FREE DOWNLOAD The Ballad of Peckham Rye 109

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FREE DOWNLOAD The Ballad of Peckham Rye 109 Æ The Ballad of Peckham Rye is the wickedly farcical fable of a blue collar town turned upside down When the firm of Meadows Meade Grindley hires Dougal Douglas aka Douglas Dougal to do human research into the private lives of its workforce they are in no way prepared for the mayhem mutiny and murder he Y are in no way prepared for the mayhem mutiny and murder he will stir up Not only funny but startlingly original declared The Washington Post the legendary character of Dougal Douglasmay not have been boasting when he referred so blithely to. uirky and rather brief novel which I rather enjoyed It is part fable with a spot of magic realism a dash of humour some nice twists and clever observations of life in the early 1960s Dougal Douglas aka Douglas Dougal is a Scot who has moved to Peckham He gets a job in a local textile firm; Meadows Meade and Grindley as an arts man someone who will observe the workforce and learn how to motivate them The early days of Human Resources He has an odd and disturbing effect on those he meets disturbing euilibriums Dougal has one shoulder higher than the other and has a bump on either side of his head under his hair; he tells people that they were horns that he has had removed Dougal is a shadowy figure pan like causing mischief playing on foibles The rest of the characters are well drawn with sharp social satire; from the young thugs the disillusioned members of the typing pool the failing to cope director to the ambitious young women An unusual social satire with some snappy dialogue and delicious come uppances; a sharp dissection of British life in the early sixties A little slight but satisfying

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His association with the devil In fact this Music Man of the thoroughly modern corporation changes the lives of all the eccentric characters he meets from Miss Merle Coverdale head of the typing pool to VR Druce unsuspecting Managing Directo. I had recently read some interesting biographical background on Muriel Spark but had never actually read anything by her although I did recall the considerable impact the film “The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie” had on me when I saw it as a kid which in part I attribute to strong acting by Maggie Smith and how exotic far off Scotland seemed to me but also its focus on teaching the power of cliues the pressure to conform andor obey I found an old used copy of this earlier work by Spark from 1960 and the uaintness of the title combined with my desire to know something of the author’s style easily won me overIt’s a fast read—it’s all over after 143 pages and the crisp writing style moves it along rapidly I appreciated how much Spark was able to convey about daily life aspirations class restrictions postwar capitalism and universal human frailty when so much of the book was basically brief dialogue exchanges A distinctive character named Dougal Douglas yes he’s a Scot turns up in this south London largely working class suburb and much of the book is simply how he interacts with the locals and what influence he has upon them He is in a word fascinating interchangeably entertaining and cruel The way tone builds in this novel is one of its chief strengths The author manipulated my emotion in a masterful way starting lightly then building and as I drew nearer the ending I increasingly admired both the style and the complexity of the message In the end ambiguities remain and so they should In this regard art mirrors life

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The Ballad of Peckham RyeThe Ballad of Peckham Rye is the wickedly farcical fable of a blue collar town turned upside down When the firm of Meadows Meade Grindley hires Dougal Douglas aka Douglas Dougal to do human research into the private lives of its workforce the. 'There was I' sang out an old man in the public bar 'waiting at the church waiting at the church'His wife said nothing nor smiled'Now then Dad' the barmaid saidThere must be many ballads about brides abandoned at the altar but none of them could be uite as strange as The Ballad of Peckham Rye And that's pretty much all I have to say about the story part of this book If you're interested in what Muriel Spark can do with such an age old theme you can read this short book for yourselfI do have a few thoughts about another aspect of this book however While reading some of Spark's other novels I'd realised what a fine observer of people's behavior and movements she was and I began to look forward to her descriptions of characters almost as much as to the stories they found themselves in While reading this 1960 story spotting such descriptions became my main focus The old man in the uote above is a good example After he'd sung the line about waiting at the church and been reproved by his wife and the barmaid each in her own fashion he took a draught of his bitter with a tremble of the elbow and a turn of the wristIt's such uick sketches I love to come across They make the words on the page rise up and form themselves into a picture Spark's descriptions are often remarkable for their efficiency too Her characters may babble and blather and her Peckham people than most but Spark can describe their body language with the fewest of words In a scene where a woman in a Peckham grocer's shop offers a torrent of advice to a new comer called Dougal the grocer looked away from the woman with closed eyes and opened them again to address Dougal Those closed eyes are just so elouentDougal himself is a character capable of an entire dictionary of body language Soon after arriving in Peckham he goes for an informal interview and while the interviewer paces the floor droning on about his company Dougal sat like a monkey puzzle tree only moving his eyes to follow Mr DruceDougal changed his shape and became a professor He leaned one elbow over the back of his chair and reflected kindly on Mr DruceDougal leaned forward and became a television interviewer Mr Druce stopped walking and looked at him in wonder 'Tell me coaxed Dougal 'can you give me some rough idea of my duties'Later there's a description of Dougal standing in a hallway listening to someone talking on the phone He breathed moistly on the oak panel of the hall and with his free hand drew a face on the misty surface We see how bored he is Nothing needs to be addedThen there's an episode in a Peckham dance hall which could be straight out of a David Attenborough nature documentary The girls had prepared themselves with diligence and as they spoke together they did not smile nor attend to each other's wordsMost of the men looked as if they had not properly woken from a deep sleep but glided as if dragged and with half closed lids towards their chosen partner This approach found favour with the girls The actual invitation to dance was mostly delivered by gesture; a scarcely noticeable flick of the man's head towards the dance floor Whereupon the girl with an outstretched movement of surrender would swim into the hands of the summoning partnerAfter reading this book I came across the following paragraph in Muriel Spark's autobiography Curriculum Vitae I was fascinated from the earliest age I can remember by how people arranged themselves I can’t remember a time when I was not a person watcher a behaviouristHer characters and how they 'arrange themselves' is one of the chief things I will carry away from my long rambling ballade with Muriel Spark