The Sea, the Sea, by Iris Murdoch: The lentil and chipolata stew did sound delightful.

How can a book manage to be hysterical, banal and tedious all at the same time? That life, or indeed Charles Arrowby, can be all of these things may have been the point but it didn’t make for pleasant reading. The apparent philosophical profundity was lost on me as I was hoping the sea monster would put in a re-appearance and maul the insipid, irritating and unappealing characters to death. Sadly it didn’t and the infuriatingly repetitious plot, complete with Charles Arrowby’s Cooking for Theatrical Hermits, meandered on and on all the way to page 511. Where a postscript cruelly adds another 27 pages, just when I thought I’d made it to the end, the end. However, the lentil and chipolata stew did sound delightful.

Source: Amazon. Irwin Winterchest.

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