Monday, November 5, 2007
Modern Library's Top 100 Novels of the 20th Century Quest: #95
Title: Under the Net
Author: Iris Murdoch
Judgin' The Book By Its Cover: I think I can see a lady... and a cat... or is it a puppet? Maybe it's a stained-glass window?
Thoughts: I loved this book. It was engaging, and its scenes varied from laugh-out-loud funny to achingly beautiful (the scene when a man sees the woman he loves on the other side of the Seine is incredible). I also loved the main character, Jake Donaghue, a sometimes-writer whose neuroses are as plentiful as his charms. He reminded me of Sebastian Dangerfield in his freewheeling ways, but without the wifebeating and cursing (so I guess they're not very much alike after all...). The book talks quite a bit about existentialism and philosophy, but it isn't dry at all. Also, it left me wishing that I had a movie star dog to walk beside me on the time-worn streets of London.
Here's a quote that I loved from the book about reading the first few pages a book: "Starting a novel is opening a door on a misty landscape; you can still see very little but you can smell the earth and feel the wind blowing." If you like the taste of that mustard, read this book!