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Oh Dear Silvia Audiobook

Oh Dear Silvia

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Publisher's Summary

The unabridged, downloadable audiobook edition of Dawn Frenchs' second brilliant novel, Oh Dear Silvia, featuring a full cast of readers including Gareth Armstrong, Jane Collingwood, Beattie Edmondson, James Fleet, Llewella Gideon, Jack Lowden, James McArdle, Pauline McLynn, Patrice Naiambana, Celine Rosa Tan, Maggie Steed, Ruby Turner, and Dawn herself.

Who is in Coma Suite Number 5? A matchless lover? A supreme egotist? A selfless martyr? A bad mother? A cherished sister? A selfish wife? All of these. For this is Silvia Shute, who has always done exactly what she wants. Until now, when her life suddenly, shockingly stops. Her past holds a terrible secret, and now that she is unconscious in a hospital bed, her constant stream of visitors are set to uncover the mystery of her broken life. Meanwhile she must lie there, victim of the beloveds, the borings, the babblings and the plain bonkers. Like it or not, the truth is about to pay Silvia a visit. Again, and again and again...

©2012 Dawn French (P)2012 Penguin Books Ltd

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (991 )
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4.4 (720 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Amazon Customer 01/11/2012 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
    ratings
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    "Hilarious!!!!"

    This book is witty, sad in places but absolutely hilarious! I was laughing out loud, only Dawn French could write something so funny so eloquently.

    12 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    gail Hertford, United Kingdom 01/11/2012
    gail Hertford, United Kingdom 01/11/2012 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great Listen"

    This is very well read by several people, including Dawn French. They all do a great job. In some places I was laughing so much I had to rewind and listen again. All the characters are believable and the book is very well written. I was left wanting more.

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mrs. K. J. D. CURRIE Hayling Island, UK 01/12/2012
    Mrs. K. J. D. CURRIE Hayling Island, UK 01/12/2012 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Utterly Brilliant - now one of my top 5 ever!"

    Dawn French has pulled out all the stops in the totally amazing story - I loved every single word!



    Really well written; great idea; fabulously read by the author in her own inimitable style with nuances where only she would know they were needed; and guest narrators for each characters making everything easy to follow and totally believable.



    I didn't see any of the twists and turns coming which was fantastic - loved every one!



    I've encouraged all my friends to get on board with this story, I really can't praise it enough.



    I loved Tiny Bit Marvellous but this is in a league of its own.



    One of my Top 5 ever - definitely!

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ms. C. T. Bell Belfast 19/11/2012
    Ms. C. T. Bell Belfast 19/11/2012 Member Since 2012

    I like to escape with urban fantasy and radio comedy but like to mix it up with classics and travelogues.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fantastic read"

    I really enjoyed this book - Dawn French's characterisations are just masterly! I simply didn't want to put it down. I usually prefer a single reader and dislike dramatisations, but the different (excellent) actors voicing the characters was wonderful bringing each person to life. I thought the premise intriguing - getting to know a person simply by the recollections of others - and this over-delivered on what I was expecting. The characters were just perfect, complex in some ways and simple in others, just as we all are.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S B HALL off 17/04/2014
    S B HALL off 17/04/2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "*oh Dear Silvia *"
    What made the experience of listening to Oh Dear Silvia the most enjoyable?

    Silvia is in a coma. I found it interesting that a person, and her relationships, could be 'brought to life' by her visitors and their one sided conversations.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Silvia's foreign cleaner who spoke to her in 'English' (as taught by her sons!)


    Have you listened to any of the narrators’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    I have not heard any other performances by Dawn French, but after listening to 'Oh Dear Silvia', I look forward to hearing more!


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

    Despite the serious nature of the story, parts of the book made me smile, or even laugh out loud. The lasting feeling I got was the fact that we don't always know people as well as we think we do.


    Any additional comments?

    Oh Dear Silvia is so well written. I thoroughly enjoyed the book.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bookie UK 06/03/2014
    Bookie UK 06/03/2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    81
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    "Great idea but..."
    What would have made Oh Dear Silvia better?

    Used a different narrative structure. Delivery is monologues, no dialogue.


    What was most disappointing about Dawn French’s story?

    Her failure to execute a brilliant idea to perfection.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    It was occasionally dull and sometimes difficult to both understand and follow


    What character would you cut from Oh Dear Silvia?

    Keep the characters, but change how they worked into the narrative.


    Any additional comments?

    I've worked hard to enjoy this book, but overall, I'm disappointed by poor delivery of a good idea. Dawn French is an acute observer of human foibles. She knows how to extend the 'ordinary' to a side splitting 'extraordinary'. She can exploit every ounce of potential humour from any situation and her quick wit and ready repartee is a singular strength. So what happened here?

    In this tale about a comatose Sylvia, somewhere along the way, much of the humour and potential poignancy was lost. I liked the idea of an individual's life being perceived and dissected from various viewpoints. But the chosen narrative format, for me, was too restricted and resulted in a string of monologue deliveries with no opportunity for dialogue exchanges. The fact that some were in patois should have added a different and engaging dimension but ended up being sometimes difficult to understand and rather stereotyped. The parade of visitors and their role in Sylvia's life was occasionally confusing. I lost interest in most of the individuals because they failed to engage as characters in their own right. Whilst there were moments of both humour and compassion, this story lacked cohesion. Parts could work well as short sketches, but the idea is overextended for novel format. Although I got through to the end, I was tempted more than once to abandon it.

    This review is from the audible version narrated by Dawn French (and others). I also tried a sample download to see if reading the narrative improved the experience. It didn't.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mrs Leeds, United Kingdom 21/11/2012
    Mrs Leeds, United Kingdom 21/11/2012 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Funny, poignant and seriously good"

    I loved this book, read by the author and a cast of actors. More than a book, for me this felt more like a play. Great characters and a very clever storyline. Would definitely recommend, makes you laugh out loud and shocks you too. Excellent.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kate Flinders, Australia 06/11/2012
    Kate Flinders, Australia 06/11/2012 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    42
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    "Disappointing"

    I was so excited when I saw a new Dawn French novel as I love A Tiny Bit Marvellous. Oh Dear Sylvia just didn't live up to my high hopes at all. I don't know if it was the radio play feel of it with a full cast reading their own lines that I didn't like...maybe I will try reading the book to see if that makes a difference...I don't know, i already feel let down. Full cast might have worked better for A Tiny Bit Marvellous as that was broken in to sections narrated by the different characters.

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stefanie 13/11/2012
    Stefanie 13/11/2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Thought provoking"

    Excellent novel by Dawn French. I expected a funny book as her last novel was a real side splitter. I was a little perturbed when I first started to listen but soon couldn't stop. Fascinating insight, extremely well written. Thank you again Dawn, excellent.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amelia 05/02/2014
    Amelia 05/02/2014

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Sylvia listens?"

    I really enjoyed the narration and felt it really enhanced the story I really warmed to the story and specially the concept with all the different characters and how they mixed together I found the character of Winnie very entertaining and Jo for her weird methods of trying to 'wake' Sylvia I could understand why Sylvia got rid of Ed he was a seriously dry dinner The character of Cat I felt was far fetched.Overall I really enjoyed it; was sad to finish and would recommend it

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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  • Mrs. J. A. Garratt
    Adelaide, South Australia, AU
    05/10/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Can't get into it. Rather slow."
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    The voice of the sister drove me nuts!


    What could Dawn French have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Read the whole thing :)


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Over acting sister.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Boredom


    Any additional comments?

    Not my cup of tea. A bit slow and depressing sorry.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Susannah
    Adelaide, Australia
    24/06/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Favourite audio book so far..."
    Would you consider the audio edition of Oh Dear Silvia to be better than the print version?

    Yes...we studied this book for our Book Club. I was the only one to listen to it...everyone else read it. The narrators bring each character to life in such a way that I felt I knew them all personally. At our Book Club meeting I played some of the audio so that my fellow readers could enjoy some of the characters for themselves.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The narration was wonderful.


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


    See above.


    Who was the most memorable character of Oh Dear Silvia and why?

    Each character was memorable in this book...no-one stood out more than another...they were all fabulous.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • J
    South Bexley, Australia
    01/05/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Oh Dear Dawn - what a pearler"
    What made the experience of listening to Oh Dear Silvia the most enjoyable?

    This is an audible experience which moved me through the gambit of emotions from laughter and tears and everywhere in between. Brilliant concept in which the characters develop with each page. Thoroughly enjoyable! Great Job Dawn!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Amy
    Hughesdale, Australia
    14/03/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Intriguing twists and turns."

    After a slow and slightly grating beginning, I really became involved in the story and all it's characters. The contrast between personalities and perspectives, was enjoyable and the plot was engaging if not completely flawless (some characters over do it at times). I enjoy much of Dawn French's work, this is no different, fun, thought provoking and a good listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Judith
    Bargara, Australia
    29/11/12
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fantastic Book"
    If you could sum up Oh Dear Silvia in three words, what would they be?

    As a ICU nurse I have witnessed these scenarios. I found it fascinating to imagine Silvia hearing all of this twisting quirky and yet familiar portrait of a family.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The characters


    Have you listened to any of the narrators’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No


    Who was the most memorable character of Oh Dear Silvia and why?

    Jo


    Any additional comments?

    I loved it!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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