Muriel Spark discussion

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The Mandelbaum Gate

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message 1: by Carla (new)

Carla (cjsarett) | 23 comments Kindle now this available if you want to read it digitally. Also, Amazon has posted a bunch of used copies for under $10! Just ordered and looking forward (finally) to reading this.


message 2: by Jessica (new)

Jessica (jesstrea) | 54 comments I have a copy in paperback, found on a swap rack somewhere. Let me know when you get yours, maybe we can read it together (have never read it).


message 3: by Carla (new)

Carla (cjsarett) | 23 comments I should get it in 2-3 days, since I believe this is my last Spark (although I re-read her so often that the whole last concept doesn't work.)

By the way, a funny/sad tale about your book. My husband (I kid you not) spilled coffee all over it! It's almost dry-- the perils of print! (That's your first book, the other still hasn't arrived, which is odd.)

But yes, I will read Mandelbaum Gate when it arrives. Will let you know. :)


message 4: by Jessica (new)

Jessica (jesstrea) | 54 comments He spilled coffee on my book published by Coffee House Press? The one with a story titled Cafe?


message 5: by Carla (new)

Carla (cjsarett) | 23 comments Oh, no, that would have been funnier! I misspoke: the first book that I ordered, Not a Chance. Too bad, the other scenario strikes my fancy.


message 6: by Jessica (new)

Jessica (jesstrea) | 54 comments well, Not a Chance also features cafes and coffee. It's my drug of choice.


message 7: by Jessica (new)

Jessica (jesstrea) | 54 comments p.s. will read your stories, now that I am back from Boston and the famous AWP...


message 8: by Carla (new)

Carla (cjsarett) | 23 comments This is getting even stranger. I have a (good) friend named Jessica and her passion is coffee. She calls it her drug of choice....


message 9: by Jessica (new)

Jessica (jesstrea) | 54 comments ha! we're all alike.
(all the Jessicas)


message 10: by Carla (new)

Carla (cjsarett) | 23 comments Oh your book is nice and dry now, so having a good read. It's good to have a dry page to turn.


message 11: by Carla (new)

Carla (cjsarett) | 23 comments This book finally arrived today. Can't wait to start reading it, after such a long search.


message 12: by Jessica (new)

Jessica (jesstrea) | 54 comments Ah ha! okay, I'll join you. I'm between books, so perfect timing.


message 13: by Carla (new)

Carla (cjsarett) | 23 comments I can tell by the witty first two lines of this book that it's my kind of Spark. A welcome break from the tedium of tax preparation...who knew that when you die, you keep generating tax returns?


message 14: by Carla (new)

Carla (cjsarett) | 23 comments I can see already that The Mandelbaum Gate is both more conventional as well as more autobiographical ( the heroine is a converted Catholic who is half-Jewish) than other Spark novels. It's rare that she handles an ordinary love affair....I'm curious where this will go.


message 15: by Carla (new)

Carla (cjsarett) | 23 comments I'm not yet done with The Mandelbaum Gate, but I can say its far from one of Spark's greatest. Still, I am enjoying getting to know her better through this thinly veiled autobiographical character, half Jewish, converted Catholic. It's more informative in that want than her autobiography.


message 16: by Jessica (new)

Jessica (jesstrea) | 54 comments I'm afraid I'm still barely into it. Crazy days at work, muchisismo trabajo...a festival to run, etc.

BUT. I'll get there. Not surprised it's not one of her best.


message 17: by Carla (new)

Carla (cjsarett) | 23 comments Having read this now, I see that Spark is incapable of writing a conventional story or thinking conventional thoughts. An endlessly interesting mind.


message 18: by Jessica (new)

Jessica (jesstrea) | 54 comments ...An endlessly interesting mind."

that's what we go to writers for, isn't it? Our favorite writers. Spark's is always unexpected.


message 19: by Carla (new)

Carla (cjsarett) | 23 comments Writers offer different pleasures. I love Dickens, but not for his intellect -- I love his poetic imagery, his feelings. Spark is brilliant, though.


message 20: by Sketchbook (new)

Sketchbook Carla wrote: "Having read this now, I see that Spark is incapable of writing a conventional story or thinking conventional thoughts. An endlessly interesting mind."

So few anybodys have an 'interesting mind.'


message 21: by J. (new)

J. Mulrooney (jmulrooney) | 2 comments Sorry I missed this conversation -- terrific Spark.


message 22: by Carla (new)

Carla (cjsarett) | 23 comments When I am out of sorts with the world, I re-read this. Nothing like her.


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