Download Excellent Women Audiobook

Excellent Women Audiobook, by Barbara Pym Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Barbara Pym Narrator: Jayne Entwistle Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: March 2016 ISBN: 9781504710961
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Excellent Women is one of Barbara Pym’s richest and most amusing high comedies. This is Barbara Pym’s world at its funniest.

Mildred Lathbury is a clergyman’s daughter and a mild-mannered spinster in 1950s England. She is one of those excellent women, the smart, supportive, repressed women whom men take for granted.

As Mildred gets embroiled in the lives of her new neighbors—anthropologist Helena Napier and her handsome, dashing husband, Rocky, and Julian Malory, the vicar next door—the novel presents a series of snapshots of human life as actually, and pluckily, lived in a vanishing world of manners and repressed desires.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “[One of] the finest examples of high comedy to have appeared in England during the past seventy-five years.”

    Lord David Cecil, New York Times bestselling author

  • “Oh, happy day! One of Barbara Pym’s subtly comic novels has finally been produced in an audio version. Pym has been called heir to Jane Austen, her observations possessing a similar undercurrent of wicked irony…Jayne Entwistle delivers Mildred’s story in a proper, well-brought-up English voice—reticent, obliging, sometimes wondering—making this production a perfect joy.”

    Washington Post (audio review)

  • [Pym] is a shrewd observer of a certain kind of middle-class woman, no longer young and not quite beautiful, whom society finds it easy to overlook. And she is just as shrewd an observer of the people that these women, vigilant and perceptive, themselves observe….[in] Excellent Women, Pym’s most famous and most perfect novel.

    New York Times

  • “A startling reminder that solitude may be chosen and that a lively, full novel can be constructed entirely within the precincts of that regressive virtue, feminine patience.”

    New Yorker

  • “Her most widely admired work…Cleanly crafted…A special treat for lovers of the high, wry style.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “What stays longest with the reader once the amusement, the satire, the alert ear, and exact eye have all been acknowledged? Partly it is the underlying loneliness of life…the absence of self-pity, the scrupulousness of one’s relations with others.”

    Philip Larkin, English poet and novelist

  • A Washington Post Best Audiobook of 2016
  • A Slate Magazine Pick for the Best Audiobooks of 2016

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About the Author

Barbara Pym (1913–1980) was an English novelist educated at St Hilda’s College, Oxford. Her novels, on the surface a comedy of manners of village life, looked deeply at the relationships between men and women. When in 1977 the Times Literary Supplement (London) asked critics to name the most underrated authors of the previous seventy-five years, Barbara Pym was the only one named by two critics. After sixteen years between published novels, her Quartet in Autumn was treated as a major literary event and was short-listed for the Man Booker Prize.

About the Narrator

Jayne Entwistle is a voice talent and Earphones Award–winning narrator.