Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Buy Used
$4.08
FREE Shipping on orders over $25.
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Unbeatable customer service, and we usually ship the same or next day. Over one million satisfied customers!
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

The Comforters (New Directions Revived Modern Classics) Paperback – September 17, 1994

3.6 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

See all 18 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback, September 17, 1994
$9.86 $0.01
Mass Market Paperback
"Please retry"
$5.00

Books with Buzz
Discover the latest buzz-worthy books, from mysteries and romance to humor and nonfiction. Explore more
click to open popover

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Spark's 1957 first novel caused quite a stir among the critics, who found her a novelist worth watching. Nearly 30 years later, one can say positively that they were right. Her many fans will be happy to see this again.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

“Spark's 1957 first novel caused quite a stir among the critics, who found her a novelist worth watching. Nearly 30 years later, one can say positively that they were right. Her many fans will be happy to see this again.” (Library Journal)
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

New York Times best sellers
Browse the New York Times best sellers in popular categories like Fiction, Nonfiction, Picture Books and more. See more

Product Details

  • Series: New Directions Revived Modern Classics
  • Paperback: 204 pages
  • Publisher: New Directions (September 17, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811212858
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811212854
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 0.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,019,561 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Muriel Spark's first novel, THE COMFORTERS, is a genuine classic. The intrustion of the "literary device" is marvelous because it is anything but a gimmick. For one thing, the mysterious metafictional typewriter (from an author composing a novel you might be reading) is inspired by experiences Spark describes in her autobiography. Aural hallucinations contributed to two masterpieces of English prose around this time--Evelyn Waugh's THE ORDEAL OF GILBERT PINFOLD takes a different approach, less cosmic and perhaps more comic. In both cases, however, the voices are central to the novel, and provide a marvelous opportunity for conveying a unique (and, I think, in both cases, -true-) view of our world.
The other undercurrent here is Spark's conversion to Roman Catholicism. Caroline's attitude may not be Spark's, but I hope it is--skewering irritating modern Pharisees inside the Church as gleefully as those outside of it.
Comment 21 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
You've seen those comedy improv routines. A comedian asks the audience for things like an occupation, a nationality, an emotion, a brand of toilet tissue and a holiday. Then the comedian goes on to improvise a comedy routine that incorporates all those elements. This is how THE COMFORTERS seems to have been invented.

Then I noticed very abrupt scene shifts and that one of the characters is being haunted by the narrator. Then it hit me: plot creation through some seemingly random process, abrupt scene shifts, and the narrator is a ghost haunting one of the characters. Ah ha! I was reading a postmodernist novel. I had assumed that a 1957 novel by a Scottish Catholic would be free of postmodernism.

I did enjoy reading it. It’s more in the tradition of the British comedy novel than anything else. There are very long scenes, plenty of droll dialogue and even a hint of zany madcap comedy action.

2.88 stars
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Muriel Spark's first novel is a droll, genre mixing blend of cozy crime, black-magic superstition, and religious longing. Her dead wrong believers anticipate the infamous Miss Jran Brody, and a wonderful old lady reminds us of Miss Marple only on the other side of the law. The Comforters is a great start to a great career.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
The Comforters was the debut novel of Prime of Miss Jean Brodie author Muriel Spark and while it's not a masterpiece, one can see why it was regarded as an impressive first book. The story revolves around a young woman named Caroline Rose, who begins hearing a voice, accompanied by a typewriter, narrating her life. This is reminiscent of the 2006 Will Ferrell/Emma Thompson movie Stranger Than Fiction, which also has a character whose life is being narrated by an outside force (I wonder if the makers of that movie knew about or drew on Spark's novel).

Unfortunately, I don't think Spark develops her unusual trope as far as she might (it kind of drops into the background of the narrative) but there are enough other interesting characters and scenes to make up for it. They include Caroline's on-again-off-again boyfriend Laurence and his eccentric Anglo-Catholic family, a would-be gang of jewel thieves led by a septugenarian granny and a bosomy middle-aged woman who may or may not be a witch.
Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Pages with Related Products. See and discover other items: psychological thriller