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Download The Ballad of Peckham Rye Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Ballad of Peckham Rye Audiobook, by Muriel Spark Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (410 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Muriel Spark Narrator: Wanda McCaddon Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2017 ISBN: 9781538462966
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The Ballad of Peckham Rye is the wickedly farcical fable of a blue-collar town turned upside down. When the firm of Meadows, Meade & Grindley hires Dougal Douglas (a.k.a. Douglas Dougal) to do “human research” into the private lives of its workforce, they are in no way prepared for the mayhem, mutiny, and murder he will stir up. In fact, this Music Man of the thoroughly modern corporation changes the lives of all the eccentric characters he meets, from Miss Merle Coverdale, head of the typing pool, to V. R. Druce, unsuspecting managing director.

This is Dame Muriel Spark at her most devilishly piquant.

Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “We are never out of touch, in a Spark novel, with the happiness of creation; the sudden willful largesse of magic and wit, the cunning tautness of suspense.”

    John Updike, the New Yorker

  • “Not only funny but startlingly original, the legendary character of Dougal Douglas…may not have been boasting when he referred so blithely to his association with the devil.”

    Washington Post

  • “Touched with a Satanic glamour and a manner so disarming that grown men dissolve in tears at his slightest provocation, the Pied Piper of Spark’s charming 1960 satire captivates the residents of Peckham, a small London suburb…Witty and quite perfect in its construction, this light and mock-folkloric novel is the work of an inspired satirist.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “A wickedly funny novel.”

    Library Journal

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joanne | 2/15/2014

    " A fine bit of mischief. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sharon4 | 2/11/2014

    " This novel is classic Spark - short, funny and it challenges the reader's notions of right and wrong. Dougal Douglas is a menace to those around him, but he's so full of charm I very nearly wanted him to get away with his villainy. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Meredith | 2/10/2014

    " Slightly odd. We don't really get any answers. Why is Dougal doing what he does on all fronts? Secularly and socially, his antics are troublesome but they don't make a lot of sense. For example, he manages to get employed by two rival firms....but his activities in the social arena means he has to leave town, so he doesn't really benefit from his job setup. Why does Humphrey turn down Dixie at the altar? And then why does he come back two months later and marry her? I prefer books where people's motivations are more clearly spelled out or at least where you can infer them based on the context. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 93bcn | 2/8/2014

    " Here's my review of this book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Scott Olejnicak | 1/22/2014

    " Funny, brisk. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lynn | 1/21/2014

    " This book barely seemed to get going, and then it was over. It was VERY easy to read and amusing, although the ending was disturbing. It seemed a bit glib, if not callous. But that may have been the point of the story, or the means to the point. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sue Bird | 1/13/2014

    " not quite sure I understood this book "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jenny | 12/15/2013

    " Seriously, Muriel Spark is awesome. Her books are dark, funny little gems, and she does things with narrative technique that are fascinating. If you're not familiar with her, give her a shot. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Zoë Dawes | 12/1/2013

    " Read this book for our Book Club - which was then cancelled ... I was quite glad as had struggled with it. It's supposed to very funny - and I can see that it is, but in a 2nd hand kind of way. Felt quite dated - not a good read for me :( "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 DL | 10/25/2013

    " 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. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kat Sommers | 8/21/2013

    " Liked this. Odd but really enjoyable. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 James | 8/4/2013

    " A comedy apparently. Felt very dated and prefer her other books like girls of slender means or the prime of jean brodie. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brent Legault | 12/31/2012

    " 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. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jennifer | 9/5/2012

    " oh my god EVERY FREAKING SENTENCE is gold Hurry up, somebody, make a movie out of this - you must be a foreigner, irish british or scottish, but that's the only qualification. This book is perfect as a day in hell. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Hilary | 12/20/2011

    " a total submergence into post war south london, very funny and spot on "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Elaine | 4/30/2011

    " I used to like Muriel Spark, but this book is irritating. Might not finishit. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Christina Evans | 12/28/2010

    " Loved it - clever, funny, and an interesting look at our area of town back in the late 50s. Definitely in my top 10 list now. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Julie | 8/31/2010

    " Clever and sharp characters. I liked it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brent | 8/30/2010

    " 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. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Christina | 4/19/2010

    " Loved it - clever, funny, and an interesting look at our area of town back in the late 50s. Definitely in my top 10 list now. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Hilary | 3/8/2010

    " a total submergence into post war south london, very funny and spot on "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Elaine | 2/3/2010

    " I used to like Muriel Spark, but this book is irritating. Might not finishit. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Hilary | 5/28/2009

    " This book was unusual. And not in an entirely well-written, grasping way. Give or take a few genius lines and wordplay, I was let down by this one and was easily bored. I could see it working more as a play, or as a film, but not a decent read.

    Meh. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nixycoco | 4/25/2009

    " 'Your neck is a maniac's delight' - one of the most laugh-out-loud lines i've read for years. Disturbing too. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sharon4 | 9/22/2008

    " This novel is classic Spark - short, funny and it challenges the reader's notions of right and wrong. Dougal Douglas is a menace to those around him, but he's so full of charm I very nearly wanted him to get away with his villainy. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Julie | 6/26/2008

    " Clever and sharp characters. I liked it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 DL | 1/12/2008

    " 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. "

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About the Author
Author Muriel Spark

Muriel Spark (1918–2006) was born in Edinburgh, Scotland. She was the author of over twenty novels, including The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, as well as critical biographies, radio plays, children’s books, poetry, and short-story collections. She was made a Dame of the British Empire in 1993 and a Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres in 1996.

About the Narrator

Wanda McCaddon (a.k.a. Nadia May or Donada Peters) has narrated well over six hundred titles for major audiobook publishers, has earned numerous Earphones Awards, and was named a Golden Voice by AudioFile magazine.