A Far Cry from Kensington by Muriel Spark

By Muriel Spark

Set at the crazier fringes of Nineteen Fifties literary London, a miles Cry from Kensington is a satisfaction, hilariously portraying love, fraud, dying, evil, and transformation.

Mrs. Hawkins, the majestic narrator of a miles Cry from Kensington, takes us good in hand, and leads us again to her threadbare years in postwar London. There, as a fats and lots more and plenty in demand younger warfare widow, she spent her days operating for a mad, near-bankrupt writer (of excellent books) and her nights meting out suggestion at her small South Kensington rooming-house. At paintings and at domestic Mrs. Hawkins quickly exposed evil: shady literary doings and a dangerous enemy; nameless letters, blackmail, and suicide. With aplomb, besides the fact that, Mrs. Hawkins expectantly set approximately placing issues to reserve, little imagining the mayhem which might take place.

Now a long time older, skinny, winning, and thrilled with existence in Italy -- fairly a miles cry from Kensington -- Mrs. Hawkins seems again to all these darkish doings, and recounts how her personal lifestyles replaced ceaselessly. She nonetheless, even if, likes to supply suggestion: "It's effortless to get skinny. You consume and drink kind of like constantly, purely half....I supply this recommendation with out price; it's incorporated within the fee of this book."

A a ways Cry from Kensington has been hailed as "outstanding" (Observer), "wickedly and adroitly executed" (New York Times), and "a comedy that holds a tragedy as an eggcup holds an egg" (Philadelphia Inquirer).

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Sample text

Fine. ” They drank up and he followed her out. It was a pink Mercedes. She angled off from the curbing, breaking traffic in half, horns going, the blue hearts jumped . . She swirled up a half-moon driveway and pulled in front of a large three-story house. The garage door opened like a large, terrifying and mindless mouth but she jumped out of the car, opened Harry’s door and pulled him out. ” He followed her up the stairway and into the house. Nice, he thought, a guy like Sugar Ray Robinson could use something like this.

His mother mixed us all some drinks and we drank an hour or two, then left. Before we left Eddie went to the closet and gave me one of his shirts, a nice purple and white striped job. I put it on, mine had somehow gotten bloodied and ripped during the fight. Before we left, Eddie’s mother got out these photos of her ex-husband, a rather famous gangster who’d been gunned down by the cops. We all did a bit of mourning and weeping for him, me mostly. Then we had another drink and left. In the hotel in the morning I awakened first, shit and showered.

Not this time. She’s been screwing everything that walks. ” “Listen, Shithead, I want to tell you about my goldfish . ” I hung up. The phone started to ring. I put on my coat, locked the door and got out of there . . When I got home I had a beer and a sandwich, showered and went to bed. I was just about asleep when the phone rang. “Listen, Shithead—” “Gerda, please. I’ve told you it’s over, don’t you understand? ” “I can hear her breathing! You’ve got some woman in bed with you eating cheese crackers and olives!

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