Gillespie and I Audiobook | Jane Harris | Audible.co.uk
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Gillespie and I | [Jane Harris]
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Gillespie and I

Sitting in her Bloomsbury home, with her two birds for company, elderly Harriet Baxter sets out to relate the story of her acquaintance with Ned Gillespie, a talented artist who never achieved the fame he deserved. Back in 1888, after a chance encounter, young Harriet befriends the Gillespie family and soon becomes a fixture in all of their lives. But when tragedy strikes - leading to a notorious criminal trial - the certainties of this world all too rapidly disorientate into mystery and deception.
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Publisher's Summary

Longlisted for the 2012 Orange Prize for Fiction

Sitting in her Bloomsbury home, with her two birds for company, elderly Harriet Baxter sets out to relate the story of her acquaintance with Ned Gillespie, a talented artist who never achieved the fame he deserved. Back in 1888, after a chance encounter, young Harriet befriends the Gillespie family and soon becomes a fixture in all of their lives. But when tragedy strikes - leading to a notorious criminal trial - the certainties of this world all too rapidly disorientate into mystery and deception.

©2011 Jane Harris (P)2011 W F Howes Ltd

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (96 )
5 star
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4.4 (27 )
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Story
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  •  
    Vivienne Esporles, Spain 15/12/2011
    Vivienne Esporles, Spain 15/12/2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    65
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    "A wonderfully skillful masterpiece"

    This tale was brilliantly written and very well narrated. At first I felt that the pace was too measured but realized that this was part of the perfect rendition. The story was staged around the turn of the 19th Century and written in the first person making it an inciteful vignette of the time. The characters are beautifully understated and the tale well structured. It is the very "quiet" nature of the narrative that gives it such a powerful kick. It was long but not a word was superfluous. I look forward to more by this author and will certainly look out for narrations by Anna Bentinck.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Cardiff, United Kingdom 07/12/2011
    Robert Cardiff, United Kingdom 07/12/2011 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
    ratings
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    "Sublime"

    Wonderfully written and expertly narrated, Gillespie & I is a chilling tale of altered perceptions, half truths and obsessive love. Jane Harris is a supremely talented storyteller.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Veronica Cheltenham, United Kingdom 05/11/2011
    Veronica Cheltenham, United Kingdom 05/11/2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    16
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    "Chilling and Compelling"

    Brilliantly read by Anna Bentinck (not only does she cope with a range of accents she even modulates her tone to reflect the 'young' and 'old' periods in the narrator's life) this audiobook had me gripped until the final seconds. It focuses on the tragic fate of the artist, Ned Gillespie as told by his close friend and great admirer Harriet Baxter. What becomes increasingly apparent however, is that this is only one, far from impartial, view of events...
    Don't miss out on this one - the closing sentence truly sent a shiver down my spine!

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MRS DEWSBURY, United Kingdom 13/02/2013
    MRS DEWSBURY, United Kingdom 13/02/2013 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    7
    2
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    "Like watching paint dry"

    It said on the back 'literary crack cocaine.' I stopped listening after 4h 38m in which NOTHING HAD HAPPENED. It's a long book and I'm sure it must get better but, really, life's too short. There isn't even any pleasure in the mundane details of the lives of the characters, like there is with a really good writer. Just... nothing going for it. I'm returning mine.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Kent UK 07/04/2013
    Amazon Customer Kent UK 07/04/2013 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
    ratings
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    96
    21
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    "lacks pace and plausibility"

    An over-rated book, I think. To start with, it is too long to sustain a pretty thin plot, and lacks both pace and narrative drive. The plot's plausibility gets preposterous towards the end, and the characters are not that convincing. The only thing that kept me going to the end was the outstanding narration. Anna Bentinck could recite a telephone directory and bring it to life. She certainly earned her money on this book.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Renata EDINBURGH, United Kingdom 11/09/2013
    Renata EDINBURGH, United Kingdom 11/09/2013 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "sinister story"
    What made the experience of listening to Gillespie and I the most enjoyable?

    The development of the story-line grabbed me and refused to let go until the bitter end.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Gillespie and I?

    About a third the way through I realised this was no ordinary story.


    What about Anna Bentinck’s performance did you like?

    I thought Anna Bentinck's performance was perfect, not overstated or pushy she created the right atmosphere and gave nothing away.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Not at first, but as the story developed I was itching to get back to it.


    Any additional comments?

    Stick with it if you think the beginning is a bit too much like a parlour drama - its worth it in the end.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laurel Llanymynech, United Kingdom 13/04/2013
    Laurel Llanymynech, United Kingdom 13/04/2013 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Very good"

    This book is a bit slow to start but this is necessary to really build the story. It is well worth sticking with however, as the story develops the tension builds and you begin to question what is happening. A well written and thought provoking book which stayed with me for quite a while after I had finished it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda 13/04/2013
    Linda 13/04/2013 Member Since 2010

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Jane Harris and I"

    Having listened to The Observations and enjoyed it very much, I had no hesistation in choosing Gillespie and I. Again skillful writing, great character development and a sort of undefinable creepiness makes this a very gripping tale. I loved the almost reverse premise of The Observations used in this book. You start off believing the main character is a nice, polite lady, but before too long the suspicion begins to overshadow her niceness. Well read by Anna Bentick who managed most of the Scottish place names with ease. I would recommend this audiobook to anyone who likes books that are not predictable.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jill Tattingstone, United Kingdom 28/08/2012
    Jill Tattingstone, United Kingdom 28/08/2012 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
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    "Outstanding."

    I was uncertain about this audio book at first but it turned out to be an enthralling listen and superbly read by Anna Bentinck who dealt flawlessly with character changes so that this had none of the "flatness" that some audio books can have. I keep having to go back to the Ipod to "check" my understanding of what really happened or what I might have misconstrued. Set in Victorian Glasgow and switching to thirties London, the main character tells the story of the artist she befriended and their tragic tale.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pj Crook, United Kingdom 21/03/2014
    Pj Crook, United Kingdom 21/03/2014 Member Since 2011

    I have a keen interested in well written novels, whether they are classic, detective, or modern literary fiction, that are beautifully read.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Worth sticking with"
    What did you like most about Gillespie and I?

    At first I didn't like it at all, and I thought I'd made a mistake. But it was the only thing I had to listen to on a long journey, so I stuck with it. I'm glad. It is a slow burner. It takes time to get used to the slow lace, and to the language. After a while both become very engaging.


    What other book might you compare Gillespie and I to, and why?

    Hmm. I wouldn't care to say, and I think it's unfair to compare one book to another.


    Which character – as performed by Anna Bentinck – was your favourite?

    The narrator of course, though she is at times not very likeable.


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

    Not really, no. But I think that is part of the author's craft in this novel, and is very cleverly done. It was nevertheless, as I said, engaging.


    Any additional comments?

    It's worth going the whole way.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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