I have been very negligent in my Booker reading lately, not to mention my posting here! I haven't stopped reading the reviews, though. Anyway, I just finished Muriel Spark's The Driver's Seat, my first stop in my attempt to at least read a few of the books on the Lost Booker shortlist (personally, I'm a fan of this latest "gimmick"). (By the way, I'm not sure how to categorize the Lost Booker, so if my tag is inappropriate, please feel free to flag it for repair).
About a year ago I read my first Spark: The Pride of Miss Jean Brodie. I think I was distracted at the time because the book didn't sit well with me. Since then it's gotten better (I've discussed it more and tried to get another perspective by watching the film) but I didn't rush out to read more Spark. Thanks to the Lost Booker I found reason to read another shortie in The Driver's Seat. From page one this is a disturbing take on a disturbed mind.
I've heard that Spark could be very dark, but I didn't expect this one, where we know from the beginning that the woman we are following, Lise, will be dead from multiple stab wounds the next morning. We are forced to watch her encounter brutal (and creepy) men, always wondering which will be the murderer -- and why is Lise with them in the first place? It's a great take on modern spirituality from a writer who seems to like to torture her reader as much as she tortures her characters.
For my complete review, click here.