Monday, July 14, 2008

A Far Cry from Kensington

Finished A Far Cry from Kensington by Muriel Spark. It was not originally on my summer reading list, however, the Anglophiles Anonymous group I belong to on Shelfari decided to read it together, so I picked it up at the library. A somewhat irreverent book, it features one of the quirkiest cast of characters I've ever encountered. Mrs. Hawkins, the narrator leads us through the tale of these characters, some residents of the rooming house where she lives, others colleagues from her "job in publishing." Mrs. Hawkins is extremely capable, extremely reliable, extremely patient, until one day she loses her patience and calls a hack writer to his face what she has called him in her head for a very long time. This phrase, while pretty accurate, causes her to lose several jobs and starts a chain of bizarre events, that while comic, are rather tragic as well. This was a weird book. Spark employs the phrase a few times too many for my tolerance, but otherwise it was a quick and amusing read. The only other book by Spark that I've read is The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, which was excellent of course.

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