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The Ballad of Peckham Rye
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October 2017: Society > The Ballad of Peckham Rye - Muriel Spark - 2 stars

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Linda C (libladynylindac) | 1053 comments The story focuses on Dougal Douglas, a con artist, self-purported devil, similar to the coyote trickster of Native American legend. He comes to Peckham Rye for a job as the Arts man in the Human Resources Dept. for a local industry vaguely hired to do human research on its workers around the issue of absenteeism. But basically he convinces the company to pay him to do nothing but hang out with staff, learn everyone's secrets, and tell them to the worse possible people. He changes everyone he comes into contact with and not often for the good. It was obviously a satire on the gullibility of people, particularly people who think they are a good judge of character.

I didn't like him or the people of the town. The humor is dark and it's very judgmental of industry and the times in 1960 when it was written, but just not my cup of tea. I had always meant to read something by Spark but I probably won't pursue any others.

Tracy (tstan) | 1182 comments I started this one, then DNFed it- not my cup of tea, either. But I loved Memento Mori by Spark. Completely different story and tone- it was like night and day.

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