Monday, February 13, 2017

Under the Net - Iris Murdoch

Under the Net
Title: Under the Net
Author: Iris Murdoch
Publication Date: 1954
Pages: 252
Genre: Classic / Historical / Fiction
How I Found It: 100 Best Novels
Date Completed: 1/18/17

Summary: When aspiring writer Jake is evicted, he reconnects with an old crew of friends and becomes mired in their drama.

What I Thought: This was a fun diversion from some of the other books on the 100 Best Novels list. It holds many of the same characteristics - setting, character types, rough plot points, era, etc. - but it has a more unique tone. It's light-hearted in many ways. The characters are fun, but not one-dimensional. 

I must attribute that one some level to the female authorship. I have complained quite a bit about the homogeneity of the Modern Library list. There is so little diversity. Some might count this novel as falling in with that British, mid-century march. However, I do think that the distinct tone is proof of the importance of diverse authorship. Even if much of the structure is the same, different types of people bring different perspectives. It's refreshing as a reader. This book served as a good litmus test for me in that way. Because so many of the other novels have shared characteristics with this one but were written by white men, it was a good way to see if female authorship did, in fact make a difference to me at all. Unsurprisingly, it did. I feel confident in this, too, because I didn't even realize the book was written by a woman until I was at least halfway through and had already developed thoughts about the work.

While I did not find this novel particularly amazing, I also did not have many of the complaints I have had with much of the list. So, I'll chalk this one up as a win. 

Quote I Loved: "Starting a novel is opening a door on a misty landscape; you can still see very little but you can smell the earth and feel the wind blowing."

Rating: ★★★☆☆
Will I Re-Read: Yeah, possibly
If You Liked This, Try: The Golden Bowl / Howard's End / Zuleika Dobson

A Reduced Review: While not a stand-out novel for me, it was refreshing to see that diverse authorship does have an impact. 

No comments:

Post a Comment