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Summary

Everyone hates the perfect family. So you’ll love the Battles.

Mo is about to hit the big 50, and some uncomfortable truths are becoming quite apparent: She doesn’t understand either of her teenage kids, which as a child psychologist, is fairly embarrassing. She has become entirely grey - inside, and out. Her face has surrendered and is frightening children.

Dora is about to hit the big 18... and about to hit anyone who annoys her, especially her precocious younger brother, Peter, who has a chronic Oscar Wilde fixation.

Then there’s Dad, who’s just, well, Dad.

This is the story of a modern family, all living in their own separate bubbles and lurching towards meltdown. It is for anyone who has ever shared a home with that weird group of strangers we call relations.

Oh, and there’s a dog. Called Poo.

©2010 Dawn French (P)2010 Penguin Books Ltd

What members say

Average customer ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Performance

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Story

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Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mark
  • Dorset
  • 12-11-10

Indeed a whole lot of marvellous

I started the book a little apprehensively. I mean Dawn French is clearly a very funny lady, loved by millions and I guess moving those talents to a novel, was putting her reputation on the line.

No such fears. The book is excellent. It is broken down into manageable short chapters in a diary format, which make it a very easy listen. Flicking between the characters doesn't detract from you getting to understand them and I defy anyone not to relate to at least one of the members of the modern family. Mum's having a mid-life crisis, an eccentric son, a rebelious daughter addicted to Facebook and dad, somewhat the quiet one (but not for long!)

If you are a middle-aged mum with a teenage daughter I suspect you are going to be reflecting on how true Mo's life is, with all the crisis management and day to day worries she faces.

It's wonderful to hear Dawn reading the book too and expressing her own characters. I can't help wonder how much of it she bases on her own experiences. The book comes together beautifully for the finale.

Dawn French, take a bow.

27 of 27 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jane
  • LondonUnited Kingdom
  • 12-12-10

Took a while but loved it!

Loved, loved this one. I really like Dawn French and I'd heard great things about this book but initially I found it a bit humdrum. Then suddenly it took off and I loved it. The characters are beautically observed and Dawn's narration is just perfect. I thought the plotline developed really well and it wasn't what I was expecting at all. A poignant ending, I'd really recommend this.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Very typical Dawn French

As she narrates her own novel and she is such a familiar voice and character herself it is difficult to separate her from the story here. It is very funny and you can clearly identify all the Dawn French alter ego's in the characters. Did find it a bit repetitive in style and the story didn't move on very well for me. Stopped listening at chapter 30 as found my mind was wandering. Will go back to it though.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

A little predicatable

I loved Dawn French's autobiography, with it's lovely flowing tone, so I was really looking forward to this book. I have to say I'm disappointed. The story is predicatable and rambling, and the voices of the two teenagers quickly became annoying. The girl was so cliched I found myself flicking through the endless pages of 'omg I hate everything'. The boy's character was the opposite extreme in that is was daft and pointless.

This book was an ok read, but I won't be bothering with any of Dawn's future books.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Natalie
  • Slough, United Kingdom
  • 23-02-11

Love Dawn!!

I absolutely love Dawn French! And this book screams typical Dawn. The voices of the characters are so fitting, especially the teenage daughter. Her little rap is hilarious! Definitely a funny listen or one to make you smile

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

More than a tiny bit marvellous

I thoroughly enjoyed this audiobook. Told by godess herself (we bow to thee oh gracious Dawn French) you can imagine everything happening in this household with Dawn playing the leading role. The story is pleasantly dull for the first half of the book, and by that I mean that its a safe, day to day family, something I think all of us would aspire to have, with little drama (accepting the lovely character Dora)- and from half way onwards, becomes very slightly darker. A great twist in this tale, which I confess to not working out until right at the very end and which makes you smile, and sit back in your chair and smile again, and have a cup of tea and a biscuit. Beautifully written and delivered. If you want some light entertainment, I would highly recommend this one.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Paul
  • Reading, United Kingdom
  • 14-07-11

disappointing

I thought this would be really funny, clever and.... well ....entertaining...forget it! This is the first audio book that I have actually given up on having listened to just over one hour. I can only describe it as 'strained' as it searches to find the funny side of raising a family through adolescence et al - There is a lot to laugh at on this subject but not in this book which written and read in a haughty arrogant manner. Very disappointing!

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Funny and spot on


Good listen. Loved her change of voice when she's being Dora and Oscar. Made me laugh.
Would recommend as a reminder if your off spring have flown.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Denise
  • Egerton, United Kingdom
  • 11-02-11

Not what I expected

Being Dawn French, I expected more humour. Instead I found it a little depressing.

I wouldn't recommend it if you were looking for something to cheer you up.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

A big bit brilliant

I really enjoyed this book. The fact that Dawn French read it made it even better. It was funny, clever, a bit sad at times, but mostly hugely enjoyable.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • rosie
  • 17-11-10

A big bit marvellous.

This audio book is absolutely delightful. Centred on three members of the Buttle family, they each take turns giving us snippets from their diaries, revealing extraordinary tales of everyday life. The emotions, journeys and revelations are beautifully written and superbly narrated by Dawn French. You will become wrapped up in the characters eccentricities and learn to love them, faults and all. I laughed, cried and laughed a lot more. Well done Dawn; you certainly have given us a marvellous book.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Jamie
  • 11-02-11

Marvellous but a Tiny Bit Long

This book was exquisitely and expertly narrated by the author, the highly marvellous Dawn French (whose early comedy sketch with Jennifer Saunders of a disordered mother and daughter eventually led to Absolutely Fabulous).

The novel is told in the voices of four members of the Battle family -- 50 year old mom having a midlife crisis; still-rivers-run-deep dad; 16 year old son with an Oscar Wilde fixation; 18 year old daughter Dora always about to hyperventilate in absolute, outright, oh-my-actual-god indignation. The story came together powerfully well in the last chapters and the ending was highly satisfying.

However, I did find the first half of the book slow. Far too much reflection and exposition by the characters, not enough story. Except for Dora. Dawn French's characterization is so rich and funny that even Dora's most self-absorbed, outraged uptalk is a treat. I could listen to Dora talk about nothing all day long. In fact, I kind of miss her now.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Gai Everett
  • 08-02-12

More than a tiny bit marvellous

If you could sum up A Tiny Bit Marvellous in three words, what would they be?

Hilarious, narration was fantastic, story was entertaining, very enjoyable.

What was one of the most memorable moments of A Tiny Bit Marvellous?

Laughing out loud several times whilst on the train going to work.

What does Dawn French bring to the story that you wouldn???t experience if you just read the book?

Dawn's voice brings her characters to life.

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

Laughing out loud in public - several times.

Any additional comments?

Very enjoyable, please write another Dawn!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Gail
  • 13-12-11

Very Very Marvellous

I loved the story, kept me interested. Dawn did a fantastic job with all the voices her tone was very enticing. Would highly recommend .this audio

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Ryan
  • 29-09-11

Not for me unfortunately.

I was quite looking forward to listening to this but I just couldn't get past chapter 12. To be honest, I'm not sure how I got that far. Dawn French's performance is lively, if not a bit over the top. I was just not captivated and couldn't relate to, or stay interested in the ramblings.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Isabella
  • 12-01-17

very marvellous

loved it. cries buckets of happy tears last chapters. love her voice. best book by her so far.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • charlotte
  • 13-02-14

Totally Marvellous would be a better description!

What made the experience of listening to A Tiny Bit Marvellous the most enjoyable?

I think I loved Oscar the most, being an eccentric myself I was drawn to Oscar. The story is very funny but very touching.

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

Dawn has amazing comic timing which makes this book laugh out loud funny, she is a true genius!

Any additional comments?

I really recommend this book, it was amazing and I really enjoyed it!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Leisha
  • 18-01-14

Really Enjoyable

Dawn French's narration was great - the story is very basic, mum, daughter, son and dad - no great highlights or lowlights just very enjoyable. Did make me laugh out loud in more than a few spots - I'd highly recommend it

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Susannah
  • 24-06-13

Dawn French is a great author.

Where does A Tiny Bit Marvellous rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Top five!

What did you like best about this story?

Everything - narration, story, characters...Loved it!

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

She IS the book...her narration is wonderful.

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

The scene when the daughter meets her internet friend...extreme reaction! Not saying why...it would spoil it...

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Sharon
  • 17-12-12

Average

I love Dawn French and was looking forward to listening to this. Dawn read it well but the story is average and her performance suffers as a result. Buy it if you are a fan and have the credits available but otherwise you are going to be a bit disappointed. It won't have you rolling on the floor laughing.