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Summary

Over 60 years after Virginia Woolf drowned in the River Ouse, Olivia Laing set out one midsummer morning to walk its banks, from source to sea. Along the way, she explores the roles that rivers play in human lives, tracing their intricate flow through literature, mythology, and folklore.

Lyrical and stirring, To the River is a passionate investigation into how history resides in a landscape - and how ghosts never quite leave the places they love.

©2019 Olivia Laing (P)2019 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about To the River

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

Wonderful book Terrible narrator

A wonderful, intelligent and original book, read by a robot (or so it seems) who insists on pronouncing and emphasizing every sy-lla-ble. Like the early days of speaking computers. I don’t understand why the publisher or author allowed this.

9 people found this helpful

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The Narration Isn’t Good

I’m sorry to say this, but the narration is really off-putting and makes the listen quite hard going and unenjoyable. Monotone and robotic intonation. Please re-record with a different narrator because the book itself is wonderful.

7 people found this helpful

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Why why choose this narrator!?

I cannot understand why, when Zara Ramm does such a Superb job of narrating the lonely city, that Kate Reading is chosen for the rest of Laing’s books. I find her narration so peculiar it’s hard to listen to. Like it’s been run though auto tune. I had to send it back although I love Laing’s work. Sad times.

7 people found this helpful

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A flowing narrative

Other reviewers have said they didn’t like the narrator, but I found the narration to have a beautiful cadence—tumbling along like a meandering river. I enjoyed the landscapes of the walk, the storytelling, and the weaving in of Virginia Woolfs life and death.

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loved it

I was nearly put off by the negative reviews about the narration, I'm glad I wasn't. The reader has a fine relaxing voice, just has exact annunciation, nothing wrong with that!
A combination of fascinating history, a bit if travel. literature, nature. Enjoy!

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Superb, Scintillating

What a great book! An unpromising subject woven into a fascinating tapestry of history, geography and canals. Off now to read some Virginia Woolf!

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  • Bobbe Nunes
  • 04-09-20

Virginia Woolf Serves as a Walking Companion

The beautiful writing is perfectly matched with the beautiful voice. The experience is completely captivating.

3 people found this helpful

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  • MiscElaineousCO
  • 15-11-20

So much beneath the surface

This is one of the most lovely books I’ve ever read. There is so much more here than can be contained in a cover blurb—or in any reader review. First rate narration elevates this gorgeous prose.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Reader
  • 28-10-21

Which English?

I’m flabbergasted to hear this reader, with her mesmerizing voice and British English pronunciation of what is obviously a British English text, read some words and expressions as if American. Very puzzling. For example, dates are read without the (perhaps unwritten but definitely colloquial “th”) and “noughty” years without their “and”. And “sYmultaneous” - nails screeching down a blackboard!