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From the Booker Prize-winning author of The Sea, The Sea comes a story about revenge and reconciliation, and the difference between being nice and being good. John Ducane, a respected Whitehall civil servant, is asked to investigate the suicide of a colleague. As he pursues his inquiry, he uncovers a shabby, evil world of murder, blackmail, and black magic. He begins to feel more trapped than trapping. In contrast to a stagnant summer in London, Octavian and Kate Gray s adoring community on the Dorset coast seems to offer Ducane refuge, but even here the after-effects of violence poison an atmosphere already electric with adolescent quarrels and intrigue. After a swim into the underworld, Ducane begins to realize that niceness is not enough. "A feast."-- The Guardian "

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780140030341
ISBN-10: 0140030344
Format: Paperback
(198mm x 128mm x 20mm)
Pages: 368
Imprint: Penguin Books Ltd
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Publish Date: 1-Nov-1969
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Reviews

US Kirkus Review » Not long ago Iris Murdoch wrote an article in the Royal Journal of Philosophy to the effect that ethical studies must be postponed until we know more about psychology. Here she harps on both strings, playing with a florid variety of temperaments and consciences, as embodied in sybarites, penitents, con men, spirited and dispirited women, adolescents, a Dachau survivor, an occultist, and a neo-Calvinist hero investigating the suicide of his Foreign Office colleague. Intricacies of theme are amplified by intricacies of plot, which gains a real momentum, though never providing the suspense of The Unicorn or the irony of The Severed Head. The author's aggressively adjectival, over-interpretive voice rarely subsides... but then when she leaves her characters alone they say things like "'You've got to relive this thing, Paula, and not just for Eric but for yourself.'" It's decidedly second-rate Murdoch, pretentious and sententious; still, as a big, curl-uppable-with, very novelistic novel (not so easy to come by these days, after all) it will more than meet the demand. (Kirkus Reviews)


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