Thursday, March 20, 2014

A Fairly Honourable Defeat

A Fairly Honourable Defeat is a 1970 Iris Murdoch novel. I've liked all her novels that I've read so far, so it's not surprising that I like this one. This book focuses on relationships and the ease with which they can be disrupted. Some people are heartless and some are stupid. Life is good; or is it? The story is told through dialog; there's not much description.

from the back of the book:
Rupert and Hilda are perfectly matched.

Their only worries are a drop-out son and Morgan, Hilda's unstable sister, just back from America.

Enter Julius, Morgan's ex-lover, determined to give Rupert and Hilda's seemingly impregnable marriage a mild jolt. He finds an unexpectedly spirited opponent in Morgan's husband, Tallis...

This is a tale of the struggle between two demonic beings, one good, one evil. The evil one wins, but the defeat of the good is a fairly honourable one...
The Guardian says this book "marvellously retells the story of Much Ado About Nothing with a modern-day Christ and Satan added, in South Kensington."


  1. HMMM! Not sure I want demons to win, but this has at least piqued my interest.

    1. and i'm not at all sure what a "good" demonic being looks like :/ i'd re-write the back copy on some books if i could.

  2. I have always wanted to read Murdoch. I bought The Green Knight at a sale last year, have you read it? I want to pick it up, but the size it too intimidating.

    1. i have it on the shelf but haven't read the green knight yet. i don't know anything about it. i just buy anything i see with her name on it. so far i've enjoyed reading her.