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The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie | [Muriel Spark]

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

"You girls are my vocation... I am dedicated to you in my prime." So says Miss Jean Brodie, a teacher unlike any other. She is proud and cultured. A romantic, with progressive, sometimes shocking ideas and aspirations for the girls in her charge. When she decides to transform a select group of pupils into the 'crème de la crème' at the Marcia Blaine School they become the Brodie set. In exchange for their undivided loyalty the girls earn a special place of honour and privilege within the school. Yet they are also introduced to a startling new world of adult games....
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Publisher's Summary

Famous novel made into a cult film, and one of only 25 books chosen for the first ever World BookNight in 2011. A liberated young schoolteacher at an Edinburgh girls' school during the 1930's instructs her girls on the ways of life. Ignoring the more mundane subjects, she teaches them of love, politics and art, with some shocking consequences.

"You girls are my vocation... I am dedicated to you in my prime." So says Miss Jean Brodie, a teacher unlike any other. She is proud and cultured. A romantic, with progressive, sometimes shocking ideas and aspirations for the girls in her charge. When she decides to transform a select group of pupils into the 'crème de la crème' at the Marcia Blaine School they become the Brodie set. In exchange for their undivided loyalty the girls earn a special place of honour and privilege within the school. Yet they are also introduced to a startling new world of adult games and intrigues, and as boundaries are crossed so the difficulties start to unfold.

©1961 Copyright Administration Ltd (P)2011 Canongate Books

What Members Say

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4.0 (53 )
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3.8 (48 )
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4.3 (50 )
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Performance


There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

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  • Bruce
    London, England
    3/24/13
    Overall
    "Wonderful to have an audio version of this"

    Great unabridged recording of this classic novel. If would be good to have the other versions here too, one read by the wonderful Nadia May, which I have not heard yet and the other by the incomparable Geraldine McEwan, which I have. Miss McEwan (who also played Jean Brodie in the newly released TV series on DVD) reads this with a touch of genius but never goes over-the-top. I hope her version will be available at some point as ISIS Audio no longer have the rights to it and it would be a great loss to the listening public if another publisher did not acquire them.



    Bruce Martin

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • A G R
    GB
    2/3/13
    Overall
    "Very enjoyable"

    Beautifully read - this text was brought to life and was a joy to listen to.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Lindsay Kay Caddy
    Guildford, United Kingdom
    12/9/12
    Overall
    "Interesting story"

    I bought this book as I remembered watching the film as a child although I couldn't remember the plot. Interesting characters and good voices. A lovely description of what life is like in an all girls school during puberty. I left an all girls grammar school 10 years ago and even though the book was written some time ago it still evoked memories of my very traditional school life. I didn't feel like I could give it more than 3 stars though because despite its quirkiness and charm it wasn't that interesting, I felt there could have been further plot development and I feel the ending was rather abrupt.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • James
    Chester, United Kingdom
    6/11/12
    Overall
    "So Good"

    I've lost count of the times I have read this remarkable novel - so short, so profound, so dense with meaning, so lightly written, witty and original to its very bones: a miracle. In truth, there is, out there somewhere, an unabridged reading by Geraldine MacEwan that is alive to every word and comma - a virtuoso performance - but the present reader is no slouch either.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • trish1400
    Isle of Man, UK
    2/1/13
    Overall
    "Do not understand what the fuss is about"

    I completely fail to see why this is considered to be a classic. It was dull, dull, dull. For such a short book, I found it exceedingly tiresome and I was very relieved when it ended. I'm sick of Miss Jean Brodie and her "prime". The way the story is told with it's extensive use of flash forward / back is the only thing it has going for it. None of the characters are likeable and didn't feel I related to any of them. However, the narration was excellent.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Adrienne
    ohope, New Zealand
    12/23/12
    Overall
    "Sharp wit that doesn't date"

    Maggie Smith's representation of Miss Jean Brodie in the film from the fifties, made me want to read this text. It didn't disappoint. The language is crisp and dry and unforgiving and the reader moves through a series of responses towards the flawed protagonist. None of the girls is painted as a likeable character and therefore our sympathy for them at the hands of this fascist, misguided, arrogant educator is limited.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • gunnel
    4/28/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not Jean Brodie at all"
    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    This is an interesting book about a charismatic teacher who dominates and manipulates the girls who make up her "set". In the book, Miss Brodie is described as a contralto with a dark Roman face. She inspires passion in both her pupils and her male colleagues and they are almost obsessed by her. Unfortunately, the narrator makes her sound like a silly and ridiculous old lady with a falsetto voice. It's difficult to believe that anybody could be taken in by her.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • jill
    4/17/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not my favourite"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    No as I found the accent jarring


    Would you be willing to try another book from Muriel Spark? Why or why not?

    Yes, I think she could have some interesting books


    What three words best describe Miriam Margolyes’s voice?

    Jarring


    Do you think The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    No. Not necessary


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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