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Download The Good Apprentice Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample The Good Apprentice (Unabridged), by Iris Murdoch
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (647 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Iris Murdoch Narrator: Christopher Cazenov Publisher: Phoenix Books Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Stuart Cuno has decided to become good. Not believing in God, he invents his own methods, which include celibacy, chastity, and the abandonment of a promising academic career. Interfering friends and relations question his sincerity, his sanity and his motives.

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Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Mind Bird | 2/1/2014

    " It's been years since I read this, but I still remember even small details (the resting places for things on their way to another room, the girl dancing in the forest), while there are countless other books I have read since that I don't remember anything about. Iris Murdoch is one of the immortals. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Surreysmum | 12/26/2013

    " [These notes were made in 1987:]. Like all Murdochs, this is a tremendously involved and complex novel, but there is at least emotional unity to it - or perhaps I am merely more attuned to this unity than I have been in her earlier stuff. This novel is about grief and loss - living through it, surviving it, taking responsibility for your actions without destroying yourself. It also, as the cover blurb quite rightly says, is about the problem of being good. Plot? There's Edward, a heedless young University student who kills his best friend accidentally with a combination of a prank (he administers drugs) and carelessness (he goes off to be with a girl). He goes into a tremendous depression, and his uncle Thomas, a psychiatrist, arranges for him to visit Seegard, the strange, other-worldly home of his biological father, Jesse, and the three women who are actually closer kin to Edward than the family with whom he has grown up. That family is Harry (who married Edward's mother, Chloe, now dead) and Stuart, Harry's son by another marriage. Stuart, a brilliant mathematician, is striving in rather unusual ways to find goodness - a sort of self-imposed monasticism without God. Harry is having an affair with Midge, Chloe's sister and Thomas's wife. Such is the situation at the beginning! Edward finds a sort of solace in caring for his now senile father, and in falling in love with his dead friend's sister, Brownie. When he loses both, he somehow manages to go on anyway. Stuart discovers that he is a blunderer, and loses his spiritual pride, but yes, manages to do some good anyway. The affair between Harry and Midge is found out by Thomas, and Midge, in a sort of reaction against having to choose between Harry & Thomas, develops a crush on Stuart. Everybody moves ahead a little in their understanding of themselves and the nature of love. Meanwhile there are all sorts of symbols and recurring motifs working themselves out in ways I can't begin to fathom. The link between sex and death is everywhere insisted upon, which does not mean that sex (or, indeed, death) is made to seem a bad thing. It's a long novel (522 pp.) but I could read it again with interest. Perhaps I will. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Jody | 12/23/2013

    " It has been too long since I read Murdoch. My plan was to read all of her books in chronological order since her death in 1999, but when it is almost 2 years (2004, 2006, 2008, 2010) between books... that doesn't bode well! (There are only four left after this one.) Unlike the last one, I did enjoy reading this one, but it wasn't my favorite Murdoch. Story is of a young man and his family. The young man was involved in a dear friend's accidental death and is having a hard time dealing with it. His family is a mixed bag. He was raised by his step-father, but idolizes his father (along with everyone else). His aunt and step-father are having an affair, and this book gave me some real personal insight on all parties involved. His half-brother is in transition and is in a phase where he seems to be making religious commitments, even though he is not religious. His step-mother and half-sisters are living in his father's 'palace' with a very bizarre, rigid routine. The story can be summed up in a quote from one of the letters near the end. 'Life is full of terrible things and one must look into the future and think about what happiness one can create for oneself and others. There is so much good that we can all do, and we must have the energy to do it.' Spoiler alert: one difference between this Murdoch and others is that everyone seems to end up back where they started, but still be very different people due to their experiences in the story. Usually, Murdoch has them all end up somewhere totally else at the end, either in a completely different relationship or physical location "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Alec | 12/17/2013

    " Wonderful, obviously, but I'm not sure if it creeps up to that fourth star. Some astounding writing, but perhaps a little too much waffle. There is psychological depth, and then there are psychological trenches. But it has that strangeness and quiet beauty that suffuses so many Murdoch novels. Not one of my favourites of hers, but still a fine thing. "

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