Book review: A Severed Head by Iris Murdoch

A Severed HeadA Severed Head by Iris Murdoch
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

From BBC Radio 4 – 15 Minute Drama:
When Martin Lynch-Gibbon’s wife runs off with her analyst and his best friend, Palmer Anderson, the three characters attempt to behave in a civilised manner; but there is the matter of Martin’s mistress and Palmer’s sister to contend with and undoubtedly the thin veneer of civilisation will crack in Murdoch’s witty and wise story.

Episode 2:
Martin’s wife may have left him for his friend and her analyst, Palmer Anderson, but they are determined that they should remain on civilised terms. But how does Martin now feel about his own mistress, Georgie, and why does Honor Klein, Palmer’s frightening sister, insist on passing judgement on Martin’s behaviour? Murdoch’s witty satire on analysis and amorality.

Episode 3:
Martin is forced to explain his adultery to his adulterous wife and her lover and finds his civilised front buckling in an unexpected fashion.

Episode 4:
As Martin finds himself evermore enthralled by the Goddess like qualities of Honor Klein he finds himself entering a world that seems almost mythological in its practices and would leave modern day society outraged.

Episode 5:
The merry-go round of partner swapping comes to a grinding halt but just who will end up with who?
There are shocks and surprises right up to the end of Murdoch’s blackly comic satire.

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