An Accidental Man, Paperback Book
3 out of 5 (1 rating)


This is the story of the comic and yet relentless struggle for survival of Austin Gibson Grey, the accidental man.

Austin is one of those people who needs to survive through the destruction of others.

The others, in Austin's case, include his successful elder brother, Matthew, and the women who, one after the other, are so touchingly convinced that they can 'save' him.

In this latter role we meet Austin's estranged wife, Dorina, a crazed angel, and Austin's far from angelic alcoholic landlady, Mitzi.

Other women interest themselves too in Austin's fate, with hilarious and appalling results.

An Accidental Man is a novel of extraordinary scope and variety in which Iris Murdoch's astonishing fertility of mind and unerring narrative skill are most felicitously combined.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Publishing
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Classic fiction (pre c 1945)
  • ISBN: 9780099433569

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"Austin was a curious man. He inspired love. He inspired fear.",, 1 January 2015By sally tarbox (aylesbury bucks uk) - See all my reviewsThis review is from: An Accidental Man (Paperback)My first attempt at Iris Murdoch's work, and difficult to review, as although I recognise that the quality of writing, the deeper messages on morality etc, mean it's probably worth at least 4.5, I didn't desperately like it.Opening with the breathless engagement of an American draft dodger and his rather shallow British girlfriend, the narrative soon introduces a host of other characters that make up their circle, most notably Austin Gibson-Grey, with his skeletons in the closet, an estranged wife, and various nefarious activities...Murdoch writes in a variety of styles, the usual narrative being interspersed with a series of letters, or an impression of a party given through two or three pages of one-line comments, giving everyone's news and gossip in a humorous way.It's a far-fetched tale, though I think the author's depiction of lonely and unloved Charlotte Ledgard was convincing.The characters seem to be largely bisexual, switching from feelings from one to the other.Glad to have come to the end, although by no means unreadable.

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