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All the Stories of Muriel Spark

4.05  ·  Rating Details  ·  156 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
Spanning her entire career to date, All the Stories of Muriel Spark contains four brand-new tales. Now in hand is every single one of her forty-one marvelous stories. “To read Spark,” as the Georgia Review put it, “is to encounter delight after delight.”

Ranging from South Africa to the West End, her dazzling stories feature hanging judges, fortune-tellers, shy girls, psych
Paperback, 416 pages
Published November 17th 2001 by New Directions (first published 1968)
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Jul 02, 2008 Sarah rated it it was amazing
The great joy of this collection is its eclecticism. Muriel Spark is perhaps best known for her acerbic wit and her economic style which some call ‘sparse’. Certainly, her later novels, like The Finishing School, are pared down to the extent that they read a little like film scripts. Readers who know Spark for her novels may be surprised by the range of style and subject matters tackled in her short stories. Nearly every genre is covered here, from the ghost story to the surreal fantasy, social ...more
Nov 30, 2009 Tony rated it really liked it
Spark, Muriel. THE GO-AWAY BIRD and other stories. (1958). ****. Muriel Spark was born Muriel Camberg in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1918. She was a prolific writer throughout her career and remains popular today after her death in 2006. When she married, she traveled with her husband to Southern Rhodesia and lived there many years. Much of her writing reflects experiences in that area. This collection of her short stories gives a representative look at her major themes and styles. It is difficult to ...more
Jun 30, 2015 Megan rated it really liked it
Muriel was my writer crush last summer. Her short stories run the gamut from chilling, fantastical to heartbreaking. Wonderful stuff.
Feb 20, 2011 Jennifer rated it really liked it
its not my favorite because they put together stories that take place in South African colonies, so far, and they don't reflect her bitter spare best. Her life story is amazing, living in bedsitters to just sharpen her observation and skill ruthlessly. Her last book, which she wrote at 90, is so clean spare and funny. Like Ruth Rendell, this woman had no illusions on the human race, but unlike Rendell, she just couldn't or wouldn't hack write her way through to some kind of solvency. Still its a ...more
Nov 19, 2011 Jenny rated it really liked it
Shelves: grad-school
I didn't read all of these for class, but I certainly intend to read the rest of them. Spark has an incredibly distinctive style and a dark, witty sense of humor. The stories are excellent.
Jun 18, 2014 Leslie rated it really liked it
Shelves: classics, england
First half dark but witty, second half brilliant.
Cristina Frîncu
Jan 16, 2012 Cristina Frîncu rated it really liked it
M-a pocnit iar sentimentul ăla de „Vreau să fiu prietena ta, mai povestește-mi” odată cu cartea integralei de povești a scânteiuței de Muriel. La librărie am prins-o de-o copertă ca pe un ostatic periculos și-am zis A mea! bâlbâind neinteligibil ceva de cotidianul și domnișoara Brodie. Am dus-o acasă, girls party all night long ziceam eu. Citesc prima poveste, Serafimul și Zambezi. Stupoare prea bună idee s-o iau pe fată cu mine-acasă. Dar nu se poate, mă gândesc, domnișoara Brodie mi-a ...more
Jan 21, 2016 ManO rated it it was amazing
Spark was and is completed underrated as a short story writer. Her wit absolutely glimmers in this collection. If you liked The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, you MUST read these stories. So good.
Oct 15, 2014 Laura rated it really liked it
Some of these shorts I adored, but there were a few I couldn't even make it through. (That might be at least partly due to short story fatigue, too -- the problem with trying to plow through an anthology.) Think Scottish Shirley Jackson with a bit more cynicism and a dash (or more) of absurdity.
Alexa Ross
The name rang a bell...this Scottish writer penned "The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie" - story, play, movie. Very imaginative stories! I love foreign films and foreign fiction, it is full of surprising twists from the American standard.
Nov 07, 2011 Lynne rated it really liked it
I’ve been reading All the Stories of Muriel Spark, slowly because All in the title means there won’t be any more. She’s an acquired taste, something like Campari and grapefruit juice: her odd, bitter humor hits first, and then something lingers that might be sweet or very sad. There are ghost stories like the rightfully famous “The Portobello Road,” but I’ve noticed the book is full of other kinds of hauntings, as if any intense relationship could give you the shivers.

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Mar 20, 2013 Catriona rated it it was amazing
If Raymond Carver is the master of beautifully-crafted short stories about nothing, then surely Muriel Spark is the master of beautifully-crafted short stories about two things: the story itself, and everything else that's implied.
Every single one of the stories in this hefty book leave you feeling unsettled. Her view of the world is peculiar but compelling. Why she's not more widely-recognised I'll never know.
Zard Doherty
Jul 12, 2007 Zard Doherty rated it really liked it
The particular story I enjoyed the most was "The Driver's Seat." It is a strange story that will, as far as Im concerned leave you pondering what you just read. It seems as though there could be so much more to the story, but the author has chosen to leave it out. The reader is left to fill in the blanks. The characters are developed rather well given the length of the story. I dug that story the most.
Jay Pezzoli
Sep 14, 2007 Jay Pezzoli rated it liked it
An interesting book. It seems as if the plot is going nowhere, but it really sums itself up in the end. The first three quarters of the book are a bit odd and uneventful. I found myself reading along but not really getting into the book, that is until the last quarter. Its pretty exciting and still odd, but in a good way.
Dec 15, 2009 Jail rated it liked it
"The Portobello Road" is one of the best stories ever. It was the first thing I read by Spark, and I initially had no idea that it was written in the 50's, the style and politics seemed much more current, almost similar to Patrick Mccabe.Also hillarious is "The Black Madonna"
Mike Ward
Jun 14, 2014 Mike Ward rated it liked it
Shelves: blogged, not-finished
I really wanted to enjoy this anthology (and much of it was good) but I found the stories quite repetitive
Cindy Smith
Jun 02, 2010 Cindy Smith rated it liked it
this is a collection of ..... odd stories, all kinds of odd stories told with sparse prose.
May 31, 2008 Amanda rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes a good story with a touch of sarcasm
This is my favorite book. I go back to it quite often. My favorite is "Bang Bang You're Dead."
Jul 18, 2007 Marley marked it as to-read
I love Spark (thanks Mr. Hosmer!) and I bet she rocks the short stories
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Dame Muriel Spark, DBE was a prolific Scottish novelist, short story writer, and poet whose darkly comedic voice made her one of the most distinctive writers of the twentieth century. In 2008 The Times newspaper named Spark in its list of "the 50 greatest British writers since 1945".

Spark received the James Tait Black Memorial Prize in 1965 for The Mandelbaum Gate, the Ingersoll Foundation TS Eli
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