Bruno, dying, obsessed with spiders and preoccupied with death and reconciliation, lies at the center of an intricate spider's web of relationships and passions: Bruno's estranged and grieving son Miles; Danby, Bruno's widowed son-in-law, consoling himself with the Adelaide the maid, one of Murdoch's finest comic creations; creepy Nigel the nurse and his besotted twin Will, fighter of duels. The flooding Thames brings about the climax, and all are left changed by love and forgiveness before the old man's death.
Stuart Cuno has decided to become good. Not believing in God, he invents his own methods, which include celibacy, chastity, and the abandonment of a promising academic career. Interfering friends and relations question his sincerity, his sanity and his motives.
"A Squabble of Smartypants"
Martin Lynch-Gibbon believes he can possess both a beautiful wife and a delightful lover. But when his wife, Antonia, suddenly leaves him for her psychoanalyst, Martin is plunged into an intensive emotional re-education. He attempts to behave beautifully and sensibly. Then he meets a woman whose demonic splendour at first repels him and later arouses a consuming and monstrous passion. As his Medusa informs him, 'this is nothing to do with happiness'.
"Absurd and Very Funny"
The funeral of Edward’s mother brings him home for the first time in years. Though his return rekindles his affection for his childhood home, it also triggers a resurgence of the family tensions that caused him to leave in the first place. As Edward becomes tangled in his family’s web of corrosive secrets, his homecoming tips a precariously balanced dynamic into sudden chaos. The Italian Girl is a compelling story of a man’s reunion with his estranged family, and of the tragedy that shocks them all into confronting their past.
"An artisanal book"
When George McCaffrey’s car plunges into a canal with his wife still inside, nobody knows whether George is to blame. Nobody, that is, except an Anglican priest who happened to witness the whole thing. And when George’s former teacher, the charismatic philosopher Rozanov, returns to town, George’s life begins to spin wildly out of control.
"A Trip Down a philosophical Lane"
Hilary Burde was a rising star in academia until a tragic accident plunged him and his mentor and rival, Gunnar Jopling, into two decades of depression and guilt. Hilary, unable to overcome his pain, abandoned his promising career for an unfulfilling job as a civil servant. But at age 41, Hilary crosses paths again with Gunnar - initiating a series of events that will change their lives forever.
Father Carel Fisher’s London rectory - like his faith - is a shell. The rectory remains hollowed and broken from bombs dropped in the Second World War, while his religious passion abandoned him long ago. As Carel becomes a shut-in, his brother Marcus sets out to save him before it’s too late. Rich and complex, The Time of the Angels is a powerful story of a man’s descent into madness, and the destruction he wreaks along the way
"Stranger than fiction"
On the eve of the Easter Rising, a divided Irish family is pushed to the brink of destruction. In the dark days of the First World War, tensions between Catholic Pat Dumay and his Protestant cousin Andrew Chase-White threaten to tear their family apart along political and religious lines. As Ireland moves ever closer to the deadly Easter rebellion, the family is engulfed in an epic drama of love, loyalty, and loss that will change their lives forever.
For years, Alfred Ludens has pursued mathematician and philosopher Marcus Vallar in the belief that he possesses a profound metaphysical formula, a missing link of great significance to mankind. Luden's friends are more sceptical. Jack Sheerwater, painter, thinks Marcus is crazy. Gildas herne, ex-preist, thinks he is evil. Patrick Fenman, poet, is dying because he thinks Marcus has cursed him. Marcus has disappeared and must be found.
Businessman Mischa Fox has wealth, charisma, and an uncanny ability to influence those around him. When he moves to buy a small feminist magazine in London called the Artemis, Mischa becomes entangled in the lives of the Artemis’s editor, Hunter, his sister, Rosa, and her boarder, Annette, as well as their circle of friends. As Mischa instigates a series of ominous events that will change their lives, Murdoch’s masterful prose brings these rich characters - and their darkly humorous troubles - to vivid life.
When old friends Henry and Cato reunite after years apart, they quickly become embroiled in the drama of each other’s lives. Henry, who has just returned to England as the sole heir to his recently deceased brother’s estate, quickly begins to uncover secrets buried long ago. Meanwhile, Cato, a Catholic priest, has fallen in love with the criminal Beautiful Joe, and struggles to reform him despite the thief’s continual efforts to rob him.
"Reader makes it impossible to follow."
Iris Murdoch's 26th novel is a romp as well as an homage to that master of convoluted comedy, Shakespeare. She has adopted a syncopated, slightly mocking tone, and many scenes have a distinctly theatrical air. She has also achieved a disarming sense of timelessness, due in part to the fact that her eccentric characters, a close-knit circle of friends, are extremely well-off and spend their days and nights dashing between their country estates and their London houses.
Acastos: Two Platonic Dialogues is Murdoch’s philosophical masterpiece featuring fictionalized discussions between the intellectual giants of the classical world, including Socrates and Plato. Described by Acastos, a friend of Plato’s, the riveting debates center on the nature of goodness and faith, told through the voices of history’s most celebrated thinkers.
Witty and profound, these debates apply the timeless wisdom of history’s renowned philosophers to the most contentious issues of the modern day.
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 first novel is set in a part of London where struggling writers rub shoulders with successful bookies, and film starlets with frantic philosophers. Its hero, Jake Donaghue, is a drifting, clever, likeable young man who makes a living out of translation work and sponging on his friends. A meeting with Anna, an old flame, leads him into a series of fantastic adventures.