Saturday, May 18, 2013


The Bachelors, Muriel Spark, J B Lippincott Company, 1960, 219 pp
The Bachelors couldn't have been written by anyone but Muriel Spark. However, it was not as great as other novels of hers I have read. The central characters are all confirmed bachelors and are loosely friends. I could not imagine being married to any one of them without a shudder, which I suppose is the point.

These men are brought together by a legal case, though only one is a lawyer. Patrick Seton, a spiritualist medium but really a con man, is on trial for "fraudulent conversion." (Yes, I had to look that up. It is a civil crime of defrauding a family member or personal acquaintance.)

As is often the case with a novel by Spark, there is not one redeeming character, including the females. I am not bothered by that and these characters are as well drawn as always. It is a braided tale and not particularly compelling, so I wasn't always wanting to remember who was who and who did what.

The best chapters come at the end when the stakes get higher and the trial is held. Sometimes novels are dated yet carry little historical import. This was one of those for me.

(The Bachelors is available in various formats by order from Once Upon A Time Bookstore.)


  1. Can you believe that I have yet to read a Muriel Spark book? I must correct that. Should I start with The Bachelors?

  2. No! Not The Bachelors!! I recommend The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. There was a movie made of that one which is not bad, but the book is great.

  3. The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie is on my frighteningly long TBR list. I'm going to have to give it a shove toward the top.