Matthew's Reviews > Herself Surprised

Herself Surprised by Joyce Cary
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's review
Oct 27, 08

Read in October, 2008, read count: 2

Joyce Cary continues to be the author whose books give me the most pure pleasure. I find myself grinning a lot and exclaiming things aloud while I read his work. The first time I read this book, I didn't think I liked it very much because it contains the character of Gulley Jimson, so captivating in The Horse's Mouth, but he isn't the focus of Herself Surprised, and I thought I wanted him to be. But around my third or fourth reading of The Horse's Mouth I started to realize that a book from the point-of-view of Sarah Monday ought to be amazing, and indeed it is. Her obsession with pleasure, and her exquisite manner of rationalizing everything she does, juxtaposed against her deep, but always swiftly thrust aside religion, make for an intriguing and very authentic character. I love how she constantly manipulates everyone around her and convinces herself that she didn't know she was doing it at the time. I think it's funny, and very true-to-life, how she is constantly indulging herself in any way she likes while pretending that she has been trying to resist every sensual temptation. And all the while she fears that God will punish her, but she keeps insisting that all her faults are just a result of the way she was made. Joyce Cary knows how to make profound character explorations & personality observations more delightful to read than anything in any more overtly humorous book I've ever read. This is a book I'll be coming back to again, for sure.
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message 1: by Emily (new)

Emily This sounds good. I have muses but it would be interesting to hear the other end. What is it like to be some ones muse??? My landlord is my muse right now. I think he's just confused.haha I hope there is a review. Smiles.

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