The Bachelors displays the best of Sparkian satire, placing her at the heart of a great literary tradition alongside Waugh and Trollope, Wilde and Wodehouse. It demands rediscovery.
'It's easy to see why Waugh admired The Bachelors. On one level, it is a blithely carnivorous satire in the Waugh mould. The bachelors of the title - almost the only men we meet in the narrative - are the thirty-something male barristers, teachers, journalists and museum attendants of a small patch of West London. They lead inturned, doddery, superannuated lives, pottering between grocers, coffee-houses, bedsits and the houses of their mothers and aunts. But the comedy here is serious in a way that Waugh's satanically energetic comedies of misery rarely are . . . comedies of English manners have seldom been darker' Daily Telegraph
'My admiration for Spark's contribution to world literature knows no bounds. She was peerless, sparkling, inventive and intelligent - the creme de la creme' Ian Rankin
'Muriel Spark's novels linger in the mind as brilliant shards, decisive as a smashed glass is decisive' John Updike, New Yorker