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The Good Apprentice (1985)

by Iris Murdoch

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6771429,774 (3.61)1 / 65
Describes the issues, speeches, movements, and political events that influenced the American Civil War.

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 Iris Murdoch readers: The Good Apprentice15 unread / 15sibylline, March 2013

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Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
It's a familiar enough device: two brothers choose (or are fated to) opposite but complementary paths, and literature ensues. In this case, one searches for redemption from his own crushing guilt, and one wants to live a life beyond moral reproach -- both try to do so without the nudge of a belief in a higher power. Iris Murdoch is a trained philosopher, and this is a very British novel, rife with symbolism & achetypal allusions. I liked it, but it was long in spots and the dialogues/inner monologues bordered on tedious at times. ( )
  jdegagne | Apr 23, 2022 |
I've read Iris Murdoch before and been blown away. This one was an audiobook and the voice didn't entirely appeal to me and I didn't follow the thread of it. I think this would be ok if I had the patience to stick with it. Only got through 2/28 parts. ( )
  Okies | Aug 29, 2021 |
Really interesting look at people and their craziness, but sometimes it wore me down. Certainly not gripping, and I kept putting it down and reading other things, but in the end I was glad to have read it. She was an unusual writer, that's for sure. ( )
  meredk | Jul 18, 2014 |
I nearly gave up on this novel so many times as to me it seemed too long and self absorbed. Edward, the main character, lived with his step father and after a tragic incident went to live with his father and step mother and two sisters in a very strange and miraculous house on the coast. So many events happen in this 550+ page novel and so many worthy long conversations. The main narrative was entertaining and interesting but there were too many distractions from this to keep me interested in how a bunch of middle class intellectuals went about their lives. ( )
1 vote CarolKub | Oct 12, 2013 |
A reader's reaction to this marvelous novel will probably depend on their willingness to acquiesce to the series of extravagantly plotted coincidences that serve as linchpins for its intricate structure. If you can accept these, a let yourself be carried away by the sumptuous prose and the acuity of the character analysis, this will be a great experience. The plot, much to complicated to summarize, revolves around a group of closely related characters who seem to be destroying their own lives, and those of the people they love, by a series of disastrously wrong-headed, often impulsive, life decisions. After much suffering and several deaths, all is worked out in the end, for the survivors, at least. The highly elevated tone may be a joy to some readers, or off-putting to others. Readers of other Murdoch novels will notice scenes and motives recurring from other works - the eccentric community living away from London in rural England, concealment, revelation and death by water, the landscape as a participant in the psychology of the plot. ( )
  sjnorquist | Sep 18, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Iris Murdochprimary authorall editionscalculated
Holt, Heleen tenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Brigid Brophy
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I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father I have sinned against heaven and before thee, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.
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Describes the issues, speeches, movements, and political events that influenced the American Civil War.

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Average: (3.61)
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