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Extended Audio Sample Life Mask Audiobook, by Emma Donoghue Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (935 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Emma Donoghue Narrator: Donada Peters, Wanda McCaddon Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2008 ISBN: 9781415961988
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The bestselling author of Slammerkin vividly brings to life the Beau Monde of late eighteenth-century England, turning the private drama of three celebrated Londoners into a robust, full-bodied portrait of a world on the brink of revolution.

The Honourable Mrs. Anne Damer is a young widow of eccentric tastes, the only female sculptor of her time. The Earl of Derby, inventor of the horse race that bears his name, is the richest man in the House of Lords, and the ugliest. Miss Eliza Farren, born a nobody, now reigns as Queen of Comedy at Drury Lane Theatre. In a time of looming war and terrorism, of glittering spectacle and financial disasters, the wealthy liberals of the Whig Party work to topple a tyrannical prime minister and a lunatic king. Marriages and friendships stretch or break; political liaisons prove as dangerous as erotic ones, and everyone wears a mask.

Will Eliza Farren gain entry to that elite circle that calls itself the World? Can Lord Derby’s pride endure public mockery of his long, unconsummated courtship of the actress? Will Anne Damer ever silence the whispers of Sapphism that have haunted her since her husband’s death?

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Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Caitlin Jellybean | 2/20/2014

    " I love love love Emma Donoghue and this book was excellent. I love historical fiction and historical fiction with a queer plot is even better. I also love a good long book. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Christine | 2/6/2014

    " Didn't like this - didn't finish it "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Katherine | 2/4/2014

    " A great period read with some wonderful fleshing-out of historical characters skillfully intertwined with fictional ones to create a satisfying story. I want my copy back so I can re-read it. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Shasta | 1/30/2014

    " I'm giving up on this one 50 pages in -- I love everything else I've read by Emma Donoghue, but this one is boring me to tears. Excruciatingly detailed theater rehearsal and performance scenes, joined by a focus on late 18th century English politics -- just not my cup of tea. Don't get me wrong, I'm a huge fan of classic English literature and much historical fiction, but I feel absolutely no interest in these characters or their milieu. This is no page turner, that's for sure. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Anya | 1/6/2014

    " Very enjoyable novel of life in the London aristocracy in the late 18th century. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Kathy | 12/31/2013

    " This book stunk up the joint. I was so disappointed after reading Slammerkin compared to this. It is awful -- don't bother. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lucy | 12/29/2013

    " I LOVED this book about love, manners, and politics in 18th century England, in the shadow of the French Revolution...and of the Patriot Act. I know she has had a lot of popular success since Room, but I think this one may have been neglected. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carla Usery | 11/21/2013

    " This is a very well researched and immersive story of all the less admirable human characteristics, and the eventual restoration of sanity. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Karen | 11/2/2013

    " I love this book! Great historical detail, characters you can care about, makes you feel like you are there. After I read it I got to see the statue of Thalia in the National Portrait Gallery in London and just couldn't get over seeing Anne's and Eliza's names on the placard. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Margaret Cox | 9/15/2013

    " While interesting historically the book is 200 pages too long! I was disappointed with the writing style ... She took forever to tell us anything and I almost gave up! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Corrie Keevel | 6/9/2013

    " I persevered but it was pretty tough slogging ! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Xin Tian | 1/26/2013

    " I HATE THIS BOOK. Bogged down by a slow-paced narrative and the weight of too many excruciatingly well-researched historical details. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Faith | 9/11/2012

    " I skipped 250 pages in the middle of this book and was still able to discuss it with my book group. It's lovely, deeply nuanced historical fiction, but there were WAY too many names for me to keep track of. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 hoganfe handmade originals | 9/7/2012

    " Hated it! Thinnest plot & just plain dull. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Michelle | 8/31/2012

    " My second attempt to read this book, and still unable to get engaged in the story. I really loved slammerkin and was disappointed with this story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Martina | 6/15/2012

    " An excellent, gripping read. Donoghue really got into the characters and brought their lives to life. Highly recommended. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Becky | 6/12/2012

    " Very detailed - almost too detailed. Could have used a more extensive edit before going to print. Interesting to know that it's based on real historical figures and that actual written documents helped guide the story. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ann | 5/4/2011

    " engrossing story of 10 years in the life of The World -- superb characters and insight into a way of life "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Becky | 1/25/2011

    " Very detailed - almost too detailed. Could have used a more extensive edit before going to print. Interesting to know that it's based on real historical figures and that actual written documents helped guide the story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Elena | 1/17/2011

    " I picked up this book because I loved a different book by Emma Donoghue. It took me a long time to get into to it but once I was, I was hooked. The historical fiction was a fascinating glimpse into the political, artist, and social movements of the time. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Laura | 7/11/2010

    " This book was very witty and entertaining, but tended to drag quite a bit. I was also disappointed with the ending, which is why I only gave it two stars. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Karrilin | 3/30/2010

    " This was good enough to capture my interest in that the characters were well written and rich with personality. However, I thought the plot moved excruciatingly slow and the details of Georgian politics were...zzzzz.... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Elizabeth | 3/17/2010

    " It reads very much like a biography. It's not necessarily exciting but I love this period in history and it really does deal with a lot of the issues of the day from real people's imagined perspective. I think it might be a hard read for someone unfamiliar with the politics and people of the era "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 hoganfe | 2/24/2010

    " Hated it! Thinnest plot & just plain dull. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Carol | 12/1/2009

    " The first 300 pages wore me out. The last 300 plus revived me. Glad I persisted but would not recommend this in general. Would be good for Women's Studies interests and history buffs. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kris | 9/1/2009

    " slogging through... loved Slammerkin, but this is slow. Will I ever finish when so many others are sitting on the table? "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kat | 8/3/2009

    " Yeah! Another well written piece of lesbian literature. In the vein of Sarah Waters! "

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About the Author
Author Emma Donoghue

Emma Donoghue, born in Dublin in 1969, is a writer of contemporary and historical fiction whose novels include the New York Times bestseller Room, as well as the bestselling Slammerkin, The Sealed Letter, Landing, Life Mask, Hood, and Stirfry. Her story collections are The Woman Who Gave Birth to Rabbits, Kissing the Witch, and Touchy Subjects. She also writes literary history and plays for stage and radio.

About the Narrator

Wanda McCaddon (a.k.a. Nadia May or Donada Peters) has narrated well over six hundred titles for major audiobook publishers, has earned numerous Earphones Awards, and was named a Golden Voice by AudioFile magazine.