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Small Island Audiobook

Small Island

Regular Price:£19.99
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Publisher's Summary

Small Island by best-selling author Andrea Levy won the Orange Prize for Fiction, as well as many other awards, including the Commonwealth Writers' Prize and the Whitbread. Now a major BBC drama starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Naomie Harris, its enduring appeal will captivate fans of Maya Angelou and Zadie Smith.

It is 1948, and England is recovering from a war. But at 21 Nevern Street, London, the conflict has only just begun. Queenie Bligh's neighbours do not approve when she agrees to take in Jamaican lodgers, but Queenie doesn't know when her husband will return, or if he will come back at all. What else can she do?

Gilbert Joseph was one of the several thousand Jamaican men who joined the RAF to fight against Hitler. Returning to England as a civilian he finds himself treated very differently. It's desperation that makes him remember a wartime friendship with Queenie and knock at her door.

Gilbert's wife Hortense, too, had longed to leave Jamaica and start a better life in England. But when she joins him she is shocked to find London shabby, decrepit, and far from the golden city of her dreams. Even Gilbert is not the man she thought he was....

©2004 Andrea Levy (P)2015 Headline Publishing Group Ltd

What the Critics Say

"Wonderful...seamless...a magnificent achievement." (Linda Grant)
'A great read...honest, skilful, thoughtful and important.' (Guardian)

"A cracking good read.... I think what appealed to me most was the passion and anger in the writing all the way through, yet it was always leavened with a particularly wry sort of humour - the sort that, tho' you find yourself smiling, you at the same time realise you almost shouldn't be." (Margaret Forster)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.6 (137 )
5 star
 (98)
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Overall
4.6 (123 )
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Story
4.7 (124 )
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3 star
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2 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Dolly 01/10/2015
    Dolly 01/10/2015 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    "A breath taking saga."

    I loved this audio book. I had chosen the book for my book group so listened to it after I'd read it.
    I got so much more from it by doing this.
    I was born in 1940 so was just a baby during the war and this was a real eye opener for me.
    If ever Andrea Levy tires of writing she could surely earn a living with her talent for narrating!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    stylo 09/06/2016
    stylo 09/06/2016 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excellent!"
    If you could sum up Small Island in three words, what would they be?

    Worth reading again.


    What other book might you compare Small Island to, and why?

    Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. This book also gave me insight into another culture.


    Which character – as performed by Andrea Levy – was your favourite?

    Andrea Levy was superb in every role, but I particularly enjoyed Gilbert and Hortense. Some of their conversations are hilarious!


    Any additional comments?

    I highly recommend this book and will certainly read it again.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mr Sutton Coldfield, United Kingdom 18/05/2016
    Mr Sutton Coldfield, United Kingdom 18/05/2016 Member Since 2016
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    "A lovely easy to follow story"

    I found this a very enjoyable book to listen to, easy to follow with only a few key characters. The story develops over time in a very elegant way.

    The narrator (also the author) was excellent.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MAGGS Port Talbot 17/11/2017
    MAGGS Port Talbot 17/11/2017 Member Since 2014
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    "Small Island - good storytelling 3 stars is good rating"

    Small Island - good storytelling 3 stars is good rating
    Fascinating story very entertaining
    Good narration

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mrs 01/11/2017
    Mrs 01/11/2017 Member Since 2014
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    "a good read
    "

    another take on peoples lives during the war. sometimes funny and but very moving.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Abby 31/10/2017
    Abby 31/10/2017 Member Since 2017
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    "Entertaining read"

    This was my first audiobook and though Levy's novel is quite a long listen, I found it very pleasant to listen to and props to the narrator who could shift between the voices smoothly so that you know which character is currently speaking. Would recommend this book to anyone who likes The Help

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ova 24/10/2017
    Ova 24/10/2017
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    "A Fantastic Period Book"

    I loved Small Island. It is so bold, witty and engaging. A must-read for anyone in Britain I think..
    The book itself is amazing however I didn't like the narration.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anonymous 21/08/2017
    21/08/2017 Member Since 2016
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    "Brilliant view of multi-cultural life in Britain after WW2"

    Stunning-sorry I hadn't found it earlier. Definitely worth listening to again. Thank you for the 'mirror'

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Molly 24/07/2017
    Molly 24/07/2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Thought provoking"

    Slow start but stick with it. Such a shameful part of the English psyche wonderfully exposed by this gripping story of human frailty and prejudice.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Annie 19/05/2017
    Annie 19/05/2017
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    "Love this book!!"

    Small Island is well written & brilliantly set. Andrea wrote & read it well!

    All characters are well penmed!

    Read it for yourself!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Bob Gibson
    Toronto, ON Canada
    09/11/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Terrific narration, compelling story"

    I don't generally write reviews, but this performance merits special notice. Andrea Levy, the author of this compelling story, is a first-rate narrator, presenting her several characters and accents with convincing accuracy. The dialogue is natural and engaging, and her Jamaican characters are voiced with the full musicality of their language. A real listening pleasure!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lydia
    Melbourne, Australia
    20/07/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fabulous Story with Excellent Narration"
    Where does Small Island rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Close to the top. The story is captivating.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I enjoyed the fact that the story is narrated by several different characters, each with a unique, and, at times, quite comical, perspective.


    What about Andrea Levy’s performance did you like?

    Ms. Levy breathed life into each quirky, fascinating character. She performed different accents extremely well.


    If you could rename Small Island, what would you call it?

    The Clash Echoes.


    Any additional comments?

    I strongly recommend this nook.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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