Kathleen's Reviews > The Driver's Seat

The Driver's Seat by Muriel Spark
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Jul 19, 2009

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bookshelves: authors-new-to-me, my-uk-etc-thing
Read in July, 2009

I am in the middle of reading as many of Spark's books this summer as I can to get a sense of her writing over a very long, distinguished career. This novel, written in 1970, is her tenth, and while it posed unexpected ideas, was not as well written as her later ones. Again, the reader knows quickly how the story will end, but the journey to that point is quite unexpected. Spark comments on the political and social issues of that tumultuous time with the razor sharp language I have come to expect from her. Again, mental illness is a theme; Spark's talent, however, prevents mental illness from being predictable or marginalized. The juxtaposition of the main character against a host of other characters and seemingly normal events and the character's obsession with "looking for her man" kept me reading late into the night. I am amused by her insights that she so unexpectedly shares, "One should always be kind in case it's the last chance." I was disappointed in the ending, though, and found it a bit contrived, but I am still committed to my Spark quest.
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