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The Driver's Seat
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1001 Monthly Group Read > July {2011} Discussion -- THE DRIVER'S SEAT by Muriel Spark

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Charity (charityross) Tell us what you think!


Anne (On semi-hiatus) (reachannereach) SPOILERS

Great portrayal of a psychotic young woman on the loose. You never know what she will do next (nor does she, I'm guessing). Spark lets us know early on that this woman will be found dead so the mystery is how, by whom? The ending was a surprise. I think the title is great. Was she or wasn't she in the driver's seat at any time during this story? She literally was at the end, but given her state of mind, was she?


Evelyn (katiechainsaw) | 3 comments This is such a strange story. It has the suspense of a mystery thriller but with all these random, eccentric bits added in. Truly odd but in a mostly enjoyable way. I'm glad it was a novella, not sure I could have finished reading something written in this style for a full length book.


Judith (jloucks) | 1203 comments I don't have it to read, but your comments so far make me want it really badly!


message 5: by [deleted user] (new)

I can't wait to read it. I ordered it from Amazon and it arrived today. Hooray! Except I wasn't home so it's now at the post office. Boooo!


Silver | 312 comments Anne wrote: "SPOILERS

Great portrayal of a psychotic young woman on the loose. You never know what she will do next (nor does she, I'm guessing). Spark lets us know early on that this woman will be found dea..."


That is an interesting question. On the one hand one could say that she was totally out of control because of her unstable mental state and so that in truth she was really just taking a backseat to her insanity which mislead her into a false belief that she was in control.

But on the other hand she does take ultimate control over her own fate. She is the one that directs the whole order of events, and chooses exactly what is going to happen to her, and how it happens, by whose hand. She denies allowing herself to simply become a victim both in terms of her arranged murder, and as well in terms of life. To determine ones own death, when and how they are going to die cane be seen as the ultimate position of power.


Amanda I really enjoyed this one. I'll have to read some more Muriel Spark. It's not every day that you get to pick up a book with a character quite like Lise in it.

The title is interesting. Transport features several times thoughout the novella and Lise doesn't seem to relax and embrace life (or at least her control over it, and it's conclusion) until she is literally in the driver's seat during her fatal jouney. I loved the creepy interweaving of the macabre descriptions of Lise's death with her ordinary actions throughout the novella and how our expectation that Lise is to be untimately a victim is turned about so it seems as though Lise's murderer is the one being truly victimised. In the end, Lise chooses to die rather than take part in the world around her.

This disconnectedness Lise experiences is demonstrated by another nice touch, the dialogue. Many of the characters (especially Lise and the old lady - it was obvious they were barely even listening to each other!) talked almost as if they were holding two completely different conversations.


Anne (On semi-hiatus) (reachannereach) Amanda wrote: "This disconnectedness Lise experiences is demonstrated by another nice touch, the dialogue. Many of the characters (especially Lise and the old lady - it was obvious they were barely even listening to each other!) talked almost as if they were holding two completely different conversations."

Yes, they were having two different conversations. Spark made a point of telling us that the old lady was deaf or nearly deaf. That's the only reason she didn't figure out that something was wrong with Lise.

And you're right about the expectation of Lise being a victim being turned on it's head: I kept wondering who was going to kill her..... It's also funny that her "killer" is the old lady's nephew whom she already "met" on the plane. Quite a coincidence. I usually am suspicious of coincidences in novels, but it worked in this one. It's even funny in a macabre kind of way. Richard knew immediately that she was bad news/nuts and he got away from her asap. Good example of "It takes one to know one."


Tanya (aka ListObsessedReader) (listobsessed) | 108 comments I listened to an audio edition of this read by Judi Dench late last month, and I can still hear passages so clearly in my mind. Absolutely wonderfully horribly compelling!!

I am definitely looking forward to investigating more of the Muriel Spark books on the list!


Julia (juliatruter) ** SPOILER ALERT **

I finished this book this morning. Wow - it is indeed a freak out. Anne - I like what you said ... And Evelyn, yes - I agree with you - a full length book would have been too much. But I loved the suspense - I didn't see it coming at all and I loved the twists. I'm glad I didn't read this at night - bad dreams would have followed.

You could sense that there was something psychotic about her in the first page of the book. The fact that she laughed uncontrollably at inappropriate times was quite nerve-wracking for me - in the shop where she bought the colorful clothes and also eating ice cream in the restaurant with the old lady. And the scene where the old lady was "stuck" in the toilet and she just walked away and continued with her shopping and leaving the lady there.

Oh yes - and also when she looks at the man behind her in the aeroplane - that was very unsettling. I could just imagine sitting in a plane and somebody doing that to me. :) And the way the "business man" jumped up to go sit somewhere else in the plane - what a twist when he appeared later on again ... didn't expect it at all!!

Anyway - all in all, the suspense was great - from the first page to the last page. I love the way that the writer talks about the "murder" early in the book, so you sort of have this expectation with every new character that is introduced - then you think, is it him?? ... :)


Anne (On semi-hiatus) (reachannereach) Julia wrote: "** SPOILER ALERT **

I finished this book this morning. Wow - it is indeed a freak out. Anne - I like what you said ... And Evelyn, yes - I agree with you - a full length book would have been too ..."


Thanks Julia. It was a suspenseful read, and like you, I also wondered with each character, tho not the old lady, is this him, the murderer? Spark really took us for a ride.


Julia (juliatruter) Anne wrote: "Julia wrote: "** SPOILER ALERT **

I finished this book this morning. Wow - it is indeed a freak out. Anne - I like what you said ... And Evelyn, yes - I agree with you - a full length book would ..."


Yes, that's very true - it was the same for me. With every character you think, could it be him? Except with the old lady as you said. :) Especially the guy who "helped" and "offered" to drop her at the hotel, but wait, no - actually every character!! :)


Silver | 312 comments Julia wrote: Yes, that's very true - it was the same for me. With every character you think, could it be him? Except with the old lady as you said. :) Especially the guy who "helped" and "offered" to drop her at the hotel, but wait, no - actually every character!! :)

I did like the fact that since you do find out rather early on what is ultimately going to happen to her, you start seeing possible suspects everywhere. And every time you meet someone new you think, oh is this going to be one. And the author does intentionally mislead the reader into giving them all these false trails so you never truly suspect or except what really happens in the end. For a while there I really thought it was going to be the guy with the Yin/Yang diet. But I never once acutally suspected that it was going to be the person who it was. The thought that the murder would turn out to be the man who Lise herself first "choose" on the airplane never crossed my mind.

In a sense I think it really Spark herself who is in the driver's seat and taking the readers upon this journey becasue she does use so much misdirection. When I finished this book it almost made me want to read it over again to see how knowing what end would be, would put a new understanding on Lise and her behavior and the things which she says.

Particularly when she keeps telling people that she is looking for "her type" becasue you automatically assume she is looking for a boyfriend, or a lover, and than you think well no wonder she ends up dead if she is going around just trying to hook up with some random guy she meets.

It also puts new significance on the scene in the Taxi when she leaves behind her passport. Because at first since she does come off as being unbalanced from the start, you just think that it is becasue she is crazy and out of touch with reality and she dosen't really know what she is doing, but after the fact it can be seen that she does it becasue she knows she will not be coming back and dose not in fact need it any longer.


Amanda Excellent points, Silver. I feel like I want to read it again too. Spark manages to work in so many barmy little details that I'm not sure I took it all in fully the first time. This is one book that really deserves its place on the list.


Silver | 312 comments One of the things which I am curious about is the significance of sexuality within this story. With the rather unconventional end which does challenge perceptions of gender roles by flipping our initial impressions based upon our perceptions about gender, combined with what information is alluded to, upside do.

The reader is lead to automatically presume the Lisa as a vulnerable woman, traveling alone, seemingly desperate to find the right one, had in the end fallen victim to a predatory man.

And Lisa does have a couple of different counters with men in which it is automatically assumed by them that she is seeking a sexual encounter, or that she is someone who could be persuaded or even forced into having sex, and she makes the point of saying more than once within the story about how she doesn't have any inclinations or desires in that direction and that she is not looking for a sexual relationship and is offended by those men whom seek such from her.


Amanda One thing that puzzled me was right at the very end. Lise rejects the tamer sexual advances of men throughout the book, but when she quite litterally forces herself upon the man at the end and encourages him to penetrate her with a knife, she states quite firmly again that she does not want sex and he should tie her legs together. Spark is a bit euthamistic here, but it seemed to me that he disobeys her initially and actually does 'rape' Lise, an act she gives no verbal objection to perhaps because she knows he is a sex fiend and accepts it as due payment? It is only after he has satisfied Lise's wishes by stabbing her precisely as instructed that he binds her ankles together as Lise wanted, rather pointlessly, after she is dead.


Anne (On semi-hiatus) (reachannereach) Silver wrote: "One of the things which I am curious about is the significance of sexuality within this story. With the rather unconventional end which does challenge perceptions of gender roles by flipping our in..."

My only thought about her lack of desire for sex is that it could be pleasurable and even life-affirming. She was seeking the opposite.


message 18: by laut (new) - rated it 4 stars

laut | 28 comments Amanda wrote: " Spark is a bit euthamistic here, but it seemed to me that he disobeys her initially and actually does 'rape' Lise, an act she gives no verbal objection to perhaps because she knows he is a sex fiend and accepts it as due payment?"

SPOILER:
I thought the same as well. Spark writes 'All the same, he plunges into her, knife raised high', so evidently he's not stabbing her at that point. I don't necessarily agree that she gave no verbal objection- she does after all scream 'kill me' at that point.


Anne (On semi-hiatus) (reachannereach) I think his "plunging into her and knifing her are one and the same. Rape, after all, is not sex. And she doesn't want it be sex which is why she screams "kill me."


Julia (juliatruter) So weird that we all assumed that she was looking for a boyfriend/lover. It's like Anne said, the author really took us for a ride!! Spark - I like what you say that the author was maybe in the driver's seat ... never thought about it - but it's an interesting take ...


Deanne | 682 comments Another one of her short stories on the list is The Girls of Slender Means, the title refers to a hostel for young women, but means somethingelse at the end.


Julia (juliatruter) I just read about her on Wikipedia ... I didn't picture her to look the way she does ... :) I don't know what I was picturing. Not sure if I want to read her other books, but this one we read now was quite intriguing.


Anne (On semi-hiatus) (reachannereach) Deanne wrote: "Another one of her short stories on the list is The Girls of Slender Means, the title refers to a hostel for young women, but means somethingelse at the end."

I read it, but so long ago that I can't remember it. I want to re-read it. I'm reading her The Mandelbaum Gate now. Entirely different. I'm just starting it and having a difficult time getting in to it. It's not as concise as the novella.


FrankH | 39 comments Another Minority Report directed at Charity's's opening question: For me, the only interest I can find here comes with the sudden, frightening realization that Lise's world -- as represented by the Yin-Yang man, Carlo and others met in her bizarre journey -- is populated with just 'her (Lise's) type', i.e.amoral doppelgangers equally disassociative and narcissistic, unable to communicate, to exchange ideas or empathize. The possible exception is Mrs. Fiedke at the start, but even she trails off into solopcism at the end. If this is more than a literary experiment, I'm not sure I understand how someone like half-bubble-short-of-plumb Lise can hold down a job, let alone receive warm wishes from her Boss for the upcoming vacation. Did she start to come off the rails when she left the office? Nor do I comprehend why Lise and her behavior compels much interest as anything other than a case study in abornormal psychology. The author intentionally makes her devoid of ideas and conveys virtually every behavior as an expression of her disease. You can argue, I guess, the plot gradually reveals Lise's deepening pathology and we are meant to examine events -- like a passport stuffed behind the taxi seat or the book offered to the clerk -- as clues that the final outcome is veering towards suicide -- or worse. But you could argue just as easily the other way: we get no true intentionality from Lise because ample cases of her behavior show there's nothing more going on than random firing of synapses inside a severely compromised brain. A larger question arises, though: Why should I, as a reader, invest my energy deciphering and interpretting like this when the author has not done enough to make me care about Lise and her fate in the first place?


Anne (On semi-hiatus) (reachannereach) FrankH wrote: "Another Minority Report directed at Charity's's opening question: For me, the only interest I can find here comes with the sudden, frightening realization that Lise's world -- as represented by th..."
I like your question about how the heck did this crazy person hold down a job. It made me think about the fact that there are a lot of crazy people walking around. They're called Ambulatory Schizophrenics. That was the term that kept going through my mind while reading this story. I also like your point that almost everyone Lise meets is mean and Narcissistic. I didn't consciously think about this while reading the story. I accepted it as part of the whole dark story and as Spark's way of letting us know that Lise was crazy and it showed. A lot of people in the world do behave badly toward people who seem crazy.

I don't need to like or care about Lise to get caught up in what the heck is going on and what is going to happen? In the best mystery stories that I've read the author doesn't kill off people I care about.

And, I like a case study in abnormal psychology if it's done well. I think this was a little over the top, but it could happen,


Silver | 312 comments I am interesting in the incident regarding the stain resistant dress. I think that is another one of those details which at first is not really thought much of and seen as just another example of Lise's eccentricity but upon having the end revealed this scene takes on a possible greater significance and think the author did point it out to the reader for a moment.

Of course the first thing I could not help but to think of at reaching the conclusion of the book is the idea of blood stains.

When Lise is shopping for her trip the first dress she tries on she is told is stain resistant, upon being told this she becomes instantly offended at the saleswoman making the suggestion that she could need or want a stain resistant dress and finds the whole idea absurd. It makes me wonder if her defensive reaction to this suggestion was becasue of some fear in her that her ultimate purpose may have been guessed ahead of time, knowing full well just what sort of stains would ultimately end up soiling her dress. And so she rejects this dress.

But this notion of the stain resistant dress reemerges more than once within the story. She mentioned it again to the old lady she meets and than there was the incident in which she does end up having her dress stained during the riot.

Also the whole process of her picking out what she is going to where and her eventually choosing that rather outrageous outfit brings to mine the whole process one goes through in choosing a burial outfit.


Amanda | 14 comments Silver wrote: "I am interesting in the incident regarding the stain resistant dress. I think that is another one of those details which at first is not really thought much of and seen as just another example of L..."

This is a great observation...I actually hadn't made the connection between the stain-resistant dress and the stains of her death. That is a nice undertone.

American Gothic?
Did anyone else feel Spark's writing style and violence theme was reminiscent of American gothic a la Flannery O'Connor? I didn't look up Spark's biography until after I finished the book (and had the thought about American gothic), but in retrospect her Catholic background jives with this although, yes, it was not lost on me that Spark hails from Scotland.

Last note -- I found the efficient, clean description to be gratifying. I loved how lean the narration was, making Lise's unpredictability stand out starkly.


Stewart | 63 comments Interesting story of a woman who really was asking for it.


Julia (juliatruter) Silver wrote: "I am interesting in the incident regarding the stain resistant dress. I think that is another one of those details which at first is not really thought much of and seen as just another example of L..."

Oh my word - thanks Silver for your observation. I didn't think about that at all ... that's why I love this site ...!! :)


Lisa of Hopewell (hopewell) | 7 comments Crazy lady! I'm anxious just opening it up to read more tonight! It's very believable though. And, as an office-dweller, I've feared a descent into boredom-induced madness myself. Can't wait to read more.


Stewart | 63 comments Lise's reaction to the shop assistants imputation that she might have use for a stain resistant dress is interesting. Is it just me, or did anyone else think of Monica Lewinsky type clothes stains. No wonder she was indignant. That's not the dirty, messy type of business she would get herself involved in.

Seems to me that the whole book is about sex.

Love the idea of the guy on the one orgasm a day diet literally spilling his seed on the floor of the taxi after kissing Lise.

Lise complains to Mrs Feideke that men have to much self control.

She wants to be tied up and stabbed.

Could a man have written this?


message 32: by Stewart (last edited Jul 18, 2011 03:02PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Stewart | 63 comments "I never trust the airlines from those countries where the pilots believe in the after life."

Hilarious stuff.


Stewart | 63 comments Can anyone help me out here? In thinking about the location of Lise's death, behind the pavilion, I have a quote, a poem or song lyric or something at the back of my mind which I can't quite reach. Something to do with "...far pavilions of the sky...will steal away...thief in the night... the day the (something) must die." It may be nothing to do with anything, but has obviously been conjured up from the dark recesses because of the conjoining of pavilion and death.


Amanda Stewart wrote: "Love the idea of the guy on the one orgasm a day diet literally spilling his seed on the floor of the taxi after kissing Lise...."

My god...you know I was so occupied by how ridiculous and pathetic this guy is that I completely missed that he was 'seedy' as well. There are at least three references to him spilling his rice and all of them are whilst he is interacting with Lise. What a creep!

As for the dress, my first impression was that Lise was offended at the idea that she might need a stain-resistant dress, as if she might be a sloppy person when in actuality the assistant was trying to sell the dress as a modern convienience item. Lise then tries to share her scorn at the idea with an elderly lady that she seems to think might share her views. The old lady doesn't take her up on this, but does interact in Lise's comments about the students, whom they both fail to understand. I took all this as evidence of Lise' disconnectedness from her youth. I calculated her to be in her mid thirties and there is no mention of an ex-husband or other significant relationship in her life - Lise may very well be an old maid. Just a few of Lise's motives for murder, perhaps?


Silver | 312 comments Amanda wrote: Lise may very well be an old maid. Just a few of Lise's motives for murder, perhaps?

I had the impression that she was a younger woman


Stewart | 63 comments Silver wrote: "Amanda wrote: Lise may very well be an old maid. Just a few of Lise's motives for murder, perhaps?

I had the impression that she was a younger woman"


She worked at the accountants office for 16 years and some months, from the age of 18. That makes her 34.

She is later described as looking perhaps as young as 29, or as old as 36.


Silver | 312 comments Stewart wrote: "Silver wrote: "Amanda wrote: Lise may very well be an old maid. Just a few of Lise's motives for murder, perhaps?

I had the impression that she was a younger woman"

She worked at the accountants ..."


Well I do not consider that exzactly "old"


Stewart | 63 comments Silver wrote: "Stewart wrote: "Silver wrote: "Amanda wrote: Lise may very well be an old maid. Just a few of Lise's motives for murder, perhaps?

I had the impression that she was a younger woman"

She worked..."


Speaking as a very old man, she is a mere whipper snapper.


Amanda Silver wrote: "Well I do not consider that exzactly "old"..."

I don't consider it old either! But you have to take context into consideration. Lise appears to be living in the 1960s or early 1970s. A woman in her mid-thirties in this era whom had never married and had children would have probably been considered rather strange by her comtemporaries. She'd have been less marriagable at that late stage.


Stewart | 63 comments I think that the sexual imagery is interesting. Many people comment on the early description of Lise's lips being "normally pressed together like the ruled line of the balance sheet...".
This is probably the only description of her being tight lipped.
Throughout the book there are constant references to parting of her lips; they are "parted" or "slightly parted", indicative, perhaps, of growing excitement as she moves towards the fulfillment of her desire.


Stewart | 63 comments Anyone feels sorry for the murderer?
He had done a terrible thing in the past and paid his debt to society. He had been punished in jail, received help in hospital. He was trying to make a new life, a fresh start. When he recognised the danger in Lise, on the plane, he ran away from her, to another seat. When He arrived at his aunt's hotel he saw Lise there and ran away again (that's why his aunt thought he had missed the plane - I missed this on the first reading). When Lise see's him again she practically kidnaps him. He resists her demands then eventually gives in.
Of course he is responsible for his actions. But his life is now ruined because a determined woman decided to use him to satisfy her morbid desire.


Silver | 312 comments Stewart wrote: "Anyone feels sorry for the murderer?
He had done a terrible thing in the past and paid his debt to society. He had been punished in jail, received help in hospital. He was trying to make a new life..."


Yes a part of me could not help but to feel sorry for him and I do like the way in which the author does create conflicting feelings about him, Though one has to question can he truly be called a murderer? At least in the case of Lise? While it is true he had murdered others in the past, so in that since he is a murderer, but can we really consider what he did to Lise as murder?

In this incident I think that Spark does really play with our perceptions of gender, for in essence the "murderer" actually becomes the victim, and Lise is the one who actually preys upon his vulnerabilities, which is just the opposite of what the reader was initially lead to believe. As in first discovering that she would be found dead, I think most people naturally assumed that it was her vulnerability that was prayed upon by a man. But truly Lise was the preparatory one in this instance, and the one whom took advantage of another's own weakness to satisfy her desires.


Stewart | 63 comments Silver wrote: "Stewart wrote: "Anyone feels sorry for the murderer?
He had done a terrible thing in the past and paid his debt to society. He had been punished in jail, received help in hospital. He was trying t..."

Yes. Dangerous chaps, women.


Anne (On semi-hiatus) (reachannereach) Stewart wrote: "Silver wrote: "Stewart wrote: "Anyone feels sorry for the murderer?
He had done a terrible thing in the past and paid his debt to society. He had been punished in jail, received help in hospital. Yes. Dangerous chaps, women. H..."


Ha Ha.


Julia (juliatruter) Yes Silver - I did feel sorry for him ... :(


Chuck | 24 comments Just finished. A real disappointment for me. Based on this list, I am clearly in the minority. Really wanted to like it, but found much of it to be transparent and unsuspenseful. I agree with much of what FrankH wrote above. But still love having this group to take on the challenge of the 1001 list!


message 47: by [deleted user] (new)

SPOILERS
Finished the book last night, and loved it. I think it's terribly difficult to write something in present tense and make it completely engrossing. I was with Lise right from the start. The part about the murder, and its early reveal, did make the story suspenseful and I will agree with all those above that said it made them try to guess who the murderer would be, but it was also entertaining just seeing what Lise would do from moment to moment.

Was anyone else surprised that the murderer was the scared man from the plane? I was shocked. I too was surprised that she was behind her own demise. All around excellently done.

Am I wrong, is it never stated where she's from or where she's gone to exactly?

@Tanya - I can't imagine how amazing the audio recording must have been. Dench is fantastic.

I agree with Rhianne and Anne, I thought she was raped at the end too.

@Stewart - that airline line was one of my favorite in the book!


Silver | 312 comments Libby wrote: Am I wrong, is it never stated where she's from or where she's gone to exactly?

I do not think it is ever stated. I am pretty sure they never say where she herself is from, but I am not certain if they mention where she is. But I don't recall it ever being said.

Actually it is kind of interesting that the only thing we are told about Lise and her background is that she is not an American. I wonder what is the significance of that? I think it comes up more than once in the book.

Also I thought it was curious that Lise mentions what an experienced traveler she is, and that she always travels light becasue she knows whatever she needs she can buy on the other side but than when the Yin and Yang diet guy on the plane asks her if she has flown very often she tells him no.

In spite of the fact that Lisa does tend to jabber on a bit and that she can be seen as "unreliable" in her clear eccentricity and seemingly instability, for some reason there was something about that contradiction struck out at me.

Maybe that was meant to be another clue dropped to the reader about the outcome. Her explanation for why she does appear at the airport with little or no luggage deficits suspicion this might rise within both the reader as well as the people at the airport, so that one never suspects that Lise consciously has any plans of never coming back, but than the author reveals the lie of that comment to give the reader pause but than becasue of the way Lise is you do not really make that much of it becasue you already know that she is strange and does like to ramble on a lot.


message 49: by Bea (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bea | 110 comments I listened to the audio book with the superb Judi Dench narration and enjoyed it. Unfortunately that means I don't have the text to refer to.

I don't think they say exactly where Lise goes though for some reason I had the impression it may have been Italy. She speaks English, Danish, French, and Italian.

I must be the lone reader that thought Lise was somewhat methodical and rational. It seemed to me that every single thing she did was designed to draw attention to herself so as to leave clues, like a trail of breadcrumbs for the police to put together. I put down to careful planning the loud clothing, bright book, disruptive commments, leaving possessions in cars, etc. Now that I think about it it almost looks like she was trying to take revenge/cast suspicion on as many men as possible.

Because of this I had assumed that Lise had arranged to hire a hitman to kill her until the very moment of her murder.

I got a kick out of the airport and airplane scenes. I had to go and check out the date of publication to make sure this wasn't some kind of alternate universe. I started wondering when a vendor was selling souvenir letter openers that people could take with them on the plane. Then when the people were actually served food on board and could smoke it was deja vu all over again.

There's one point I would like to clear up. Lise seriously considers buying a letter opener at the airport. Then she thinks she can get one when she reaches her destination. However, it is Mrs Feideke that ends up buying the letter opener/murder weapon. What I can't remember is whether Lise encourages her to do this or not.

Anyway, I finished the book then found I don't have one to check off since I am working on the Core List which this isn't on. I'm looking forward to reading The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, which is on the Core List and was the source material for one of my favorite movies.


Silver | 312 comments Bea wrote: "I listened to the audio book with the superb Judi Dench narration and enjoyed it. Unfortunately that means I don't have the text to refer to.

I don't think they say exactly where Lise goes though..."


For me I think that the view of Lise being rational in her actions comes after the discovery of what happened to her. When having there perception of her as being truly a victim of a crime, than everything she does and the way she acts just makes her seem as if she is a very eccentric individual. But once the end is revealed to the truth, than if you go back one can see that all of Lise's actions actually did make logical since with the view she ultimately had in mind and in a way the author uses this to offer clues to the reader.

Yes I had found it quite interesting reading about how much flying has changed between than and now, particularly considering it was truly not THAT long ago. Though I knew that smoking used to be allowed on planes once, I was surprised about the selling of the letter opener in the airport.

In regards to Mrs Fiedeke and buying the letter opener that was at the insistence of Lise. Originally she only wanted to buy slippers for her nephew, but Lise kept telling her about how she did not think that was a very good gift, and told her, that she ought to buy him a letter opener, and how she herself almost bought one for her "boyfriend."


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