twitter win prizes
Search our site
Persons Unknown by Susie Steiner Read the opening extract of the brand new Susie Steiner book before its publication on 05/04/2018

This edition has not yet been published

If available, why not choose another format from the 'Other Formats' box on the right.

Not to Disturb by Muriel Spark, Prof. Dan Gunn

Lovereading view...

‘One of the chief worries besetting any author of an introduction to a novel is that of letting the cat out of the bag… From its opening pages, through the utterances of its protagonist, the butler Lister, Not to Disturb disburdens the introduction-writer of any such worry… Muriel Spark appears to have decided that foreshadowing, or mere adumbration of catastrophe, was not for her… It is for its foregrounding of the spoiler, and for the tension that results, between life’s openness and life’s plotted-ness, that I place Not to Disturb near the centre of the Spark canon…And there exist other reasons to find the novel central, among which the fact that it may be the funniest of all Spark’s novels, the most concentrated, too… And it is, further, the centre of what is almost a trilogy – a triptych, perhaps? – that includes The Driver’s Seat (1970) and The Hothouse by the East River (1973); all three are short, concerned with murder and/or suicide, and written principally in the present tense.’ From the Introduction by Dan Gunn

This is one novel in the absolutely glorious, must-have, complete collection of all 22 novels by Muriel Spark. This series is a wonderful way to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Muriel Spark’s birth. Edited by Alan Taylor, author of Appointment In Arezzo, A Friendship with Muriel Spark, each perfectly sized and beautiful hardback book is introduced by a leading writer. Each introduction, while individually touching on thoughts and feelings, mentions the originality, the wit and humour, the cleverness of the writing. Whether an existing fan, or new to her works, this collection from one of our greatest writers, beckons, and quite simply, just asks to be read and re-read. ~


Not to Disturb by Muriel Spark, Prof. Dan Gunn

Not to Disturb, Muriel Spark's eleventh novel, was first published in 1971.

Geneva. As a ferocious thunderstorm rages outside, behind the locked doors of the library the aristocratic Klopstocks are `not to be disturbed'. In the attic, Baron Klopstock's lunatic brother rants and raves. But in the staff quarters, all is under control. The butler and servants are making their own preparations for the long night that follows . . .

This is one of the 22 novels written by Muriel Spark in her lifetime. All are being published by Polygon in hardback Centenary Editions between November 2017 and September 2018.


Praise for Muriel Spark;

A profoundly serious comic writer whose wit advances, never undermines or diminishes, her ideas New York Times Book Review

A wholly original presence in modern literature -- Andrew Motion

She has a receptive and wholly distinctive genius -- A N Wilson Spectator

The care with which she uses words is matched by a gloriously carefree attitude. It's all part of her sanity, her breezy authorial self-confidence; and because of this I think that reading a blast of her prose every morning is a far more restorative way to start a day than a shot of espresso Daily Telegraph

I am dazzled by The Bachelors. It is the cleverest and most elegant of all Mrs Spark's clever and elegant books -- Evelyn Waugh

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

Spark is a natural, a paradigm of that rare sort of artist from whom work of the highest quality flows as elementally as current through a circuit New Yorker

About the Author

Muriel Spark was born in Edinburgh in 1918. A poet, essayist, biographer and novelist, she won much international praise, including being twice shortlisted for the Booker Prize. The Times placed her eighth in its list of the Fifty Greatest British Writers Since 1945. She died in Tuscany in 2006. Professor Dan Gunn joined the American University of Paris in 1989 after completing his doctoral work at the University of Sussex and four years of teaching in Paris. He is the founder and director of the AUP's Center for Writers & Translators, and is Editor of the Cahiers Series. He writes, publishes and reviews fiction. He is also the Paris director of the correspondence of Samuel Beckett, an international project based in Emory University.

More books by this author
Author 'Like for Like' recommendations

Loading similar books...
Loading other formats...

Book Info

Publication date

10th May 2018


Muriel Spark, Prof. Dan Gunn

More books by Muriel Spark, Prof. Dan Gunn
Author 'Like for Like'


Polygon An Imprint of Birlinn Limited an imprint of Birlinn General


208 pages


Literary Fiction
Crime / Mystery
Muriel Spark 100

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
Crime & mystery
Classic fiction (pre c 1945)



Lovereading has all the new books and also suggestions for 'similar' authors whilst waiting for your favourites new books.

Carol Peace

My favourite thing about is the 'like for like' page this has really introduced me to some good reads! That and lots of honest reviews.

Sam Lewis

I recommend Lovereading because you get honest reviews on a whole range of genres-there's something for everyone. It's the only site I need.

Sian Spinney

With literary excellence, humour and drama, Lovereading's got value and is a real stress-calmer!

Siobhan McDowell

Love Reading - it not only does what it says on the tin, it does it with Jam on!!

Maz Tucker

Lovereading is like booking a holiday, you don't know what it will be like and it is a whole new experience.

Sue Burton

It has opened my eyes to different authors and genres. Just log on and try, you will be surprised and not want for reading material again.

Jocelyn Garvey

Discover new authors and enjoy old favourites; oodles of literary gems to uncover at Lovereading with candid reviews from real reviewers.

Emily Wright