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A suspense novel about three castaways marooned on an island owned by an eccentric recluse. January Marlow, a heroine with a Catholic outlook of the most unsentimental stripe, is one of three survivors out of twenty-nine souls when her plane crashes, blazing, on Robinson's island. Presumed dead for months, the three survivors must wait for the annual return of the pomegranate boat. Robinson, a determined loner, proves a fair if misanthropic host to his uninvited guests; he encourages January to keep a journal: as "an occupation for my mind, and I fancied that I might later dress it up for a novel. That was most peculiar, as things transpired, for I did not then anticipate how the journal would turn upon me, so that having survived the plane disaster, I should nearly meet my death through it." In Robinson, Muriel Spark's wonderful second novel, under the tropical glare and strange fogs of the tiny island, we find a volcano, a ping-pong playing cat, a dealer in occult as well as lucky charms, flying ants, sexual tension, a disappearance, blackmail, and—perhaps—murder.
Everything astounds, confounds, and convinces, frighteningly. "She is," as Charles Alva Hoyt once put it, "the Jane Austen of the Surrealists." Robinson, a unique and marvelous novel, is another display of the powers of "the most gifted and innovative British novelist" (The New York Times). In the work of Dame Muriel—in the last words of Robinson— "immediately all things are possible."
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Muriel Spark (1918–2006) was the author of dozens of novels, including The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Memento Mori, A Far Cry from Kensington, The Girls of Slender Means, The Ballad of Peckham Rye, The Driver’s Seat, and many more. She became Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1993.Review:
A rare writer...wickedly funny...Astonishingly talented and truly inimitable. -- San Francisco Examiner-Chronicle
Deserves to be back in print. -- South Bay Weekly, Bondo Wyszpolski, 20 March 2003
It takes a gifted surrealist like Muriel Spark to show just how unrealistic so-called reality TV is. -- Islands, Tony Gibbs, 1 June 2003
Muriel Spark has written some of the best sentences in English. -- The New Yorker
Spark is completely, searingly original. There is nobody remotely like her writing today. -- Independent
Spark's second novel and one of her best (which is saying a great deal). -- John Wilson, Christianity Today, 8 December 2003
To read Spark is to encounter delight after delight. -- Georgia Review
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