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The Sea, the Sea

Vintage Classics Murdoch Series
Written by: Iris Murdoch
Narrated by: Richard E. Grant
Length: 23 hrs and 3 mins
5 out of 5 stars (1 rating)

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Publisher's Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.

Vintage Classics Murdoch: Funny, subversive, fearless and fiercely intelligent, Iris Murdoch was one of the great writers of the 20th century. To celebrate her centenary, Vintage Classics presents special editions of her greatest and most timeless novels. 

I saw a monster rising from the waves.

Charles Arrowby has determined to spend the rest of his days in hermit-like contemplation. He buys a mysteriously damp house on the coast, far from the heady world of the theatre where he made his name, and there he swims in the sea, eats revolting meals and writes his memoirs. But then he meets his childhood sweetheart Hartley, and memories of her lovely, younger self crowd in - along with more recent lovers and friends - to disrupt his self-imposed exile. So instead of 'learning to be good', Charles proceeds to demonstrate how very bad he can be.

Winner of the Man Booker Prize 1978.

©1978 Iris Murdoch (P)2020 Penguin Audio

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • John
  • 17-05-20

Sherry and bitters anyone?

I've waited a while for an audio edition of The Sea, the sea, to become available. I think it might have been worth the wait to get one with Richard E. Grant. The cental figure, described regularly as: 'self satisfyed', Charles Arrowby is quite a difficult character for a narrator to get the tone right I imagine so it's good Grant, who always seems to me to be an under utilised talent, has got his character perfectly. He does superbly with all the various accents of the other characters in the book too. If a well told story of a (rightly or wrongly) successful, hedonistic stage director who is, for some reason, infatuated with a married woman in a rural seaside location is your thing then this is the very best.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-05-20

Eccentric and reflective

Brilliantly read by actor Richard E Grant. a good book to immerse yourself in if you like to hear the mumblings of theatrical persons, out-of-work actors and people who have lived their lives. Slightly potty towards the end and dwindling with pathos and loss, but still interesting and reflective.

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  • Georgina
  • 05-05-20

Perfect casting brings this classic to shimmering life

I listened to this in the space of two days. Richard E Grant is perfection. The entertaining cast of characters give relief to the chief protagonist’s deranged obsession and Murdoch’s skill stops it descending into farce. She has the ability, like Dickens, to interweave humour and pathos effortlessly. It will stay with me for a long time.

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  • AH
  • 28-04-20

Thank you Richard E. Grant

This is not a narration by Mr Grant, it is a wonderful and generous performance.

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  • lisa sheldon
  • 02-05-20

Fabulous.

Richard E Grant’s narration of this is perfect. Beautifully paced and immersive. A delight to listen to.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 24-05-20

remarkable!

this was an extraordinarily enriching experience! highly recommended! it was my 3d time reading it.

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  • Susan
  • 16-04-20

A favourite book

I have read this book several times over the years, I list it as one of my all time favourite books. It was a treat to hear Richard Grant read it so beautifully. I especially loved his brilliant accents and his interpretation of Gilbert.

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  • elizabeth b.
  • 10-04-20

Superb

This is the second time I’ve read this the first Tim 20 years ago as a real book. This time I loved it just as much. Richard E Grant is a fantastic narrator. So funny at times I laughed out loud. It’s a wonderful book at times frustrating but other times really poinent and quite make one think about life. It goes off onto tangents and can be really annoying but I loved it.