Great Novellas discussion

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, by Muriel Spark

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

Wow - once again Muriel Spark is blowing my mind.

I am totally in love.

message 2: by [deleted user] (last edited Jan 16, 2009 08:31AM) (new)

I can't believe how much I love this Muriel Spark book. I mean, it's about so many things that I have zero interest in: bratty girls, high society, school drama, romance, manners, and so on.

And yet I am finding myself utterly compelled by each page. I can't read it fast enough, I can't absorb enough of Spark's prose, and I can't wait for each opportunity to dive its narrative.

Spark is a master at creating and setting the scene. She writes with her eyes. Each time I pick up the book, it only takes a couple of brief sentences for me to be instantly drawn back into the book's milieu.

In terms of quality narrative, character, and prose, this book stands apart from almost anything else I've ever read.

This morning I read what could be the greatest sentence I've ever read.

Miss Brodie is an unorthodox teacher. one of her students comments on how when other students say 'good morning' to Miss Brodie, they say the word 'morning' to rhyme with the word 'scorning,' thus they are really saying 'I scorn you.' But Miss Brodie is different, her reply is more "anglicized in its accent":

"'Good mawning,' she replied, in the corridors, flattening their scorn beneath the chariot wheels of her superiority, and deviating her head towards them no more than an insulting half-inch."

Now that is writing.

message 3: by Jessica (last edited May 18, 2011 12:53PM) (new)

Jessica (jesstrea) | 11 comments This is excellent, I agree.

Totally different, really wild, and highly recommended (also a novella) is Muriel Spark's 'The Driver's Seat'.

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