This might officially be my last Iris Murdoch novel.
As with Fitzgerald’s short stories, there was a time when I loved Murdoch’s novels but the last couple of times I’ve read her books, I didn’t enjoy them much at all … Granted, the messed up relationship games in A Severed Head did nothing to endear the book to me, but even this one here (The Nice and the Good) is struggling to spark any enthusiasm in me. And I’d be happy to skip much of the relationship-babble and stick to finding out why the Whitehall official shot himself (or did he?).
The trouble is, by focusing on the mystery part, I’m going to miss Murdoch’s point, which, inevitably, is not going to be about solving the puzzle.
Saying that, will this story about a set of well-off members of a rather homogeneous section of society that is really similar to the sets of characters in Murdoch’s other books really reveal any new aspects of Murdoch’s writing? Unlikely.
I’ve dithered for the last 30 pages whether to finish this one or move on to something I am likely to enjoy more, and I don’t believe this book will ultimately hold the same magic for me as the novels that introduced Murdoch to me initially.
DNF @ 135 out of 350 pages.