When the firm of Meadows, Meade & Grindley hires Dougal Douglas (a.k.a. Douglas Dougal) to do "human research" into the private lives of its workforce, they are in no way prepared for the mayhem, mutiny, and murder he will stir up. In fact, this Music Man of the thoroughly modern corporation changes the lives of all the eccentric characters he meets, from Miss Merle Coverdale, head of the typing pool, to V.R. Druce, unsuspecting Managing Director.
This is Dame Muriel Spark at her most devilishly piquant.
©1960 Muriel Spark; (P)1996 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
"We are never out of touch, in a Spark novel, with the happiness of creation; the sudden willful largesse of magic and wit, the cunning tautness of suspense." (John Updike, The New Yorker)
"Not only funny but startlingly original, the legendary character of Dougal Douglas....may not have been boasting when he referred so blithely to his association with the devil." (Washington Post)
I've really liked some other books by Muriel Spark (Prime of Miss Jean Brodie; Loitering With Intent; Memento Mori) but this one is quite different and I stopped listening after about the first hour. Very unpleasant characters that I didn't want to spend time on. Maybe the book was going somewhere but I couldn't really tell and couldn't be bothered to find out. The narration was good but perhaps a bit heavy on the accents, almost sounded like caricatures.
"Great performance of a fantastic novel."
Absolutely - this novel is one of my favourites, and the performance certainly did it justice.
"Dougal Douglas comes to town"
Only to friends who are interested in slower-pace fiction, and ones that have little plot.
I was very satisfied with it.
She was lively and told the story well, and I felt like she was connecting me with the characters.
This book is a bit bizarre, and therefore is rather hard to actually review. The story is somewhat listless, before making its way to a point, but even that is vague. However, there were fun bits, funny bits, parts where you were waiting to find out what happened next...
It also provided a pretty interesting perspective, and I loved listening to description of Peckham Rye, somewhere I once lived.
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