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The Girls of Slender Means (New Directions Classic) Paperback – April 17, 1998
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From Library Journal
"Spark, as usual, has perfectly plotted and peopled this giddy world of postwar delirium and girls' dormitory life," said LJ's reviewer of this satirical novel (LJ 10/1/63), which follows the low-income female inhabitants of London's May of Teak Club in the summer of 1945. Spark is always worth having.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From The New Yorker
Muriel Spark's novels linger in the mind as brilliant shards, decisive as a smashed glass is decisive.
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Top Customer Reviews
Several people have commented that the beginning of the book is slow and that they were knocked out by the ending. I had the opposite reaction: the beginning, with its incredibly evocative portrait of London in 1945, fascinated me. The ending began to lose my interest a bit, though I can't reveal why without giving anything away.
Still, all told, a highly recommended work.
One word of caution, though: the Kindle edition is terrible, replete as it is with typos. I make a point when reading Kindle books to report content errors, and I had to do it dozens and dozens in this very short book. I hope New Directions makes the necessary corrections (some publishers seem to ignore them), because it was incredibly frustrating to run into mistakes page after page - really broke my reading flow.
This book is written in many characters points of view, and at first I had trouble keeping up with who was who. The book also jumps from past to present, and it takes a second to figure out which year you are in. The ending of this book was a little shocking, which makes it worth reading. This is a very short novel; however the writing style makes it a little harder to read. Muriel Spark throws in poetry at random places, and repeats it over and over (one of the girls is teaching elocution), which seems to halt the story as much as her jumping from viewpoint and time period.
I wouldn't really recommend this book to anyone, but I wouldn't discourage anyone from reading it either. I don't regret reading this book, but I definitely won't read it again.
Please see more of my reviews at [...]
Ah, but Ms. Spark is not telling us this story just to provide an evening's light entertainment. A tragedy occurs that once again points out the absurdity of war. It is sad that there has been no time in any of our lives when this message is obsolete. It's a short novel, almost a short story writ long, but it doesn't need to be any longer than it is. The author has taken just the amount of time she has needed to paint her colorful literary portrait...and then put a big smudge right in the middle of it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book, it seemed as I read, wanted me to think it frivolous. Oh, what a cute, slim little thing, chronicling the lives and loves of “the girls of slender...Read more