Spring 1969 • Vol. XXXI No. 2 Book Reviews |

Compulsion to Love

Collected Stories : I by Muriel Spark. Alfred A. Knopf, $6.95. Nobody could ever accuse Muriel Spark of being afraid to take risks. Yet some of these stories, unfettered, arresting even when showy, illustrate one hazard in the path of any conjurer who also happens to possess a religious sense. When an author is superbly adept at camouflaging phantoms as flesh, it becomes tempting to settle for sorcery instead of persisting on the trail of that most stealthy of escape artists, a human being. It is chiefly when marvels eclipse personality that Miss Spark's brisk, indeed sardonic, tempter takes command. At such moments the voice of Saki drifts sotto voce from the wings. In "Miss Pinkerton's Apocalypse," an antique dealer and her middle-aged companion are visited by a small flying object, and they differ sharply about its exact age and mission. Miss Pinkerton even describes the pilot. The fun relies as much on verbal misunderstanding as it does on watching a magician who hoodwin

Already have an account? Login

Join KR for even more to read.

Register for a free account to read five free pieces a month from our current issue and digital archive.
Register for Free and Read This Piece

Or become a subscriber today and get complete, immediate access to our digital archives at every subscription level.

Read More


Your free registration with Kenyon review incudes access to exclusive content, early access to program registration, and more.


With your support, we’ll continue 
to cultivate talent and publish extraordinary literature from diverse voices around the world.