Muriel Spark is pretty much synonymous with strange stories, so it’s unsurprising that The Driver’s Seat, a 1970 novella billed as a “metaphysical shocker” is deeply creepy.
It concerns the last holiday of Lise, a suicidal and lonely woman takes a holiday to an unnamed “southern” country (swarthy blokes, student riots, a couple of languages, old architecture) with the intention of being murdered. Not of killing oneself – that would be a little easy. But of becoming a murder victim.
I’m not actually giving anything away, here. The plan is revealed very early on, though we’re left guessing how and who until the very end, much as in a Christie work. Except Christie never worked macrobiotic orgasm-fanciers into her prose. (more…)
So, knee deep in the fourth season of the HBO adaptation of the cycle, I decided to read the source: George R.R. Martin’s books. And it’s the good choice: having seen the shows I’m already given a mental Cliff’s Notes to the tale, and I’m not likely to be disappointed by how the shows had dumbed-down the books; rather, I’m left in the position of learning how much the show leaves out. (more…)