Listen free for 30 days

£7.99/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime

Summary

Brought to you by Penguin. 

The Panic Years: something between adolescence and menopause, a personal crisis, a transformation.

The panic years can hit at any time but they are most commonly triggered somewhere between the ages of 25 and 40. During this time, every decision a woman makes - from postcode to partner, friends to family, work to weekends - will be impacted by the urgency of the one decision with a deadline, the one decision that is impossible to take back: whether or not to have a baby.

But how to stay sane in such a maddening time?

How to understand who you are and what you might want from life?

How to know if you're making the right decisions?

Raw, hilarious and beguilingly honest, Nell Frizzell's account of her panic years is both an arm around the shoulder and a campaign to start a conversation. This affects us all - women, men, mothers, children, partners, friends, colleagues - so it's time we started talking about it with a little more candour. 

©2019 Nell Frizzell (P)2019 Penguin Audio

Critic reviews

"Every millennial woman should have it on her bookshelf." (Pandora Sykes, journalist and cohost of The High Low Podcast)

"Vital reading. Nell Frizzell is a master." (Rob Delaney, cowriter and costar of Catastrophe)

What listeners say about The Panic Years

Average customer ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    38
  • 4 Stars
    7
  • 3 Stars
    3
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    2
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    35
  • 4 Stars
    3
  • 3 Stars
    3
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    1
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    31
  • 4 Stars
    4
  • 3 Stars
    6
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    1

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

A hard one to review

If you're going through the Panic Years yourself, this is a really difficult listen. It induces further panic and I think it should be made much clearer that it's ONE WOMAN'S very normative experience, rather than a book which delves in detail into the science, media, accepted norms and expectations which elicit such panic. The book never purports to represent anything other than the writer's view, hence why I say it's a hard one to review, but in it's cover copy, presentation and the way it is written, it does give off the impression that it will look more widely at the panic years from an objective point of view. Instead half the book is taken up with covering the writer's relationship, pregnancy and experience with a child, which is fairly triggering for the target audience. Small point, but perhaps it could have done with bringing in more and differing opinions, rather than just recounting conversations with mates - all of whom seem to also be writers - which reinforced the writer's, and therefore the listener's, sense of panic and failure. Basically it left me feeling more like a failure, more panicked, more scared that I might lose the opportunity to have something I don't even know I want, and more sad that the world has made late 20's - mid 30 something women like me feel this way than before I started the book. So it's effective, but not comfortable. Or possibly what women seeking to understand their panic need.

1 person found this helpful

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

Just what I needed.

I absolutely loved it, I really resonated with a lot of the story and it was nice to not feel completely alone, especially being 30 and now only thinking about the Flux! I'm not obsessed with your podcast now too. Thank you so much.

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

amazing

so glad I read this book. I think everyone should have to study it at school!

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

got a bit boring

It started off well and it does touch on some good points but then it was just about her life and her pregnancy/life with a baby - which I think in itself would be triggering for the supposed audience. by the end I found it really difficult to listen too in places. I also found the book full of privilege so found it hard to relate too.

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

What a way with words!

If you've ever had uncertainties or ever been in your 20s, you'll find a lot to empathise with here. The author is persuasive in her thesis and the anecdotes she uses to illustrate it are so vivid, funny and wonderfully observed: I just loved every superbly delivered sentence. This memoir of a young life crescendos with begetting another life. Maybe a future volume will share how that new life is shaped. I do hope so. More please Nell!

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

Insightful & entertaining

This was a beautifully thoughtful, well researched, funny book with some moments of absolute truth that brought me to tears.

The sections on heartbreak, friendships, truths learnt in therapy and the brutal, animal nature of early motherhood were wonderful.

The author has a lovely voice and reads in an engaging way.

The last thing worth mentioning is that she seems to make an impressive amount of jumpsuits!

Highly recommended, if you’re on the fence jump off and give it a listen.

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

Really enjoyed this, especially as it was read by the author.

This took me back 20 years to age 30, very well observed and pretty intimate! Loved hearing about her family and I particularly liked the catch up at the very end- a nice touch!