The Sea, the Sea

  • by Iris Murdoch, Mary Kinzie - introduction
  • Narrated by Simon Vance, Kimberly Farr
  • 20 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Charles Arrowby, leading light of England's theatrical set, retires from glittering London to an isolated home by the sea. He plans to write a memoir about his great love affair with Clement Makin, his mentor, both professionally and personally, and amuse himself with Lizzie, an actress he has strung along for many years. None of his plans work out, and his memoir evolves into a riveting chronicle of the strange events and unexpected visitors - some real, some spectral - that disrupt his world and shake his oversized ego to its very core.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Murdoch Amazes

This languidly beautiful first person narrative was completely engaging. The story was insightful and filled with reflections and thoughts on everyday life, looking both forward and looking backwards at retirement. Murdoch's skill at writing made simple daily tribulations interesting and even enticing. The characters were well developed and easily recognizable.

I loved Murdoch's use of the recurring theme of the ocean which created a solid framework or backbone for the book. The detailed description of the sea, its changing color, light and movement never became tiresome or too much. Instead it grounded the story, filled it with beauty, danger, monsters and destruction.

The narration was excellent. I wasn't sure about Vance at first but I was quickly won over by his reading style. The only negative I have about this edition of the book was that I really disliked the introduction. So if it bogs you down I'd suggest just skipping it. That part felt heavy handed. Don't let it turn you away from a wonderful book.

A classic, the 1978 Booker Prize winner and not to be missed. Excellent.
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- Sara

Pure pleasure

Any additional comments?

Simon Vance's reading is exquisite. I'd read this long ago, and listening to it was reminded again of how brilliant and often hilarious Murdoch's writing is. Vance captures the protagonist so perfectly I wish he'd narrate all of Murdoch.

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- laurel

Book Details

  • Release Date: 04-18-2017
  • Publisher: Penguin Audio