The Bachelors

by Muriel Spark

A Review

One of the books that I have read since joining the book club is this one. The Bachelors by Muriel Spark. I have been meaning to write this review for a while, but I was trying to give myself a little distance so that I could give a fair review.

However, I think, at this point, the only fair thing is to give people prior warning about how bad this book is. I mean, I have tried and tried to come up with something anything good to say about it, but when it comes down to it, I just can’t.

I actually read the book in two days. Two. Torturous. Days. I just knew, once I started it, that I wouldn’t pick it back up, if I did put it down.

There are so many things that I could say about this book, and none of them are good. I think the closest I could get to a positive comment, is to say that it most definitely provokes discussion and debate.

This book falls under the banner of ‘literary fiction’. Now, I know I may be alone in this, but from the ‘literary fiction’ that I have read, I would consider it to have at the very least, an element of pretentiousness.

The Bachelors scrapes the very bottom of the literary fiction barrel, in my opinion.

The definition of literary fiction is that it is a story, which is character based, and character led, as opposed to genre fiction, which is largely plot based.

The issue with this, regards The Bachelors, is that there are no characters; not one, in the entire novel, which is redeemable. There was not one that I felt that I could get behind, or root for.

The writing was not just poor, but quite frankly, dreadful. The author kept changing point of view character, without any kind of notification to the reader. Continuity was a problem, as were the accuracy of the court scenes in particular.

The storyline was not only far fetched, but at parts, simply, ludicrous. The idea of the ‘bad guy’, who spent the entire novel plotting the death of his pregnant girlfriend, suddenly being found guilty of the crime of fraud, and being imprisoned, leaving said girlfriend, miraculously saved, was ridiculous; a completely unsatisfying ending, which left me, as a reader, thinking “What? Is this it?!”

I know that there has been a lot of critical acclaim for this book, but I really fail to see how this is possible. The book was simply put, dreadful. I consider the two days spent reading it, as two days that I can never get back, and the only thing I can take from it, is that at least I know to never read anything by Muriel Spark again. Ever.

If you do decide that you want to try it for yourself (though I really urge you not to), you can purchase the kindle edition here.


I’ll update you when I get into the month a bit further.


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Li Carter is a writer, artist and crafter. She lives in South Wales, UK, with her family, and five rescue dogs. She’s on Twitter @rbcreativeli , Facebook: Rainbow Butterfly Creative, and Instagram @rainbowbutterflycreative and is the author of My Only True Friend: The Beginning. She is currently working on a new series titled The QuickSilver Chronicles. She is the original Rainbow Butterfly, and wants to fill an ever darkening world with a little bit of beauty and creativity.

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