Review: The Driver's Seat

The Driver's Seat The Driver's Seat by Muriel Spark
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is an odd but strangely satisfying novella. We follow a character who seems to have descended into a kind of wilful madness, born out of frustration with her everyday life.

She has an idea, in fact several ideas, of who she might want to be, what kind of face she wants to present to the world, but everything is unmoored, inconsistent, driven by impulses. Her great adventure is a role play over extended into lethal territory.

The writer lets us know early on how things will end and this dramatic irony adds enormously to the book. If the pace drifts just a little in the middle section, the focus is pin sharp than at either end. Equally, there are elements in the plot that perhaps require an extra suspension of disbelief but the psychology is sharp the whole way through.

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