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The Garden Party and Other Stories

Penguin Classics
Narrated by: Bonnie Wright
Length: 6 hrs and 57 mins
Categories: Classics, World Literature
4.5 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)

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Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.  

This Penguin Classic is performed by Bonnie Wright, best known for her role as Ginny Weasley in the Harry Potter films. This definitive recording includes an introduction by Lorna Sage .  

Innovative, startlingly perceptive and aglow with colour, these fifteen stories were written towards the end of Katherine Mansfield's tragically short life. Many are set in the author's native New Zealand, others in England and the French Riviera. All are revelations of the unspoken, half-understood emotions that make up everyday experience - from the blackly comic 'The Daughters of the Late Colonel', and the short, sharp sketch 'Miss Brill', in which a lonely woman's precarious sense of self is brutally destroyed, to the vivid impressionistic evocation of family life in 'At the Bay'. 'All that I write,' Mansfield said, 'all that I am - is on the borders of the sea. It is a kind of playing.'

©2019 Katherine Mansfield (P)2019 Penguin Audio

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Great Stories, not always well read

Katherine Mansfield is (arguably) the greatest short story writer in English, and this collection is some of her finest compositions, so you can be sure the content of this audiobook is very good

Bonnie Wright however, although she generally does a reasonable job, is not great in a couple of the stories. In her reading of the opener "At the Bay" it seems that she was recording without having previously read the story - in quite a few places the pace, tone or emphasis just seem wrong. And in "The Daughters of the Late Colonel" she has a very weird pronunciation of the name 'Constantia' which jars throughout and ruins what is one of Mansfield's masterpieces. There are a few other odd pronunciations of words across the whole recording.

One other point is that for some reason there is no chapter break in the recording between the first story "At the Bay" and the second "The Garden Party" -which is annoying if you want to listen to each of the stories individually.