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.
The Portable Veblen Audiobook

The Portable Veblen

Regular Price:£12.99
  • 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

A riotously funny and deeply insightful adventure through capitalism, the medical industry, family, love, war and wedding planning - from an electrically entertaining new voice.

Meet Veblen: a passionate defender of the anticonsumerist views of her namesake, the iconoclastic economist Thorstein Veblen. She's an experienced cheerer-upper (mainly of her narcissistic, hypochondriac, controlling mother), an amateur translator of Norwegian and a firm believer in the distinct possibility that the plucky grey squirrel following her around can understand more than it lets on.

Meet her fiancé, Paul: the son of good hippies who were bad parents, a no-nonsense, high-flying neuroscientist with no time for squirrels. His recent work on a device to minimise battlefield trauma has led him dangerously close to the seductive Cloris Hutmacher, heiress to a pharmaceuticals empire, who is promising him fame and fortune through a shady-sounding deal with the department of defence. What could possibly go wrong?

©2016 Elizabeth McKensie (P)2016 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

What the Critics Say

"Man oh man, do I love this book! Audacious, imaginative, and totally wonderful: The whole books zips and zings." (Karen Joy Fowler, author of We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves)
"Wildly brilliant. Razor-sharp, intimate, hilarious and profound. Every page is a delight." (Emma Jane Unsworth, author of Animals)
"The Portable Veblen is the squirreliest novel I ever read. I enjoyed it completely." (Ursula K. Le Guin, author of The Dispossessed and The Left Hand of Darkness)
"A deeply observed universe where heroines are named for economists and the high stakes of capitalism are set to collide with the chatter of small wild animals. Both humorous and wrenching." (Samantha Hunt, author of The Invention of Everything Else and Mr. Splitfoot)
"McKenzie's story of an ambitious young neurologist and the seductions of the darker side of the medical economy is both incisive and hilarious." (Abraham Verghese, author of Cutting for Stone)
"In scalpel-sharp prose, The Portable Veblen's gleefully perverse narrator seduces us with the story of a charming young woman soon to wed a handsome doctor.... I was knocked out, giddily so, by The Portable Veblen." (Nelly Reifler, author of Elect H. Mouse State Judge and See Through)
"Quirky and smart. If you loved Karen Joy Fowler's We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, you'll love this." (Glamour)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.3 (15 )
5 star
 (2)
4 star
 (6)
3 star
 (3)
2 star
 (3)
1 star
 (1)
Overall
3.5 (13 )
5 star
 (3)
4 star
 (4)
3 star
 (2)
2 star
 (4)
1 star
 (0)
Story
3.4 (14 )
5 star
 (3)
4 star
 (5)
3 star
 (3)
2 star
 (1)
1 star
 (2)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Gill Darling 29/04/2016
    Gill Darling 29/04/2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    22
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Sciurine-based irritation"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    No time with a book is ill spent, but this was bordering on vexatious. I can just about deal with books where the characters commune with squirrels, but when they answer back I'm afraid the jig is up.


    What didn’t you like about Laurence Bouvard’s performance?

    It's never a great idea to attempt to do all the individual voices in a reading. Especially across the genders. And even more especially across the genders and those with disabilities.


    If this book were a film would you go see it?

    I would not.


    Any additional comments?

    The writing was fine, and the character of Melanie was a joy, and made the book bearable. At least, as it was audio, I was spared the cutesy illustrations that I gather pepper the text. But this book is up for the Baileys Prize, so what do I know?

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    bookylady 14/06/2016
    bookylady 14/06/2016 Member Since 2014

    Bookworm, librarian, chocaholic. Give me a good book, a bar of chocolate and a glass of fine wine and I'm a happy lady.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    48
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    53
    35
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    7
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Quirky, Imaginative, Fun. A Revelation"
    Any additional comments?

    I probably would not have chosen this book except that I had set myself a challenge to read the whole of the long list for the 2016 Baileys Prize for Fiction ( it subsequently made the shortlist.) However, I am so glad I did give it a go and it is definitely a book that should not be judged by its cover (which is really boring.)
    The narrative is full of wit, modern-day wisdom, hippy lore, quirky storylines, feisty heroines/female characters, sibling rivalry, misunderstandings and animals who impart advice on life and love. Throw in a healthy dose of cynical corporate mendacity, medical research/ethics, philosophy, hypochondria and wedding planning and you have the basis of a very funny and refreshingly different novel. I would not normally give any time to novels with speaking squirrels but somehow, amazingly, the author manages to make this aspect of the plot work.
    The main characters are all well drawn and fully rounded but it is Melanie, a main but secondary character, that is an absolute gem. I started off being irritated by her but by the end of the novel I really loved her.
    The narrator was good but the variation in her voice characterisations was not as good as I would have liked, particularly for male voices. overall, she did a good job.

    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.