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A Word Child by Iris Murdoch
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A Word Child (1975)

by Iris Murdoch

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413425,720 (3.85)1 / 28
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This is a bit like a cross between Dostoevsky and Diary of a nobody: Hilary is a tragic protagonist, damaged by his loveless childhood and doomed to deal with everything that happens in his life in precisely the way that will hurt him and those around him most, but he's also a Pooterish figure who has only the faintest inkling of how funny much of what happens around him really is. Murdoch delivers his story with consummate skill, so that we never quite get to the point of being led to laugh at him in a nasty way for the things he can't help, but we are always left uncomfortably aware of how close we are to the line. Very nicely done: top-of-the-range mid-period Murdoch. ( )
  thorold | Oct 19, 2012 |
My favorite by by Ms. Murdoch, a great place to start, very darkly funny, also about mad love. The ‘word child’ of the title is Hilary Burde, our narrator. The book has an interesting structure, with each chapter headed by a day of the week. Hilary has tried to establish order and routine in his life by having certain things that he always does on certain days of the week and the novel follows him as this routine is gradually upended. ( )
  jwhenderson | Sep 9, 2012 |
This is definitely my favourite of the Iris Murdoch book that I have so far read for the Murdoch a month challenge. The characters are fascinating complex beings, the story so finely plotted and yet it is a very readable Murdoch, a page turner. I loved the descriptions on London in this one, London is a feature of IM's work, but with this novel there were a lot of references to places I knew in London (I go there very seldom.)I also enjoyed Hilary's "Office life" - with the bickering and gossip and desk moving. ( )
  Heaven-Ali | Nov 22, 2009 |
London lovers will just love this tragical-humorous tale. The cityscape is the stage of a passionate clash with the past for civil servant Hilary. ( )
  verak | May 14, 2007 |
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PETER ADY
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'I say, an absolutely stunning coloured girl was here looking for you.'
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0140081534, Paperback)

After years of obscurity in a Bayswater flat, Oxford graduate Hilary Burde ha the opportunity to atone for a grievous offense which he committed twenty ye earlier.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:03:40 -0400)

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Legacy Library: Iris Murdoch

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