Friday, July 22, 2011


Robinson, Muriel Spark, J B Lippincott Company, 1958, 186 pp

What is it about the 1950s and novels about wrecks on deserted islands? In Muriel Spark's second novel, three survivors of a plane crash find themselves on a tiny island in the south Atlantic. Robinson is an eccentric hermit who owns the island, named after himself, and lives there with an adopted young boy. Once a year, a boat stops there and the crew harvests the pomegranates.

By adding the three characters from the plane crash, one of them a woman, Spark has just enough people to set up tension, an apparent murder and a look at various approaches to religion and life, as well as a bit of romance.

It is all done in such a way that little resembles any other novel I have read. Quirky, close to brilliant, this short book kept me riveted to the story and left me satisfied at the end.

(Robinson is available in paperback by order from Once Upon A Time Bookstore.)

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