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Summary

Penguin presents the audiobook edition of The Dreams of Bethany Mellmoth written and read by William Boyd.

A philandering art dealer tries to give up casual love affairs - seeking only passionate kisses as a substitute. A man recounts his personal history through the things he has stolen from others throughout his life. A couple chart the journey of their five-year relationship backwards, from awkward reunion to lovelorn first encounter. And, at the heart of the book, a 24-year-old young woman, Bethany Mellmoth, embarks on a yearlong journey of wishful and tentative self-discovery.

The Dreams of Bethany Mellmoth depicts the random encounters that bring the past bubbling to the surface, the impulsive decisions that irrevocably shape a life and the endless hesitations and loss of nerve that wickedly complicate it. These funny, surprising and moving stories are a resounding confirmation of Boyd's powers as one of our most original and compelling storytellers.

©2017 William Boyd (P)2017 Penguin Books Ltd.

What listeners say about The Dreams of Bethany Mellmoth

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

Get on with the next one!

.....love WB, even better when read by him, the unspent letters chapter could not have been done better, v funny.

If I could remember them my vocabulary would be greatly expanded, but even though I can't recall all the Lovely rounded mouthfuls of words, especially the vitriolic ones, I love hearing them.

This is an odd format, some stories linked most not, still Loads of lovely characters - good job none as so boring as to have to get jobs on the checkout at Sainsbury's.

Can't wait for the next one - crack on William.

4 people found this helpful

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Shards of life from the almost famous and might have been rich

William Boyd plays with form again, this time stretching the short story with teasing interrelationships. Almost all of the stories stand alone as satisfying dishes forming a bigger whole. It’s a bit like a tasting menu in a Michelin restaurant. Just ever so slightly pretentious but so classy and clever that you can easily forgive the showy in jokes.
Bethany is a tragic masterpiece in personal chaos but personally I liked the Shakespearean tragic fall of the man who should have stuck to kissing.
Almost every one of these stories is a beautiful funny and tasty dish worthy of Heston at his best.

4 people found this helpful

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Flawless Small Diamonds

These beautifully crafted stories stand alone as
clear evidence of Boyd’s mastery of the form. Moreover they are hugely entertaining and in several I can also see glimpses of what they might have been in longer form ie full novels.
However, nothing is flabby here and sometimes less is more. In this case less is perfect.
‘Unsent Letters’ is brilliant and totally comes alive when read. Left me wanting more which is always a good sign. Thank you Mr B.

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  • JT
  • 05-01-18

Is this a collection of short stories, or a series of abandoned novels?

Some interesting characters created and absorbing plots embarked upon, but I was left feeling....
Yes, that’s exactly my point!

1 person found this helpful

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Joy?

This was one of the rare books that I did not finish. Part 1 ‘did for me’ given the depiction of so many unpleasant characters. Why spend time with them? Added to that is the feeling I sometimes get that William Boyd is visiting from an earlier time and took tea with Princess Margaret. ‘The Road not Taken’ was my favourite piece; neat, telling, ironic, and the ‘what might have been’. After the seven pieces of Part 1, that was enough for me. With no incentive from Part 1, I simply did not want to invest the time in the two longer pieces. Sorry. William Boyd’s own narration of the book is very well managed and it was so good to hear this author taking the time to do it.

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Superb short stories perfectly narrated by the author

Several short stories and two longer multi-part ones (which I thought were the best). William Boyd narrates them perfectly with his light Scottish accent. He should narrate his latest book “Trio” himself! I have read and/or listened to almost all his books with great enjoyment, but couldn’t get past the sample of his latest due to the narrator’s voice.

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awful

this seemed to be a set of stories and half stories thrown together with a few tenuous connections. I have really enjoyed William Boyd's books in the past, but not this one

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Thank you Mr Boyd

What a treat to have William Boyd read his superb stories. I wish there were more

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Variety and More

Lots of variety in this collection and the short stories are nicely counterbalanced by two longer stories that I particularly enjoyed. it was first William Boyd short story experience (I've read all his novels) and it won't be my last.