Book reviews, Pullitzer, Booker, Costa and Children's Book reviews
Book reviews, Pullitzer, Booker, Costa and Children's Book reviews
Prize Winning Fiction
Prize Winning Fiction

1978 Booker Prize Winner

The Sea, The Sea by Iris Murdoch

       
 

Publisher: Chatto & Windus

Length: 560 pages

About: Actor's retirement to seaside disturbed

Style: 1st person

Where: England

When: 1970s

 

Publisher’s synopsis:

Charles Arrowby, leading light of England’s theatrical set, retires from glittering London to an isolated home by the sea. He plans to write a memoir about his great love affair with Clement Makin, his mentor both professionally and personally, and to amuse himself with Lizzie, an actress he has strung along for many years. None of his plans work out, and his memoir evolves into a riveting chronicle of the strange events and unexpected visitors – some real, some spectral – that disrupt his world and shake his oversized ego to its very core.

 

Extract:

Then I felt too that I might take this opportunity to tie up a few loose ends, only of course loose ends can never be properly tied, one is always producing new ones. Time, like the sea, unties all knots. Judgements on people are never final, they emerge from summings up which at once suggest the need of a reconsideration. Human arrangements are nothing but loose ends and hazy reckoning, whatever art may otherwise pretend in order to console us.

 

Reviews:

Good:

Peppered with literary allusions, yet enjoyable on its own terms, the strongest echo in The Sea, The Sea is of Prospero and The Tempest. Murdoch's subtly, blackly humorous digs at human vanity and self-delusion periodically build into waves of hilarity, and Arrowby is a brilliant creation: a deeply textured, intriguing yet unreliable narrator, and one of the finest character studies of the 20th century.

The Observer, Sophia Martelli, 4th August 2013

 

Not so good:

"Is it a genuine voice ? Not enough of one, I fear. Arrowby's dryness is really an unconvincing literary device. (...) The Sea, the Sea tends toward the doughy. There is the genuine weight of obsession in Arrowby's narrative, but also the mere weight of iteration and ingenuity." 

Martin Greenberg, The New York Times Book Review

 

About the author

Iris Murdoch was born in 1919 in Dublin and studied at Somerville College, Oxford. In 1948 she became a fellow of St Anne’s College, Oxford. She was awarded the C.B.E. in 1976 and in 1987 she was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire. After a five-year battle with Alzheimer’s disease, Iris Murdoch died in 1999. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2016 Pulitzer Prize Winner

It's a massive day in arts and journalism because the 100th annual Pulitzer Prize winners were just announced, and there's a big surprise. 2015's best artistic and nonfiction writing across 21 categories were recognized during a ceremony Monday afternoon at Columbia University in New York City. The first Pulitzer Prize was awarded to Hebert Bayward Swope, a reporter for The New York World, in 1916. (And if you're as big a fan of Newsies as I am, that paper should ring a bell, but try to think of it more positively.)

The major prize for book nerds, the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction went to The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen (Grove Press), a legitimate surprise, if you've been paying attention to the book nerd and industry buzz. The feeling around the prize in the last few months would have you putting all your hard-earned cash down on A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara to take home the award, but that's why you should never gamble. Viet Thanh Nguyen is no less deserving, and moreover, it's his debut novel, which makes it such a wonderful win.

Extract from New York Times to view full article...

Click here

 

Print Print | Sitemap Recommend this page Recommend this page
© Prize Winning Fiction