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The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie Hardcover – May 1 1998


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 187 pages
  • Publisher: Buccaneer Books (May 1 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1568496982
  • ISBN-13: 978-1568496986
  • Product Dimensions: 1.8 x 14.2 x 21.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 386 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #708,876 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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First Sentence
The boys, as they talked to the girls from Marcia Blaine School, stood on the far side of their bicycles holding the handlebars, which established a protective fence of bicycle between the sexes, and the impression that at any moment the boys were likely to be away. Read the first page
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3.9 out of 5 stars
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By Amelianna R on Nov. 22 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Saw this book mentioned as a 'Must read classic' Definitely enjoyed the mysterious element while reading a sort of coming-of-age story.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I enjoyed The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie and would definitely recommend it. At first, I thought it would be a charming coming-of-age story about a group of privileged girls and their adoring teacher. It is, in fact, much more complex and enigmatic than that. It takes place in 1930s Edinburgh, between the two world wars. The rise of Fascism in Europe serves as a historical backdrop as well as a parallel to Miss Brodie's attempts to control the lives of others.

Spark shows us how the older generation has been marked by WWI (Miss Brodie lost her fiancé, Mr. Lloyd lost his arm, and many of the teachers seem to be hardened by life and suffering). In contrast to some of the other teachers and the headmistress, Miss Brodie is a passionate woman; she is a great believer in art, music, and is full of romantic notions that she seeks to impress upon her chosen students. However, Miss Brodie has a dark, manipulative, self-centered side as well. She seeks to influence her clique of students to do her bidding and this leads to her ultimate undoing.
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By Harrison Koehli TOP 500 REVIEWER on March 14 2010
Format: Paperback
I couldn't help by shake my head and marvel after finishing The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. Not only are the characters superb, the story is great and the writing uniquely insightful. Also, the novel is so cleverly and masterfully written. From the first pages you are taken in by its fugue-like structure. I've never read a book like it, where past and present fuse into one, as if the narrator is dipping in and out of time to present a perfectly cogent story not hindered by the rules of causality. Future events are casually revealed, descriptions are repeated as if musical motifs, and yet the plot moves inexorably to its inevitable conclusion. In the end you are left enriched by the lives of Miss Jean Brodie and her set, by their idiosyncrasies, failures, highs and lows. And it's short enough to read in a sitting or two, to boot!
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Format: Hardcover
Based on the real life Christina Kay at the James Gillespie school, this classic is a must for anyone who would like to be considered literate in English Literature. Miss Jean Brodie is one of the most complex, idealistic, self-deluded, vulnerable, vital, romantic, preposterous, lonely, gregarious, outspoken and solipsistic character you will ever meet. She is the square on the hypotenuse of a right-angled triangle whereas others are only the squares on the two sides. Listen to her lessons: "Phrases like 'the team spirit' are always employed to cut across individualism, love, and personal loyalitiies. Ideas like 'team spirit' ought not to be enjoined on the female sex, expecially if they are of that dedicated nature whose virtues from time immemorial have been utterly opposed to the concept. Florence Nightingale knew nothing of team spirit, her mission was to save life regardless of the team to which it belonged. Cleopatra knew nothing of the team spirit if you read your Shakespeare. Take Helen of Troy! ... Where would team spirit have got Sybil Thorndike? She is the great actress and the rest of the cast have got the team spirit. Pavlova..."
Jean if you are out there now, marry me. Please. You're my kind of woman.
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Format: Hardcover
The problem with this book is that it's so gnomic. That is, its compact style and size are, I suppose, purposefully wrought in this way so that we may come away asking ourselves profound questions on the meaning of a mentor/student relationship, social hierarchies, art, betrayal, pedagogy etc. It's, you know, like the kind of thing you get from an old white-bearded yogi sitting on the top of some Himmalayan mountain: "The crow flies in square circles."-Now, what's the meaning of life?
The problem with this type of book is that it never takes the time (or Spark doesn't)to grab hold of your heart and mind for long enough to make you care about the deeper questions involved (and they are clearly there). Rather, it flits around like some intriguing butterfly on a lazy afternoon and then just as quickly hovers out of sight.
In other words, Spark and the book are too coy by half. You forget about the lilting butterfly by nightfall.
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Format: Paperback
I read The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie because it was on the Modern Library List of the greatest novels of the 20th Century, and I knew it was pretty short. I thought it would be interesting to see why it made that list. As it turns out, I think The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie is one of the books which earned its place on that list.
The novel concerns Miss Brodie and here five students. She has chosen these five in order to craft them into her image. Miss Brodie is a spinster and wants to live her life through them. Miss Brodie imparts all of her views on them even though they conflict with the more conservative views of the school. Miss Brodie's views are very liberal. She is very frank when talking to her students about her sexual liasons, and she encourages some of them to become sexually active with a male teacher. Miss Brodie is also a fascist, and she tries to impart these views on the students, too. In the end, you see the ways in which she has influenced her students.
The novel is really superb. I seems to comment on the how ideals can be taken too far and can be checked. Miss Brodie also seems to represent Calvinism and Fascism. She contrasts Miss Brodie's position with the school's more conservative positions. The novel is written in superb prose (I'm not sure why people complain). The repetitions in the prose are there for a reason (to represent propaganda). The characterizations, particularly of Miss Brodie and Sandy, are apt. It's really a graceful novel with a lot to say (much of which I agree with). It's definitely thought provoking and very worth a read.
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