June Louise's Reviews > The Ballad of Peckham Rye

The Ballad of Peckham Rye by Muriel Spark
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's review
Feb 06, 2012

it was ok
bookshelves: humour, twentieth-century
Read on February 06, 2012

This is the first book of Muriel Sparks' I have read, and to be honest I don't know what to make of it. The word I said to myself on finishing it a few minutes ago was "strange".

Dougal Douglas(aka Douglas Dougal - he had two jobs but needed different names for insurance purposes) is the charming Scots "devil in human form" - even claiming that two bumps on either side of his head were where his horns used to be. He manages to get himself two jobs in Peckham Rye, the mission of which is to study the local populace; in effect, to cause a bit of trouble. With his relationship distinctly on the rocks, he then goes out into the local community to wreak havoc, leaving heartbreak, murder and anger in his wake.

It had its comedy moments, but to be honest, from the writer of "The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie", this was not what I was expecting. It is an easy little read though, and at the end I find myself almost liking the duplicitous "Doug".

If you like black comedies, chances are you will like this book.


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