We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.co.uk/access.
Major Pettigrew's Last Stand Audiobook

Major Pettigrew's Last Stand

Regular Price:£19.19
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • £7.99/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Publisher's Summary

Major Ernest Pettigrew (Ret'd) is not interested in the frivolity of the modern world. Since his wife Nancy's death, he has tried to avoid the constant bother of nosy village women; his grasping, ambitious son; and the ever-spreading suburbanisation of the English countryside, preferring to lead a quiet life upholding the values that people have lived by for generations - respectability, duty, and a properly brewed cup of tea.

But when his brother's death sparks an unexpected friendship with Mrs Ali, the widowed village shopkeeper of Pakistani descent, the Major is drawn out of his regimented world and forced to confront the realities of life in the 21st century.

©2010 Helen Simonson (P)2016 Audible, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (719 )
5 star
 (428)
4 star
 (212)
3 star
 (60)
2 star
 (10)
1 star
 (9)
Overall
4.4 (629 )
5 star
 (346)
4 star
 (196)
3 star
 (67)
2 star
 (7)
1 star
 (13)
Story
4.6 (625 )
5 star
 (452)
4 star
 (142)
3 star
 (20)
2 star
 (5)
1 star
 (6)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Morag Harray, United Kingdom 24/05/2011
    Morag Harray, United Kingdom 24/05/2011 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    21
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Old age is not for softies"

    I delighted in this book which tells the story a two very different people with the commonality of loneliness.
    I liked the characterisation and felt that those who were not so well drawn were those who were shallow.
    I didn't really want to say goodbye to the Major and Jasmina when I finished it!

    19 of 19 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Deborah Sandbach, Cheshire, United Kingdom 03/04/2011
    Deborah Sandbach, Cheshire, United Kingdom 03/04/2011 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    17
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    0
    Overall
    "An unexpected delight!"

    I have just finished Major Pettigrew's Last Stand and was not disappointed. I feel like I have reached the end of that rare kind of book that is widereaching in it's content, but deep enough to provoke the reader to consider how they might react to the various elements in it's unusual story line. The plot was unexpected although the summary given is accurate. The characters become friends you want to know about and I can't think of a nicer way to enjoy this book than curled up in front of a roaring fire on a cold winter's day!

    17 of 17 people found this review helpful
  •  
    lou58 02/12/2013
    lou58 02/12/2013 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    35
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    194
    13
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Thought provoking"

    I loved this book, it seems to be well researched and the writing was fluid and imaginative. I thought the characters, although somewhat stereotypical, were well observed. I was only disappointed when I came to the end. The descriptions of rural Sussex life and the minutiae of day to day routine, the petty prejudices which can quickly overflow into something more sinister were utterly believable. The narration was brilliant, my only criticism was the editing, from time to time the volume was very low indeed and I had trouble hearing even at full blast. There were also one or two long silent pauses where I mistakenly began to wonder if the story had ended.

    12 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ccb griffiths 13/04/2013
    ccb griffiths 13/04/2013 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    "Charming story"

    A charming story, told in gentle fashion but with enough interest to hold the reader until the end. Makes a change to read a fictional account from an older mind's perspective. Narration was well handled too. Characters come alive and the writer makes one want to know how they get on. Good juxtaposition of old fashioned English gentleman and traditional Asian lady.

    12 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    peregrine LONDON, United Kingdom 13/12/2013
    peregrine LONDON, United Kingdom 13/12/2013 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    16
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    166
    7
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Subtle, Beautiful, Intelligent"
    What made the experience of listening to Major Pettigrew's Last Stand the most enjoyable?

    Beautifully read


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Major Pettigrew's Last Stand?

    Many sections of this book are of note


    Which character – as performed by Bill Wallis – was your favourite?

    The main two leads


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    the path of one's heart / a journey worth taking


    12 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    E Driffield, United Kingdom 26/01/2014
    E Driffield, United Kingdom 26/01/2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    32
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    107
    8
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fantastic!!!"

    This one of the best audible stories I have listened to and will be listening to again and again. I was really sad that it came to an end. The narration of Bill Wallis brought a richness to the telling of the story, easily identifying each of the characters as the story unfolds. It features a tale of loss, love, jealousy, prejudice and hope. The story will make you cry and laugh out loud in turn. A beautiful story, told very well. I urge you to try it.

    22 of 23 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tim leighton buzzard, BDF, United Kingdom 26/04/2011
    Tim leighton buzzard, BDF, United Kingdom 26/04/2011 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    74
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    399
    6
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    0
    Overall
    "A comic delight to be enjoyed wherever you are."

    A great tragi-comedy. But mainly a comedy, for me at least. Anyone, like a previous reviewer, finding it depressing obviously inhabits a different world to me!

    I listened to Major Pettigrew while travelling and on holiday and found it a genuine delight. My experience was different to both prior UK reviewers however. Maybe it was partly my holiday mood, but I found it wonderfully engaging and yet relaxing. The themes were potentially going to be either trivialised or unduly serious for a light read, but I found them handled with a sure touch, warmth and great humour. I felt we were being invited to laugh at ourselves rather than at the characters as such. Great humour often requires some degree of cruelty and challenge to our comfortable lives, and this was no exception.

    The narrator did a fine job of differentiating characters with appropriate accents - no mean feat, and apparently not achieved by the USA version. Some of the characters could be regarded as stereotypical I suppose, but this didn't worry me as I recognised them (especially from my parents' generation in East Sussex) and I guess this helped me fill in any gaps.

    Hugely enjoyable - I recommend it.

    23 of 24 people found this review helpful
  •  
    mtomat Blackburn 13/04/2013
    mtomat Blackburn 13/04/2013 Member Since 2013

    m.tomat

    HELPFUL VOTES
    25
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    20
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    0
    Overall
    "What a book!"

    This story, how it was written, the words used, the way it is read just make it the perfect audiobook I could ever think about buying. I am very happy to have it among my collection and to be the proud owner of such a wonderfully written story.

    15 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tailorman 04/12/2013
    Tailorman 04/12/2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    21
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A very enjoyable book"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    This is the type of book were you say, 'just one more paragraph'. It is so easy to listen to, with a good story well written and well narrated.


    13 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karen 31/01/2015
    Karen 31/01/2015 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Exceptional Storytelling"

    I was really concerned that this would provide a two-dimensional account of differing cultures - at times it came close but never quite toppled... If at times it plays on stereotypes never is that stronger than when examining the white middle-class. The story is charming and narrated beautifully.

    11 of 12 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Cynthea Wellings
    08/05/11
    Overall
    "Excellent little book"

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It tells a wonderful and clever yarn about parochial Britain. It weaves intergenerational and racial considerations intricately into the text. I found it very engaging and entertaining. The reader is excellent and easy to listen to. He changes his voice to represent each different character which heightens the listening experience. Well done.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Anne
    Fish Hoek, South Africa
    01/08/11
    Overall
    "An absolute delight"

    As an expatriate Brit, living in Africa, I LOVED this book for the beautiful descriptions of English village life, the countryside, and the quirky eccentricities of the older generation of English society. A gentle story of love in life’s “Autumn years”, interwoven with the harsher elements of family greed, racial prejudice & snobbery – but with deft touches of humour to lighten the gloom of humanity behaving badly. Beautifully written & a perfect choice of reader – I immediately looked on Audible.com for books featuring the author (none) & narrator (lots – hurray!). Heartily recommended.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Stephanie Whitelock
    31/01/12
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent"
    What did you love best about Major Pettigrew's Last Stand?

    This would be one of my favourite audbiobooks so far. The narration is outstanding - BIll Wallis is pitch perfect as all the characters, especially Pettigrew - and the story is warm and engaging. I found myself thinking about the characters and what they would do next when I wasn't listening to the book. I can't recommend this audiobook highly enough.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Ilana
    Montreal, Quebec, Canada
    17/04/12
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Deserves a Stand Up Ovation!"

    Major Ernest Pettigrew, a sixty-eight year old widower who hasn't yet gotten over the death of his wife six year hence, has just lost his younger brother quite suddenly and is understandably very upset about the news. When he sets out to leave his house and drive over to his sister-in-law's, he is taken by a temporary malaise just as the local shopkeeper, Mrs Ali stops by for a visit. The kind middle-aged lady helps the Major recover, even offering to drive him to his brother's funeral when he doesn't feel able to do so himself. And so a beautiful friendship is born. An unlikely friendship, with differing class and ethnic backgrounds (she's Pakistani), combined with life in a small English village, making such a pairing fodder for plenty of gossip and disapproval among the Major's friends and neighbours; his insufferable financier son is opposed to their union because it doesn't fit into his notions of career or socially enhancing manoeuvres; Mrs Ali's nephew, who helps her in the shop is also dead-set against the pairing, having recently returned from studies in Pakistan and renewed his Muslim faith with extreme vigour. Meanwhile, the Major's number one fixation is reuniting a pair of antique hunting rifles inherited from his father, a concern which seems to be a chief preoccupation for the whole family.

    This story sounded like it had all the makings of an unbearably cute lovey-dovey story that should have gottten royally on my nerves. But I was quite thrown off my curmudgeonly stance by characters that seemed genuine and rather likeable, or wonderfully despicable, facing real-life situations and difficulties of the sort we can all relate to, (SPOILER ALERT:) all the while knowing love must prevail. I was prepared to take in the inevitable happy ending with a healthy dose of grumpy condescension, but there were plenty of unforeseen complications along the way that made getting there quite a fun trip. (END OF SPOILER)

    To top it all off, I just adored listening to this story read by Bill Wallis, who's voice is perfect for the Major and who does a fine job of interpreting each character. He made a charming story that much more enjoyable. A very enthusiastic HURRAY for the Major!!!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Marjan
    27/07/11
    Overall
    "A fun light listen"

    This is a fun book to listen to, quite light weight, but well written and very well narrated. I enjoyed it very much.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    Western Cape, South Africa
    07/10/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A Briton's eye view of Britain now."

    A British Major, all the stereotypes well set, keeps his honour by keeping his old, well-formed ethics in action. A warm and wise and witty read that kept me listening when I should have been working, and listening again to take it all in, again. Delicious.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Jenny
    Woodlands, Australia
    04/02/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "All's Well That Ends Well"
    If you could sum up Major Pettigrew's Last Stand in three words, what would they be?

    Compassionate, creative and challenging


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Major Pettigrew's Last Stand?

    I have to say that the beginning of the story, where Major Pettigrew and Mrs Ali meet is quite wonderful. He, dressed in his wife's clematis covered housecoat - she collecting the paper money - and both as embarrassed as anything because they are so out of context.

    Yet at the same time there is an immediate sympathy between them in their mutual loss of spouse, magnified so much more for Major Pettigrew by the sudden loss of his brother.


    What about Bill Wallis’s performance did you like?

    I think he managed to combine the best narration with a good speed of reading so that the story moved at an acceptable pace.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    From Lahore and Cambridge they came.....


    Any additional comments?

    This is a charming story that turns class and age assumptions upside down. The main characters are well drawn and the basic story moves well and covers some unexpected ground.

    Some of the minor characters are a little less believable and seem to be portraying a character trait rather than being a whole person.

    Overall, this is a good read/listen and would make a gorgeous film, should anyone take the option ever.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • R. Visser
    Cape Town, South Africa
    25/10/12
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "My favourite book this year"

    If Helen Simonson writes 100 books I will read all of them and if Bill Wallis narrates 100 books I will listen to all of them.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • judy
    wellington, New Zealand
    26/01/12
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A delight to listen. Thanks to the wonderful Bill."
    Would you listen to Major Pettigrew's Last Stand again? Why?

    I will return to this lovely story again. I love the descriptive story and homourous tales of the characters lives.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Without doubt Major Pettigrew.


    Which character – as performed by Bill Wallis – was your favorite?

    Once again the Major.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Too many to list.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.