Thursday, March 14, 2013
Aiding and Abetting by Muriel Spark
"The receptionist looked tinier than ever as she showed the tall, tall, Englishman into the studio of Dr Hildegard Wolf, the psychiatrist who had come from Bavaria, then Prague, Dresden, Avila, Marseilles, then London and now settled in Paris.
'I have come to consult you,' he said, 'because I have no peace of mind. Twenty-five years ago I sold my soul to the Devil.' The Englishman spoke in a very foreign French.
[...] 'I don't know how it struck you,' said Hildegard (Dr Wolf) to her patient. 'But to me, selling one's soul to the Devil involves murder. Anything less is not worthy of the designation. You can sell your soul to a number of agents, let's face it, but to the Devil there has to be a killing or so involved.' "
Spark's assured and compact style makes the outlandish plot work. As an added treat, the fabulous Davina Porter narrates the audiobook [Recorded Books: 4.5 hours].
Dame Muriel Spark has come up several times on my blog in the past few years, although I don't think I read any of her work before she died (in 2006). I might have a bit of a thing for Scottish authors.