Friday, 4 April 2008

The Girls of Slender Means

Title: The Girls of Slender Means

Author: Muriel Spark

Number of pages: 144

Started: 3 April 2008

Finished: 4 April 2008

Opening words:

Long ago in 1945 all the nice people in England were poor, allowing for exceptions. The streets of the cities were lined with buildings in bad repair or in no repair at all, bomb-sites piled with stony rubble, houses like giant teeth in which decay had been drilled out, leaving only the cavity. Some bomb-ripped buildings looked like the ruins of ancient castles until, at a closer view, the wallpapers of various quite normal rooms would be visible, room above room, exposed, as on a stage, with one wall missing; sometimes a lavatory chain would dangle over nothing from a fourth-or fifth-floor ceiling; most of all the staircases survived, like a new art-form, leading up and up to an unspecified destination that made unusual demands on the mind's eye. All the nice people were poor; at least, that was a general axiom, the best of the rich being poor in spirit.

Plot summary:

This is London 1945, when all nice people are poor. Muriel Spark sets us down among the girls of good family but slender means as they fight it out, from their Kensington hostel to the last clothing coupon until this charmingly light-hearted period in their lives descends into horror and tragedy.

Plot summary taken from Amazon

What I thought:

I didn’t really know what to make of this book. It had some amusing moments, but on the whole it didn’t really grab me. I just didn’t really ever understand quite where it was meant to be going. It was ok but, for me, easily forgettable.


Kahless said...

Cool blog.

Can we recommend books for you? I have about 50% similar tastes in reading material from what I assume here.

Have you read Brave New World - Aldous Huxley? I think you would like that.

Kahless said...

Oh, just seen on your profile that you have read it!!!

Told you we had similar tastes lol!

Read any John Steinbeck? I liked the Moon is Down.

I have Of Mice and Men on the table to read.

Random Reflections said...

Kahless - book recommendations are always welcome. I have indeed read Brave New World and thought it was a brilliant book. One of my favourites and one of the very few books that I have read more than once. I reclaimed my copy from my sister recently and will read it again.

I have a few books on the list to read at the moment and one of them is another Aldous Huxley called Crome Yellow. I'll be interested to see what I think of that one.

It's always a risk reading other books by an author when you have really loved one of their books.

About 20 pages off finishing my current book and will then update here.