Saturday, 29 March 2014

A Severed Head by Iris Murdoch

“I feel half faded away like some figure in the background of an old picture.”

This is my first Murdoch book and happily another tick off the 1001 book list. In some ways it reads like a sort of Noel Coward-esque bedroom farce and yet there is something compellingly real in the descriptions of self deception and the notion that its okay to misbehave as long as no one finds out. Its not all flinging of clothes onto the bedroom floor there are deeper emotional issues dealt with - ironically it seems Georgie, the youngest and notionally least mature, has to deal with the brunt of bad choices, from abortion to suicide to dating members of the same family.

Martin seems a lot older than his 41 years in many ways and yet is immature enough to think that his affair with Georgie has little or no bearing to his wife's leaving him for another man. Initially he plays the innocent victim to the hilt, but truth will out and his dirty laundry is eventually hung out for all to see.

As the drama plays out, everyone manages to be sleeping with everyone and romantic entanglements get progressively more intertwined. All the characters appeared a little ridiculous and unlikeable, perhaps love makes fools of us all and these people seemed to be rather silly and petty. Having said that, as the song goes, breaking up is hard to do and sleeping with your half brother seems a bit weird.

This certainly won't go down as my favourite book of all time nevertheless it was interesting and I look forward to comparing it with the author's other works which, if the writing is anything to go by, are certain to peak my interest.

4 out of 5 men should query if their wife is spending all their time with their best friend the psychoanalyst.

No comments:

Post a Comment