The Only Problem (Everyman's Library Contemporary Classics)

    1. The embarrassing admission first I read Muriel Spark s books because her name is close to my own I really hate it when people call me Muriel, though I dislike being called Ariel only slightly less Other people might have heard of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie because of the famous film starring Maggie Smith All are good reasons to stumble onto a gem It s really cool when you can find some cool thing by surprise Like having a cool teacher to tell you about something greatIt s a great little horro [...]

    2. I m reading the novels in this anthology separately and have read a couple before ,so I will pop my thoughts down when each one is finished,which knowing me could take years.The Driver s Seat.A short and far from sweet tale of a quite peculiar woman who we find out pretty early on is due to come to a sticky end The blurb talks of her descent into madness, but reading it 46 years after it was published we might have a slightly different understanding In fact all the characters in the book have un [...]

    3. The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie is a charming and unsettling book, and in that sense, it s pretty emblematic of the rest of Spark s deceptively simple oeuvre Part of the novel s apparent simplicity stems from its form It s a kind third person retrospective that recounts the unconventional teaching methods of Miss Jean Brodie, her relationships with a particular group of her students, and their relationship with a married art teacher with whom Miss Brodie is in love But the story is also a kind of [...]

    4. I was obsessed with Maggie Smith s Miss Jean Brodie when I was a kid, and finally got around to reading it along with the three other novellas in this tome I loved the book just as much as I remember loving the movie The Girls of Slender Means had nothing by way of plot and I slogged through it because I don t like leaving books unfinished I really should have skipped it once I realized I was not going to enjoy it The characters seemed to be a cast of Sparks unaffiliated extras wandering around [...]

    5. Read it because it s on the 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die list.There were some things that I enjoyed about it I really liked the way the narrative tracked the way the girls were negatively influenced by the overbearing nature of Miss Brodie, and how everything eventually fell apart I also liked how the book carefully laid out Miss Brodie s personality, her quirks, and her flaws It was really easy to see her descent, her fall from grace, and her ultimate demise.Yet there wasn t really a [...]

    6. 3 1 2 starsReview of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie onlyShe thinks she is Providence, thought Sandy, she thinks she is the God of Calvin Brodie acts as if she transcends morality Sandy Stranger from The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie This is the first time I ve read The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie or Muriel Spark The story is a modernist, existential novel, set in 1930s, Scotland It is a novella by most standards, told mostly in third person narrative, making use of numerous flash forwards It recounts t [...]

    7. This is now one of my new favorite short novels The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie is an exquisitely written novel set pre World War II It constantly creeps in a little information as to who betrayed Miss Brodie This book, with calculated suspense, intrigue, and just plain good writing, would be perfect for a freshman or sopho English course, or a semi intellectual day at the beach It was somewhat reminiscent of The Reluctant Fundamentalist, although done well before it what is reminiscent of what , [...]

    8. Never read this book before or seen the film so I was pleasantly surprised by it.The story is about a spinster teacher in the 30 s in Edinburgh and about her attitude toawards teaching anti filling the pupils heads with dead knowledge and how she creams of six of them to be her set.She was ahead of her time but I found her sad and lonely and seemingly living her life through her pupils She also had an unhealthy hold on the girls and in the end is betrayed by one of them.Would definately recommen [...]

    9. A terrific omnibus The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie and The Driver s Seat are, as Miss Brodie would say, the creme de la creme The others The Girls of Slender Means and The Only Problem are slighter but, as with all Sparks work, eminently readable, sharply satiric, unsparing and naggingly enigmatic.

    10. I read this book because it takes place in Edinburgh, Scotland Miss Jean Brodie is a teacher at a girls school She has her favorites and they are different than the other students Early on the reader knows that Miss Jean Brodie will have to retire because one of her students betrayed her.

    11. It is difficult to write about a book that has been so thoroughly overshadowed by it cinematic counterpart The movie rests so firmly in my mind that though I know the construction of the book is at times wildly different, I do not recall how.

    12. I m not sure WHY I love this book Many who ve read it think I m crazy Most of the characters are somewhat despicable and yet I m drawn into the precocious world they have created.

    13. Four of Spark s novels published in one volume.The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie A story of a teacher in a grammar school in Scotland Miss Jean Brodie, and her favourite group of students in the thirties and forties of the twentieth century A typical of Spark s style and humour, with Miss Brodie s predictions about her girls turning out complete opposite and her being dismissed for her support of Duce.The Girls of Slender Means A story revolves around the group of young women living at the May of Te [...]

    14. I picked this book for discussion as my choice this month, and I m most embarrassed that I did Based on the blurb on the back, I was expecting something along the lines of a literary Dead Poet s Society But I found this book to be so dull and repetitive that I was loathe to pick it up, despite initially thinking I d read it in one sitting And I got thoroughly fed up of hearing about Miss Brodie being in her prime Check out page 44 The word prime is used 5 times in the first 9 lines And it was g [...]

    15. This book was really interesting I choose that word, general as it is because it is really the best way to describe it It creates and hold a great amount of interest This is the story of a set of five chosen girls to be apart of a very charming and unorthodox teacher in a junior school, who become entangled in each others lives one of which ends in her undoing The narration of this story is where it really shines, being that Spark is constantly telling you what will happen before it does, but st [...]

    16. Well written of course and pretty damn dark given the time in which it was written and the subject matter.Essentially, and not to give anything away, this book is about a teacher at a Scottish girl s school and her relationship with six of the girls specifically.This book has a great deal to say about faith, trust, lust, jealousy, curiosity, and strength It was presented to me as a work of feminist literature, but I ve never really understood exactly what people mean when they say things like th [...]

    17. The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie History Boys except with girls Are all charismatic English school teachers so creepy The Girls of Slender Means very pretty, not much in the way of a plot lineThe Driver s Seat Woman seeks to be victim of nymphomaniac murderer Succeeds I m not sure what to do with that.The Only Problem Harvey s crazy terrorist wife has just been killed He has now married his friend s Edward s ex wife who is also his now dead wife s sister Also, he s caring for his now dead wife s ch [...]

    18. This was perhaps the most influential book on my life, even before I actually read it When I was thirteen years old, the BBC series of the book staring Geraldine McEwan as Miss Brodie was shown on television Miss Brodie efforts to instill gentility into her students had a great effect on me and along with them, I determined to make myself the cr me de la cr me I followed her instruction in all ways from walking with a book on my head to practicing proper skin care and credit what poise and attra [...]

    19. I have somehwere some publishing company s list of the 100 best novels of the 20th century The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie was somewhere in the middle of the list, and since I also knew the novel was made into a film with an acclaimed performance by Maggie Smith long before she was Professor McGonegal of Hogwarts , I gave the book a go I hope I m not just dense, but I really couldn t see why this book received such a superlative rating from that company It s the story of a kind English teacher in [...]

    20. EhI liked it okay, it was an interesting short read and clearly the author was years ahead of her time with her writing but none of the characters were overly likeable and I was really hoping for some kind of great ending but the ending was just like the rest of the book repetative and a little bland If this book was a lot longer and still contained the same content I would be angry that I wasted so much time on it I have to admit, reading the parts about the girls later school life just made me [...]

    21. Sandy s tiny eyes, Sandy s tiny eyes, Sandy s tiny eyes, Sandy s tiny little screwed up eyes Despite the book s habit of repeating its chosen character details with maddening frequency, I still enjoyed its deftness and wit But I read it because it was on both the Modern Library and TIME Best of lists, and I hoped I was getting my hands on my favorite kind of book the lost classic Instead I read it wondering is this all this is about and hoping for a final revelation that was, as the quote from T [...]

    22. Read over the course of several months, a mistake perhaps But great stuff nonetheless Spark s insight, whether into a teacher in her prime, young ladies navigating the end of WW II or a singular office worker on her way to madness suicide, and her ability to convey it, is remarkable For example And it never really occurred to her that literary men, if they like women at all, do not want literary women, but girls Masterful use of repetition Not quite as sure about the Job story.

    23. I just read the first two The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie was interesting to me I want to like Muriel Spark I feel like there s something there and it s intriguing and her character descriptions are sharp and psychologically insightful, but I came away from both stories not really connecting to any of the characters Maybe they re just a little too sharply drawn But fascinating all the same I love her way of getting at all the little nuances of personality with such spare language.

    24. Maggie Smith won Best Actress for the film adaptation 1961 , which beautifully mirrors the novel Miss Brodie is a brilliant, flawed, passionate character inspiring even in her madness Fascinating from a feminist perspective as well is she the embodiment of fulfilled independence or a shining beacon of warning against extremes And, in the end, still couldn t ever fully decide with whom my sympathies lied Miss Brodie, her pupils, her superiors, or her lovers.Recommend the book first, then the film [...]

    25. I find it interesting how British Roman Catholics used to be the best satire humor writers Evelyn Waugh, Muriel Spark The girls of slender Means I read a while ago and is my favorite by Spark thus far, a light breezy and despairing book The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie was good but I liked the Girls of Slender Means better, Currently I am in the middle of the driver s seat Generally Spark is unclear in a pleasant way about what s going on but which can leave one a little confused but adds to the im [...]

    26. Edward recommended this book to me, and we hunted it in the Tattered Cover but could not find a cheap copy Oh well, I found it in the Oxford public library All that being said, the book is extremely odd It suffers from a lack of characters who are likable on any level, but the descriptions are wonderful and there is a definite dry humour too it The book, despite having been written a long time ago, is full of sex, and hilarious sex at that.

    27. The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark Random House 1999 Fiction General Set in 1930 s Edinburgh, Miss Jean Brodie is an unmarried schoolteacher who selects a group of six young girl pupils of hers for special attention and training about life She runs afoul of the headmistress, who searches for a way to fire Miss Brodie Miss Brodie is ultimately betrayed by one of the girls But who My rating 7 10, finished 1975.

    28. This is a pleasant enough book I especially like the use of prolepsis, or fast forward, in the narrative The story, however, seems slight After reading it, I am surprised that the book is so beloved and that it was made into a successful movie There just is not that much to the story The story of an enigmatic teacher influencing a group of students seems to have been an influence on Special Topics in Calamity Physics, one of my favorite books of the past five years.

    29. Spark creates some remarkable characters, many of whom are tortured souls, in these short novels Both The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie and The Only Problem have moments of whimsical humor, whereas Girls of Slender Means and The Driver s Seat especially are both very disturbing I was reminded of Kate Chopin s portraits of women driven to the edge and over by patriarchal society in several of these, The Driver s Seat in particular.

    30. I was very excited at the outset of this book I love character driven novels and this had the feel of one But afetr some very astute character descriptions I was left wanting Both Miss Brodie and her six students remained flat and one dimensional till the end of the book None of them grew or changed or came to any insights and I was left feeling a bit cheated A good start but disappojnting in the end.

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