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The Trouble with Goats and Sheep Audiobook

The Trouble with Goats and Sheep

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Publisher's Summary

Exclusive to Audible! Listen to the author talk about the inspiration behind the book at the end of this recording.

England,1976. Mrs Creasy is missing, and The Avenue is alive with whispers. As the summer shimmers endlessly on, 10-year-olds Grace and Tilly decide to take matters into their own hands. And as the cul-de-sac starts giving up its secrets, the amateur detectives will find much more than they imagined....

©2015 Joanna Cannon (P)2015 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

What the Critics Say

"Part whodunnit, part coming of age, this is a gripping debut about the secrets behind every door." (Rachel Joyce)
"An utter delight. Perceptive, funny, dark, moving. And so beautifully written. I loved it." (Sarah Winman)
"A haunting, perceptive novel about the price of belonging. It's a treasure chest of a novel and I loved it very much." (Julie Cohen)
"A captivating new voice in British fiction. Not since Nathan Filer's The Shock of the Fall has a debut novel held the promise of such an exciting career ahead. One of the standout novels of the year." (Hannah Beckerman)
"Cannon's interrogation of hypocrisy and prejudice is insightful and compassionate.... I didn't want the book to end." (Carys Bray)
"An excellent debut. This cautionary tale of a suburban power struggle is charming and truthful, at once ambitious and intimate, with playful prose that reveals an intriguing mind at work." (James Hannah)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (255 )
5 star
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4.2 (243 )
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4.5 (243 )
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Kaggy 05/04/2016
    Kaggy 05/04/2016 Member Since 2013

    Will read anything within reason.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "1976 - long, hot and a wonderful experience"

    Despite the searing heat and water shortages, the long hot summer of 1976 was a magical experience for the young and Joanna Cannon has done an incredible job in conjuring this era back for us to enjoy once again. I well remember complaining about the heat (!), the stifling houses with carpet the colour of cough medicine and long evenings pouring over the Kay's catalogue trying to work out if I could afford the 48 weekly payments of 25p for a pair of dream shoes. This is a story set in an ordinary UK town and follows two little girls and their wry observations of the adults in their locality. One man is treated as a rank outsider by the rest of the community and their struggle to understand why he is treated this way makes a very moving and poignant story. There is the mystery of a disappeared woman, an arson attack and a kidnapped baby all woven into a tale of everyday life filled with believable characters. This is peppered with very frequent laughs and the odd teary moment and is an overall triumph of unashamed nostalgia and humanity.

    Paula Wilcox does a lovely job of bringing this book to life and handles the male and female characters with equal aplomb. After this impressive debut I am really looking forward to reading more from this talented author.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mrs. V. Riley 16/05/2016
    Mrs. V. Riley 16/05/2016
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    "Quite possibly the best book I've ever dived into"
    Where does The Trouble with Goats and Sheep rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    The best audiobook I've ever heard. I'm still not entirely sure of the difference between Goats and Sheep, but I do know now it doesnt matter. As long as we always remember that unbelonging is a belonging all of its own.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The way the author literally made you smell, hear and taste the story. I moved into the lane along with everyone else. Just brilliant.


    What about Paula Wilcox’s performance did you like?

    Clear, flowing, and completely believable.


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

    Jesus is a drainepipe.


    Any additional comments?

    I cannot wait until she write another book. I hated it ending and not entirely sure if any other book will ever live up to this. So I've just started listening to it again.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MS RUTH SHAW sheffield uk 18/02/2016
    MS RUTH SHAW sheffield uk 18/02/2016 Member Since 2013
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    "A treat from start to finish..."

    Taking you back to that long hot summer in the seventies with the sights sounds and tastes all vividly described. A warm, wise and witty book. I was so sad when it ended as I walked down through the Botanical Gardens in Sheffield on this sunny, nearly spring, day that I listened to last two chapters again smoking a fag (plenty of smoking in book). The best part of this book was how the heat and a surprise visitor bring disparate characters together. I am a tough reviewer but I loved this and Paula Wilcox reading it was a great bit of "casting". Loved it. Loved it. Loved it.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mr William Dewar 07/02/2016 Member Since 2016
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    "Impressive stuff"
    Would you listen to The Trouble with Goats and Sheep again? Why?

    Yes probably, I loved the style of writing and the descriptions used that made even the most mundane things seem almost magical. I also loved the nostalgia about 1976, it reminded me of so much like the pips while making a call from a phone box. The detail was incredible.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Trouble with Goats and Sheep?

    The part when Tilly was sick and how it impacted on Grace was very moving


    What about Paula Wilcox’s performance did you like?

    I though she was ace! Her narration was so spot on it helped me create the characters in my head.


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

    It did both on many occasions.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M. Clark 11/02/2016
    M. Clark 11/02/2016 Member Since 2013

    Clarky

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "This is an outstanding book, beautifully recorded."
    If you could sum up The Trouble with Goats and Sheep in three words, what would they be?

    That hot summer.


    What about Paula Wilcox’s performance did you like?

    She made you love the characters, I did not even recognise her voice initially. She did a great job.


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

    Tilly and Gracie, what a team. I had a best friend when I was 10, and this book took me back to that uncomplicated relationship, in a good way.


    Any additional comments?

    I have recommended this recording to so many friends. I will listen again.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Helen Aylesbury, United Kingdom 17/05/2016
    Helen Aylesbury, United Kingdom 17/05/2016 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Remember the Long Hot Summer of 76?"

    This book is a great listen on many levels....firstly, the nostalgia. Joanna Cannon captures the time so well; I remember the hose pipe ban, the unrelenting heat, Jackie magazine,the summer that seemed to go on forever - I was back there as my 13 year old self. It's an entertaining story about two friends who are on a mission in the school summer holidays.They meet all the residents of The Avenue, including the one who is shunned, and I really enjoyed meeting them too. It showed me that no one is as they seem and we all have secrets to keep.Their youth enables them to question adults and the world in general in a direct and innocent way - often with hilarious results.I loved that through their eyes, it made me challenge my own perceptions and prejudices and to think about the pack mentality. One great scene involves the two girls having a discussion with an elderly widower about whether a plant is a weed or not. It's a great new way of looking at the world. The mystery continues until the end of the book - and there are a few surprises.
    To enhance the whole experience, Paula Wilcox is without doubt the best reader so far of all the audio books I've had. She's got a great voice, and unlike other female readers, doesn't do that annoying thing of trying to sound like a man when men are talking, or like a baby when it's a young person.She's got a really lively style and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
    Highly recommended - you won't want to turn it off.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sarah 19/04/2016
    Sarah 19/04/2016 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Beautiful"
    Would you listen to The Trouble with Goats and Sheep again? Why?

    Definitely. A joy to listen to, Paula Wilcox is fabulous as narrator but this is obviously because she's a very good actress. A very well crafted story, I had no inkling of where it was going to end, cleverly constructed.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I was born in the early 1970's and was just a few years younger than the girls. So much detail about the small things I had forgotten just made me smile. I was paying attention to the story as it unfolded but then little pockets of cultural reference would pop out. The detail of each character and their back story was excellent.


    Which character – as performed by Paula Wilcox – was your favourite?

    She did all of them so well and so differently I couldn't single one out.


    Any additional comments?

    A riveting story so well researched and written that it felt almost like time travel. I cannot praise this audio book highly enough, with the very talented Paula Wilcox it was pure joy to listen to.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ellen C. 28/02/2016
    Ellen C. 28/02/2016 Member Since 2015
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    "Exceptional"

    Totally delightful, beautifully written.
    A very promising start for this writer.
    She captures the thoughts and dialogue of Grace with amazing simplicity.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    SimonJ 24/02/2016
    SimonJ 24/02/2016 Member Since 2014
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    "Exquisitely written"

    I bought this because of the title. Wasn't expecting what I found. Wonderful descriptive language that sometimes just grabs you. The story draws you in and turns you one way then another.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shoeless 23/02/2016
    Shoeless 23/02/2016 Member Since 2014
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    "Best Read So Far This Year"

    This book was worth reading just to be transported back to a very vivid 1976. Brilliant characters, people and voices I knew from my past.
    Meticulous attention to details of the time.
    A wonderful, heart-warming tale, skillfully brought to life by Paula Wilcox. This story will make you laugh out loud, sympathise, and marvel at the extraordinary found in the ordinary of neighbours and the dynamics of the relationships in 'The Avenue'.
    Highly recommended.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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