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The girls of slender means by Muriel Spark

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

by Muriel Spark

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7543212,315 (3.56)138
Title:The girls of slender means
Authors:Muriel Spark
Info:New York : New Directions Pub., 1998.
Collections:Your library
Tags:British literature, novel, Q4 12

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The Girls of Slender Means by Muriel Spark (1963)


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English (28)  Catalan (1)  Spanish (1)  Dutch (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (32)
Showing 1-5 of 28 (next | show all)
  living2read | Feb 26, 2015 |
  books4micks | Feb 26, 2015 |
I've always wanted to read this author and this is my first book of hers. I wasn't overly impressed, found it slow going for the majority. It's a short book and a fast read and while the first third or so I found quite boring there comes a point when I became interested in how it would all turn out. The author uses foreshadowing throughout though, so it is no great surprise as to the end result. The story is both quaint and quirky, having some humorous moments and the writing is witty. Sparks takes a look at single women in the post-WWII era, where we have some who want to get a man and marriage, others who want independence and a career and others who are lost in a no-man's land. (pun intended) The book's title is even interpreted beyond the obvious meaning. I'd try another of Spark's books and while I'm not immediately "wow"-ed with this one I can see it growing on me. ( )
  ElizaJane | Dec 9, 2014 |
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. ( )
  thebookmagpie | 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 |
Showing 1-5 of 28 (next | show all)
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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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Long ago in 1945 all the nice people in England were poor, allowing for exceptions.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:25:04 -0400)

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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.

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