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Between the Stops

The View of My Life from the Top of the Number 12 Bus
Narrated by: Sandi Toksvig
Length: 9 hrs and 30 mins
4.9 out of 5 stars (1,651 ratings)

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Summary

This long-awaited memoir from one of Britain's best-loved celebrities - a writer, broadcaster, activist, comic on stage, screen and radio for nearly 40 years, presenter of QI and Great British Bake Off star - is an autobiography with a difference: as only Sandi Toksvig can tell it.  

'Between the Stops is a sort of a memoir, my sort. It's about a bus trip really, because it's my view from the Number 12 bus (mostly top deck, the seat at the front on the right), a double-decker that plies its way from Dulwich, in South East London, where I was living, to where I sometimes work - at the BBC, in the heart of the capital. It's not a sensible way to write a memoir at all, probably, but it's the way things pop into your head as you travel, so it's my way'.    

From London facts including where to find the blue plaque for Una Marson, 'The first black woman programme maker at the BBC', to discovering the best Spanish coffee under Southwark's railway arches; from a brief history of lady gangsters at Elephant and Castle to memories of climbing Mount Sinai and, at the request of a fellow traveller, reading aloud the Ten Commandments; from the story behind Pissarro's painting of Dulwich Station to performing in Footlights with Emma Thompson; from painful memoires of being sent to Coventry while at a British boarding school to thinking about how Wombells Travelling Circus of 1864 haunts Peckham Rye; from anecdotes about meeting Prince Charles, Monica Lewinsky and Grayson Perry to Bake-Off antics; from stories of a real and lasting friendship with John McCarthy to the importance of family and the daunting navigation of the Zambezi River in her father's canoe, this Sandi Toksvig-style memoir is, as one would expect and hope, packed full of surprises.   

A funny and moving trip through memories, musings and the many delights on the Number 12 route, Between the Stops is also an inspiration to us all to get off our phones, look up and to talk to each other because, as Sandi says, 'Some of the greatest trips lie on our own doorstep'.

©2019 Sandi Toksvig (P)2019 Hachette Audio UK

What listeners say about Between the Stops

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Marvellous listening

Rarely has a book reduced me to tears of laughter, joy and sorrow. Very easy listening, and one I will return to several times.

12 people found this helpful

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Thank You Sandi

Thank you for the giggles, thank you for the trivia, thank you for the history lessons and most of all, thank you for the food for thought. You are a gift to readers, listeners and viewers everywhere

9 people found this helpful

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Fabulously quirky

I really loved this book. It was written in a very clever and interesting way. I felt I learned about Sandy but so also learned about London in equal measures. It has a feminist thread running through it, but only in as much to make you question the way things are. A brilliantly light hearted read. I now want to make Sandy my new best friend.

4 people found this helpful

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Not as funny as I hoped.

informative, if not a little bit whiney in places. More a history of London.

3 people found this helpful

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Delightful, like having an open chat

Not the usual style of autobiography, but this is Sandi Toksvig, after all. I loved it. A delightful combination of historical trivia with her own life story, told openly and honestly. I wanted to give her a friendly hug at the end.

3 people found this helpful

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Entertainingly curmudgeonly.

Gives Bill Bryson a run for his money in the "entertaining anecdotes which repeatedly take hard turns into grumbling" stakes. if you're straight, white or male (or, god forbid, all three) then expect to be berated about once every four minutes.

2 people found this helpful

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An Absolute Read

Sandi Toksvig narrates her amazing book. It's Funny, Moving, Touching and Totally inspirational. Her journey on the number 12 bus and in her life has open my eyes to history and to at times the cruelty of others towards Sandi and anyone who is differnt from the expected Norm. Sandi s passion shines from the page. Her humour as it pops from the page or through her narration will have you hooting with laughter. A book that is definitely a keeper and one I would read again!!! I would Love to Read/Hear another book from Sandi Toksvig xx

2 people found this helpful

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A very pleasant journey

I loved being on that bus with Sandi! it was a fascinating journey both through London and its history and with Sani and her history. What a clever way of telling her story. I really enjoyed listening to her as well her voice is full of expression and kept me hooked throughout! not always the case with some narrators. I admit to a little tear at the end !

2 people found this helpful

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Clever, full of facts and so so human.

So Sandi is one of those National Treasures. She is clever, witty and her passion for facts and history drew me to this book. Her trips on the 12 are full of facts about her fellow citizens past and those sitting next to her. Her desire to advance and indeed to remember women on an equal level with men shines through as does her belief in the goodness of humanity. She has researched and indeed presented her facts with a quick and quirky but interesting way of storytelling. I read could not put it down.

2 people found this helpful

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i wanted to like it but depressing tone

I liked the set up of bus ride but felt there was a better way to express on what had to be a fascinating life so far. Overall felt it rather depressing tone repeatedly. Her ppints are important and valid and I am not wanting to downplay the femenist issue but it was constant. interesting but not a cheerful read unfortunately.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Steve Killingback
  • 05-01-20

Funny, interesting and enlightening. A must listen.

Loved listening to Sandi’s thoughts, memories and experiences, particularly as they relate to London. I learned a lot about this amazing city as well as about Sandi, one of my favorite entertainers.

2 people found this helpful

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  • John S.
  • 29-12-19

Can only speak for myself

I don't often have love-hate relationships with books, but this one, yes. I had no idea who the author was when I dropped a credit on the audiobook; summary sounded good, and I liked the sample. Afterwards, I've decided that the premise was sound, with top-notch writing, but the execution of the material failed me. To put it bluntly, ripping off the Band Aid (Elastoplast): memoir, history and current events were poorly integrated, with the heavy-handed feminism tiring rather than effective. Can't recommended it, not sorry I bought it. Already a fan, grab it! If not, Your Mileage May Vary!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 22-02-20

Excellent

The only thing I disliked about this book is that it had to end. The snippets of history, interspersed with interesting stories of Ms. Toksvig's life was excellent. I loved that it wasn't a memoir of just about the high points of her life and career but it had her unique perspective on many different points. She certainly has had many interesting experiences and listening to her read the book was just as if she where telling anecdotes at a great party.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 19-02-20

Wonderful Read

I'll keep it simple, listen to this book. It's well worth a credit. Do it.

1 person found this helpful

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  • word.lover
  • 13-01-20

Sandy Delivers From the beginning, I felt wrapped

From the beginning I felt wrapped up in Sandy's voice. I'm familiar with some of her television work, which is outstanding. Her story is fascinating, and she's a role model for all women.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Tracey
  • 05-01-20

Part History, Part Biography, Lot of Feminism

I became acquainted with Sandi Toksvig from the Great British Baking Show. I thought she was an interesting woman, and wanted to find out more about her. I knew she was a lesbian and was married to her partner, from Wikipedia but I wanted to know more. I searched on Audible and found this gem. She narrates this from her view on riding her city bus from home to work. She talks about the history of the little towns and villages she passes, and is always wondering why more women are not mentioned in the UK history. She is a great narrator, and she is easy to listen to. I will be recommending this book to anyone who is a fan of the Great British Baking Show or who loves history.

1 person found this helpful

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  • KjHurley82
  • 11-11-19

delightful!

loved it! I read mostly on my commute, but I couldn't put this down and finished it in a week (fast when you normally get about 90 min to listen per day). considering I read it mostly on my commute, it really did feel like I was sitting next to her as she told her story. truly, an enjoyable book.

1 person found this helpful

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  • RWS
  • 02-11-19

Brilliant, Touching and Funny

A tremendous read / listen .... I laughed out loud and shed a tear, what more can you ask for?

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-08-20

Lovely and inspiring!

A lovely and inspiring autobiography by a marvellous person! Sandi's way of telling her life story is as fascinating and unique as the story itself. Instead of listing crucial occurrences and adventures from birth till present, she take us with her on a bus ride. On the top of the number 12 bus, from home to work. On the way, she tell us the history of the London neighbourhoods and streets we pass. I especially appreciate that she has done her very best to find and present the history of the women connected to these areas. As the genius storyteller she is, she weave the historical events together with her own history, and create a most illuminating tapestry. My only critique is that I would have wanted more Sandi, but that is just me being greedy.

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  • Susannah 111
  • 26-07-20

A Great Travel Companion

What a pleasure to ride along with accomplished Sandi Toksvig on the Number 12 Bus through London. She's not only a fount of (often amusing) local history; what she shares of her own history as a student, a performer, and a feminist is also engaging. I only wished the bus continued rolling along, with Sandi sharing her trenchant observations and memories from her preferred seat.