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The Ballad of Peckham Rye By Muriel Spark,

  • Title: The Ballad of Peckham Rye
  • Author: Muriel Spark
  • ISBN: 9780141188355
  • Page: 410
  • Format: Paperback
  • A man of devilish charm and enterprising spirit, Dougal Douglas is employed to revitalize the ailing firm of Meadows, Meade Grindley He succeeds, but not quite in the way his employer intended Strange things begin to happen as Dougal exerts an uncanny influence on the inhabitants of Peckham Rye and brings lies, tears, blackmail and even murder into the lives of allA man of devilish charm and enterprising spirit, Dougal Douglas is employed to revitalize the ailing firm of Meadows, Meade Grindley He succeeds, but not quite in the way his employer intended Strange things begin to happen as Dougal exerts an uncanny influence on the inhabitants of Peckham Rye and brings lies, tears, blackmail and even murder into the lives of all he meets, from Miss Merle Coverdale, head of the typing pool, to Beauty, the resident femme fatale, and even Mr Druce, the unsuspecting Managing Director himself.
    The Ballad of Peckham Rye A man of devilish charm and enterprising spirit Dougal Douglas is employed to revitalize the ailing firm of Meadows Meade Grindley He succeeds but not quite in the way his employer intended Strange

    One thought on “The Ballad of Peckham Rye”

    1. Though this is sharp social satire, I don t think it will stick with me long A trickster shapeshifter perhaps con man devil knowing Spark, that s very likely Pan figure comes to town and chaos changes ensue Would these things have happened anyway Maybe not but maybe so, as Spark is clear in her belief that evil is always afoot, that as we see through the character of the gray haired, pontificating Nelly we must be vigilant against lies and deceit Are the forthright characters the ones who dislik [...]

    2. The art of the impeccably constructed comedy, lean and mean from scene to spleen, is Muriel s MO This one concerns a sharp tongued Scot who invades Lyon s Corner House era Peckham and upsets the apple cart with his multiple machinations Spark s perfect ear and skill at crafting a knockabout romp is on a par with Mr Queneau and this short novel induces in this reader a state of toe tingling rapture.

    3. Quirky and rather brief novel which I rather enjoyed It is part fable with a spot of magic realism, a dash of humour, some nice twists and clever observations of life in the early 1960s Dougal Douglas aka Douglas Dougal is a Scot who has moved to Peckham He gets a job in a local textile firm Meadows, Meade and Grindley, as an arts man , someone who will observe the workforce and learn how to motivate them The early days of Human Resources He has an odd and disturbing effect on those he meets, di [...]

    4. All I can say is that this totally confused me Sure, I understand what happened, but I have no idea what the book is saying A man wreaks havoc in the lives of many.Without humor, or if it was there it went over my head Spark s lines said nothing to me I usually find them so clever This is the first book by Muriel Spark that has totally failed me.The audiobook narration by Nadia May Wanda McCaddon was fine, but did not improve the book for me.

    5. I had recently read some interesting biographical background on Muriel Spark, but had never actually read anything by her, although I did recall the considerable impact the film The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie had on me when I saw it as a kid which in part I attribute to strong acting by Maggie Smith and how exotic far off Scotland seemed to me, but also its focus on teaching, the power of cliques, the pressure to conform and or obey I found an old used copy of this earlier work by Spark from 1960 [...]

    6. Vuoi tu prendere questa donna come tua legittima sposa No, rispose Humphrey francamente no.L aggettivo pi indicato per questo libro potrebbe essere bizzarro.Muriel Spark imbastisce una commedia ricca di humor inglese ambientandola nella Londra degli anni 60, una Londra industrializzata e sempre pi attenta alla situazione degli impiegati in questo scenario che entra in gioco il protagonista di questa sinistra ballata Dougal Douglas, esperto di scienze umane incaricato da una piccola industria tes [...]

    7. As usual, Muriel Spark was enough over my head that I finished this highly comic novel and was not quite sure what I had just read.Peckham Rye is a small town outside London and the setting for all kinds of poking fun at members of the English lower middle class These characters dwell amongst their stodgy British habits but carry on in quite a modern style for the times Lots of illicit sex going on, gossip and rumor of course.When Dougal Douglas comes to town and insinuates himself into two riva [...]

    8. I don t like Muriel Spark She s not really on my side I feel that she hates us all for the dreadful time we re having fair enough but she is convinced that it s our fault And so she sneers at us and it isn t very attractive.A couple of the best sneers She said, I feel as if I ve been twenty years married instead of two hours He thought this a pity for a girl of eighteen God she said Dougal, I ve had a rotten life And it isn t over yet, Dougal said,

    9. A wickedly funny and odd little book, hard to know how to read it A clue is in the title The Ballad The character of Dougal Douglas or Douglas Dougal, is the quintessential stranger who comes to town and leaves many maimed in his wake Is he the devil incarnate perhaps Is Dame Muriel Spark a devilishly good writer, always surprising, nudging her characters and the reader off balance Yes, indeed.

    10. Dougal Douglas, or Douglas Dougal depending upon when and on what side of town you meet him, is a Scottish devil He offers to let most anyone feel the nubs of his horns buried in his curly red hair The good working class citizens of Peckham Rye, a South London suburb where people speak with distaste of any need to cross the river, don t know quite what to make of Dougal or his nubby horns If he is not a devil he is certainly a rascal, a young man who cons his way into local industry as an arts m [...]

    11. I started this with high hopes, initially enjoying the writing style and story, but as the book progressed I found it less and less well written, and despised almost all of the characters The shocking climax of the book happens on the last few pages, and it s utterly ridiculous Not a good initial introduction to Muriel Spark.

    12. Well, it turns that out my initial positive feeling after reading the first couple pages of Muriel Spark s The Ballad of Peckham Rye was short lived and quickly replaced by indignation This novel tries too hard to be some kind of bizarre satire but ends up as nothing than an affectedly quaint and nonsensical farce without any substantial value The characters are all flat their motivations entirely incomprehensible Muriel Spark can often be applauded for her sly wit, snappy dialogue and wildly h [...]

    13. I read to page 100 and decided that it was remarkably like a Muriel Spark novel Coincidence I think not What I mean to say is that it s shrewd, sly, and wickedly humorous without being malicious There s a priceless metaphor about bungalows, skyscrapers, and nervous breakdowns in here And if Douglas Dougal and vice versa is the devil, then hail Satan Nevertheless, I found myself really struggling to finish, maybe because it s not a plot driven book and I feel like I get the general Muriel Spark g [...]

    14. After reading Memento Mori and loving every part of it, I was expecting this one to be as witty and as interesting as the aforementioned I was wrong There was really nothing at all that interested me in The Ballad of Peckham Rye, I didn t find it humorous and I didn t care for the characters fate On the whole, this novel had an attractive plot summary, which, in my opinion, could have been executed a lot better, but it didn t blow me away.

    15. spigolosa ballata satirica su un giovane ineffabile e dai tratti diabolici che andr a sconvolgere l equilibrio di un quartiere operaio londinese questo libro di muriel spark trasuda humor nero nel raccontare le avventure di dougal douglas e le sue manipolazioni ai danni delle persone che incontra non sempre la vena macabra funziona e l ironia non graffia come dovrebbe ma nel complesso una lettura piacevole che si sofferma sui meccanismi della fabbrica e sulla societ inglese.

    16. Douglal Douglas arrives in Peckham and takes a job as an Arts Man which allows him to do what he likes which is mostly mischief He is Scottish with a deformed shoulder and proceeds to cause disruption in the mundane lives of everyone he meets The story is told in flashback after Humphrey walks out of his wedding with Dixie The story is about sexual honesty and hypocrisy set in the 1950s Douglal manages to sow seeds of envy, anger, jealousy, suspicion that results in violence and ultimately murde [...]

    17. I get the impression that a group of writers were talking about combining literary styles and forms One of them said that it would be impossible to combine a traditional ballad with kitchen sink realism At that point Muriel Spark said that she d do it That s my best guess for the origin of The Ballad of Peckham Rye The result isn t pretty, but I m surprised that it was done at all.There s much about it that confuses me Topping the list is the status of Dougal Douglas Is he a supernatural being o [...]

    18. For the most part this is a slight and whimsical tale, although by the end it has gone to some oddly dark places To be honest, I think whimsical and dark are a literary oil and water, they really don t mix well together So, despite having some high points of amusement, The Ballad of Peckham Rye has an unevenness of tone which is quite disconcerting.It centres on Dougal Douglas, a young Scot hired in a nebulous personnel role for a Peckham company Bracingly optimistic, he makes it his business to [...]

    19. Dougal Douglas aka Douglas Dougal is hired by a manufacturing firm in a small town to conduct human research into its workforce in order to reduce absenteeism Douglas is simultaneously ingratiating and abhorred he exudes something that makes the people of Peckham Rye react to him with fearful intimacy or violence His research is negligible, but his machinations sow discord and destruction throughout the town The Ballad of Peckham Rye is full of what I m coming to think of as Sparkian traits dart [...]

    20. This is a wickedly funny book, the kind that perhaps might sometimes be described as too clever by half , but I feel here comes across brimming with earnestness and energy, where every line pops with twist or cleft, and is somehow written in the most simple fashion but conveys multiple layers of meaning I absolutely adore it, and highly recommend it it s exceedingly short, as well, but while reading it, I became entirely enveloped in its world It brings to life all the quirks and foibles of its [...]

    21. This is my second time reading but I remembered nothing from the first I read it because I was going to Peckham, but the colourful multicultural Peckham I saw in July 2015 was nothing like the drab one depicted in this novel The story follows Scotsman Donal Douglas who works as an arts man time and motion in a textile factory he has a crooked shoulder and young white teeth He likes to dance and caper and his devilish ways make him irresistible to some of the characters he encounters, the rest he [...]

    22. My reaction to The Ballad of Peckham Rye is much the same as that of its characters to the protagonist Dougal Douglas Douglas Dougal by turns fascinated, alienated, amused and baffled, often suspecting they are in the presence of something malevolent Muriel Spark s style is a curious one, stripped down and straightforward but forever making unexpected choices Some of her turns of phrase are deliberately awkward and require rereading The plot and tone here never settle down Douglas s brief stay i [...]

    23. The devil rides out a leading textile manufacturer wishes to introduce its workforce to the Arts and so hires Dougal Douglas MA Edin to bring culcha to the masses Instead, Dougal gives devil worship, wide swapping, murder and other assorted mayhem to the lower middles and aspiring working classes of SE15 A lot may have changed in Peckham since then, but some things remain The doomed head of the typing pool, morose Merle, comments of her involvement with Dougal in a line that sums up how I someti [...]

    24. From the indulgent flab of the previous book, to this less than 200 pages of exquisite prose So so good, very strange in terms of plot but that just made me love it Dialogue is so spot on for 1960s working class Britain and reminded me of those kitchen sink films of that era which I love so much Oh and I got this in the super 1960s Penguin design from, of course, a second hand bookshop in Highgate, north London Such are the simple and sometimes most satisfying pleasures of life.

    25. Witty, worldy, charming, irreverent, imaginitive, playful and only slightly bitter, this novel would make an excellent dinner companion but perhaps not such a good life partner It s certainly too frivolous for the seriuos reader but it was the Baby Bear s porridge of frivolity for me.

    26. A bit confusing at first, probably due to Scottishisms Upon finishing, however, I immediately wanted to read it again Spark s characters and writing are as original and delightful as always.

    27. I enjoyed the sharp and witty dialogues, but I felt like the disjointed narrative in some parts made it hard to focus or I just found myself not paying attention and I had to go back and re read the paragraph But overall, Dougal Douglas is an interesting protagonist, disturbing the quiet life of the people in Peckham Rye He says, in the beginning I shall have to do research into their lives Research into the real Peckham It will be necessary to discover the spiritual well spring, the glorious hi [...]

    28. This is lightweight Spark, which means it s perfectly cruel and often funny but I found it unsatisfying I have a prejudice in favor of Spark s female protagonists, of course, and this one concerns an impishly improvisational meddling devil for the protagonist someone you could just about imagine being played by Peter Cook if you manufactured a Dudley Moore type out of one of the ensemble characters swirling around the working class, factory town milieu I ve just checked to make sure no one did t [...]

    29. The story focuses on Dougal Douglas, a con artist, self purported devil, similar to the coyote trickster of Native American legend He comes to Peckham Rye for a job as the Arts man in the Human Resources Dept for a local industry vaguely hired to do human research on its workers around the issue of absenteeism But basically he convinces the company to pay him to do nothing but hang out with staff, learn everyone s secrets, and tell them to the worse possible people He changes everyone he comes i [...]

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