Books

01 June 2014

Iris: A Memoir of Iris Murdoch by John Bayley


First of all:
the winner of the free book.
The winner is Fredrik J.  CONGRATULATIONS, Fredrik. Please contact me as soon as possible to let me know whether you want an e-Book copy or a proper book. I will also need your contact details.

There will be another giveaway later in the year, so keep your eyes open.

The book being reviewed this week is Iris: A Memoir of Iris Murdoch by John Bayley. I read the book many years ago, and I was disappointed that the book concentrated more on the person Iris had become and not on the person she had been.

On the front cover are the words: 'The greatest love story of our age; incomparable'. I have read a few of the editorial reviews, and the feeling seems to be very much the same: a wonderful tribute to Iris Murdoch. I love Iris Murdoch's writing, and, over the years, I have read many of her novels. She was a gifted person, intellectually surpassing many of her peers. Iris: A Memoir of Iris Murdoch interlaces all that was so positive about Iris Murdoch with the sadness and the degradation of the illness that finally ended her life. In fact, at times, I feel that, in the book, the greatness of Iris Murdoch becomes obliterated by long descriptions of her inability to think and/or communicate as she used to be able to think/communicate. The book is frightfully sad, and it left me wondering as to what its main purpose might have been. Perhaps it is a love story, but I feel that a true love story would have concentrated much more on Iris as she really was, not on the person she became because of a devastating illness.