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Summary

The narrator is one Mrs. Hawkins. She writes from Italy, a far cry from Kensington indeed, taking us back to her threadbare years in postwar London. As a young, rather fat war-widow she spent her days working for a crazy, almost bankrupt publisher; and her nights offering advice from her boarding-house in South Kensington. In both locations, our heroine soon uncovered difficulties: shady literary dealings; anonymous letters, blackmail, and even suicide. Whilst Mrs. Hawkins innocently, confidently put about setting things right, she could little imagine the ensuing mayhem and consequences. Now many decades older, thinner, and pleased with her situation in Italy, Mrs. Hawkins reflects on all those dark happenings, recounting how her own life changed forever.

Narrated by Juliet Stevenson, A Far Cry from Kensington shows Muriel Spark at the mature height of her powers. Rediscover this classic on the 100th anniversary of Muriel Spark's birth.

©1988 Muriel Spark (P)2013 Canongate Books Ltd

What members say

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Really enjoyed it

I thoroughly enjoyed this audio book.
I liked the main strong female character, and how she interacted with others.
Also the reader had a lovely warm, rich voice.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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An Unexpected Pleasure

This book was a surprise and a joy to listen to. This story was interesting, thought-provoking and very clever. It was enhanced by very good narration; I enjoyed it very much

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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some writer some narrator good story.

What more could a fellow want than Muriel, Julliet and Audible. As close to heaven you'll get.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Wonderfully crafted.

Listed to this after really enjoying Prime of Miss Jean Brodie last week. Bit embarrassed I'm 45 and not read any Muriel Sparks before because her stories conjure the most wonderful visual images of the characters. Nice accents from Juliet Stephenson too.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • C
  • 10-04-18

A very good read that was very well read.

A very good read that was very well read. M S at her height.

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Vintage Muriel Spark

It vividly recalls those good/bad old days just after the war. It’s a rollicking good story too, with a wicked twist to end up with.

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an absolute joy

brilliant story artfully performed - perfect to accompany my afternoon dog walks in the woods, also a far cry from Kensington

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A boring slog in spite of Juliet Stevenson

Had never read a Muriel Spark, and won’t try another. Unamusing, repetitive, pointless, without structure, badly written and boring. However, it was evocative of the 50’s. A wonderful performance from Juliet Stevenson - wasted on such poor material.

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Spark flies

What the hell just happened? - you may think at the end. It does not matter so much. The pleasure is mostly in Spark’s idiosyncratic narrative voice, full of surprising turns and dry observations with the occasional devastating image.

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Made me smile from start to finish

I loved this book, all the characters and the brilliant narration by Juliet Stevenson. It was quite hilarious in parts, a bit like a female version of lucky Jim. I love Muriel Spark’s writing I’m going to read all of her books now. I shall remember Mrs Hawkins’ pearls of wisdom for years to come!