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The girls of slender means by Muriel Spark
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The girls of slender means (original 1963; edition 1998)

by Muriel Spark

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6992913,584 (3.57)130
Member:marietherese
Title:The girls of slender means
Authors:Muriel Spark
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Collections:Your library
Rating:***1/2
Tags:British literature, novel, Q4 12

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The Girls of Slender Means by Muriel Spark (1963)

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English (25)  Catalan (1)  Spanish (1)  Dutch (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (29)
Showing 1-5 of 25 (next | show all)
Can't say much without giving away a good bit about it. Was good, but not quite Jean Brodie level, but that's okay. Spark's writing is just mesmerising. ( )
  humblewomble | Oct 19, 2014 |
Probably the best novel I've read in a while. To anyone who doubts that openly modernist literature can be gripping, funny, and easy to comprehend, I say: go read Muriel Spark. The straightforward narrative is broken up by paragraphs describing scenes 5? 10? 20? years in the future; she somehow uses the methods of caricature to create rounded figures (imagine if all Dickens' or Trollope's funny names brought to mind not just 'villainous businessman' or 'doctor who kills patients,' but fully fleshed out human beings); the whole thing is both saturated in irony and incredibly moving. I don't know how this is possible, but I suspect it might just be that she writes so damn well that you're willing to buy into whatever she puts on your plate. All that, and, as with Brodie, it's a perfect mix of low-brow shits & giggles and high-brow intellectual pleasures. And you can read it in two to three hours. Why do people watch movies when they could be reading Muriel Spark novels? Who knows. ( )
  stillatim | Dec 29, 2013 |
I thought 'The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie' would be difficult to match, but I was wrong. This books had the same trademark elements as 'The Prime ...' but, in addition, is shows humour and tragedy from the very first page. ( )
  femme_letale | Oct 6, 2013 |
The atmosphere of 1945 London in the rooms and dormitories of a glorified lodging house for impecunious ladies, the May of Teck Club, suspended in a no-man's-land between war and career or marriage during the days of rationing and bombsites. An unusual and original narrative sprinkled with quotations of poetry or more spiritual snippets from the Common Book of Prayer, as well as the political musings of Nicholas Farringdon, aspiring writer, with occasional flash-forwards to his ultimate end. Though he is central to the tale, the main character is Jane, one of the ladies of slender means, who works in publishing and brings all the characters together. The book is funny and wittily deadpan, with plenty of Sparkling phrases that make you sit up and read them again:

"Selina's long, unsurpassable legs arranged themselves diagonally from the deep chair where she lolled in the distinct attitude of being the only woman present who cold afford to loll".

The warden "drove a car as she would have driven a man had she possessed one".

A book I felt comfortable in. ( )
  overthemoon | Sep 20, 2013 |
Can't say much without giving away a good bit about it. Was good, but not quite Jean Brodie level, but that's okay. Spark's writing is just mesmerising. ( )
  heterocephalusglaber | Apr 26, 2013 |
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Muriel Sparkprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
may, nadiaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vranken, KatjaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Alan Maclean
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Long ago in 1945 all the nice people in England were poor, allowing for exceptions.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 081121379X, Paperback)

"Long ago in 1945 all the nice people in England were poor, allowing for exceptions," begins The Girls of Slender Means, Dame Muriel Spark's tragic and rapier-witted portrait of a London ladies' hostel just emerging from the shadow of World War II.

Like the May of Teck Club itself—"three times window shattered since 1940 but never directly hit"—its lady inhabitants do their best to act as if the world were back to normal: practicing elocution, and jostling over suitors and a single Schiaparelli gown. The novel's harrowing ending reveals that the girls' giddy literary and amorous peregrinations are hiding some tragically painful war wounds.

Chosen by Anthony Burgess as one of the Best Modern Novels in the Sunday Times of London, The Girls of Slender Means is a taut and eerily perfect novel by an author The New York Times has called "one of this century's finest creators of comic-metaphysical entertainment."

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:04:32 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

The lady inhabitants of a London ladies' hostel emerging from the shadow of World War II, do their best to act as if the world were back to normal, all the while maintaining a front for some tragically painful war wounds.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 3 descriptions

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