A Far Cry from Kensington by Muriel SparkSet on the crazier fringes of 1950s literary London, A Far Cry from Kensington is a delight, hilariously portraying love, fraud, death, evil, and transformation. Mrs. Hawkins, the majestic narrator of A Far Cry from Kensington, takes us well in hand and leads us back to her threadbare years in postwar London. There, as a fat and much admired young war widow, she spent her days working for a mad, near-bankrupt publisher (of very good books) and her nights dispensing advice at her small South Kensington rooming house. At work and at home Mrs. Hawkins soon uncovered evil: shady literary doings and a deadly enemy; anonymous letters, blackmail, and suicide. With aplomb, however, Mrs. Hawkins confidently set about putting things to order, little imagining the mayhem that would ensue. Now decades older, thin, successful, and delighted with life in Italy--quite a far cry from Kensington--Mrs. Hawkins looks back to all those dark doings and recounts how her own life changed forever. She still, however, loves to give advice: Its easy to get thin. You eat and drink the same as always, only half...I offer this advice without fee; it is included in the price of this book.
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A Far Cry from Kensington is the Muriel Spark novel to fall in love with
But it took a while to get to this understanding, and I still feel more admiration than affection for this sharp novel and its harsh wit. I have no such hesitation when it comes to A Far Cry from Kensington. The nostalgia is heady. Mrs Hawkins tells us she is relating things that happened 30 years ago, a distance of time now doubled, since the book was first published in But there are plenty of publishing truths that still make perfect sense. Publishers were not much better at sifting through slush piles.
A Far Cry from Kensington book. Read reviews from the world's largest community for readers. Set on the crazier fringes of s literary London, A F.
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Set in , it is narrated by Agnes known as Nancy Hawkins; a young war widow lodging in a rooming house in South Kensington and working as an editor at a struggling publishing house. The story centres on Wanda, a highly strung Polish dressmaker who is receiving various threatening letters, and on Hector Bartlett, who appears to be stalking Agnes and through whom she loses her job. The story also features the pseudoscience of radionics.
You can put your mind to anything most of the time. You can sit peacefully in front of a blank television set, just watching nothing; and sooner or later you can make your own programme much better than the mass product. You can put anyone you like on the screen, alone or in company, saying and doing what you want them to do, with yourself in the middle if you prefer it that way. W hat do we do with our lives? How do we employ ourselves?