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Download A Far Cry from Kensington Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample A Far Cry from Kensington Audiobook, by Muriel Spark Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.45 out of 53.45 out of 53.45 out of 53.45 out of 53.45 out of 5 3.45 (11 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Muriel Spark Narrator: Pamela Garelick Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: August 2011 ISBN: 9781470801861
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Set on the crazier fringes of 1950s literary London, A Far Cry from Kensington is a delight, hilariously portraying love, fraud, death, evil, and transformation.

Mrs. Hawkins, the majestic narrator of A Far Cry from Kensington, takes us well in hand and leads us back to her threadbare years in postwar London. There, as a fat and much admired young war widow, she spent her days working for a mad, near-bankrupt publisher (“of very good books”) and her nights dispensing advice at her small South Kensington rooming house. At work and at home Mrs. Hawkins soon uncovered evil: shady literary doings and a deadly enemy; anonymous letters, blackmail, and suicide. With aplomb, however, Mrs. Hawkins confidently set about putting things to order, little imagining the mayhem that would ensue.

Now decades older, thin, successful, and delighted with life in Italy—quite a far cry from Kensington—Mrs. Hawkins looks back to all those dark doings and recounts how her own life changed forever. She still, however, loves to give advice: “It’s easy to get thin. You eat and drink the same as always, only half…I offer this advice without fee; it is included in the price of this book.”

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Wickedly and adroitly executed.”

    New York Times

  • “It follows the rules of art right down the line and illuminates the human condition, etc. But it also meets a trickier challenge, that of being superb entertainment.”

    New York Times

  • “A 1950s Kensington of shabby-genteel bedsitters, espresso bars…irradiated with the sudden glows of lyricism she can so beautifully effect.”

    Sunday Times (London)

  • “The divine Spark is shining at her brightest—pure delight.”

    Independent (UK)

  • “Outstanding.”

    Observer (London)

  • Far Cry is, among other things, a comedy that holds a tragedy as an eggcup holds an egg.”

    Philadelphia Inquirer

  • “Spark knows the wonderfully zany world of postwar-London publishing backward, her wit has never been more telling, and any book person is going to gobble this up.”

    Publishers Weekly

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 John | 4/7/2011

    " A great view into what makes life work, or not work. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ginger | 2/25/2011

    " Realized after the first few chapters that I had read it long ago as a teenager. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 'jean | 2/17/2011

    " The writing is stunning. I liked the writing from the start, wasn't too sure about the story. Then, it grew more and more interesting. I've not read anything quite like it, and I think it is still growing on me. I picked this for my book club, and may have more to say soon. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jacqueline | 1/26/2011

    " 48, British, and never read a Muriel Spark until now!
    I can't believe I've missed her, but how exciting to find a wonderful new (to me) writer that I adore. This was so good, finished it in 2 nights.
    Thanks to "Stuck in a book" blog for yet another spot on review.
    "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Connie | 11/29/2010

    " Blah!!! Book club book. There were some good things about this book but overall it just really lacked substance. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sonia | 11/14/2010

    " Lettura strana. Ho come l'impressione che sia una storia senza trama, o che quel poco di trama che c'è sia solo una scusa per poter scrivere, parlare, insomma qualcosa tipo esercizio stilistico... non so, mi ha lasciato a mani - e mente - vuote. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 jenn | 7/5/2010

    " This is a tough one to describe. Maybe imagine a thriller about witchcraft told as a comedy by a supporting character? And from her perspective, it's sort of a romantic comedy? It doesn't seem like it would work, but it does. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mary Ellen | 6/21/2010

    " told from the perspective of Mrs. Hawkins in London, who, now living a leisurely existence in Italy, looks back on her days as a young widow employed by an oddball publisher – funny) "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Laurie | 6/9/2010

    " This is a very clever read by a great British novelist whom I had never heard about before. I have another of her books and I can't wait to get started on it. Anyone who likes smart British literature will like this book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Diana | 5/17/2010

    " A bit reminiscent of Daphne du Maurier. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Starfish | 2/24/2010

    " I've added a new shelf to my virtual bookcase, just because this book is like having a nice cup of tea on a cold day -- just right, just what you need. I love the view of the publishing industry and job-hunting from the comfortable distance of a decade or so, as well as the dramas of flatting. "

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About the Author
Author Muriel Spark

Muriel Spark (1918–2006) was born in Edinburgh, Scotland. She was the author of over twenty novels, including The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, as well as critical biographies, radio plays, children’s books, poetry, and short-story collections. She was made a Dame of the British Empire in 1993 and a Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres in 1996.

About the Narrator

Pamela Garelick was born in England. She acted in fringe theater there before coming to the United States, where she has worked as a voice-over artist in television and radio and as an audiobook narrator. Now living and working in Greece, she records, translates, and edits voice-overs from all over the world as well as narrating audiobooks in a small studio in her Mediterranean garden. She also paints silk clothing, bakes for the local cafés, and teaches newcomers the Greek language.