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Summary

Penguin presents the audiobook edition of Reasons to Be Cheerful, by Nina Stibbe. 

Eighteen-year-old Lizzie Vogel finds herself a new job in a dentist's surgery after answering a classified advert in the Leicester Mercury for a 'mature lady with a strong interest in dental issues'. Working for an eccentric dental surgeon who's obsessed with becoming a Freemason, Lizzie's life is uneventful until Andy Nicolello turns up one day to deliver a crown. Lizzie seizes her chance to find love and soon begins calling him her boyfriend even though they have never so much as kissed or even sat next to each other on the sofa. But Andy doesn't turn out to be quite what he seems.... 

Reasons to be Cheerful is a painfully funny account of life as a hapless teenager in 1970s Leicestershire from the best-selling author of Love, Nina; Man at the Helm; and Paradise Lodge.

©2019 Nina Stibbe (P)2019 Penguin Books Ltd

What listeners say about Reasons to Be Cheerful

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  • Overall
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3rd book in the Lizzie Vogel series

I didn’t realise that I had begun this series with book 2, so I now have Man at the Helm to look forward to as a prequel! If, like me, you enjoyed Paradise lodge, you will enjoy catching up with Lizzie and the cast of very colourful secondary characters. A gentle and nostalgic read, bitter sweet with some really funny moments that genuinely had me chuckling aloud. A slightly lack lustre ending but over all a very entertaining listen, I hope there is more to come from Lizzie and Co in the future. I must mention the wonderfully talented narrator Gemma Whelan, she’s an absolute pleasure to listen to.

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A pleasant book that goes nowhere

Very well narrated by Gemma Whelan, listening is a nice way of passing the time. The story of an adolescent in Leicester in the late 1970s transitioning from childhood has echoes to which most of us can relate. However the book has a rather limp and somewhat improbable finale. For me a woke sub-plot of a white male dentist refusing to treat an Asian teenage woman on the NHS because of her colour was a continued drag throughout because it only partially reflects life back then. My recollection of working with a young Asian woman in the late 1970s is that her family denied her the ability to socialise with white colleagues by rigidly collecting her from work at 5.00pm every day. However the author's wokery fits the current fashionable narrative and in consequence some will find it quite acceptable.

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wonderful escapism both insightful and hilarious,

loved loved loved this - laugh out loud funny, clever observations about human behaviour. brilliant.

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Going out with a bang

This is the final book in the trilogy. It does not disappoint and it does not lose momentum and charts Lizzie‘s further adventures in life, this time as an assistant to a horrible dentist. It is a book full of hope, good humour and Leicestershire. It is superbly read by Gemma Whelan.

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Great book

Great book light hearted but a good read
Very well read easy listening looking forward to the next book

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Hilarious and moving

Really enjoyed this, great performance, lovely story with great characters, I loved listening to this.

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  • AA
  • 20-09-20

Perfect! Nina Stibbe does it again!!

Just a wonderful book and a continuation of the life of Lizzie and wonderfully narrated too! I have loved all of Nina's books, This book will make you laugh out loud and also cry... Highly recommended and i am downloading the next book now! Perfect for anyone in my age range (46) as it mentions quote a lot of stuff from the 80's and brings back memories of the highs and lows and growing up. Just perfect - a real tonic. Massive thanks to Nina Stibbe! Please keep writing!

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A tonic during Lockdown

Excellent narration bringing the characters to life once again. More is revealed about the Vogel family and Lizzy's s dental exploits are fascinating. Having grown up in Leicester during the time period of the novel, it's a trip down memory lane. I'm sure I know that dental practice!

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Gutted. Terribly disappointing

I read a lot of reviews of this book before I chose it. It appeared to have universal praise. And not just normal high praise. People (I'm talking about 'names' here. Well known people. Writers & journalists) absolutely raved about it. The reviews make you think it'll be funny...
I loved Dear Nina. I really like Nina Stibbe when I read her or hear her in interviews.
So it shocked me that this book was so very unfunny and the characters unlikeable. The dialogue did not ring true at all.
Which brings me on to the narration...
Gemma Whelan is a very fine actress.
Her narration of this book is awful. Her voice and accent really didnt work. Far too posh.
This book was a book club choice.
Only a couple of us finished it. One person thought "it was okay." The rest of us disliked it.
Such a waste of a credit.

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loved it

loved it. great characters. funny and witty and heart warming. highly recommend you download it

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  • Gretchen
  • 09-04-19

Delightful!

Reasons to be Cheerful was a pleasure to listen to! The quirky characters made me laugh, and the main character I found endearing and easy to love. The story was well written, often humorous, and carried an important message without being preachy. Gemma Whelan's narration only added to the fun. I look forward to more books by Nina Stibbe and hopefully narrated by Gemma Whelan.

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  • LynnInColorado
  • 31-05-21

Cleverly humorous.

This author was mentioned in the New York Times and I’m so glad to have listened to all her books so far.

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  • Quinn
  • 24-06-20

Somewhat disappointing.

As much as I enjoy and appreciate British storytelling, this book is not what the summary hints toward. It isn’t bad, but just okay. Gemma’s performance is great.

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  • Dorothy Quinn
  • 05-09-19

Charming

I read the review in the NYT and was intrigued. What a charming girl. I’m a sucker for quirky families and loved Lizzie. Laughing out loud while driving is the best barometer for a good book