Shovelmonkey1's Reviews > The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark
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's review
Dec 01, 11

liked it
bookshelves: 1001-books, bookcrossing-books, read-in-2011
Recommended to Shovelmonkey1 by: 1001 books list
Recommended for: the creme de la creme and anyone who thinks they might be in their prime
Read from November 28 to 29, 2011 , read count: 1

A slim, sparse and brittle novella, much like the slim, slight and jagged Miss Jean Brodie herself. Less of a teacher and more of a life coach, Miss Jean Brodie is to Morningside in the 1930s what Rachel Zoe was to Paris, Nicole, Misha et al in Beverly Hills in the noughties.

The Brodie set is a group of archly self aware girls, all hand picked by the charming, erudite and broadly fascist Jean Brodie as her cultural mini-me’s. Socially acceptable sponges who will carry forth into the world the ideologies, etiquette and culture of the Brodie manifesto. Oh yes, She is legion, for they are many.

This book is hard little gem; not a diamond but maybe some kind of overly large well cut cubic-ziconia . Brodie is an unlikeable but compelling character who has been elegantly sculpted by Muriel Spark to represent a wonderful but horrible thing - someone who knows how to wield power over the young mind in her care in the most precise way. Minds which she is responsible for sculpting and shaping and based on the description of these six girls, their minds were probably the equivalent of warm play-dough squished within an iron fist.
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Reading Progress

11/28 page 55
11/28 page 134
84.0% "still trying to figure out if I'm in my prime or not."
02/16 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-17 of 17) (17 new)

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Mark i have no doubt that you are ' the creme de la creme '

Petra X I loved this book and I loved the film with Maggie Smith just as much, both brilliant. I think that Spark's best novel though is The Abbess of Crewe which is as brittle as the caramel on a creme de la creme brulee.

Shovelmonkey1 Never seen the film but I will look out for that other book by Muriel spark. This is the first thing I've read by her.

Petra X I'm a real fan of her books. Maggie Smith won an Oscar for her role as Jean Brodie in the film.

message 5: by [deleted user] (new)

I also like Muriel Sparks books, but was not so keen on The Takeover which recently finished reading .

Petra X I haven't read that one. I just looked it up and the plot seems a little off, a little left-bank for Sparks.

Mark memento mori. try that one. i love spark a.d in my opinion its the best

Petra X I loved Memento Mori too.

Shovelmonkey1 Adding all these books to my mental list of books to acquire thanks!

Petra X Add this too: The Driver's Seat. Its extremely short, extremely creepy and reaches the absolute zenith of everything a novella should be.

message 11: by Mark (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mark Yep 'the Driver's Seat' along with 'Do not Disturb' and 'Hothouse by the East River' are three really weird and unbalancing books I found. Not my favourites by any stretch of the imagination no matter how warped my imangination may be but pleased to have read them

Petra X The Hothouse By the East River looks interesting. I must get it.

message 13: by Donna (new) - added it

Donna "A slim, sparse and brittle novella, much like the slim, slight and jagged Miss Jean Brodie herself." Damn, you're good. "brittle" -- perfect!

Shovelmonkey1 Thank you and thanks for all the Sparky recommendations too!

message 15: by Mark (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mark Petra X wrote: "The Hothouse By the East River looks interesting. I must get it."

it is quite weird but definitely worth reading

Peter Didn't you find MJB a little sad? She seemed to no 'normal' relationships with adults and her life seemed to be lived by proxy by her girls. There also seems to be shadows of education today, should children be given an well rounded education or merely drilled to pass exams.

Shovelmonkey1 A bit of both. A combination of sadly alone and living life through her "gals " but with quite a large dollop of sociopath too.

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