A Word Child {Summary} author Iris Murdoch

Iris Murdoch Ó 2 Summary

Rde cherishes his obsessive guilt and disappointment in a dull civil service job When the man whom he has betrayed reappe One of my favorites by by Ms Murdoch a great place to start if you ve never read her fiction very darkly funny also about mad love The word child of the title is Hilary Burde the narrator Using one of her rare first person narratives the book has an interesting structure with each chapter headed by a day of the week This is based on the order and routine Hilary has attempted to establish for his life by having certain things that he always does on certain days of the week and the novel follows him as this routine is gradually upended From childhood he escaped into his own world through a talent for languages partly due to the inexpiable horror of having caused the death of another man s wife an event which ended his promising Oxford career and sent him into a decade of self flagellation Gunnar the wronged widower reappears remarried but as paralyzed as Hilary by the events of twenty years ago Through the agency of an unfathomable half Indian servant Gunnar s second wife begins an euivocal intrigue with Hilary on the pretext of getting Gunnar to come to terms with his feelings about Hilary and Anne s death The moral imperatives of the developing situation are perceived in contradictory terms by Hilary and his small circle of confederates a persistent half wanted mistress a placid co worker and his effusively solicitous wife a rancorous homosexual friend the beautiful and mysterious servant his unpresentable but adored sister and her humbly devoted fiance Murdoch gives us all the machinery and then some for a cause of conscience of the most perverse contradictory and surreal complexity in a subjectively perceived post Christian universe where moral impasses obstinately continue to exist and to have conseuences but no canon law can help us predict them The result of the events is a resounding triumph One can see themes develop and abound the first person narrative keeps you riveted in spite of the limits of this point of view Essentially it is a Gothic tale whose atmosphere concerns fall and redemption The author s use of stylistic effects is outstanding I enjoyed the neat obvious and effective structure of the book which kept the events within reasonable limits Some may find Murdoch somewhat challenging but but I relish the feeling that the in this case as with her best novels goods have been delivered

Free download A Word Child

A Word Child

Ars as head of his department Hilary hopes for forgiveness and a new life but finds himself haunted by a ghostly repetiti My favourite Iris Murdoch and one of my favourite books London in the winter compare with Under the Net for London in the Summer Peter PanSloane Suare on the tubeI may be wrong but I think the boy at the centre of the Peter Pan story killed himself at Sloane Suare Underground station

Review ↠ PDF, DOC, TXT, eBook or Kindle ePUB free Ó Iris Murdoch

Introduction by Ray MonkSaved by education from a delinuent childhood cheated of Oxford by a tragic love tangle Hilary Bu Hilary a deprived and difficult boy is saved by a school master who nurtures his love of language He ends up at Oxford but most of the novel is set almost 20 years later when he is still suffering the results of a disastrous incident that ended his Oxford days More plot than a typical Murdoch novel but not entirely believable and too rushed at the end MotivesIt s hard to fathom the motivation of many of the characters and why they put up with particular people and situations but perhaps that s what intrigued me and compelled me to continue Some of the minor characters were the most vivid and realistic Clifford office colleagues etc Unsympathetic CharactersIt s tricky to make a novel work with an unsympathetic main character indeed very few sympathetic characters but overall this one does In Hilary s case whether Murdoch knew it or not I don t think the condition was widely diagnosed in 1975 when it was written his behaviour seems like classic Asperger s syndrome It would certainly explain his lack of empathy obsessive routines and fascination with the mechanics of grammar rather than using language for expression and inference Novels With Slightly Similar CharactersIt is interesting to compare this with the very different Curious Incident by Mark Haddon my review HERE and maybe The Housekeeper and the Professor my review HERE


10 thoughts on “A Word Child

  1. says:

    ”What a stupid coagulated mass of indistinguishable guilt and misery I had become How perfectly futile all my sufferings had been If only I could separate out that awful mixture of sin and pain if I could only even a for a short time even for a moment suffer purely without the burden of resentment and self degradation to which I had deliberately condemned myself there might be a place for a miracle And I reflected t

  2. says:

    Hilary a deprived and difficult boy is saved by a school master who nurtures his love of language He ends up at Oxford but most of the novel is set almost 20 years later when he is still suffering the results of a

  3. says:

    Murdoch will win you overdespite yourselfHilary Burde grows up in poverty abused He's saved by a tutor who notices his language skills and works with him to hone them Hillary is admitted to Oxford and finds a lush learning environment and yet another devoted tutor He thrives and dreams of saving himself and his younger sister from their childhood Just when he's ready to soar he commits a horrible act and his world cra

  4. says:

    This is definitely my favourite of the Iris Murdoch book that I have so far read for the Murdoch a month challenge The char

  5. says:

    The narrator of this the seventeenth novel by Iris Murdoch is a forty one year old man called Hilary Burde who had a difficult childhood as an orphan and could only use violence to express himself He is eventually mentored by a teacher Mr Osmand goes to Oxford and then after a tragic event sinks from his potential glorious rise in life to become a badly paid underutilized civil servant which is where the story begins To maintain his sani

  6. says:

    One of my favorites by by Ms Murdoch a great place to start if you've never read her fiction very darkly funny also about mad love The ‘word child’ of the title is Hilary Burde the narrator Using one of her rare first person narratives the book has an interesting structure with each chapter headed by a day of the week This is based on the order and routine Hilary has attempted to establish for his life by having certain things that h

  7. says:

    My favourite Iris Murdoch and one of my favourite books London in the winter compare with Under the Net for London in the Summer Pet

  8. says:

    I'm giving this book four stars but liking is not exactly an emotion I associate with this read Frustration yes

  9. says:

    Hilary Burde is the word child of the title In school the only thing he did really well in was languages He excelled at words but not in using them creatively; his interest was in learning how they worked together; the grammar not the poetry An abused orphan his plan was to get a position at Oxford which he did and bring his sister Crystal to come live with him and be educated by him But an ill advised love affair with a married w

  10. says:

    The most egregious facet of my Vintage Classics paperback edition of Iris Murdoch’s “A Word Child” is und

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