Thursday, November 13, 2014

Eleventh Classic of 2014...


     "I have frequently told you, and the holidays just past have convinced me, that my prime has truly begun. One's prime is elusive. You little girls, when you grow up, must be on the alert to recognize your prime at whatever time of your life it may occur. You must then live it to the full....One's prime is the moment one was born for."
 "Give me a girl at an impressionable age and she is mine for life."

So speaks Miss Jean Brodie, a 'progressive spinster' and teacher at the Marcia Blaine School in Edinburgh, Scotland, in the 1930s. She surrounds herself with a small circle of eleven-year-old girls, 'The Brodie Set', presumably to mold them in her image as they grow up, but mostly to have a captive audience for all her stories and grand ideas. She's unconventional and energetic and I wanted to like her, but mostly I found her imperious, judgmental, and completely self-centered. Sadly, I didn't find much to like in any of the Brodie girls either, but maybe that's because of Spark's narrative style which is a bit aloof and removed. What a disappointing read!

I've read a few of Muriel Spark's other novels--books I quite enjoyed--but I didn't like this one at all. I was expecting something funnier and more warm-hearted, but The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie is not a feel-good novel; in fact, this book left me feeling cold. At least it's short and I was able to finish it quickly. I wish someone would tell me why people like this novel so much. I just don't see it. With my apologies to Muriel Spark, this is one classic I won't be reading again. 

Happy Reading (some other book)!
 

10 comments:

  1. I agree, I did not understand the appeal of this novel. It's good to know you liked other Muriel Spark books better; I have not moved on to any others after not enjoying the Prime. Are there any you would particularly recommend?

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    1. Try The Girls of Slender Means or Loitering With Intent. Both are better than this one.

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  2. Yeah, I read this one several years ago, and it left me with an icky feeling.

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    1. Exactly. I'm almost sorry I even read it.

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  3. You do a good job of giving me ideas for my TBR list...and also things to put on my NOT to read list! Think I will pass on this one!

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    1. Yeah, it's not worth reading (especially when there are SO many other, better books out there).

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  4. I've heard of this book forever, but it sounds like the best thing about it is the title! Too many books, too little time--I think I'll pass on this classic myself.

    Good review.

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    1. It's short, which is the only good thing it's got going for it.,but if you don't ever read it you won't be missing out.

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  5. Hmmmh, I'm not familiar with this one but don't think I'll be adding it to my classic list. An aloof narrative style doesn't appeal to me as I know it will make me feel disconnected with the characters.

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    1. I'd definitely say skip it...I couldn't connect with any of the characters... and I didn't like any of them either.

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