The Ballad of Peckham Rye

  • by Muriel Spark
  • Narrated by Nadia May
  • 4 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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 (a.k.a. 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 will stir up. 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 V.R. Druce, unsuspecting Managing Director.This is Dame Muriel Spark at her most devilishly piquant.

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What the Critics Say

"We are never out of touch, in a Spark novel, with the happiness of creation; the sudden willful largesse of magic and wit, the cunning tautness of suspense." (John Updike, The New Yorker)
"Not only funny but startlingly original, the legendary character of Dougal Douglas....may not have been boasting when he referred so blithely to his association with the devil." (Washington Post)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Great performance of a fantastic novel.

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Absolutely - this novel is one of my favourites, and the performance certainly did it justice.


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- Alice

Dougal Douglas comes to town

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Only to friends who are interested in slower-pace fiction, and ones that have little plot.


What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

I was very satisfied with it.


What about Nadia May’s performance did you like?

She was lively and told the story well, and I felt like she was connecting me with the characters.


Any additional comments?

This book is a bit bizarre, and therefore is rather hard to actually review. The story is somewhat listless, before making its way to a point, but even that is vague. However, there were fun bits, funny bits, parts where you were waiting to find out what happened next...

It also provided a pretty interesting perspective, and I loved listening to description of Peckham Rye, somewhere I once lived.

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- S. Kadhim

Book Details

  • Release Date: 06-07-2009
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.