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Extended Audio Sample The Finishing School, 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 (529 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Muriel Spark Narrator: Wanda McCaddon Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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College Sunrise is a vaguely disreputable finishing school in Lausanne, Switzerland. Rowland Mahler and his wife, Nina, run the school as a way to support themselves while he works, somewhat falteringly, on his novel. Into his creative writing class comes seventeen-year-old Chris Wiley, a literary prodigy whose historical novel-in-progress on Mary Queen of Scots and the murder of her husband Lord Darnley has already excited the interest of publishers. The inevitable results are keen envy and a game of cat and mouse not free of sexual jealousy and attraction.

Nobody writing has a keener instinct than Muriel Spark for hypocrisy, self-delusion, and moral ambiguity, or a more deliciously satirical eye. The Finishing School is certain to be another Spark landmark.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Wittily recalls Spark’s best-known work, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie…Sparks so brilliantly captures extreme states of mind—paranoia, hysteria, neurosis, psychosis—because she organizes her chaotic and centrifugal subject matter through tightly structured plots and luminously precise language.”

    Times Literary Supplement (London)

  • “No discussion of plot or character can do justice to the quality of a Sparknovel. Her genius lies in her tone…This short novel is an eloquent, subtle, poetic exploration of what words are and what they do to us.”

    Times (London)

  • “[Spark has] the most sharply original fictional imagination of our time…Starting her career as a poet, [she] in many ways remains one—not least in her deftness at finding images in unexpected places.”

    Sunday Times (London)

  • “Another Spark classic…An exploration of teenage homosexuality, attempted murder, jealousy, adultery, all dealt with in the most polite and darkly comic way.”

    Tatler 

  • “A brimming supply of wit, drollery, understatement, and plain human interest…Another perfect little novel of manners form the ever-wondrous Spark: a microcosm of the world we live in, constructed with wizardry, delicacy, sharp eye, and huge heart.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  •  “A cool, delightful little book of bad deeds and good manners.”

    Publishers Weekly

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Keely | 2/4/2014

    " Anemic little book. I felt at first like whole paragraphs were missing and as it progressed like whole chapters were missing. Some snappy writing here and there with interesting observations but little else. No real sense of time and place. Could be 1960 could be 2005 except for allusions to emails. Actually the whole thing is like an allusion to a real novel. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Shelleen Toland | 2/4/2014

    " A book about students at a finishing school full of jealousy and affairs. It was ok. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by sharon | 1/11/2014

    " Interesting quick read-I like her characters. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Callie | 1/10/2014

    " I know I read this book all wrong. You should read it one or two sittings and you should be lucid while reading it. It took me all of 3 weeks, although it is very short, and I read it just before I nodded off to sleep each night. Sooooooo...anything I could say about it would not be very enlightening. I sort of feel as if I skimmed along the surface of it and that its message never penetrated the fog of my exhausted brain. "

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