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Nuns and Soldiers (Penguin Twentieth-Century Classics) Paperback – July 30, 2002


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Product Details

  • Series: Penguin Twentieth-Century Classics
  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; Reprint edition (July 30, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0142180092
  • ISBN-13: 978-0142180099
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 1.1 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,454,076 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“A power of intellect quite exceptional in a novelist.” –Sunday Times

“She is incapable of writing without fascinating and beautiful colour.” –The Times --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From the Inside Flap

Gertrude has lost her husband and Anne, an ex-nun, her god. Who will judge whom in this rich and riveting story? Who will act nobly, and who will act basely? And who will be lucky? --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

More About the Author

Iris Murdoch (1919-1999) was one of the most influential British writers of the twentieth century. She was awarded the 1978 Booker Prize for The Sea, The Sea, won the Royal Society Literary Award in 1987, and was made a Dame of the British Empire in 1987 by Queen Elizabeth. Her final years were clouded by a long struggle with Alzheimer's before her passing in 1999.

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By frumiousb VINE VOICE on April 9, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Whenever I read an Iris Murdoch novel, I am reminded how much I enjoy and appreciate her work. Her books are always a pleasure to read, and a pleasure that I would be sincerely sorry to miss.

At the moment of the death of her husband, Gertrude is reunited with her best friend from University-- Anne. Anne and Gertrude had been separated when Anne had joined the nunnery, and it is this occasion of great loss for both of them (Anne has lost the solace of the nunnery) that brings them together. Nuns and Soldiers questions both the notion of great love and the morality of the expression of love.

My book club was not overly fond of Nuns and Soldiers because they found the character of Gertrude so utterly unsympathetic. I must admit that she is truly atypical for Murdoch-- her feminine passivity and self-centeredness are not normal characteristics for Murdoch characters. However, her traits make her a good fit for the novel, even if she would make a grating person to know in real life.

Like most Murdoch novels, this is one that I would recommend.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 15, 1999
Format: Paperback
"Nuns and Soldiers" was the first Iris Murdoch novel I read. I've since read many others, but it remains one of the most memorable, from the very first scene when an important character is on his deathbed. (A visitor considers whether to mention to the dying man that it's raining, but then reflects on how irrelevant that would be . . . "There would be no more weather for Gerald.") In addition to the side trips into philosphy that are typical in Murdoch's novels, you have memorable characters for whom she's created detailed and interesting pasts -- this really draws you into their lives as they veer from one life-changing crisis to the next. Murdoch's plotting is amazing, as well: masterfully done. She'd be worthy of a college course in writing, for sure. I "held back" a star because the ending was a bit "happily ever after" for my taste, but it's an excellent book.
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12 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Seanna Tsung on January 4, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is one of three Iris Murdoch books I have read, as a good friend of mine is a big fan. I have yet to see why. I found Nuns and Soldiers silly and overwrought, an extended but inexplicable love story filled with improbable and self conscious conversations. Do people experiencing a coup de foudre really sit around and dissect their feelings? I don't find the philosophical or moral underpinnings of the story to be compelling, either. Social requirements versus individual desire, I guess.
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0 of 13 people found the following review helpful By tommy_tads on March 26, 2003
Format: Paperback
An interesting take on the old theme of nuns/soldiers and vicars/tarts, this one. Most of you will know the story, but I shan't spoil it for those who have not yet read it. I am surprised that that girl from Titanic could write something as clever as this.
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