The Philosopher's Pupil

The Philosopher's Pupil

eBook - 2010
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A mysterious accident drives the inhabitants of a quiet town to face their darkest obsessions When George McCaffrey's car plunges into a canal with his wife still inside, nobody knows whether George is to blame. Nobody, that is, except an Anglican priest who happened to witness the whole thing. And when George's former teacher, the charismatic philosopher Rozanov, returns to town, George's life begins to spin wildly out of control. Set in the English spa town of Ennistone, The Philosopher's Pupil is a darkly comic story of love, redemption, and the complex nature of the human condition.
Publisher: [Place of publication not identified] : Open Road Media, [2010]
ISBN: 9781453200872
Branch Call Number: FICTION Mur
Description: 1 online resource (558 pages)
Additional Contributors: Freading (Firm)


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Jan 27, 2016

The greatest shortcoming of this book is its terrible lack of ECONOMY. I have to confess to a morbid fascination with it, even though there is much to detest about Murdoch's style, her content and especially her characters. The only saving grace I've discovered in this collection of unpleasant people is their vaunted cleverness -- which renders them even more abhorrent. And there are so damn MANY of them: Murdoch gleefully explores the entire family history of each resident of her screwball imaginary town, back to at least two or three generations, whether they have any relevance to the narrative or not. Add to that her irksome la-di-dah interjection of bon mots à la française and parenthetic asides and it's hard for me to explain why I continued to wade through about 265 pages of "set-up" before her narrative finally got going. I kept hoping that at least one sympathetic character would emerge out of this menagerie of misanthropes, sycophants, schemers, sociopaths, misfits, social climbers, whiners, poseurs .... you get the picture. Or that someone would do the right thing and murder George, the disgusting, drunken psychopath before long even though he appeared to be the main protagonist. Murdoch spends nearly a hundred pages exploring George's personality and motives, even though her one sentence "He saw the world as a conspiracy against him and himself as a victim of cosmic injustice" probably would have sufficed.
Bottom line: Murdoch's self-indulgence (permitted by her editors, to their discredit) impairs what could otherwise have been an engrossing story, namely the complex relationship among George, Tom, Hattie and Rozenov.


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