“Under the Net” round-up and “The Flight From the Enchanter” preview #IMReadalong @IrisMurdoch

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Well, it’s the end of the first month and I feel like we’ve had a good discussion on “Under the Net”. How did you get on? If you’ve blogged about it, please pop a link in the comments here, and you might want to contribute to the discussion under my review, or post thoughts here, it’s up to you. I will add any links to blog posts here as they still come in.

Bookish Beck has reviewed the book on her blog. She’s read four other Murdochs and placed it squarely in the middle in terms of favourites, which is fair enough! She also shared her sadly rebound library copy – but although I have four copies of my own of this one, I love seeing all the different ones you all have, so keep sending me images (you can do that via Twitter or email, see my contact form for the email address). Jo also added a great review on Goodreads and Brona over in Australia reviewed it on her blog, too! Buried in Print has done a joint review of this and “The Sandcastle” with great book cover images – read it here. Jacquiwine read it in November 2019 in the new cover and her review is here.

I had a couple of submissions of other copies people have – thank you! Thomas from Hogglestock sent me the photo of the lovely American first edition (what a glorious cover!) above, and Maria Peacock sent me a picture of her fabulous paperback – I love this! Does the picture really make a comedy man with a hat as well as the image of Jake and the stuff from the theatre, or have I made that up? I have a couple of paperbacks of early books to share later on in the series, but this is a cracker.

So, if you’ve read “Under the Net” and have yet to join in the discussion, please comment here or on my review and share your URL if you’ve reviewed it on your blog.

The Flight from the Enchanter

Moving on to December’s read, it’s time for “The Flight from the Enchanter”. This was another early one I read, and I’ve loved it ever since. Slightly shockingly, I only have ONE copy of this one. I have no idea where my original (to me) paperback has got to – I know I had it last time I read it in 2008, but where it’s gone is a mystery. I can’t afford any of the first editions on the market at the moment – this had a small print run and is I think the rarest one. But never mind, I treated myself to the Vintage reprint and what a lovely cover this is!

Here’s the blurb from the back – hope you can all read it …

… and here’s my terribly illuminating review from the last time I re-read it, in February 2008:

Second novel by IM and second in our Iris Murdoch a Month project! I enjoyed doing a closer re-reading of this intriguing novel. IM novels are not like anyone else’s – this is not a love story, not a satire, who knows what it really is, or the nature of the enchanter.

I’d forgotten one whole, very pivotal scene in the book – another reason these are all due for a re-read!

I wonder what that scene is …

So, are you joining me for this one? Have you read it before or is this your first time? I’m looking forward to hearing what everyone thinks of it!

The Great Iris Murdoch Readalong Project November 2017 – December 2019 @IrisMurdoch #IMreadalong

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It’s here! I can’t wait! I just can’t! Attending the Iris Murdoch Society Conference in September reminded me that I haven’t re-read her novels for ages. So I decided to do so, starting in January 2018. And then I couldn’t wait. So I’m going to start in November 2017 (there are 26 novels, so that will take us nicely to December 2019. Whoo hoo! Christmas fun with … ah).

I’ve created a hashtag for use on Twitter which didn’t already exist! Use #IMreadalong when you share your blog posts.

And please comment here if you’re taking part.

How will it work?

I’ll post about the book at the start of each month then do a round-up of reviews at the end of the month, so comment on the starter post or, if you blog yourself, post a link to your review on the starter post each time and I’ll pull them all together at the end of each month. Feel free to add comments and reviews after the month in question if you get a bit behind, and no one has to read them all. There are no rules!

I am NOT doing any kind of academic study on this. I’ve promised myself that this is ONLY FOR FUN. But I am doing this as a re-read and so I’m particularly interested if you’re re-reading one or all of the books in your thoughts on it being a re-read, what has changed in your reading of the book over the years, etc. Do bring that out in your comment or blog post!

November 2017 Under the Net (1954)

December 2017 The Flight from the Enchanter (1956)

January 2018 The Sandcastle (1957)

February 2018 The Bell (1958)

March 2018 A Severed Head (1961)

April 2018 An Unofficial Rose (1962)

May 2018 The Unicorn (1963)

June 2018 The Italian Girl (1964)

July 2018 The Red and the Green (1965)

August 2018 The Time of the Angels (1966)

September 2018 The Nice and the Good (1968)

October 2018 Bruno’s Dream (1969)

November 2018 A Fairly Honourable Defeat (1970)

December 2018 An Accidental Man (1971)

January 2019 The Black Prince (1973)

February 2019 The Sacred and Profane Love Machine (1974)

March 2019 A Word Child (1975)

April 2019 Henry and Cato (1976)

May 2019 The Sea, the Sea (1978)

June 2019 Nuns and Soldiers (1980)

July 2019 The Philosopher’s Pupil (1983)

August 2019 The Good Apprentice (1985)

September 2019 The Book and the Brotherhood (1987)

October 2019 The Message to the Planet (1989)

November 2019 The Green Knight (1993)

December 2019 Jackson’s Dilemma (1995)

So, how it works again:

Start of the month: I’ll publish a reminder to start reading and then you read the book. Comment on the starter post with your thoughts or a link to your review if you’ve blogged it elsewhere.

End of the month: I’ll publish my review and a round-up of everyone else’s thoughts on it, with links.

All clear! I hope so! Comment below if you’re considering joining in. I’d love to have some company!

PS I can’t find my copy of The Flight From the Enchanter. This obviously means I have to buy a whole new set of the recently republished ones, right?

PPS Does someone want to design a lovely logo for the readalong?