It’s the last day of the month, so it must be time for an #IMReadalong update. We’re galloping through the oeuvre, aren’t we – and I hope you’re still with me! – so here’s a quick round-up of “The Unicorn” goodness, and a preview of the delights to come with “The Italian Girl”.

“The Unicorn”

I was a bit later with my review of this one, but got it up before the end of the month, so that’s a win, right? And I don’t mind a bit if other people lag behind a little (or a lot!) as long as you’re enjoying your reading. Here’s my review with a great discussion that flourished just at the end of the month in the comments. Jo has reviewed the novel on Goodreads and has some great points to make about the hysteria and fairy-tale of the book.

My three copies are shown above; Peter Rivenburg and David Mahon both have the somewhat lurid 1963 Penguin (do we think Hannah looks like this? I’m sure she should have more and red hair. Or is it Marian?

and David contributed the blurb, too:

If you have comments to make or links to blog posts or Goodreads reviews to post, you can put them here or (better still) on the review.

“The Italian Girl”

Is this the shortest of Murdoch’s novels? My two paperbacks run to 171 pages, with the hardback stretching out a bit more with some Very Large Print.

I treated myself to the rather odd first, and still have my 1985 Penguin – I remember reading this early, so would have got this a few years after it came out. Then for anyone following our theme of women in white dresses running away through trees, I think we might have bagged one with the Vintage!

This is a classic Murdochian tangle of family secrets and generations of dysfunction, as the blurbs make clear. Much more detail in the first edition than either of the other two, this sums it up really, although I feel it sounds quite like “A Severed Head” in this:

The Penguin has a much shorter blurb than some, but with some good establishment press support:

and as usual, the Vintage sort of blends the two, with a bit from a different newspaper to add a bit of spice (ancient experience, though? Is it based on a myth I’ve not understood?):

Are you going to be reading or re-reading “The Italian” along with me? Are you catching up with the others or have you given up)? What’s your favourite so far?


You will find a page listing all of these blog posts here, updated as I go along.