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The Driver's Seat (New Directions Paperbook)…
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The Driver's Seat (New Directions Paperbook) (original 1970; edition 2014)

by Muriel Spark (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
8144620,323 (3.65)116
Driven mad by an office job, Lise flies south on holiday -- in search of passionate adventure and sex. In this metaphysical shocker, infinity and eternity attend Lise's last terrible day in the unnamed southern city that is her final destination.
Member:jennamozingo
Title:The Driver's Seat (New Directions Paperbook)
Authors:Muriel Spark (Author)
Info:New Directions (2014), 112 pages
Collections:Favorites
Rating:****
Tags:None

Work details

The Driver's Seat by Muriel Spark (1970)

  1. 00
    Sorry to Disrupt the Peace by Patty Yumi Cottrell (sduff222)
  2. 00
    Chronicle of a Death Foretold by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (AaronPt)
    AaronPt: Both are odd, short novels that mess around with the conventions of crime fiction.
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» See also 116 mentions

English (43)  Spanish (2)  French (1)  All languages (46)
Showing 1-5 of 43 (next | show all)
Well.
Bloody hell.
That was a bit different. ( )
  mjhunt | Jan 22, 2021 |
Strange little book this one at just over 100 pages. In this very short space of time Spark creates Lise, a very memorable character who I was never quite sure of. I spent the whole time wondering why she’s strange, what her motivations are, and whether she should be pitied or, in fact, envied.

While the central character is strong, those around Lise are only barely sketched in. The writing has a very ephemeral feel about it. Sometimes I wondered if other characters were only figments of Lise’s imagination.

The title may perhaps refer to the fact that she lives life on her own terms and isn’t bothered about how others view her. She dictates exactly what happens to her right up to her tragic finale.

But is it really a tragedy if you decide how you want your life to turn out even if others think you are out of your mind? I think this is maybe what Spark is trying to get at. However, it’s really too short to get a thesis of any strength across.

In effect, it’s a well-written short story about self-determinism. Whether that’s self-determinism gone wrong or not is up to the reader to decide it seems. ( )
  arukiyomi | Dec 27, 2020 |
An unusual read where you know the ending fairly early in the book, but the path to it is unclear right to that grim end, and nobody seems entirely sane. ( )
  AngelaJMaher | Dec 18, 2020 |
Make sure you have time to read this novella in one sitting . It knocked my socks off , I'm just saying! ( )
  Joan_Barton | Sep 30, 2020 |
3.5/5 ( )
  jocelynelise_ | Aug 10, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 43 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Muriel Sparkprimary authorall editionscalculated
Dench, JudiNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lanchester, JohnIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
O'Hagan, AndrewIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Taylor, AlanForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Dario Ambrosiani
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'And the material doesn't stain,' the salesgirl says.
Quotations
Her lips are slightly parted: she, whose lips are usually pressed together with the daily disapprovals of the accountants’ office where she has worked continually, except for the months of illness, since she was 18, that is to say, for 16 years and some months. Her lips, when she does not speak or eat, are normally pressed together like the ruled line of a balance sheet, marked straight with her old-fashioned lipstick, a final and judging mouth, a precision instrument.
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Driven mad by an office job, Lise flies south on holiday -- in search of passionate adventure and sex. In this metaphysical shocker, infinity and eternity attend Lise's last terrible day in the unnamed southern city that is her final destination.

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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