Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Review: The Ballad of Peckham Rye

The Ballad of Peckham Rye
The Ballad of Peckham Rye by Muriel Spark

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Not as intense as THE DRIVER’S SEAT (which is the book that’s caused me to read more Muriel Spark), THE BALLAD OF PECKHAM RYE has comedic moments and essentially shows how a suspicious character who may or may not be the devil causes chaos amongst the various relationships of the people he meets. Unlike other novels that rely on the “he’s the devil but no one knows” setup (see: THE CONFIDENCE MAN by H. Melville), this novel seems less concerned with keeping his true nature a secret. It just doesn’t confirm the truth. In fact, Dougal Douglas originally comes to town because he’s following a woman he loves; but Dougal has a weakness where he cannot be around people who are sick.

I had a trouble keeping track of the cast in this book, but that could be because THE DRIVER’S SEAT was a story about one person on a mission and this was about the corrupting nature of one character amongst many.

Maybe not the best novel to start with by Spark, but definitely worth reading.

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