Justin Evans's Reviews > The Girls of Slender Means

The Girls of Slender Means by Muriel Spark
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Oct 14, 11

bookshelves: fiction
Read in October, 2011

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.
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