Muriel Spark has created a many-faceted novel, both comic and serious, enriched by a wealth of information.
©1965 Muriel Spark; (P)1994 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
"[Davidson] achieve[s] successful transitions through deliberate pauses and changes of voice. Thus, we're able to follow the many tangents the author uses to enrich the story and our listening pleasure." (AudioFile)
"English-accented Frederick Davidson turns in a memorable performance." (Library Journal)
Superb Spark book. Early-ish in her career, so not quite so grim as her later ones. Each character, large or small, drawn with clarity and interest, and all set against the background of the Arab-Israeli conflict, and the Eichmann trial in Jerusalem. A bit of a spy mystery thrown in as well. Not to mention crime. Such an amazing accomplishment. The narration is perfect, too.
trying to see the world with my ears
Where has this novel been all my life?
I love religious pilgrimage novels, spy novels, political novels, novels that explore other periods and cultures, and literary comedy with eccentric characters and implausible plots. "Mandelbaum Gate" is all of the above mixed together and written in very sharp prose.
I think Frederick Davidison is the perfect narrator for the novel - but just as some people love Davidson's narration and others find him annoying, so listeners will react to Sparks' quirky novel, I think.
She writes from several perspectives with a convoluted timeframe, so you must like that style, too.
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