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The Ballad of Peckham Rye (Penguin Modern Classics) (original 1960; edition 2006)
by Muriel Spark, William Boyd (Introduction)
The Ballad of Peckham Rye by Muriel Spark (Author) (1960)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0811214087, Paperback)The Ballad of Peckham Rye is the wickedly farcical fable of a blue-collar town turned upside down. When the firm of Meadows, Meade & Grindley hires Dougal Douglas to do "human research" into the private lives of its workforce, they are in no way prepared for the mayhem, mutiny, and murder he will stir up. "Not only funny but startlingly original," declared The Washington Post, "the legendary character of Dougal Douglas . . . may not have been boasting when he referred so blithely to his association with the devil."
(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:53:19 -0400)
A man of devilish charm and enterprising spirit, Dougal Douglas is employed to revitalize the ailing firm of Meadows, Meade & Grindley. He succeeds, but not quite in the way his employer intended. Strange things begin to happen as Dougal exerts an uncanny influence on the inhabitants of Peckham Rye and brings lies, tears, blackmail and even murder into the lives of all he meets, from Miss Merle Coverdale, head of the typing pool, to Beauty, the resident femme fatale, and even Mr Druce, the unsuspecting Managing Director himself.
(summary from another edition)
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