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  • The Understudy

  • By: David Nicholls
  • Narrated by: Paul Thornley
  • Length: 10 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • 4.1 out of 5 stars (220 ratings)

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Summary

Does your life feel like a dress rehearsal? Do you long to enter the limelight and steal the show? But what do you do when you're playing second fiddle to an arrogant actor who barely knows your name? And, more importantly, what do you do when you find yourself falling in love with his wife?

©2005 David Nicholls (P)2006 W F Howes Ltd

What listeners say about The Understudy

Average customer ratings
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  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

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

Great funny Story

Would you listen to The Understudy again? Why?

Yes, very interested the whole way through and perfect for a tube book.

What did you like best about this story?

I love the acting culture and books that are based around things and places i know this was funny, witty and a good story to follow.

Which character – as performed by Paul Thornley – was your favourite?

Steve, very believable realistic and easy to follow. also i love under dog stories.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

classic under dog story set against the hard life of a west end actor.

2 people found this helpful

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

Wonderfully funny - this is a delightful listen.

I picked up the recommendation for this book from BBC Radio 4's 'A Good Read', and am very glad I did. It is painfully funny, poignant and makes wonderful (but not brutal) fun of the light and dark of celebrity, wannabe celebrity, and what living a good life means. If you need cheering up - and even if you don't - I think you might like this one very much..

1 person found this helpful

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

Easy listening, great narration, disappointing ending...

I enjoyed listening to this book. The narrator was great, playing the different characters excellently. The actual story was good, although not as strong as his others. All in all, a very good holiday read.

1 person found this helpful

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

Enjoyable exploits of an aspiring actor

I mostly enjoyed this light-hearted and at times farcical account of the understudy's gaucheness and lack of confidence leading to embarrassing scenes. The story follows a trail of disasters and missed opportunities. I felt some of the humour was laboured with scenes milked too long for laughs.
The narrator is excellent as usual

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

a slow starter but keep with it

a little slow to start but after the first couple of chapters you will be hooked.

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

Funny and Heartwarming

I really enjoyed this book more than I thought I would, as it wouldn't be my usual genre. The story itself flowed well and held my attention to the end. It is a classic underdog tale with likeable and relatable characters. The narrator was fantastic and had me laughing out loud several times, his comic timing really added to the experience for me. Overall it was a pleasant easy listen.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

So-so

Badly in need of editing and a continuity check- the character of Sophie comes across a lot older than her supposed 7/8yrs- I initially thought the author needed her to be around 7yrs old for a particular plot point but that doesn’t work either. Overall, the beginning and ending were engaging, it was just the middle where it dragged- badly. Ok read for a summer’s day but other than that, I wouldn’t bother

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

Below average

None of the characters are likeable the story is not particularly funny and the jokes are more or less predictable. This is not assisted by a mediocre narrator. I got it on offer otherwise I would have returned

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

a diverting, if not very original idea

I enjoyed this, but it was nothing new. Well performed and worth a listen. The trouble is that few of the characters are at all likeable, including the hero and love interest. Great narration though.

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

Slow start

Not as good as some of his other books but worth a listen. Well narrated.