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A Far Cry from Kensington
A Far Cry from Kensington | Muriel Spark
10 posts | 9 read | 1 reading | 14 to read
The fraying fringes of 1950s literary London Rich and slim, the celebrated author Nancy Hawkins takes us in hand and leads us back to her threadbare years in postwar London, where she spends her days working for a mad, near-bankrupt publisher (of very good books) and her nights dispensing advice at her small South Kensington rooming house. Everywhere Mrs. Hawkins finds evil: with aplomb, however, she confidently sets about putting things to order, to terrible effect.
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I‘m giving this a pick, even though I wasn‘t really that interested in the story itself. However, I was interested in Mrs. Hawkins, her musings and reflections, her honesty and the wry, sarcastic tone of the book. I‘ll definitely read more books by Muriel Spark 🙌

BarbaraBB I don‘t know this one but I have read some Muriel Sparks that I liked a lot! 6mo
EadieB I read A Driver's Seat - Here's my review:
This is a short, brilliant book which is a little over 100 pages but packs a punch. In the beginning the author tells you how the book ends yet it held my attention until the last page as I followed along to see how the author accomplishes her task. This was my first Muriel Spark book but it won't be my last. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a creepy, chilling tale of evil.
108 likes2 comments
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#YouNeverCanTell when it is the right time to start a book. I started this 4 months ago, read 20 pages, was bored to tears and sure I would hate it. So I put it down, and haven‘t been motivated to pick it up again. That is‘ until yesterday, where I read 120 pages in the blink of an eye, and enjoyed every second of it! Perfect example that every book has its time to be read 👌


Kate.Braithwaite So very true!! 6mo
TrishB Agreed 👍🏻 6mo
RealLifeReading Definitely! Also cute cover! 6mo
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Tamra Truth! 6mo
aeeklund I love how this happens. It‘s one of my favorite things about books! 6mo
KarenUK Ooh, love that cover.... and enjoyed this one ... hope you continue to 👍💕 6mo
Cinfhen I found this to be so true!!! 6mo
rohit-sawant So true! 6mo
LeahBergen It‘s so true, isn‘t it?? 6mo
Amandajoy I need to remember this and not be afraid to put down a book. 6mo
Centique I have to remind myself of that and give books a second try. I'm in love with this cover though! 6mo
90 likes11 comments

Coming at the end of a Spark binge (Girls of Slender Means, Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Memento Mori) it‘s striking how different this one is. It‘s darker (although that shouldn‘t be surprising) than the bubbly back cover would suggest.

2 likes1 stack add
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Just starting but I‘m struck by how exactly the description of Molly‘s house reminds me of the house I used to stay in in Acton in my researching days.

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My very modest #bookhaul after my day spent on a used-book-crawl 👌 I couldn‘t pass up the VMC designer classic, and I have wanted to read Station Eleven for such a long time!

I even found a lot of #FolioSociety editions of Dickens‘ novels, but they were too expensive for me at the moment. But September and payday isn‘t that far away. Or, at least I try to tell myself that 😄😄

Cinfhen Glad u had fun and Station Eleven is sooooo good 1y
KatieanneF Station Eleven is BRILLIANT!! Enjoy!! 1y
wanderinglynn I too loved Station Eleven. Happy reading! 😀 📖 1y
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RebelReader I loved Station Eleven! Enjoy! 1y
LeahBergen I love the Spark edition! 👍🏻 1y
LikelyLibrarian Station eleven is fabulous!! 1y
Verity I love the vmc hardbacks. I have a little shelf of them! 1y
readordierachel Station Eleven is a favorite of mine, and that edition is gorgeous! 1y
Billypar I have Station Eleven on my tbr shelf - no current plans for when to pick it up, but all this praise is making me think I should push it up in priority! 1y
Aimeesue Oooh, pretty Spark! 1y
emilyhaldi Great choices!!!! 1y
Kalalalatja @Cinfhen @KatieanneF @wanderinglynn @RebelReader @LikelyLibrarian @ReadOrDieRachel you all have me itching to pick up Station Eleven! 👏 @LeahBergen @Verity @Aimeesue I just couldn‘t leave it all alone on the shelf 😄 @Billypar I‘m definitely thinking so, too! @emilyhaldi thanks! 1y
ephemeralwaltz Lovely!! 1y
103 likes13 comments
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Kitty with my Kindle! I love the novels of Muriel Spark. This is one of her best ones - sharp, smart, and honest. I enjoyed spending time with Mrs. Hawkins and following her adventures in post-war publishing. Those adventures are rivaled only by her involvement in the lives of her neighbors. A short and bittersweet read.

tammysue 😻 1y
Bookzombie 💕🐱 1y
51 likes2 comments
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HAD to share this podcast episode with my all my podcast loving Litsy friends... Anyone who is a fan of tv show ‘Qi‘ may love it too..... Tuesday‘s episode of A Good Read (under the BBC Books and Authors podcast title) is so fun! There is a delightful discussion of the tagged book, picked by host Harriet and discussed with so much joy with Stephen Fry and Alan Davies... Can‘t wait to read it now!

LauraBeth Oohh - thanks! I‘ll listen tonight. 😀 I was just listening to the Popcast because they dedicated an entire episode to books: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-popcast-with-knox-and-jamie/id712316884?... 2y
Trav Do you mean QI? Or is there another television show by a similar name? 2y
KarenUK @trav yep Qi! 2y
Trav @KarenUK gosh I love that show! I'll definitely have to check out the podcast then. 2y
CarolynM It's a great book. Enjoy! I look forward to hearing what you think about it. (edited) 2y
59 likes5 comments

While The Prime of Ms Jean Brodie may be Spark‘s most famous novel, I like A Far Cry From Kensington far more.

#LitsyAtoZ - #LetterF
#192019 - #1988

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#Londoncalling #rockinmay
I found a few London books. One, crash, brilliant but very shocking, end of the affair i bought to reread, far cry from Kensington is another purchase to reread, and of course one of my favourite books tinker tailor.

Cinfhen Niiiice!!! Lots of London ❤️today! Soooo many good books 3y
LeahBergen I just recently bought the Greene and the Spark. 👍🏼 3y
TobeyTheScavengerMonk Empire of the Sun is the only Ballard I've read. I need to remedy that. 3y
19 likes3 comments
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Ok I know I'm a day late on collections, but I'm also super in love with my Muriel Spark collection. I'm only missing a few titles! ❤️

Liberty 🤘🏻🤘🏻 3y
16 likes1 comment