A lay community of thoroughly mixed-up people is encamped outside Imber Abbey, home of an enclosed order of nuns. A new bell, legendary symbol of religion and magic, is rediscovered. Dora Greenfield, erring wife, returns to her husband. Michael Mead, leader of the community, is confronted by Nick Fawley, with whom he had disastrous homosexual relations, while the wise old Abbess watches and prays and exercises discreet authority. And everyone, or almost everyone, hopes to be saved whatever that may mean... Iris Murdoch's funny and sad novel is about religion, the fight between good and evil and the terrible accidents of human frailty.
©2011 Iris Murdoch (P)2011 Random House Audio Go
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What an odd and delightful mind Iris Murdoch had. Her intelligent writing, beautifully descriptive prose and colourful imagination make her stories unique, and read by Miriam Margoyles this was pure joy. I agree with the previous reviewer, if Miriam had narrated all of Murdoch's books, I would download them all. I pitied poor Dora in the possession of such an appalling husband......but presented at a time when women had fewer choices she tries her best to rebel.
"This is a pleasure!"
Margolyse should read every Murdoch novel - her voice catches the comedy and the cleverness: note perfect.
"My first Iris Murdoch, am now a huge fan"
The amazing descriptive language. It's all it's quite beautiful.
Miriam Margolyes makes this story for me. The range of different voices and characterations she brings to the narration is amazing. I just love her.
This book reflects the attitudes of the time, however, the opening chapters which describe married life for a young woman, are so well written and structured it struck such a chord.
"Vanity betrayal and live"
The Bell is about many things, including the vanity of religiosity, betrayal, and love.
The story has engaging characters and story well narrated by Miriam M
"Showing its age..."
Probably. Miriam Margoyles is a marvellous reader. I used to be a fan of Iris Murdoch, but the story seemed very slow and clumsy now.
I'd be interested to see if any others I'd read years ago still stood the test of time.
Dora - although she was a bit weedy!
In short. No!
Worth reading if you've never come across Iris Murdoch before, or as a study in time. But not a gripping plot!
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