Muriel Spark Reading Week: The Driver's Seat

The Driver's Seat is such a strange novel that after finishing it I wasn't sure if I liked it or not. But it's not a novel you easily forget after reading it. I soon realized how clever and wickedly unique it actually was. It's well-crafted and so original. It's funny that though it's 40 years old, its never been copied nor has it inspired similar stories in films or other books. It stands alone as a unique piece of work.

The novel is a short one of about 100 pages. It opens with the main protagonist, Lise buying a vibrantly colored dress and a clashing red and white striped coat at a department store. The salesgirls are horrified. Is Lise crazy or just a little bit flamboyant?  Lise has been working non-stop at an accounting office for 16 years and she's just about to set off on the holiday of a lifetime at an unnamed southern city in Europe. Spark soon reveals that this book will end in Lise's murder but we're not quite sure how it will happen or who among the oddball characters in the book will be responsible. Revealing more would be saying too much about this short novel. I'll just say that this is a murder story of the strangest kind. And as usual, Spark's writing is concise, succinct and pitch perfect

Simon at Stuck in a Book and Harriet are hosting the Muriel Spark Reading Week from April 23 to 29.  Thomas at My Porch made the great badge.

There's no set rules and regulations for this week. Just read one or more books by Muriel Spark (they're very short!) and let either of the hosts know through a comment at their blog. Posts could be about Spark's books, life, film adaptations or poetry.


  1. I think this will be the next Spark I read - perhaps because everyone comments on how strange it is. I think that's my favourite bit of her style!

  2. I love how spark jumps forward in time and tells the reader the ending before jumping back. Im reading The Girls of slender means at the moment which is excellent so far!

  3. Thanks for your review, Mrs. B! I do wish that Spark had given the novel a different name, as it spoiled it a bit for me...

  4. I've just been reading this book recently, and I like what you say about it standing alone after 40 years. I was really struck by how little it had dated.


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