The green knight

by Iris Murdoch

Paper Book, 1994

Status

Available

Genres

Publication

New York, N.Y., U.S.A. : Viking, 1994.

Description

In a small circle of friends in London, some disturbing occurrences are taking place Lucas Graffe, a reclusive academic, kills a man in self-defense and disappears immediately after the trial, leaving his brother, the charismatic actor Clement Graffe, tortured by his absence. Their friend Bellamy James rids himself of all ties and possessions, even giving away his beloved dog. Yearning for simplicity and purification, he prepares himself for a monastic life. And outside Clifton, the house where the widowed Louise Anderson lives with her three eccentric daughters, a very peculiar man is watching.   Lucas finally returns, and during his reunion with his brother, they happen to receive a surprising visitor. It soon becomes clear to the Graffes and their friends that there is a complex mission to fulfill, of revenge, but also of transformation. Rich, enthralling, full of humor and suspense, Iris Murdoch's magnificent novel illuminates the complexities of guilt and innocence, malice and compassion. It is a triumphant work from one of our greatest writers.… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member BookMonk
I sometimes think Murdoch lived in Cloud Cuckoo land: would three teenage girls – no matter how well educated – spend an evening in a TV-less room playing the piano and reading Milton aloud? And this is 1992! Nevertheless, this is another riveting tale from the lady, fast paced with some interesting characters, including a dog called Anax. Actually Anax’s thought processes as he runs around London looking for his former master are brilliantly presented and, for me, the best part of the book. Less philosophical than her other later novels but all the features usually found in Murdoch World are here for the devoted fan.… (more)
LibraryThing member LyzzyBee
19 Jan 1995

I was dreading doing the last two books in the IM Project but was pleasantly surprised by this one, which I had only read once before. The characters and plot are rich and satisfying, there is a good collection of her archetypes and themes, and Anax, the best dog in Iris Murdoch. There are only a few moments that evidence her Alzheimer's and a "tassellated" scarf is quite a nice image, actually. A relief, and a good read as well.… (more)
LibraryThing member MyopicBookworm
I've not read much Murdoch, but I found this book reasonably enjoyable. Some of the snapshots of family life were evocative, and I warmed to one or two of the characters, However, in the end, the scenario seems too contrived in its attempt to remodel the theme of Gawain and the Green Knight: it does not seem plausible that a murder trial could proceed if the victim revived, and I felt that the character of Lucas didn't really gel, either in terms of its coherence as a portrait, or in his interactions with other characters. MB 30-iii-07… (more)
LibraryThing member lawrenh
"And he thought, I shall go on blindly and secretly jumbling all these things together and making no sense of them as long as I live. Maybe every human creature carries some such inescapable burden. That is being human. A very weird affair."

I saw Iris Murdoch's debut novel on the Modern Library 100 list but ultimately read this later work because it seemed more relevant to my interests. And so it was: a subtle study of the intersection of madness and mysticism, woven into a sometimes-funny magically real yarn about a traditionally non-traditional extended family in London.… (more)
LibraryThing member bolero
I love Murdoch. I was very pleased with this book. My favorites of hers are "A Severed Head,"(a near masterpiece) and "The Sea, The Sea." I saw somewhere where recently Harold Bloom(Western Canon)stated that she still can't write a novel. Shame on him.
LibraryThing member ivanfranko
My first attempt at a Murdoch novel. It is compelling, complex and absorbs one so much that I couldn't put it down.
LibraryThing member lawrenh
"And he thought, I shall go on blindly and secretly jumbling all these things together and making no sense of them as long as I live. Maybe every human creature carries some such inescapable burden. That is being human. A very weird affair."

I saw Iris Murdoch's debut novel on the Modern Library 100 list but ultimately read this later work because it seemed more relevant to my interests. And so it was: a subtle study of the intersection of madness and mysticism, woven into a sometimes-funny magically real yarn about a traditionally non-traditional extended family in London.… (more)
LibraryThing member Kristelh
My first Murdock novel, probably not the best place to start as this is near the end of her writing career. I would agree with this other review "untidy" but good characters and enjoyable. It keeps you coming back. Book Lust recommendation. Set in England, attempted murder. This is Ms Murdoch's next to the last novel with some evidence of Alzheimer's but not too bad. It was still a fascinating book. Characters are searching for love and redemption. One review stated that this book is less dark and perhaps the author at this age believed redemption may be possible.… (more)

Language

Page: 0.5452 seconds