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.
 >   > 
Small Island Audiobook

Small Island

Regular Price:£19.99
  • 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

Andrea Levy's acclaimed Small Island is a delicately wrought and profoundly moving novel of empire, prejudice, war, and love. It was awarded the 2004 Orange Prize for Fiction, the 2004 Whitbread Book of the Year Award, and the 2005 Commonwealth Writers Prize.

It is 1948, and England is recovering from a war. But at 21 Nevern Street, London, the conflict has only just begun. Queenie Bligh's neighbours do not approve when she agrees to take in Jamaican lodgers, but Queenie doesn't know when her husband will return or if he will come back at all. What else can she do?

Gilbert Joseph was one of the several thousand Jamaican men who joined the RAF to fight against Hitler. Returning to England as a civilian, he finds himself treated very differently. It's desperation that makes him remember a wartime friendship with Queenie and knock at her door. Gilbert's wife, Hortense, too, had longed to leave Jamaica and start a better life in England.

But when she joins him, she is shocked to find London shabby, decrepit, and far from the golden city of her dreams. Even Gilbert is not the man she thought he was.... Read by the author.

©2004 Andrea Levy (P)2015 Headline Digital

What the Critics Say

"Wonderful...seamless...a magnificent achievement." (Linda Grant)

"A cracking good read.... I think what appealed to me most was the passion and anger in the writing all the way through, yet it was always leavened with a particularly wry sort of humour - the sort that, tho' you find yourself smiling, you at the same time realise you almost shouldn't be." (Margaret Forster)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.6 (80 )
5 star
 (57)
4 star
 (18)
3 star
 (3)
2 star
 (1)
1 star
 (1)
Overall
4.6 (73 )
5 star
 (53)
4 star
 (14)
3 star
 (5)
2 star
 (0)
1 star
 (1)
Story
4.7 (73 )
5 star
 (58)
4 star
 (12)
3 star
 (2)
2 star
 (0)
1 star
 (1)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Dolly 01/10/2015
    Dolly 01/10/2015 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A breath taking saga."

    I loved this audio book. I had chosen the book for my book group so listened to it after I'd read it.
    I got so much more from it by doing this.
    I was born in 1940 so was just a baby during the war and this was a real eye opener for me.
    If ever Andrea Levy tires of writing she could surely earn a living with her talent for narrating!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    stylo 09/06/2016
    stylo 09/06/2016 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    51
    51
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent!"
    If you could sum up Small Island in three words, what would they be?

    Worth reading again.


    What other book might you compare Small Island to, and why?

    Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. This book also gave me insight into another culture.


    Which character – as performed by Andrea Levy – was your favourite?

    Andrea Levy was superb in every role, but I particularly enjoyed Gilbert and Hortense. Some of their conversations are hilarious!


    Any additional comments?

    I highly recommend this book and will certainly read it again.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 19/05/2016 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good read!"

    Excellent story. Loved the fact that the author read it especially the use of the accents. I was not expecting that ending. I would thoroughly recommend this book particularly if you are interesting in social history.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mr Sutton Coldfield, United Kingdom 18/05/2016
    Mr Sutton Coldfield, United Kingdom 18/05/2016 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    36
    15
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A lovely easy to follow story"

    I found this a very enjoyable book to listen to, easy to follow with only a few key characters. The story develops over time in a very elegant way.

    The narrator (also the author) was excellent.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 13/11/2016 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Wonderful"

    Levy has a beautiful way of writing. the 4 character strands are carefully written and the code switching is a work of genius. the author also narrates and it feels natural and full of emotion. so profound and very relevant .

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Adele Paremata, Wellington, New Zealand 12/11/2016
    Adele Paremata, Wellington, New Zealand 12/11/2016 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    0
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    55
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Sensational narration!"

    Thoroughly enjoyed this book, but the narration was truly outstanding. Unbelievably well read. Diverse accents and characters all read flawlessly - I felt I knew them all. Simply remarkable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Peel 24/10/2016
    Peel 24/10/2016 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Funny and excellent "

    This was even better than watching a movie. Every character and story line was so real. There were so many moments I laughed to myself whilst listening. Loved it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    G. Rance Hertfordshire, England 23/10/2016
    G. Rance Hertfordshire, England 23/10/2016 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    14
    12
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A wonderful book"

    A book I've been meaning to read for years, I'm so pleased I listened to it....Andrea Levy brings the characters to life in this gritty novel about life during and after WW2 in London. I can remember visiting London in the sixties as a child and seeing bombed out buildings still being demolished, it was shocking then and still just as shocking now hearing daily life described in this book. Highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    lizzie uk 22/10/2016
    lizzie uk 22/10/2016 Member Since 2015

    lizzie

    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    60
    30
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "An interesting historical perspective"
    What did you like most about Small Island?

    The characters are well written and it describes times past without being political or judgemental


    What other book might you compare Small Island to, and why?

    It reminds me the Midwives series


    What about Andrea Levy’s performance did you like?

    The performance kept my interest and added to my enjoyment


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

    Too many to pick out one


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S 22/10/2016
    S 22/10/2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    14
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    14
    12
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Beautifully read"

    A sad realistic story that urges you to think more deeply about prejudice,

    Thoroughly enjoyable listening and good story telling.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Bob Gibson
    Toronto, ON Canada
    09/11/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Terrific narration, compelling story"

    I don't generally write reviews, but this performance merits special notice. Andrea Levy, the author of this compelling story, is a first-rate narrator, presenting her several characters and accents with convincing accuracy. The dialogue is natural and engaging, and her Jamaican characters are voiced with the full musicality of their language. A real listening pleasure!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lydia
    Melbourne, Australia
    20/07/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fabulous Story with Excellent Narration"
    Where does Small Island rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Close to the top. The story is captivating.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I enjoyed the fact that the story is narrated by several different characters, each with a unique, and, at times, quite comical, perspective.


    What about Andrea Levy’s performance did you like?

    Ms. Levy breathed life into each quirky, fascinating character. She performed different accents extremely well.


    If you could rename Small Island, what would you call it?

    The Clash Echoes.


    Any additional comments?

    I strongly recommend this nook.

    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.