• “A perfect book.” —Chicago Tribune “Muriel Spark is one of the few writers on either side of the Atlantic with enough resources, daring, and stamina to be altering, as well as feeding, the fiction machine.” —John Updike, The New Yorker “Surprises are systematically reduced until there is only one left, and it is like the stab of a stiletto.” —The Spectator “ . . . [B]eautifully constructed, extremely amusing, and deeply serious.” —Saturday Review