Bibliofemme Bookclub An Irish Bookclub

January 10, 2012

The Sea, The Sea by Iris Murdoch

Filed under: Bookclub Books,Classics,Irish — The DJ @ 3:07 pm
The Sea, the Sea Book Cover The Sea, the Sea
Iris Murdoch
Classics, Irish

Meeting: September 2002

At the time of choosing ‘The Sea, The Sea’ it was the earliest written book chosen so far for the bookclub (though still in its infancy at 26 years). Written in the late 1970s, it was to be Murdoch’s most lauded – and some would say – most difficult book. I was also surprised that until now, no one had opted for an Irish-born writer. The film of her life had been released just a couple of months previously, so I figured she might be a topical and interesting choice.

Charles Arrowby, a retired London luvvie has become tired of the acting fraternity. He reneges city life in favour of a country retreat. A gastronomic individual, we are taken in detail through every aspect of his daily life. Despite his meagre efforts, his relationship with the coterie of locals is strained and they are at best indifferent to him. 3/5

Score awarded by Bibliofemme: 3 out of 5

1978 Booker Prize

What the other femmes had to say
The Historian “My favourite bookclub book with deserved classic status.” 3/5

The Writer “Tough to get into, but worth it. Some great characters and a plot that really comes together. It stayed with me longer than I thought it would.” 4/5

The DJ “Murdoch is a master of characterisation, setting and slowly bringing the plot to boil. Very enjoyable.” 3/5

The Techie “A classic, you become one with the characters, a bit slow moving though.” 3/5

The Connoisseur“Not my cup of tea, a dull story of a self-obsessed theatrical wash-up” 1/5

The Artist “Murdoch’s rendering of Charles Arrowby is a magnificently clear portrait and a wonderful read.” 4/5

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