Iris Murdoch

Iris Murdoch was a British novelist and philosopher, best known for her novels about good and evil, sexual relationships, morality, and the power of the unconscious.


This list of books are ONLY the books that have been ranked on the lists that are aggregated on this site. This is not a comprehensive list of all books by this author.

  1. 1. The Sea, The Sea

    A successful and renowned London theatre director retires to a secluded house by the sea in an attempt to write his memoirs. His peaceful solitude is disrupted when he encounters his first love from decades ago and becomes obsessed with winning her back. As he spirals into self-delusion and madness, the narrative explores themes of love, obsession, and the subjective nature of reality.

    The 330th Greatest Book of All Time
  2. 2. Under the Net

    "Under the Net" is a novel featuring a struggling writer living in London who is forced to reevaluate his life after being evicted from his flat. He embarks on a series of misadventures, meeting a variety of eccentric characters and getting involved in a dog-napping scheme. Throughout his journey, he contemplates philosophical ideas about truth, art, and personal freedom, ultimately leading to his self-discovery and transformation.

    The 731st Greatest Book of All Time
  3. 3. The Bell

    "The Bell" is a novel that explores the dynamics of a lay religious community living next to an enclosed order of nuns in the English countryside. The story is centered around the arrival of a new bell for the abbey, the discovery of an old bell in the lake, and the interplay between the community's members, their individual struggles, and their shared faith. The book delves into themes of love, guilt, sexuality, and the search for personal redemption.

    The 987th Greatest Book of All Time
  4. 4. A Severed Head

    In this novel, a London wine merchant is living a seemingly comfortable life with his wife when his world is turned upside down by a series of shocking revelations. His wife confesses to an affair with her psychoanalyst, who is also his best friend, and plans to leave him. As he grapples with this betrayal, he begins an affair with his sister-in-law, only to discover that she is also involved with his wife's lover. The protagonist is forced to confront his own selfishness and immaturity as he navigates this tangled web of relationships.

    The 1445th Greatest Book of All Time
  5. 5. The Black Prince

    "The Black Prince" is a captivating novel revolving around a middle-aged Londoner who falls passionately in love with the daughter of a close friend. As he navigates through the complexities of love, he experiences a profound transformation of character, leading him to question the nature of love, art, and personal identity. The story is told in a postmodern style, with multiple narrative perspectives, and explores themes of love, obsession, self-deception and psychological manipulation.

    The 1681st Greatest Book of All Time
  6. 6. The Nice And The Good

    In this novel, a complex web of relationships unfolds against the backdrop of a mysterious death at a government office, which prompts an investigation by a civil servant. As the story progresses, the lives of the characters intertwine, revealing their moral dilemmas, personal struggles, and search for love and goodness. Set in London and a remote coastal community, the narrative delves into themes of ethics, human nature, and the often blurry line between the nice and the good, challenging the characters to confront their own shortcomings and desires while navigating the intricacies of their interconnected lives.

    The 5393rd Greatest Book of All Time
  7. 7. An Accidental Man

    The novel revolves around a man who, despite his best intentions, seems to cause harm and chaos wherever he goes. He is surrounded by a group of diverse characters, each with their own unique struggles and stories. The narrative explores themes of morality, responsibility, and the complexities of human relationships, with a focus on the impact of one man's actions on those around him.

    The 5403rd Greatest Book of All Time
  8. 8. The Unicorn

    "The Unicorn" is a psychological thriller set in a remote coastal region of Ireland, where a young governess becomes entangled in the mysterious circumstances surrounding her employer, a woman seemingly imprisoned in her own home. As the governess delves deeper into the secrets of the house and its inhabitants, she becomes increasingly unsure of her own sanity and reality itself. The narrative explores themes of freedom, guilt, and the blurred lines between good and evil.

    The 6752nd Greatest Book of All Time
  9. 9. The Flight from the Enchanter

    The book is a complex narrative of various characters' lives intertwined with one another. The central figure is a charismatic and manipulative man whose influence over a group of people leads to a series of events filled with confusion, love, betrayal, and self-realization. The story explores themes of power, control, and the struggle for personal freedom, offering a profound commentary on human relationships and the psychological complexities that define them.

    The 7013th Greatest Book of All Time
  10. 10. Bruno's Dream

    The novel revolves around an elderly man named Bruno, who is bedridden and obsessed with spiders and the nature of reality as he nears the end of his life. As he reflects on his past and contemplates his mortality, the story delves into the complex relationships and emotional entanglements of his family and close acquaintances. The narrative weaves through themes of love, infidelity, and the search for meaning, exposing the intricate web of human connections and the personal struggles each character faces. The protagonist's dreamlike introspections and the interactions among the ensemble cast reveal the profound impact of personal history and the nuances of human behavior.

    The 8528th Greatest Book of All Time
  11. 11. The Green Knight

    "The Green Knight" is a philosophical novel that explores themes of morality, truth, and the nature of good and evil through the interconnected lives of its characters. The story revolves around a middle-aged woman and her three daughters who become involved with a mysterious stranger after he is accidentally injured by the woman's brother. As the stranger insinuates himself into their lives, the characters are forced to confront their own personal failings and the complexities of their relationships with each other.

    The 9719th Greatest Book of All Time
  12. 12. The Good Apprentice

    The novel centers around a young man wracked with guilt after his involvement in a tragic accident that resulted in the death of his friend. As he struggles to come to terms with his actions, he embarks on a quest for redemption, seeking guidance from a variety of mentors, including a revered psychoanalyst and a spiritual father figure. Set against a backdrop of complex family dynamics and moral dilemmas, the story delves into themes of good and evil, the nature of sin, and the possibility of spiritual and psychological healing. The protagonist's journey is a deep exploration of conscience, responsibility, and the search for meaning in the aftermath of catastrophe.

    The 10078th Greatest Book of All Time
  13. 13. The Sacred and Profane Love Machine

    The book revolves around the lives of three main characters: a psychoanalyst, his wife, and his mistress. The psychoanalyst lives a double life between his wife and children and his mistress, who lives nearby with their son. The story explores themes of love, morality, guilt, and identity as it delves into the consequences of the psychoanalyst's actions on the lives of those around him. The narrative takes a tragic turn when the wife discovers the affair and the two families are thrown into a complex and painful situation.

    The 11324th Greatest Book of All Time