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Publisher's Summary

Lise is thin, neither good-looking nor bad-looking. One day she walks out of her office, acquires a gaudy new outfit, adopts a girlier tone of voice, and heads to the airport to fly south. On the plane she takes a seat between two men. One is delighted with her company, the other is deeply perturbed. So begins an unnerving journey into the darker recesses of human nature.
Read by Dame Judi Dench, and originally released on cassette in 1996, this is the first time that this shocking masterpiece has been made available as an audio download, to coincide with the book's shortlisting for the Lost Booker Prize 2010.
©1970 Muriel Spark (P)1996 Canongate Audiobooks
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Critic Reviews

"An extraordinary tour de force, a crime story turned inside out." (David Lodge)
"Her spiny and treacherous masterpiece."(The New Yorker)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Erez on 07-17-11

Masterfully written and read

First of all, a technical note: an earlier reviewer claims that the sound quality is very bad, and that the audiobook only contains 4 of the 7 chapters. If there was any problem with the audio, it's fixed now, and the quality is just fine. As for the number of chapters: yes, the audiobook is divided into 4 sections, but they have no relation to the chapters. Rest assured that no word from the original book is missing.

Now on to the book itself: Muriel Spark was a master of describing distressed, borderline psychotic people, and she does it very well here too. Personally, the only thing that bothered me was that the shock value of the book seems to have diminished somewhat in the forty years since it was written. Other than that, the book is excellent, and the narration is top notch.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful


By Heimo on 05-02-11

strange tale by a great writer

i read this book years ago and wasn't sure i would still like it. i did. it is dark, intense, believable, and brief. the reading by judi dench is wonderful as always, but the recording is old, probably taken off old cassettes or something! for me, it didn't interrupt the pleasure. i wish audibles would get much more muriel spark, especially her great novels like the prime of miss jean brodie, girls of slender means, memento mori. not to mention the short stories. come on, audibles, dig up some more old recordings and make them available for this great price! at least one listener will be grateful.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By marie on 12-24-12

Elegant and creepy

Simply sublime. Beautifully read and suitably cold-hearted.Good length for a singlr listen. Bracing and gripping as a thriller.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful


By Annie on 10-21-14

Judi Dench Makes This Experience!

Any additional comments?

I thought the book a bit light on everything. By the time it ended, I would have helped see off the central character! I love Judi's reading!

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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