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Summary

Trapped in a London flat, Beth remembers a transgressive love affair in 1960s Paris. The most famous writer in Russia takes his last breath in a stationmaster’s cottage, miles from Moscow. A father, finally free of his daughter’s demands, embarks on a long swim from his Canadian lakeside retreat. And in the grandest house of all, Danni the Polish housekeeper catches the eye of an enigmatic visitor.

Rose Tremain awakens the senses in this diverse collection of short stories. In her precise yet sensuous style, she lays bare the soul of her characters – the admirable, the embarrassing, the unfulfilled, the sexy and the adorable – to uncover a dazzling range of human emotions and desires.

Rose Tremain best-selling novels have won many awards, including the Orange Prize (The Road Home), the Whitbread Novel of the Year (Music & Silence), the James Tait Black Memorial Prize and the Prix Femina Etranger (Sacred Country). Restoration was short-listed for the Booker Prize in 1989 and made into a film in 1995. Her short story, "Moth", was also filmed (as the award-winning Ricky) by François Ozon in 2009. Her most recent novel, Trespass, was a Richard and Judy Bookclub Choice. Rose Tremain was made a CBE in 2007 and was appointed Chancellor of the University of East Anglia in 2013. She lives in Norfolk and London with the biographer, Richard Holmes.

©2014 Rose Tremain (P)2014 Audible Studios

What members say

Average customer ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jo
  • milton keynes UK
  • 03-01-15

Stunning variety

The most amazing variety of stories, voices, themes. The readers (and producer) do good by. great writers short stories.
I highly recommend this collection

9 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • MHK
  • Derby, UK
  • 20-07-15

Eclectic collection.

Where does The American Lover rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

The first collection of short stories I've listened to and whilst you don't get the suspense and anticipation of a novel this book makes for easy listening with some great character work.

Which character – as performed by the narrators – was your favourite?

Undoubtedly the station master in the last days of Leo Tolstoy.

Any additional comments?

I guess in any collection of short stories there will be some you prefer to others. It is interesting that the author has developed the characters of some of the storied really well whilst in others you hardly know them when the story has ended. Overall an enjoyable listen

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Nike
  • Devon
  • 03-01-17

Fascinating

Very well written short stories about real life. Well done and well read by all. Thank you.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Too literary for me

I like the idea of listening to short stories, but I find this collection rather stuffy and dry. I can't tell if it's the writing or the performances. Some of the stories are too short to really get into. I think I'd prefer something with a little more humour, a little less "literary".

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  • L
  • London, United Kingdom
  • 13-08-16

Highly recommended book of short stories

Rose Tremain at her best and beautifully read by all especially Juliet Stevenson. Read after enjoying Rose Tremain's latest book Gustave Sonata which she discussed at Hay Festival

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Fun short stories

These stories are all quite different. Enjoyable for their variety, it is also good to hear different narrators in one recording - makes for an interesting change of voice if you are listening to more than one story in succession. But of course you don't have to keep going to the next chapter when you should really be doing something else!

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Chris
  • WEST BYFLEET, United Kingdom
  • 01-11-15

short stories ?

This was a good listen but most of the stories just ended without a proper conclusion.
After a while I waited for them to just stop.
Out of all the short stories maybe 3 were very good.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Dreadful waste of time

If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

Stories started off interesting but all left in the lurch. Totally pointless@

Would you ever listen to anything by Rose Tremain again?

There were several readers and the issue was never with them. The stories were lame and a waste of time. Can't blame the readers for taking the opportunity to work and make a living.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Not at all.

Any additional comments?

Rubbish. Utter waste of time and money.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

At least it wasn't boring

It is always difficult to review a book full of short stories because by its very nature it is diverse andtherefore inconsistent because there are new characters coming and going all the time. however the stories in this colletion are quite good. Some are better than others but all of them have atmosphere and drama. All of them are true to life under certain circumstances and dictated by events. Some of the characters are weak and some are stronger. Some are manipulative and get away with it and all of them have a love theme running through them from different angles. Some are better written than others and some can be related to better than the rest. Overall though at least the book wasn't boring.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Cariola
  • 05-02-15

Mixed Bag (but the good stories are really good)

I am a fan of Rose Tremain and was really looking forward to this new collection of short stories, but for me, overall, it disappointed. I give her credit for focusing on a wide variety of characters, time periods, and settings, and for her very fine dialogue. But I've come to the conclusion that Tremain is at her best writing historical fiction. In fact, two of the stories that delve into that genre are perhaps the best in the collection. "The Jester of Astapovo" begins as the story of an unhappily married stationmaster's desire to have an affair with an older woman and ends telling the story of Leo Tolstoy's last days, dying in the stationmaster's cottage. It's by far the best of these stories. "The Housekeeper" is narrated by the woman who served as the model for Mrs. Danvers; she has a haunting affair with novelist Daphne du Maurier.

"The American Lover"--a woman looks back on a doomed love affair.

"Extra Geography"--Two schoolgirls decide to fall in love with someone. anyone, the next person they see: their female geography teacher, a middle-aged New Zealander.

"A View of Lake Superior in the Fall"--A Nashville couple retires to the North.

"Man in the Water"--A young woman swears she saw a man in the water that no one else saw.

"Juliet Greco's Black Dress"--a young woman models herself after Juliet Greco.

"Smithy"--An old man tried to move a stained mattress that has been thrown on the road.

"BlackBerry Winter"--A daughter deals with her ailing, cranky mother over the holidays.

"Lucy and Gaston"--Conversation between a long-married couple in which Gaston recalls his father's wartime death in a typhoon.

"The Closing Door"--After Worrld War II, widow Marjorie struggles with sending her daughter Patience to boarding school at her in-laws' insistence.

"21st Century Juliet"--Aristocratic Juliet records events in her diary, including her relations with her parents and her passionate affair with an Eastern European construction worker.

These are the kind of stories in which not a lot happens outside of the characters, but quite a lot goes on inside them and within their dialogue. If you care about the main character, this works; if you don't, it doesn't.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful