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The Flight from the Enchanter Paperback – Feb 1 2000

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Classics (Feb. 1 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099283697
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099283690
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 181 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #810,907 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


 • "A spirited fantasia in several keys... brilliant, witty and original." --Sunday Times

 • "Miss Murdoch's prose has music even as it has intelligence and wit." --Spectator

About the Author

IRIS MURDOCH was born in Dublin in 1919 of Anglo-Irish parents. During the war she was an Assistant Principal at the Treasury, and then worked with UNRRA in London, Belgium and Austria. She held a studentship in philosophy at Newnham College, Cambridge, and then in 1948 she returned to Oxford, where she became a Fellow of St Anne's College. Until her death in February 1999, she lived with her husband, the teacher and critic John Bayley, in Oxford. Awarded the CBE in 1976, Iris Murdoch was made a DBE in the 1987 New Year's Honours List. In the 1997 PEN Awards she received the Gold Pen for Distinguished Service to Literature.

Iris Murdoch made her writing debut in 1954 with Under the Net, and went on to write twenty-six novels, including the Booker prize-winning The Sea, The Sea (1978). Other literary awards include the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for The Black Prince (1973) and the Whitbread Prize (now the Costa Book Award) for The Sacred and Profane Love Machine (1974). Her works of philosophy include Sartre: Romantic Rationalist, Metaphysics as a Guide to Morals (1992) and Existentialists and Mystics (1997). She died in February 1999.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5 reviews
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
wonderful Iris Nov. 11 2011
By Kim10024 - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I love Iris Murdoch! I can't believe no one has reviewed this book. It's a pretty easy read and a good introduction to her work. The usual academic/related characters of semi-upper class Brits with the odd Europeans thrown in (like those scary Polish guys and the eccentric dressmaker. As usual the plot is irrelevant it's the characters that draw you in. It's about passion, old love, absurd love, odd parents, adult siblings oddly entwined, eccentric old ladies, beautiful gardens ripped up by owners....Anyway if you've never read her give her a try. She is a most amazing writer and also quite amusing in an unexpected way. A reviewer of one of her other novels said "Iris I miss you." And so do I.
Murdoch at her Character-Twisting Finest Sept. 6 2014
By Aniko Carmean - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Iris Murdoch has an unparalleled talent for putting her characters into awkward, flabbergasting messes. Each character's hideous bad decisions result in unintended outcomes that tend towards horrific. THE FLIGHT FROM THE ENCHANTER is Murdoch at her character-twisting finest.

Annette, youthful and vibrant, leaves school. She wants to go to the school of life, and despite two near-rapes, a ridiculous midnight (and half-naked) pursuit of a man old enough to be her father, and a silly suicide attempt by antacid, Annette comes out no more worldly. It is an unwritten rule in Murdoch's universe that youth (and the carelessness of it) are resilient - but… Somewhere, somehow, youth is broken. Rosa could be a middle-aged Annette. The school of life has knocked Rosa around, yet a compulsion towards pliant self-effacement (and plenty of ill-advised decisions) has landed Rosa in the middle of a brother sandwich. Her threesome has horrific consequences, not least of which is the very real, not by antacid, suicide of a minor character.

THE FLIGHT FROM THE ENCHANTER is a reminder that we are linked. Although the plot machinations tend towards the melodramatic, and as such are not quite "realistic," they are best viewed as educational scenarios, a safe place to see the repercussions of immoral (bad) decisions. Murdoch is a moral writer, and her goal is not simply to provide entertainment, but to show us what it means to live a good life, possibly (mostly?) by negative example. THE FLIGHT FROM THE ENCHANTER can be read on multiple levels, none of which disappoint.
Murdoch's Second Even Better Than Her First May 8 2014
By M. Buzalka - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
The Flight From the Enchanter was Iris Murdoch's followup to her acclaimed debut Under the Net and, in my mind at least, is an even better book. It follows a series of somewhat quirky characters, all with some connection to the mysterious Mischa Fox, who is presumably the "enchanter" of the title.

I like the way Murdoch moves from the comic tones of the early scenes—the first meeting between Mona and Mrs. Wingfield is positively Dickensian—to the more serious and even tragic developments later on. The party scene late in the book is particularly well-observed, from multiple perspectives.

One thing that struck me was how hapless the British characters in the book are. Annette the bubblehead quits school to find herself and drifts around in a teenaged daze, Hunter labors for a magazine no one reads, Mona slums away in a job way below her education level, Mrs. Westfield spends her days drinking, Rainborough stagnates in a do-nothing bureaucracy doing crossword puzzles and Peter Saward obsesses over archeological trivia. Even the proactive Calvin Blick is really just a factotum for Fox, not his own man. The lecture Mrs. Westfield delivers Mona late in the book could have been addressed to any of these people.

Among the rest of the cast I was particularly intrigued by Jan and Stefan, who come off like the Fenstrunk Brothers' creepy cousins.

This is not one of Murdoch's most known works, which is a shame. It's well worth reading.
I generally like Iris Murdoch books Dec 23 2014
By zeejah - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I generally like Iris Murdoch books; this one left a bad taste in my mouth so i didnt finish it... i generally plod on and finish a book i start even if i find it boring. this was not boring, just didnt like it
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Two Women One Man Nov. 1 2012
By Italo Perazzoli - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
In every novels written by Iris Murdoch there is a lesson telling us that we can choose our destiny like the little princess Annette Cockeyne when she abandoned her golden life for a life lesson.

The first lesson is when the princess decided that her life must be different, but her decision was wrong, in the sense that she did not learned anything about her life, this imply that her reasoning was extremely superficial, without considering the pros and cons.

The central plot is a feminist magazine called Artemis close to closure due to a lack of readers.

Another interesting, charismatic and mysterious character is Mischa Fox and Peter involved in a desperate quest to translate into english an ancient text.

'Young girls are full of dreams... That is what makes them so touching and so dangerous. Every young girl dreams of dominating the forces of evil. She thinks she has that virtue in her that can conquer anything. Such a girl may be virgin in soul even after much experience and still believe in the legend of virginity'
(Flight From The Enchanter, Vintage Classics, Iris Murdoch)

In my opinion this reasoning, is the best description of Mischa's personality which is not against the women but about the borders about love and infatuation happened to Rosa and the two hypermasculine Polish engineers.

At the end of this novel Rosa told herself that she was able to decide what to do about her life, but her destiny was already made, now my dilemma is the following it was a subconcious decision or not? or better what is it and means the truth?

In my opinion 'The Flight From The Enchanter' is Mischa Fox able to look deeply inside the souls of the people.

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