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Publisher's Summary

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.

©1985 Iris Murdoch (P)1994 Phoenix Books

Critic Reviews

“…the reader's involvement with the huge cast never diminishes, nor does attention to their wit and philosophical exchanges flag.” (Publishers Weekly)
"Iris Murdoch at her most artful, juggling philosophy and farce with knowledge and ease." (Economist)
"Murdoch works with an intellectual daring most writers only dream of." (The Philadelphia Inquirer)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Geoffrey
  • Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
  • 09-10-12

A Squabble of Smartypants

Aging Artists and Models, Intellectuals, adulterers, and their children, make for an interesting series of critical and complicated situations. Read brilliantly by Christopher Cazenove, 'The Good Apprentice' follows a tragic death's trail through a wonderful group of characters playing at life in their search for meaning. Fun, serious and sometimes just strange, it is a story that surprises throughout and ends as it should.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Perhaps as hard to read as it was to write ....

I did read (listen to) it all. I'm not entirely sure why, but it held a puzzling fascination for me. If you are interested in the interior workings of a mind losing it, this novel is instructive. ...a bit threatening to the reader's self in spots, as in a 'Crime and Punishment' or Edgar Allen Poe manner. The side story, which might have been the main story, was a rather artificial fantasy plopped into an otherwise straightforward and interesting novel. Requires mental juggling.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Loved it!

I'm glad to see Audible is getting some Iris Murdoch books, she's one of my favorite authors.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

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Tiresome and plotless, but beautifully written

Any additional comments?

I adore Iris Murdoch's writing, but after listening to and loving the Philosopher's Pupil, I listened to this book, and it seemed to drag on endlessly with tiresome characters who were endlessly and pointlessly navel-gazing, with next to nothing really going on. Still, I listened to the entire book, with hopes the whole time that it would pick up, but it never did. However, her prose is so delectable, I continued to listen, hope and grumble, and couldn't bear to not listen.

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  • Louise
  • LONDON, United Kingdom
  • 11-06-16

Brilliant!

I loved this book- her characters and their minds and feelings - all are fascinating and make for compelling listening.
The narration is the best I have ever heard. Christopher Cazenove is utterly brilliant - what a great loss to us all that he died so young.

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  • clive
  • 09-03-12

Iris, really, you've gone too far this time

Oh dear. I like Iris Murdoch, but really. A parody of herself. Cloistered bonkers women, great mad artists, neurotic prolix intellectuals, ludicrous co-incidences, bonkers plot twists, and characters lacking any sympathy who seem only to have a clean hankerchief where their common sense should be. Listen if you're a fan and then read 'Cold Comfort Farm' to put you right again.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Natalie
  • 06-20-16

Not impressed at all

Was expecting something more exciting, since i like Iris' novels. This one is quite boring.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful