I fear that my response to this book is colored by the blurbs on its back, which promise an exploration of the difference between being nice and being good- an interesting distinction that does appear, however briefly, in the book. The man difficulty with this particular novel is that none of its characters, save for a pair of precocious and hilarious twins, are particularly likeable. The suicide mystery that provides most of the plot momentum (where the plot moves at all) is solved quickly and proceeds with little suspense. Indeed, the main cause for readers' uncertainty is the ever-changing coupling that simply fails to be interesting. Without any real appeal to readers, it is difficult to care about which of the characters are (shockingly!) in unrequited love or sleeping with one another. Even though they are clearly sketched and act understandably, it is simply impossible to care about the people who populate this novel. This meandering coupling and re-coupling and petty angst flows along until an absolutely ridiculous ending which, given the 300-odd pages that precede it, seems quite unlikely from this particular group of people. Filled with straightforward prose and simple, boring dialogue, Murdoch's writing is sufficient but not particularly illuminating or able to redeem the lull of the plot. The Nice and the Good isn't a terrible book, nor is it terribly interesting for either plot or philosophical reasons; it is, ultimately, more or less forgettable.