A review, and links to other information about and reviews of The Sandcastle by Iris Murdoch. The Sandcastle begins with a fractious dialogue between Mor (the main character) and his wife Nan. It becomes clear within only a few pages. VINTAGE CLASSIC MURDOCH: Funny, subversive, fearless and fiercely intelligent, Iris Murdoch was one of the great writers of the 20th century. To celebrate.

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Explore the Home Gift Guide. Give this novel three and a half stars. Top Reviews Most recent Top Reviews.

I remember not particularly liking it back then, in my third year, but that was because reading it and discussing every single detail, even seemingly insignificant ones was a must and because the language was perhaps a bit too sophisticated to me then, but now I I’ve recently reread this book for the Home Reading class that I’m teaching and I was yet again reminded of how amazingly beautiful and incredibly symbolic it is.

And then Murdoch delivers two lines which put their entire relationship into perspective: He captured the one that was still straying about on the table and lifted it to his lips.

I didn’t find this book particulary sombre, but a real page-turner. The Sandcastle by Iris Murdoch.

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Dec 18, Michael rated it really liked it. She is there to paint a portrait of the former headmaster. Let me only make clear what I gain, and what I destroy. Please try again later.

The Sandcastle

That was a risk which had to be run in any case — and she found in practice that if she thought about decoration first, and then forgot it and thought about depth, the thing would usually work out. Indeed, he’s rarely clear about any specific course of action — most obviously in vacillating endlessly about running sandcatsle M.

I think Gordimer almost always gets away with this risky endeavor, and I think Murdoch succeeds perfectly in The Sandcastle. Yes, that’s the kind of marriage they have Post was not sent – check your email addresses! Sometimes what governs us is purely accidental. It is a story combining themes of love, desire, guilt, control, power, reality and fantasy. The hands and the objects upon the table would have to play their part too, especially the hands.


Be the first to discover new talent! Even though I have already read and loved Under the Net, her first novel.

But, dare I say it, the text gets clunkier and clunkier as the many chapters roll on, and I did put the book down for a while. His relationship with them was very interesting. To counteract it she would rely upon the sheer mass and strength of the head — that would be her most difficult task — and upon the powerful thickness of the neck. Looking for More Great Reads?

Another very satisfying Murdoch read, for me. Please try again later. Art and its creation the debate on how to paint a face are juxtaposed with the forces that make and break the life of the individual how to treat other people, love, religion, scruples.

Sad but also really funny at times. My very first Murdoch exceeded all my expectations. As the book progresses and certain important events transpire Mor meets an engaging young painter and begins a chaste affair with herhis absolute inability to really cross Nan becomes fundamental to the rest of the story.

Customers who viewed this item also viewed. Her sharp characters and dialogue, and a bit of philosophizing, clearly mark it as her work, but the story itself is rather simple — though there are a few odd embellishments such as a touch of witchcraft — excused in part by it being fourteen-year-old Felicity who dabbles in the dark art having: LitFlash The eBooks you want at the lowest prices.

She is as hard on her female characters as she is on the men. That’s a feat in itself.


But she also makes it clear how dearly we all hold to our purposes and our ways murvoch life. It is dirty and very dry.

You know how murdodh at this moment I want to take you in my arms, and that I will not do so. I would hasten to add that tne was a smart move to make her an artist. It always astonishes me just how real they seem. She also said that I would probably like them because I’m somber too.

The painfulness that Mor felt for not being able to connect to his children was much evident.

My father would be cross seeing me painting now. The other teachers from the school are quite interesting characters too. Loved it, loved it, loved it! The fact that they have two teen-aged children, Felicity and Donald adds to the confusion.

This is a novel that has clear roots in the late 19th century tradition of realist, emotionally engaged, socially aware novels and yet is in itself fresh and gripping. Ultimately this is a very honest, human book.

The Sandcastle by Iris Murdoch

View all 3 comments. I mentioned earlier that Murdoch was recommended to me as a writer I would like because of my deep admiration for Nadine Gordimer. The plot is tight as a drum, revolving around the love affair between Mor, a married, middle-aged schoolmaster at a public boys school in England, and Rain, a young artist commissioned to paint the portrait of the school’s former headmaster. Rain watched him gravely. Since I so often find her books depressing, this was unexpected.

It was the first book I ever abandoned!