William1's Reviews > The Driver's Seat

The Driver's Seat by Muriel Spark
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Mar 25, 14

bookshelves: 20-ce, uk, fiction
Read in January, 2010

** spoiler alert ** Lise, a suicidally unhappy woman in a dead-end job, travels to southern Italy to find someone to murder her. Lise, women like her, I have not infrequently heard referred to as "bitches on wheels." She lies pathologically, casually steals cars, and perceives personal insults in matters that really have nothing to do with her. (She goes ballistic early on when told that a dress she's trying on is made of stain-resistant fabric. She thinks the salesperson, by stating this simple fact, means to call her a sloppy eater.) My favorite passages in the novella include the seduction of Lise undertaken by a macrobiotic diet fanatic, Bill, whose absurd monologues on Yin foods and Yang foods are hilarious. There is also Mrs. Friedke, an octogenarian, who tags along with Lise during shopping excursions. These jaunts devolve in time to a colloquy on who might or might not be "Lise's man," with Mrs. Friedke blithely oblivious to the real purpose this fellow is to serve. The Driver's Seat may have served as one of Martin Amis' models for his novel London Fields. In that longer book, another woman, Nicola Six, methodically sets out to locate her murderer. Needless to say, both women are successful. There are passages in both books, too, which self-describe them as "whydoits" as opposed to whodunits.
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message 1: by Sketchbook (last edited Mar 25, 2014 04:52PM) (new) - added it

Sketchbook V funny rev. Muriel is outscamped by the movie version w Liz Taylor, who, it's said, wanted to buy & burn all copies. (Check YT)


William1 Will do. Thx.


message 3: by G.G. (new) - added it

G.G. This I have to read! Many thanks for such an enticing review!


William1 You're most welcome, G.G.


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