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Girl, Woman, Other

Narrated by: Anna-Maria Nabirye
Length: 11 hrs and 6 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (275 ratings)

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Summary

Brought to you by Penguin. 

Winner of the Booker Prize 2019

Teeming with life and crackling with energy, told through many distinctive voices, this novel follows the lives of 12 very different characters. 

Mostly women, black and British, they tell the stories of their families, friends and lovers, across the country and through the years. Joyfully polyphonic and sparklingly contemporary, Girl, Woman, Other is a gloriously new kind of history, a novel of our times: celebratory, ever dynamic and utterly irresistible.

©2019 Bernardine Evaristo (P)2019 Penguin Books Ltd

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Utterly terrible audio version of a good book

As a book, this is a compelling, diverting, well-crafted and beautiful story of 12 women and their twentieth and twenty-first century lives. The book itself is highly recommended. The audio, however, is not.

The actor here mispronounces so many words -- why did the audio editor or production person not tell her? She has a far smaller vocabulary than the author (who writes beautiful) and she doesn't understand the sense of many of the sentences she recites, putting the wrong expression into many clauses, pausing in odd places, generally ignoring the rhythm and meaning of the text. The mispronunciation involves removing syllables from words ('superority' for superiority, 'convality' for conviviality, and many more), inserting extra syllables ('VilINinus' for Vilnius, lustrious for 'lustrous'), and approximating unfamiliar words ('dissimating' for decimating, 'vivosity' for viscosity). She can't pronounce any of the French phrases used by the pompous professor father, making him seem dim rather than pompous, and she doesn't really differentiate voices for the characters. Her own voice is pleasant and well-produced, but she really needed input from the production team and/or author (plus more actor training). But the production team are also terrible in other ways: there is a lot of bad editing, which often leaves in the traces of stumbles in the reading or cuts them out inexpertly so the text doesn't flow. Penguin Audio presumably outsourced this recording to a small production company and didn't properly check the results--they should be derided for this since it is a serious disservice to the author of the book.

I would strongly encourage Evaristo to protest at the shoddiness of this production and demand a new recording. Her story deserves better.

84 of 92 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • S
  • 21-10-19

Too many mistakes

It was jarring each time the narrator made a mistake. She even mispronounced the word “pronunciation”. The actor and drag queen, Divine, was referred to as Diveen. Hopefully, there will be a re-recording of the book as the story was very engaging.

15 of 17 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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best book I have read in ages!<br />

Fantastic narrator and fascinating characters. Excellent book. I couldn't stop listening to it. Beautifully written too. I cannot fault it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Best audiobook of 2019

Loved this. A story that really benefited from audio format. Wide ranging with huge appeal I cried at the end partly for the emotional conclusion mostly because it was over.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Brilliant

Absolutely beautiful, moving, well written, witty, and clever. I laughed, I cried, and I was educated. What more can you ask for from a book? Fantastic.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A story that needs to be told

These intertwined tales of love and pain and life are stories that needed to be told. The words feel like they have been struggling to burst forth for generations.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Brilliant!

I wasn't sure I'd get into this book because it is essentially short stories about different women whose lives are loosely connected and there isn't really an over-arching narrative to the whole book. I needn't have worried - I LOVED it. I've not read anything by Bernadine Evaristo before but will be researching her prior novels, she writes incredibly well and I really felt I knew these characters. I'm so glad this won the Man Booker, it's very much deserved. I really recommend it. I thought the narrator was very well suited to the book and I really enjoyed listening to her. Would also like to listen to more books narrated by her.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Stylish beguiling and pacy

Stylish beguiling and pacy. Loved the way it weaved and flowed. Great story telling. More please!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Worth Listening

A very different kind of book compared to my normal list. Def worth listening, really enjoyed the witty confident writing style as well as intersecting plots. For me the book was a little overlong and the plot intersection could’ve had a little more payoff (akin to what happens in the epilogue). Overall worth the hype

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Absolutely brilliant!

A beautifully written, fantastically crafted walk through the lives of 12 black women. I will be buying this book for ALL my friends...loved it loved it loved it!!!!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Wendy
  • 19-11-19

Great novel - flaws in narration.

Great characters and story, but let down a bit by the narrator who, although she has a good quality voice, often pauses (or doesn't pause) where she should, with incorrect emphasis. Many words are mispronounced, which indicates that the narrator is not familiar with the word itself. I agree with another reviewer who says the narrator needed someone in the recording sessions to direct her performance, spot the mistakes and fix them. Surely every audiobook performance is supervised by someone other than a sound engineer? I found myself listening out for the next mistake, and the next one, But I still enjoyed the story.

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  • Ana-Maria Gavrila
  • 17-10-19

A thing of beauty...

Not a review, only to say that I definitely didn’t expect it to be as remarkable.