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Take Nothing with You

Narrated by: Patrick Gale
Length: 9 hrs and 39 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (123 ratings)

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Summary

From the best-selling author of A Place Called Winter comes a new novel of boyhood, coming of age, and the confusions of desire and reality. For all readers of Ian McEwan's Atonement or L P Hartley's The Go-Between.

1970s Weston-Super-Mare, and 10-year-old oddball Eustace, an only child, has life transformed by his mother's quixotic decision to sign him up for cello lessons. Music making brings release for a boy who is discovering he is an emotional volcano. He laps up lessons from his young teacher, not noticing how her brand of glamour is casting a damaging spell over his frustrated and controlling mother.

When he is enrolled in holiday courses in the Scottish borders, lessons in love, rejection and humility are added to daily practice.

Drawing in part on his own boyhood, Patrick Gale's new novel explores a collision between childish hero worship and extremely messy adult love lives.

©2018 Patrick Gale (P)2018 Headline Publishing Group Ltd

What members say

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Great start, then meandering middle and muddled end.

I like Patrick Gale’s writing a lot. When he’s on form he’s riveting. This, to me, is a curate’s egg of a story however. After a tremendous start involving an HIV positive man navigating online dating it quickly devolves into a meandering riff on cello lessons/childhood recollections before bizarrely heading up a cul de sac of nonsense about conversion therapy. In isolation any one of these topics could have made a great book, but they simply don’t hang together as a cohesive novel. And I wish he’d get a decent narrator to read his books. His voice is flat and his array of accents belie a dreadful sense of snobbery. Every working class woman sounds like some sort sex crazed Eastenders reject!

3 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Falls short of usual Gale standard

For me, as a non-musician, there was far too much technical detail. Also, I wasn’t expecting the main plot to be a sort of rite of passage of a young teenage boy.
I did not enjoy the author’s performance and thought it would have been better left to a professional actor.

1 person found this helpful

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

An enjoyable and thoughtful story

I enjoyed this tale of coming of age and the twirl between the older and younger self.
Full of learning about music and full of emotion that will ache and keep you riveted and some sex for added pleasure.
Get it, you won’t regret.

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

Oh my, this tapped nostalgic emotions.

I really enjoy Patrick Gales voice and the book felt real, growing up gay, very sexy too, and the characters and their questing to find meaning and closeness. He has a tenderness that can tell the various characters story without judgement when to say they are good or bad would be too simple — and shows not only compassion for the human condition but believable motivation. Great writing, can’t wait to download the next one.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Coming out in Weston-super-Mare

Rather good coming put story entwined with a story of developing a love of music.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Perfect storytelling

I could have done without the present-day framing, but otherwise it has some of the most beautiful writing I can remember.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Breathtaking!

A superbly authentic and empathic novel, brilliantly read by the author. Certainly the best I have "read" this year of its genre and one I am unlikely ever to forget. I suspect I will be revisiting this one more than once in the future. Surely a modern classic and certainly rewards at so many levels. Not the first I have read by Patrick Gale, but I will now be exploring many more.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Music to your ears

This book begins and ends with Eustace who, with or without his cello, somehow survived the ups and downs of life in calm and measured manner. A book which should be read twice. With Bach's cello concerto.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

I didn’t want it to end.

The best book I’ve read or listened to in ages. Patrick’s voice is sublime. I will miss Eustace, I wanted the story to go on and on. Thank you Patrick.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • TJ
  • 01-09-18

First ever audio book

i have read lots of Patrick Gales books but this was my first audio book.... a strange experience at first, but once I lost my own reading voice I got into it. in fact it's very relaxing to be read to so a new discovery.

The book is great, a well written coming of age story. Loved the central character Eustace and particularly enjoyed the chapters where the world opened up to him in Bristol.

Highly recommended!