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A Tiny Bit Marvellous | [Dawn French]

A Tiny Bit Marvellous

Everyone hates the perfect family. So you'll love the Battles. Mo is about to hit the big 50, and some uncomfortable truths are becoming quite apparent: She doesn't understand either of her teenage kids, which as a child psychologist, is fairly embarrassing. She has become entirely grey, inside, and out. Her face has surrendered and is frightening children....
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Publisher's Summary

Everyone hates the perfect family. So you'll love the Battles.

Mo is about to hit the big 50, and some uncomfortable truths are becoming quite apparent: She doesn't understand either of her teenage kids, which as a child psychologist, is fairly embarrassing. She has become entirely grey - inside, and out. Her face has surrendered and is frightening children.

Dora is about to hit the big 18... and about to hit anyone who annoys her, especially her precocious younger brother, Peter, who has a chronic Oscar Wilde fixation.

Then there's Dad, who's just, well, Dad.

This is the story of a modern family, all living in their own separate bubbles and lurching towards meltdown. It is for anyone who has ever shared a home with that weird group of strangers we call relations.

Oh, and there's a dog. Called Poo.

©2010 Dawn French (P)2010 Penguin Books Ltd

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (689 )
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3.9 (170 )
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Story
4.3 (172 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Mark Poole, United Kingdom 12/11/2010
    Mark Poole, United Kingdom 12/11/2010 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    52
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    "Indeed a whole lot of marvellous"

    I started the book a little apprehensively. I mean Dawn French is clearly a very funny lady, loved by millions and I guess moving those talents to a novel, was putting her reputation on the line.

    No such fears. The book is excellent. It is broken down into manageable short chapters in a diary format, which make it a very easy listen. Flicking between the characters doesn't detract from you getting to understand them and I defy anyone not to relate to at least one of the members of the modern family. Mum's having a mid-life crisis, an eccentric son, a rebelious daughter addicted to Facebook and dad, somewhat the quiet one (but not for long!)

    If you are a middle-aged mum with a teenage daughter I suspect you are going to be reflecting on how true Mo's life is, with all the crisis management and day to day worries she faces.

    It's wonderful to hear Dawn reading the book too and expressing her own characters. I can't help wonder how much of it she bases on her own experiences. The book comes together beautifully for the finale.

    Dawn French, take a bow.

    20 of 20 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tracey Carlisle, Cumbria, United Kingdom 28/02/2011
    Tracey Carlisle, Cumbria, United Kingdom 28/02/2011 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
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    1
    1
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    "A little predicatable"

    I loved Dawn French's autobiography, with it's lovely flowing tone, so I was really looking forward to this book. I have to say I'm disappointed. The story is predicatable and rambling, and the voices of the two teenagers quickly became annoying. The girl was so cliched I found myself flicking through the endless pages of 'omg I hate everything'. The boy's character was the opposite extreme in that is was daft and pointless.

    This book was an ok read, but I won't be bothering with any of Dawn's future books.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    mollymoon1 Bristol, United Kingdom 14/12/2010
    mollymoon1 Bristol, United Kingdom 14/12/2010 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    54
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    106
    67
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    8
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    Overall
    "More than a tiny bit marvellous"

    I thoroughly enjoyed this audiobook. Told by godess herself (we bow to thee oh gracious Dawn French) you can imagine everything happening in this household with Dawn playing the leading role. The story is pleasantly dull for the first half of the book, and by that I mean that its a safe, day to day family, something I think all of us would aspire to have, with little drama (accepting the lovely character Dora)- and from half way onwards, becomes very slightly darker. A great twist in this tale, which I confess to not working out until right at the very end and which makes you smile, and sit back in your chair and smile again, and have a cup of tea and a biscuit. Beautifully written and delivered. If you want some light entertainment, I would highly recommend this one.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jane LondonUnited Kingdom 12/12/2010
    Jane LondonUnited Kingdom 12/12/2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    2
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    "Took a while but loved it!"

    Loved, loved this one. I really like Dawn French and I'd heard great things about this book but initially I found it a bit humdrum. Then suddenly it took off and I loved it. The characters are beautically observed and Dawn's narration is just perfect. I thought the plotline developed really well and it wasn't what I was expecting at all. A poignant ending, I'd really recommend this.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul Reading, United Kingdom 14/07/2011
    Paul Reading, United Kingdom 14/07/2011 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
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    "disappointing"

    I thought this would be really funny, clever and.... well ....entertaining...forget it! This is the first audio book that I have actually given up on having listened to just over one hour. I can only describe it as 'strained' as it searches to find the funny side of raising a family through adolescence et al - There is a lot to laugh at on this subject but not in this book which written and read in a haughty arrogant manner. Very disappointing!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer South Wales 05/11/2010
    Amazon Customer South Wales 05/11/2010 Member Since 2007

    Xander Newport

    HELPFUL VOTES
    18
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    "Listen of the Year!!"

    I Loved this book. Well written and very very funny- as well as moving and real...I think you will find it is a great big bit marvellous- and the reading is flawless- a must listen.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    10/09/2011
    10/09/2011 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
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    "Very typical Dawn French"

    As she narrates her own novel and she is such a familiar voice and character herself it is difficult to separate her from the story here. It is very funny and you can clearly identify all the Dawn French alter ego's in the characters. Did find it a bit repetitive in style and the story didn't move on very well for me. Stopped listening at chapter 30 as found my mind was wandering. Will go back to it though.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Natalie Aylesbury, United Kingdom 06/08/2011
    Natalie Aylesbury, United Kingdom 06/08/2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not at all Marvellous."

    I am a massive Dawn French fan & loved Hello Fatty, imagine my surprise when I sat and listened to this complete drivel. One of the only books I have ever left unfinished, it was too painful to listen to. I found the characters to be completely unrealistic, for example, I thought the whiney Dora was about 9 years old but she is supposed to be 17, ridiculous! Sorry Dawn, but no-one is more gutted than I that this is a non starter.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    P. Stevens London 04/04/2011
    P. Stevens London 04/04/2011 Member Since 2010

    peetree69

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Oh Dawn, must try harder..."

    It is, of course, an absolute pleasure to listen to Dawn French for 8 hours and this has a fair few chuckles. The book's a bit weak and the ending is very disappointing but in the same way that I've hoped Stephen Fry will do another decent novel, I hope Dawn French will have another go, as this shows potential.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Natalie Slough, United Kingdom 23/02/2011
    Natalie Slough, United Kingdom 23/02/2011 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    "Love Dawn!!"

    I absolutely love Dawn French! And this book screams typical Dawn. The voices of the characters are so fitting, especially the teenage daughter. Her little rap is hilarious! Definitely a funny listen or one to make you smile

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 84 results PREVIOUS129NEXT
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  • rosie
    Australia
    17/11/10
    Overall
    "A big bit marvellous."

    This audio book is absolutely delightful. Centred on three members of the Buttle family, they each take turns giving us snippets from their diaries, revealing extraordinary tales of everyday life. The emotions, journeys and revelations are beautifully written and superbly narrated by Dawn French. You will become wrapped up in the characters eccentricities and learn to love them, faults and all. I laughed, cried and laughed a lot more. Well done Dawn; you certainly have given us a marvellous book.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Jamie
    Toronto, ON, Canada
    11/02/11
    Overall
    "Marvellous but a Tiny Bit Long"

    This book was exquisitely and expertly narrated by the author, the highly marvellous Dawn French (whose early comedy sketch with Jennifer Saunders of a disordered mother and daughter eventually led to Absolutely Fabulous).

    The novel is told in the voices of four members of the Battle family -- 50 year old mom having a midlife crisis; still-rivers-run-deep dad; 16 year old son with an Oscar Wilde fixation; 18 year old daughter Dora always about to hyperventilate in absolute, outright, oh-my-actual-god indignation. The story came together powerfully well in the last chapters and the ending was highly satisfying.

    However, I did find the first half of the book slow. Far too much reflection and exposition by the characters, not enough story. Except for Dora. Dawn French's characterization is so rich and funny that even Dora's most self-absorbed, outraged uptalk is a treat. I could listen to Dora talk about nothing all day long. In fact, I kind of miss her now.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Gai Everett
    08/02/12
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "More than a tiny bit marvellous"
    If you could sum up A Tiny Bit Marvellous in three words, what would they be?

    Hilarious, narration was fantastic, story was entertaining, very enjoyable.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of A Tiny Bit Marvellous?

    Laughing out loud several times whilst on the train going to work.


    What does Dawn French bring to the story that you wouldn???t experience if you just read the book?

    Dawn's voice brings her characters to life.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Laughing out loud in public - several times.


    Any additional comments?

    Very enjoyable, please write another Dawn!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Gail
    Graceville, Australia
    13/12/11
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Very Very Marvellous"

    I loved the story, kept me interested. Dawn did a fantastic job with all the voices her tone was very enticing. Would highly recommend .this audio

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Ryan
    Inglewood, Australia
    29/09/11
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not for me unfortunately."

    I was quite looking forward to listening to this but I just couldn't get past chapter 12. To be honest, I'm not sure how I got that far. Dawn French's performance is lively, if not a bit over the top. I was just not captivated and couldn't relate to, or stay interested in the ramblings.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • charlotte
    christchurch, New Zealand
    13/02/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Totally Marvellous would be a better description!"
    What made the experience of listening to A Tiny Bit Marvellous the most enjoyable?

    I think I loved Oscar the most, being an eccentric myself I was drawn to Oscar. The story is very funny but very touching.


    What does Dawn French bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Dawn has amazing comic timing which makes this book laugh out loud funny, she is a true genius!


    Any additional comments?

    I really recommend this book, it was amazing and I really enjoyed it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Leisha
    AMAROO, Australia
    18/01/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Really Enjoyable"

    Dawn French's narration was great - the story is very basic, mum, daughter, son and dad - no great highlights or lowlights just very enjoyable. Did make me laugh out loud in more than a few spots - I'd highly recommend it

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Susannah
    Adelaide, Australia
    24/06/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Dawn French is a great author."
    Where does A Tiny Bit Marvellous rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Top five!


    What did you like best about this story?

    Everything - narration, story, characters...Loved it!


    What does Dawn French bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    She IS the book...her narration is wonderful.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    The scene when the daughter meets her internet friend...extreme reaction! Not saying why...it would spoil it...


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sharon
    Brisbane, Australia
    17/12/12
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Average"

    I love Dawn French and was looking forward to listening to this. Dawn read it well but the story is average and her performance suffers as a result. Buy it if you are a fan and have the credits available but otherwise you are going to be a bit disappointed. It won't have you rolling on the floor laughing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-9 of 9 results

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