Iris Murdoch discussion

What to read next?

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message 1: by [deleted user] (last edited Feb 14, 2010 09:03AM) (new)

I read The Bell. I have A Severed Head and The Sea, The Sea. Which one should I read next? Any thoughts, Joann, Drew, or anyone?

message 2: by Lucy (new)

Lucy | 4 comments Hi Kathleen,

Along with The Bell, The Sea, The Sea is my favourite Iris Murdoch book. It's generally regarded as one of her best, and deservedly so. Whichever one you choose though I am sure you will enjoy it, as they are both really good. Best wishes,

message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

Thank you, Lucy.

message 4: by Patricia (new)

Patricia | 3 comments Sarah wrote: "I am definitely reading "The Sea, The Sea" next. I'm thinking about reading "The Black Prince" next, simply because I've heard great things about it. "

By all means read The Green Knight! It's surprising.

message 5: by Joann (last edited Mar 18, 2010 09:25PM) (new)

Joann (joann_l) | 15 comments Awhile back I mentioned that I had read most of Murdoch, except the Black Prince.

So.....I have been trying, and trying and not getting past some midpoint in this work. I now believe the problem is chiefly physical. I don't own a copy, and being frugal, I requested it from my library (in a big city) and discouragingly all I've been able to obtain is a wounded recovered hardback with the text running so close to the gutter I had to pound every page to keep it open and read the text. Try two resulted in my receiving an old recovered paperback with type so blurred and the paper so acid browned, it is a chore to read even as it falls apart in my hands. This big city library system advises that they have 3 copies total of this work.

I think we all have a serious problem here, and I have let my library know. I don't think this problem is isolated to my big city which is on the verge of going bankrupt and closing a number libraries (ironically after millions spent on a ten year expansion program), but it does call attention to the problem of libraries focusing on the new 'hot' items. I wonder how many of the scores of copies of The Da Vinci Code they have will be in demand in later years.

I have searched for audio (tape, CD) copies and aside from Murdoch's last novel, Jackson's Dilemma, (not her best) nothing seems to be available.

I have contacted Recorded Books and Blackstone, and will try to get to the others, but it seems to me the problem appears to be with the Murdoch estate.

Unless her estate authorizes reprints or recordings, not much can be done.

If I am wrong, I hope someone will let me know.

But to answer your original question, I personally like to read novels in the order they were written, but that's just me, and really it doesn't matter.

And BTW, I also missed reading the Green Knight, so there's another challenge for me.

message 6: by Ivana (new)

Ivana | 12 comments I really enjoyed reading Under the Net.

message 7: by Geoff (new)

Geoff (wwwgoodreadscomchiltsy) | 4 comments What about choosing a book that they whole group can read at the same time and get some discussion going? How about The Italian Girl or The Nice and the Good for April? Firing ideas off each other as you read is the one of the ways of getting the best out of a book.

message 8: by Joann (new)

Joann (joann_l) | 15 comments What a good idea, Geoff. I'd vote for The Nice and the Good or how about The Good Apprentice or Nuns and Soldiers as I have them both, can make notes and won't have to bother with the library.

message 9: by Erica (new)

Erica Freeman | 2 comments did the group go ahead with reading one book and discussing it?

message 10: by Joann (new)

Joann (joann_l) | 15 comments Who knows? I wish that would happen. I have made some suggestions, but they were never picked up on. It might breathe some life into these desultory comments and queries if we did this. These posts seem to lag so far behind my thoughts that when I get a new post I forgot what I had previously sent.

message 11: by Ivana (new)

Ivana | 12 comments Joann wrote: "Who knows? I wish that would happen. I have made some suggestions, but they were never picked up on. It might breathe some life into these desultory comments and queries if we did this. These posts..."

Ok. Let's try with An Unofficial Rose. Maybe it will help me to finish it finally....

message 12: by Zulfiya (new)

Zulfiya (ztrotter) What about The Sea, The Sea? It is her most powerful work of fiction or so they say:-)
The Bell has been on my bookshelf for a while though;-((((

message 13: by Joann (new)

Joann (joann_l) | 15 comments Fine, I'll vote for either. I've read them both, but they are long due for a re-read...but not The Bell as to me that's sort of Murdoch in her goth phase. Someone make a decision.

message 14: by Cindy (new)

Cindy (1cindy) | 13 comments I'm certainly game for a group read. Tried to get one going in May but didn't have much success. Still I'm starting another poll to choose a group read for an August 1 start date? Check out the poll and we'll see what we can do.

message 15: by Joann (last edited Jul 21, 2011 04:39PM) (new)

Joann (joann_l) | 15 comments A poll? here, or does Goodreads have a place to do polls? There are so many features I don't know about. Anyway, I'm game for anything, but since I imagine a group read/discussion might take quite a while, I'd prefer something I have on the shelf so as not to buy anything or fuss with library/renewals etc. I have, starting with the earliest (I think): The Bell, A Severed Head, The Unicorn, The Time of the Angeles, An Accidental Man, Nuns and Soldiers, The Philosopher's Pupil, The Good Apprentice, The Book and the Brotherhood. I've read most of her work so long ago anything would be an interesting experience.

message 16: by Ruby (new)

Ruby (RubyG) | 2 comments Any of her books would be greatfor me. I just finished The Word Child my first Iris Murdoch book and loved it. I can't believe I hadn't read her before. But when I finished I desperately wanted to talk to someone about the book. I was so happy to find this discussion group and enjoyed you comments on the Word Child.

message 17: by Sheila (new)

Sheila | 2 comments I am half way through A Word Child. It's a strange book. A bit heavy, but as with all her books, I can't quit reading. I'd like to kick Tommy in the boot and say "get a life," but I am sure before the end it will all come together. It always does. I read A Fairly Honourable Defeat last month, I really liked it. I have The Sea, The Sea and Nuns and Solders up next. Not enough time, no enough time.

message 18: by Ruby (new)

Ruby (RubyG) | 2 comments I just finished A Word Child and couldn't wait to talk with someone about it. My first Iris Murdoch book and look forward to reading another. I agree, Tommy should give him the boot. I just don't see what Tommy sees in Hilary or for that matter what any of his "friends" see in him. Yet he is a likeable character in the book but I wouldn't want to see him for a weekly dinner.

message 19: by Sheila (new)

Sheila | 2 comments I think the gist of the book is that Hilary has mental problems. His friends like him in spite of it. What I meant is I'd like to boot Tommy. She needs to get control of her life and quite moping around for someone who doesn't really care for her. I've seen that so many time in my 68 years.

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