The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie Hardcover – May 1 1998
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Spark's most celebrated novel Independent There is no question about the quality and distinctiveness of her writing, with its quirky concern with human nature, and its comedy -- William Boyd A brilliant psychological figure Observer --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.
From the Inside Flap
The brevity of Muriel Spark's novels is equaled only by their brilliance. These four novels, each a miniature masterpiece, illustrate her development over four decades. Despite the seriousness of their themes, all four are fantastic comedies of manners, bristling with wit.
Spark's most celebrated novel, THE PRIME OF MISS JEAN BRODIE, tells the story of a charismatic schoolteacher's catastrophic effect on her pupils. THE GIRLS OF SLENDER MEANS" is a beautifully drawn portrait of young women living in a hostel in London in the giddy postwar days of 1945. THE DRIVER'S SEAT follows the final haunted hours of a woman descending into madness. And THE ONLY PROBLEM is a witty fable about suffering that brings the Book of Job to bear on contemporary terrorism.
All four novels give evidence of one of the most original and unmistakable voices in contemporary fiction. Characters are vividly etched in a few words; earth-shaking events are lightly touched on. Yet underneath the glittering surface there is an obsessive probing of metaphysical questions: the meaning of good and evil, the need for salvation, the search for significance. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
Jean if you are out there now, marry me. Please. You're my kind of woman.
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.
Only a small subset of pupils are lucky to be educated, and prepared for life by teachers with a true calling, like Miss Brodie. Teaching is an occupation like any other, yet it's the most instrumental for shaping the personality and outlook of a young human being. Some parents are good teachers, that's their duty after all, though again only a small subset of parents are the true mentors worth their salt. Yet it's the school and then the university, that has enormous impact on us. Being a teenager means to find oneself in a constant, continuous trauma of discovery, where all kinds of events and situations force us to make decisions, to make judgments, to distinguish the right from the wrong, and last but not least, what to do with one's life.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Thank you so much You contributed to me receiving an A grade in my course that required this book! YOUR BOOKMARKS AND ANNOTATIONS WERE AMAZING!Published 19 months ago by Michael Perry
Saw this book mentioned as a 'Must read classic' Definitely enjoyed the mysterious element while reading a sort of coming-of-age story.Published on Nov. 22 2013 by Amelianna R
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... Read morePublished on March 14 2010 by Harrison Koehli
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... Read morePublished on Oct. 11 2002 by Daniel Myers
The story is of a spinsterish teacher at an all girls school in Scotland. The action takes place through a series of flashbacks before and after World War II. Read morePublished on April 14 2002
It's with a sense of real wistfullness that I remember this book. I am going to order another copy to relive the sense of interest and joy that I recall the first book inducing in... Read morePublished on Feb. 17 2002
The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie is the story of an eccentric, unorthodox teacher at a private school in Scotland. Read morePublished on Nov. 28 2001 by Douglas Morgan