Aiding and Abetting

Aiding and Abetting First a bit of history The seventh Earl of Lucan disappeared on November leaving behind the battered body of his children s nanny and a beaten wife Widely covered in the press his sensation

  • Title: Aiding and Abetting
  • Author: Muriel Spark
  • ISBN: 9780670894284
  • Page: 422
  • Format: Hardcover
  • First, a bit of history The seventh Earl of Lucan disappeared on November 7, 1974, leaving behind the battered body of his children s nanny and a beaten wife Widely covered in the press, his sensational story has had a surprisingly long half life, and the speculation about his whereabouts has never quite died out In this book, Muriel Spark toys with several provocativeFirst, a bit of history The seventh Earl of Lucan disappeared on November 7, 1974, leaving behind the battered body of his children s nanny and a beaten wife Widely covered in the press, his sensational story has had a surprisingly long half life, and the speculation about his whereabouts has never quite died out In this book, Muriel Spark toys with several provocative issues arising out of the case identity, class, blood it is not purifying, it is sticky , and the dynamics of psychiatry most of the money wasted on psychoanalysis goes on time spent unraveling the lies of the patient Aiding and Abetting opens sometime late in the 20th century, when an Englishman in his 60s walks into the Paris practice of famed Bavarian psychiatrist Dr Hildegard Wolf and announces that he is the missing Lord Lucan Yet Hildegrad is already treating one self confessed Lord Lucan And what s , both patients seem to have dirt on her for isn t she really Beate Pappenheim, a notorious fraud who used her menstrual blood to fake her stigmata Fearing for her safety, Hildegard flees to London, where her path inevitably crosses that of two British Lucan hunters Aiding and Abetting contains than its share of broad farce and bitter irony But it remains a strange, slight affair, its unspoken tenet being that the Lucan case still preys on the communal mind of the British public, its details like the perpetrator s penchant for smoked salmon and lamb chops indelibly printed there For anyone under 30, that s a difficult argument to swallow As one wise character puts it Few people today would take Lucan and his pretensions seriously, as they rather tended to do in the 70s Times have changed indeed and perhaps that s Spark s point after all, that the psychological paralysis of the not quite swinging 70s is long gone Alan Stewart

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    One thought on “Aiding and Abetting”

    1. One of the Spark's books which is not that Sparkian. And so, I was bit disappointed.It was racy and at times witty. Yet, something was missing.The climax was a let down. Or at least, that was my feel. Spark was capable of producing a better one or executing the present climax in a livelier way. spark must have been in a hurry to finish the work.I look for Catholic/Christian themes and discussions in every Spark book. I think, this book had such themes in a suggestive manner. And they could very [...]

    2. When I saw this book in the library, I had the vague notion that Muriel Spark was one of the names on those "Authors You Should Know" lists, and thus I should probably read something by her. After having finished this book, my feeling is that the name "Muriel Spark" is appealing in and of itself, and that's probably why I remembered it. I was not impressed with her.I should clarify that the book was fine. I mean, I read the whole thing, and it was fine. If you like light-hearted mysteries, you'd [...]

    3. This is only the second Muriel Spark book I've read, but I find her writing delightful. Her sense of humor shines darkly. This one starts off with a psychiatrist who first makes her patients listen to her story. And the subtle layering and duplicity of her characters (sigh)Without giving too much away, the story revolves around the true story of an earl who disappears after committing murder and attempted murder (he was aiming for his wife, mistook the nanny for her, then didn't have time to fin [...]

    4. Muriel's dizzy POV on the real-life murder of a nanny by UKs Lord Lucan, who intended to kill his wife. Spark backs herself into a corner and doesn't know how to get out. The result is some Waughish cannibalism. It serves Lucan (or his double) right for having a Good Time.

    5. Delightfully wicked humor: classic Spark. Fictional literary treatment of two legendary criminals, a fraud and a murderer, who really existed and somehow disappeared.

    6. I'm planning a trip to Scotland in the not-so-distant future and so I thought it would be a good time to familiarize myself with the work of Muriel Spark. I gather from the little I've read about Ms. Spark thus far that Aiding and Abetting is not one of her more “important” works, but as a slim volume of truly imaginative, satirical, and irreverent fun, I think it really holds up. For a work of less than 200 pages, there's just an incredible amount of plot—three equally creative and crazil [...]

    7. If I had reviewed this book right away, I probably would have given it four stars. It was concise, well written novel with a fascinating premise. Spark took two late-twentieth century legends -- the scandal surrounding the disappearance of Lord Lucan after he murdered his children's nanny and attempted to murder his wife; and a fake stigmata -- and wove them together in a bizarre dark comedy mystery novel, set 25 years after Lucan's disappearance. It lost a star because it proved to be surprisin [...]

    8. Spark, Muriel. AIDING AND ABETTING. (2001). *****. I’m a rabid Spark fan, so I don’t know how I missed this one – but I did. It is a short novel that embodies all of Dame Spark’s greatest qualities: subtle humor, attention to plot movement, and, most of all, characterization. She has done a take-off on a true crime that occurred in England in the 1970s, where Lord Lucan accidentally murdered his childrens’ nanny while actually trying to kill his wife. He subsequently disappeared from E [...]

    9. I read this book with a group of friends, and we agreed that it was entertaining and well written. It only gets three stars, though, because it's largely forgettable. It raises some interesting questions in terms of characters' motivations, as well as some moral questions for the reader. Overall, I'd say this is a diverting read but not terribly deep. In addition, I found the ending problematic, but can separate the last 10 pages from the book as a whole.Also, I confess that as the daughter and [...]

    10. (3.5)I'm not sure what it is about based on true story books that captures my interest. This one certainly pushed my curiosity button. Nothing like murder and on the run to get the ball rolling by the 7th Earl of Lucan no less! His unsolved mysterious disappearance made for the perfect base for imaginative minds to explore and so it was for Ms Spark, I assume. And what a tale! I found this to be quite entertaining and odd take. The mind games was definitely present. I especially enjoyed all the [...]

    11. The two books I've read by Muriel Spark, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie and The Driver's Seat, were wonderfully tight and hard-hitting short novels. Even though this book is a slim 176 pages, it feels like a sprawling, unfocused tale that can't decide what it's trying to say. No one ever talks about Spark's later work (this is her second to last published book, from 2000), and this may be why.

    12. Given to me by my Jojosmommyo with the firm endorsement of "Meh". She went on to mention that Hazrabai has read it and hadn't thought that much of it, as well. Not Spark's best effort. I can only concur with my two wise sister-in-laws.Spark is usually a winner. Crisp, clean, funny, clever. The premise of this, particularly, is good, since it is based on the real life mystery of what the heck happened to the 7th Earl of Lucan (aka "Lucky" Lucan? Add in an imposter and a fake Bavarian stigmatic, a [...]

    13. I did not care for this story. The characters are thin and the plot of moderate interest. Spark's prose is fabulous, and this sole strength kept me reading.This experience makes me anxious about Spark's other late-20C works. I loved "Bachelors," and I still think about it months after putting it up. Both this and "Driver," however, didn't do much for me. I hope that her work does not follow a downward trend with later publication dates.

    14. If one wished, Aiding and Abetting could be regarded as a slight whimsy. The novel could also be regarded as parlor game for deception and dark humor. We meet three charatcrs, two of whom are frauds and the third a muderer, albeit an aristocrat. This situation is pondered and then two other characters are inroduced with a shared purpose of locating the murderer. A tissue of circumstances unfold and the novel ends.

    15. Crisp, wickedly morbid prose. Why isn't Spark recognized as a great novelist? A bookseller once asked me if I thought it was because she was a woman. An interesting thought. I am not sure. I only know that longer does not equal better and that Spark's slender volumes are delicious.

    16. Книжка, як то кажуть, на любителя, ще й переклад від пана з невимовним прізвищем не надто сподобався. Хоча й коротка, а знудила мене добряче.

    17. A delightful comic novella. Using an actual murder case as her jumping-off point, Muriel Spark posits what might have happened to the 7th Earl of Lucan after his disappearance in 1974. While she sticks to the historical record for details pre-1974, from the point of his disappearance on, it's all outrageous conjecture, in which an artisan who refurbishes antiques teams up with a false stigmatic-turned-psychiatrist, a physician from Africa, an old friend of the murderer and the daughter of one of [...]

    18. A very light, farcical novella, based on a true event. In 1974 in England, Lord Lucan murdered the nanny of his children and viciously attacked his wife. He then disappeared, never to be heard of again. Spark weaves a tale around Lord Lucan and his 'double' trying to blackmail a psychiatrist in Paris in the late 1990s. They have learned that the psychiatrist had committed fraud in Germany when she was younger. If you have not read any Muriel Spark novels, then firstly try The Prime of Miss Jean [...]

    19. how might Lord Lucan have got away after murdering his nanny and attempting to murder his wife. Muriel Spark gives us one take on it . Her characters are huge and the storyline succinct. A great read

    20. it spins tightly, with the charming Spark cyclicality, and has some simply zinging observations. she knows how to pick a story but wasn’t as acrobatically inventive with her treatment of the mystery of Lord Lucan. still & all? a total master, & worth reading to get the full lay of her lands.

    21. so, yes, the satire, the humor, the dry observation of class defined social mores are certainly out in spades, and though the mystery that wasn't is rather amusing, I think this novella could've been even shorter! I found the repetitive parts really hamstrung the narrative flow. Still a fun read.

    22. Short and to the point. Rather interesting despite the gore and disjointed style. Layers of secrets and lies are so often intriguing.

    23. Brilliant - read this in a collection called Spark’s Satire with The Abbess of Crewe and Robinson. Masterful and really satisfying.

    24. Історія не сподобалася і не залишила після себе жодних позитивних вражень.

    25. A ripping yarnWhat an imagination Muriel Spark had. This book's a lot of fun finally the truth about Lord Lucan! Did he get away?

    26. There's a pinch of Greene, a generous dash of Waugh, and a lot of Spark in this short novel. Highly entertaining.

    27. I found this short novel quite unputdownable. It was intriguing and mysterious - as if the author had some private hotline or secret insight into the life of Lord Lucan. I loved it.

    28. Aiding and Abetting is the story of a man on the run, for the last 25 years or so. Finding inspiration from the real life story of Richard John Bingham, 7th Earl of Lucan, Dame Muriel Spark weaves a psychological mystery. Lord Lucan, the Faustian hero comes to Dr. Hildegard Wolf, a well known psychiatrist in Paris and the novel begins. "I have come to consult you, because I have no peace of mind. Twenty-five years ago I sold my soul to the Devil." Lucan introduces himself. Why did he choose to r [...]

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