It is not uncommon that successful playwrights should turn to the novel, attracted perhaps by its fluidity and spaciousness; but few can have done so as brilliantly and satisfactorily as John Spurling.
Alan Massie, The Scotsman

The Ragged End (Weidenfeld & Nicolson,1989) picks up on John’s British Empire plays. It draws on some of the history he failed to get into the plays as well as his own experience as a plebiscite officer in West Africa, a radio announcer for the BBC and art critic for The New Statesman. The novel culminates in the Falklands War in the early 1980s.