The Finishing School

By Muriel Spark
Read by Wanda McCaddon

3.23 Hours 12/01/2005 unabridged
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    ISBN: 9781455182626

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College Sunrise is a vaguely disreputable finishing school in Lausanne, Switzerland. Rowland Mahler and his wife, Nina, run the school as a way to support themselves while he works, somewhat falteringly, on his novel. Into his creative writing class comes seventeen-year-old Chris Wiley, a literary prodigy whose historical novel-in-progress on Mary Queen of Scots and the murder of her husband Lord Darnley has already excited the interest of publishers. The inevitable results are keen envy and a game of cat and mouse not free of sexual jealousy and attraction. Nobody writing has a keener instinct than Muriel Spark for hypocrisy, self-delusion, and moral ambiguity, or a more deliciously satirical eye. The Finishing School is certain to be another Spark landmark.

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Summary

Summary

College Sunrise is a vaguely disreputable finishing school in Lausanne, Switzerland. Rowland Mahler and his wife, Nina, run the school as a way to support themselves while he works, somewhat falteringly, on his novel. Into his creative writing class comes seventeen-year-old Chris Wiley, a literary prodigy whose historical novel-in-progress on Mary Queen of Scots and the murder of her husband Lord Darnley has already excited the interest of publishers. The inevitable results are keen envy and a game of cat and mouse not free of sexual jealousy and attraction.

Nobody writing has a keener instinct than Muriel Spark for hypocrisy, self-delusion, and moral ambiguity, or a more deliciously satirical eye. The Finishing School is certain to be another Spark landmark.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“Wittily recalls Spark’s best-known work, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie…Sparks so brilliantly captures extreme states of mind—paranoia, hysteria, neurosis, psychosis—because she organizes her chaotic and centrifugal subject matter through tightly structured plots and luminously precise language.” Times Literary Supplement (London)
“No discussion of plot or character can do justice to the quality of a Sparknovel. Her genius lies in her tone…This short novel is an eloquent, subtle, poetic exploration of what words are and what they do to us.” Times (London)
“[Spark has] the most sharply original fictional imagination of our time…Starting her career as a poet, [she] in many ways remains one—not least in her deftness at finding images in unexpected places.” Sunday Times (London)
“Another Spark classic…An exploration of teenage homosexuality, attempted murder, jealousy, adultery, all dealt with in the most polite and darkly comic way.” Tatler 
“A brimming supply of wit, drollery, understatement, and plain human interest…Another perfect little novel of manners form the ever-wondrous Spark: a microcosm of the world we live in, constructed with wizardry, delicacy, sharp eye, and huge heart.” Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
 “A cool, delightful little book of bad deeds and good manners.” Publishers Weekly

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Muriel Spark

Muriel Spark (1918–2006) was born in Edinburgh, Scotland. She was the author of over twenty novels, including The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, as well as critical biographies, radio plays, children’s books, poetry, and short-story collections. She was made a Dame of the British Empire in 1993 and a Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres in 1996.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental, Library CD, MP3 CD
Category: Fiction
Runtime: 3.23
Audience: Adult
Language: English