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Mr Tumnal

Imaginary Friends Series, Book 1
Narrated by: Robert Beadle
Length: 10 hrs and 4 mins
3 out of 5 stars (1 rating)

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Summary

Everyone has an imaginary friend. Rarely do they marry their imaginary friend. Only one has ever had their imaginary family become real.

Lewis Tumnal is a teacher of English at the county school. Quiet and uncomplicated, he lives in a big Edwardian house in the north of Wren Hoe with his wife, and a daughter of 11 years. But Lewis Tumnal and his family are the imaginary lives of Louis Tumnal, a withdrawn and lonely bachelor, ill at ease with himself and in social situations. With few friends, he goes to a night class in photography which he loves, but he keeps himself very much to himself. That is, until he meets Kathryn...

"I became invested immediately in their lives and was turning the pages frantically to see what was going to happen next...there was a lot at stake for the main characters, so I was holding my breath the entire time." (Angella Graff, author of The Judas Curse series)

©2014 T E Shepherd (P)2018 Shepline Words

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Disclaimer: I did not listen all the way through.

I bought this book because the idea intrigued me. I was slightly put off by the plethora of quotations at the beginning, one or at most two of which would have been sufficient. However, what caused me to stop listening was the narration.

It is not Mr Beadle's accent, or his tendency to confuse "th" and "f"; I admit I am not used to such turns of speech in an audiobook narrator, but I am aware of being old and old-fashioned and have learned to adapt to changing times. It is more serious than that. The book, we are told, deals with two distinct characters, named Louis Tumnal and Lewis Tumnal, a difficult device to bring off at the best of times. Unfortunately, Mr Beadle seems to use "Lewis" and "Louis" interchangeably, so that either the characters are switching places wildly and randomly, while each following a precisely parallel narrative, or there is going to be no hope of knowing which Mr Tumnal is being discussed at any given point. I could not continue on this uncertain basis, so I have with regret abandoned the book.