Human Croquet Audiobook | Kate Atkinson | Audible.co.uk
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Human Croquet | [Kate Atkinson]
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Human Croquet

Once the great forest of Lythe was a vast, impenetrable thicket with a mystery at its heart. And here, in the beginning, was Fairfax Manor. But the forest became Streets of Trees: Chestnut Avenue, Laurel Bank, Sycamore Street. The Fairfaxes dwindled too and now lived in Hawthorne Close; Vinny, Gordon, fat Debbie, and Charles and Isobel, the children. The story belongs to Isobel. Born in the middle of the twentieth century, she drops into pockets of time, waiting for the return of Eliza, her mother.
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Publisher's Summary

Once the great forest of Lythe was a vast, impenetrable thicket with a mystery at its heart. And here, in the beginning, was Fairfax Manor. But the forest became Streets of Trees: Chestnut Avenue, Laurel Bank, Sycamore Street. The Fairfaxes dwindled too and now lived in Hawthorne Close; Vinny, Gordon, fat Debbie, and Charles and Isobel, the children. The story belongs to Isobel. Born in the middle of the twentieth century, she drops into pockets of time, waiting for the return of Eliza, her mother, whose disappearance is part of the mystery that remains at the heart of the forest.

©1997 Kate Atkinson; (P)1998, 2004 BBC Audiobooks Ltd

What the Critics Say

"Vivid and intriguing....Fizzles and crackles along....A tour de force." (Independent)
"Vivid, richly imaginative, hilarious and frightening by turns." (Observer)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (74 )
5 star
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4.0 (10 )
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4.3 (11 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Andy LOUGHBOROUGH, United Kingdom 10/09/2005
    Andy LOUGHBOROUGH, United Kingdom 10/09/2005

    I like a wide range of books especially when I discover something new and great. I like to mix some classics in with the crime and sci fi .

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Dark and mysterious Croquet"

    This book has a really strong narrative drive through the complex and interwoven time zones, Kate Atkinson takes us back and forward but feels most comfortable in the early 60's of the central strand of the novel, ground she established such a feel for in 'Behind the scenes in a Museum'.

    I feel it is much stronger book than ?..Museum? and even darker though the body count is about the same! The humour comes from the sharp observation and often acid comments of the narrator rather than anything else, it IS funny but if you want a comedy its not really the book for you.

    It's a very satisfying listen, superbly read, with lots of twists to a number of surprising resolutions.

    First rate!

    29 of 30 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paula Bedford, United Kingdom 20/07/2008
    Paula Bedford, United Kingdom 20/07/2008 Member Since 2007
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    "compelling!"

    As a Kate Atkinson fan, I read this when it first came out and enjoyed it, but not quite as much as Behind the Scenes at the Museum. Having listened to this excellent narration by Susan Jamieson (she also narrates 'Museum' - recommended), I have changed my mind. The narrator's different accents, in particular the Scottish one, can only enhance this wonderfully mysterious tragi-comedy.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Victoria Ripley, United Kingdom 14/10/2011
    Victoria Ripley, United Kingdom 14/10/2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Very disappointing"

    I was really looking forward to reading this book after reading many glowing reviews and after previously enjoying the author's other work. However, the reality was that this was a dull, uninteresting and largely tedious story that I just could not immerse myself in nor enjoy. The characters lacked depth and feeling and with the story constantly jumping back and forth between different times and different people I found the plot very difficult to follow, if indeed it had one? I had to force myself to listen until the end in the hope that it would improve but unfortunately for me it did not.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Keith 07/09/2009
    Keith 07/09/2009 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Book with an identity crisis"

    I loved Behind the Scenes at the Museum. It's freshness and raw emotions softy woven with a touch of time-shift mystery. Unfortunately, Human Croquet has so much magical realism that reality is lost. The characters flit in and out of focus so that it's hard to care about them, no matter how well they are drawn. By the end the story has so undermined itself that it is easy to forget.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Péter Plymouth, United Kingdom 24/12/2013
    Péter Plymouth, United Kingdom 24/12/2013 Member Since 2011
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    Story
    "A Charming bit of Thingummy"

    Although visionary, totally lunatic and pointless, 'Human Croquet' is a loveable little thing. The extraordinary vocabulary and the sublime poetry of the prose make it a demanding, very challengeful listen. If you like Mrs. Atkinson (I do, she produces the most INTERESTING paragraphs in contemporary British literature on my opinion), this one is a creditworthy piece. I enjoyed every minute of it, specially thanks to the formidable narration.

    Problems:
    1) The volume of the recording is very low, I struggled to hear even onthe maximum.
    2) Don't try to navigate in the audiobook by chapters, the file is randomly cut. Maybe too randomly for £17,25...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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