by Iris Murdoch (1983). A ponderous story with a large cast of characters, none of which evoke much sympathy, who drink to much for their own good and battle each other, living in an fictitious English spa town. The start of the novel sets the tone – a nasty marital fight among the two central figures – followed by a cumbersome mise en scene. The 576 pages long book would have benefited from much tighter editing.