- Title: Jackson's Dilemma
- Author: Iris Murdoch
- ISBN: 9780701165116
- Page: 182
- Format: Hardcover
Edward Lannion, the young master of Hatting Hall, is about to marry Marian Fox At Penndean, a nearby house, preparations are under way for the wedding, overseen by the anxious Benet Family and friends gather together for a celebratory dinner on the eve of the ceremony The night is warm and clear, and after dinner the guests walk in the grounds and under the stars, fullEdward Lannion, the young master of Hatting Hall, is about to marry Marian Fox At Penndean, a nearby house, preparations are under way for the wedding, overseen by the anxious Benet Family and friends gather together for a celebratory dinner on the eve of the ceremony The night is warm and clear, and after dinner the guests walk in the grounds and under the stars, full of happy anticipation But then there is a sudden and extraordinary event, which changes everything Iris Murdoch s new novel is a marvellous and compelling human comedy Edward and Marian, the couple at the centre of the story, are led by events to learn the truth about themselves in the process, their friends, and lovers, are forced to make new choices, and see things as they are And watching over all of them is Jackson, Benet s servant, a dark, mysterious and dangerous presence It is Jackson who must intervene in the story to set the two young lovers onto the right path Funny, moving and utterly gripping, JACKSON S DILEMMA is a triumphant achievement by our greatest writers.
Recent Comments "Jackson's Dilemma"
Her last book (published in '95). Apparently set in modern times (eg computers self-consciously mentioned in passing), but very old fashioned feel. A bride disappears on the eve of her wedding, leaving friends and family devastated and perplexed, with hurt and mysteries in their own past to face up to. Doesn't flow quite as well as some of her earlier works; in particular, it is somewhat disjointed and, especially towards the end, rather rushed with sections of very theatrical dialogue, which do [...]
As he was walking towards Victoria Station Benet renewed his guilty misery (60).That, in a nutshell, captures the affectless, unpunctuated tone *and* the sticky emotional content of this book.This is such an odd book that I don't know what to say about it, let alone where to begin. There isn't a plot in any traditional sense of causality, but there is a sequence of events, though some of the most important ones (and their actors) remain untold. These events and their actors are, roughly, thus: a [...]
Her last novel. Many seem to think that she wasn't very well. I found "Jackson's Dilemma" rather good fun but incredibly confusing. And not very well written. At times it felt that no one was able to hear the latest gossip or even open their front door without "almost fainting".On the plot, I thought we'd established that Edward "liked Benet but he did not get on with Benet's friends"? And we know that Edward only visited Penndean once before Uncle Tim's death and yet suddenly he's a firm part [...]
The last of Iris Murdoch's novels, Jackson's Dilemma was written while Iris Murdoch was beginning to suffer from Alzheimer's disease. This is not a novel to introduce someone to Iris Murdoch with, it is a weak example of her ability. This novel, for me - while certainly interesting, marks a sad end to a brilliant career. It is a tragedy that someone whose writing has been lauded by so many should finish their writing career with a whimper rather than going out in a blaze of literary glory. There [...]
A characteristically improbable assortment of fearfully proper endlessly-talking muddlers, ninnies and drunks have gathered in and out of a pair of grand-sounding country houses for the occasion of a wedding between an excessively tight-lipped young man and a flighty Canadian young woman, neither of whom appear really to know much about the other nor indeed why they are marrying at all. On the eve of the event a note is delivered anonymously to announce that the bride-to-be has called it all off [...]
I am writing this essay with some tears on my cheeks.This novel was the last one of Iris. According to some literary critics and fervent readers, here there are the traces of her illness, I won't argue about this thing.The most philosophical phrases are:"This was religion, the giving away of oneself, the realization of how small, like to a grain of dust, one was in the vast misery of the world - and yet how vast the power of goodness, of love, like a great cloud, lifting one up out of the meanne [...]
A tellingly Murdochian tale of a somewhat moneyed and intelligent engaged couple (Edward and Marian)whose wedding preparations are torn apart the morning before the wedding, and how this affects both the couple and the entangled relationships of those around them. All is mended by a mysterious manservant/friend named Jackson
Jackson is not the only one with a dilemma. Since I put it down I've been mulling over how I feel and what I want to say about this book. Like the other four or five Iris Murdoch books that I've read, this story has haunted me a bit, perplexed me alot, and made me think about alot of different things.After reading an Iris Murdoch novel, I generally wake up in the morning thinking about some aspect of the book. The image I can't escape from is that of an intricate line of dominoes---when the firs [...]
Usually I give it 50 pages or more, before I give up. I tossed this after 20 pages, it was just not working for me. I found the writing style so distracting, that I could not develop any interest for the story. Just too quaint. Or too unrealistic for the setting. I am not sure, I am still trying to decide, why this book put me off so quickly. Trying to be Jane Austen, just without being funny and witty?This is my first Iris Murdoch. Perhaps I should have tried an earlier one. I am wondering, if [...]
As my first book by Iris Murdoch, I approached this book with high expectations in terms of style, story, character, and intellectual fortitude. Murdoch does not disappoint, and instead crafts a story with shifting points of view, morphing relationships, and surprising characters. While several of them take a rather unprecedented interest in philosophy which leads to some didactic passages, what else are we to expect from a philosophy don turned novelist? In all, I was entertained by this book a [...]
I walk to work every day and listen to books. I had finished one and was casting about for another from the DC public library and in my desperation consulted a couple of sites with best 100 books of all time but still couldn't connect with an available book (yes I could buy it but I was on a quest). I saw an Iris Murdoch book on one of the lists and when I found her book Jackson's dilemma available I snapped it up. Big mistake. In some ways the world of this boo reminds me of a Jane Austen or ot [...]
This one pains me to write for a few reasons. One, I really like Iris Murdoch in general, and while I have no particularly liked some of her writing or thought it wasn't as good as some of her other books, this is the first time I really felt like a book of hers should not have been published. It's not uncommon for older writers to lose their edge a little, and while that might have been true for Murdoch, she was not simply getting older but becoming more and more afflicted with Alzheimer's, whi [...]
I enjoyed the story, found it consistently engaging. In spite of its length, I read this in one day. But I’m not sure I got it. I understood it as a story, and I identified with the protagonist’s understanding of Heidegger, but I don’t think I ever grasped what Jackson’s dilemma was or how/whether he resolved it. The book jacket talked about the author going through early Alzheimer’s, and about the man character combating age. But at least three main characters fought that good fight, [...]
There are mentions of "The Tempest'' scattered throughout, and it's tempting to see this as Murdoch's final attempt, Prospero-like, to put the people, places and characters she has dealt with in her work to rest, even in a work that may seem "minor'' in comparison.Futile to argue with the other comments - it's like responding to ratings on YouTube - but those who claim this shows the deterioration of her mental state clearly didn't notice the explorations of Heidegger, or the loving portrayals o [...]
I didn't enjoy this one; i didn't find the characters compelling or the intrigue. After reading the book, it was interesting to learn that Murdoch was suffering the early stages of Alzheimer's, and the book has a significantly reduced vocabulary from Murdoch's other books, and she had almost complete editorial control.
I'd give this 2.5 stars. It would have been 3 stars but for a glaring "continuity" error which didn't affect the story but was sloppy. The story starts with a dinner party on the eve of a wedding but everything falls apart when the bride leaves a note calling off the wedding. The fallout is an interesting story but I found the characters and dialogue unnatural.
This was not a novel. This was a list of rich people marrying each other, and some rich people not marrying each other, and some people who we thought were poor marrying each other but it turns out they were rich all along. Also they had a creepy old friend obsessing over their every move. Also who tf was Jackson?
An unintentional call to arms against the landed gentry. If you find yourself hoping the bourgeois histrionics will abate or otherwise serve a greater purpose, you can just return this godawful book to the library unfinished.
Interesting research done on her work and her decline as evidenced in this, her last novel. mutil/issue/40/learning/
So far? I'm torn about whether or not to care about upper class English twits and their disasters. Anyone here have a job? Nope, just red Jags, country houses and piles of moolah. Oh well, they are human beings and IM seems to be a capable writer so I'll continue. One quibble I'm not a fan of sex "scenes" in general. Used to be but now I'm older. Gay sex scenes are a particular ICK for me. The nasty one in " Kavalier and Clay" was my quota for the decade, thanks. The mental picture of a drunken, [...]
With regret, I have to give this a meagre two stars. It is apparent to me from reading this that Iris Murdoch's illness was taking its toll when she wrote this because it makes very little sense and there is so much repetition of the language (some of it very strange, e.g. "he had long dark eyes" - LONG eyes?!!!??). There is not much of a plot, all the characters are poorly developed, the dialogue is ludicrous, and I am still not entirely sure what the hell it was about and what Jackson's dilemm [...]
When Edward Lannion, the master of Hatting Hall, is dumped the night before his wedding, his life as well as the lives to his friends are thrown into turmoil. No one is sure why Marian called the wedding off and they worry that she is the victim of foul play. It seemed like it took me forever to get through this book. The first half of the book was filled with the self-pity of the characters. The way they were carrying on, you would have thought that they were the one left the night before their [...]
While reading this, I could not help but think of Ian McEwan and my (probably irrational) hatred of his novels. Murdoch's characters in this book, as in the others I have read (notably, The Sea The Sea), are largely unsympathetic, taking themselves very seriously, obsessed with trivial events, and reveling in a level of drama not at all called for by their situations. Despite all this, Murdoch's books, like McEwan's, are page-turners for me.The difference, though, is that I love Murdoch. I don't [...]
As much as I love Murdoch, this was just not good. Not at all. I was so surprised that I actually went in search of other critics' reviews of this novel and came across this article which helped to clarify things for me. (telegraph/news/uknew) Apparently Murdoch was dealing with the effects of Alzheimer's while she was writing this novel (which was to be one of her last). Not only did the disease most likely affect her plotting and storytelling, it robbed her of the language for which she is fam [...]
Several other reviews highlight the disjointed and overwrought feeling of this novel. The most compelling character is Uncle Tim, who is dead but loved. The others are a little bit like a fun house mirror: they are kind of flat and warped all out of proportion. Jackson, from the title, is a kind of angel-on-earth. There isn't that much of a story. It's more a description of this unusual family and its tangled relationships and how they untangle. The central drama is that Marian disappears on the [...]
Oh, this book was OK; it may even deserve 3 stars, although I don't feel generous enough to give it that at this point in time. The real problem I had with it was the bizarre way that the setting and the characters and their interactions didn't seem to match the time frame of the novel. It was most unsettling. Everything is very upper-class seeming--very Edwardian--and then there is a mention of a plastic bag from the grocers, which is very jarring. I also didn't ever feel connected to any one o [...]
This was Murdoch's final novel before Alzheimer's claimed her. It's not quite as good as the two earlier novels of hers that I've read, but Murdoch is never boring, so I enjoyed reading this book nonetheless. It concerns a group of relatively wealthy, intellectual friends whose equilibrium and steady lives are thrown off by the sudden cancellation of a wedding. The emotional upheaval reveals secrets and propels the characters down unexpected paths. The structure of the novel and the nature and a [...]
A romantic comedy about a group of friends who have Shakespearean romantic mix-ups only, in this version, everyone has an emotionally intense personality, is suffering from an existential crisis, and has a classical education. I liked seeing the view of a romantic comedy from inside the head of intense, intelligent people. I did not like that it felt like chunks of the story were missing and worst of all. spoiler coming**********I never did find out what Jackson's dilemma was!! I stayed up late [...]
All the familiar ingredients just a bit jumbled together into a not altogether disappointing read. It gets a bit tiring when everybody says all knowingly like they were the first to think of it 'you can see she had Alzheimer's' Redeeming (albeit rather silly) dialogue -You've always been an absolute clam. I shall try to prise you open. Or like an oyster — yes, an oyster, and there's a pearl inside. I know that. You shake your head. But how can you be sure? The oyster isn’t sure. It’s somet [...]
I've never read Iris Murdoch and thought that I should. But I found this book rather tedious: the characters were a little silly and flat. The "all's well that ends well" denoument was ridiculous, everyone at last in bed with THE ONE they were destined for. I found moments of grace in the writing, though, and after reading some of the other online reviews I think I now understand why I didn't care for it. Apparently this was her last book and doesn't represent her best work. I'll try again with [...]
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