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Extended Audio Sample Snobs: A Novel Audiobook, by Julian Fellowes Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (2,215 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Julian Fellowes, Richard Morant Narrator: Julian Fellowes Publisher: Macmillan Audio Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2005 ISBN: 9781593976545
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A Times (London) bestseller from the author of Gosford Park
Edith Lavery, the pretty daughter of an accountant, meets gossip-column favorite Charles Broughton (Earl of Broughton and heir to the Marquess of Uckfield) at Ascot. When he proposes and she accepts, does she really love him, or is she merely dazzled by his title and money?
In a tale that mixes contemporary Jane Austen with the brilliant social commentary of Gosford Park, Julian Fellowes chronicles Edith's rise and fall with twists and turns aplenty. Through the eyes of his narrator, a journeyman actor who manages to negotiate the choppy waters of snobbery and excess as he moves between the upper and middle classes, in SNOBS Fellowes gives us a delicious comedy of manners to rival Oscar Wilde at his wittiest.

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Quotes & Awards

  • Illustrated with some cherishably nasty, Gosford Park-style scenes of aristocratic point-scoring...[One] of those books one imagines being sent up to Balmoral...where it will be proclaimed divinely funny and quite amazingly true to life. The Guardian

  • Sparklingly rompish...As long as this world does still exist, Fellowes is a delectable guide to its absurdities. Sunday Times (London)
  • “Provocative, titillating, and seductive. The Spectator

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Charlotte | 2/19/2014

    " I "really liked it" because it is very Julian Fellowes. A detailed, careful study of British upper class snobbery in keeping with their long standing though evolving class system. You can see where The Dowager Countess Grantham emerged and a few other characters from Downton. He is a clever man and a good writer - but wow - the editing on my Kindle edition is terrible. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jill Holmes | 2/15/2014

    " This is a brilliant first novel from Julian Fellowes, Oscar-winner for "Gosford Park" and Emmy-winner for "Doughton Abbey". He knows the world of snobbery, English class obsession, and country-versus-city clashes. He also lives and breathes wry, English humour and makes the most of that inate skill in crafting the lives of his characters who social-climb for money, status, and the pure sport of it all. Predictably, the characters with the least "class" (in theory, at least) demonstrate the most, although several of the "ranking" members of the cast also demonstrate some nobility of action and heart by the last page. I heartily recommend this book for pure escapism but also for its sly revelations about who each one of us is, ultimately. Thank you, Author Fellowes, please keep applying pen to paper (or whatever!!!). "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jo | 2/14/2014

    " Satirical view of the English upper classes as we follow the plights of a gold digging young woman clawing her way up the social ladder. Makes me so happy to be working class! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Pooch | 2/14/2014

    " Satire of British society . Perhaps third or forth strata of self-important people and their country life in estates & manors. Edith, common but pretty, weds the passive, dim son of a very haughty mother, Lady Uckfield. Not an impressive book, but it did become more interesting as I read on. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Blair | 2/12/2014

    " Snobs was initially a pleasurably satirical and snippy read, but after numerous chapters of the seemingly endless and very tedious ins-and-outs of aristocratic society, it started to become - to employ a word used frequently in the book - dreary, and by the end I didn't care what happened. It was well-written, but suffered from the same problem as Fellowes' (superior) second novel Past Imperfect; too many digressions into intricate details of the upper echelons of the class system. Reading this, you'd be forgiven for thinking that upper middle class is the lowest of the low and not being on friendly terms with an aristocratic family is the worst thing imaginable - it's as if no life beyond this highly privileged world even exists. I know it's likely this attitude is part of the satire, but it still annoyed me. Plus the narrator is virtually invisible (we never even learn his name) and Edith isn't a sympathetic or likeable character, so it's hard to feel an attachment to anyone in the story. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 G. | 2/11/2014

    " Reads like he planned it to be a screenplay. Not a likeable character in the lot "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Suzanne | 2/7/2014

    " I wasn't sure what to expect of this novel from the creator of Downton Abbey. Set in modern-day, it didn't immediately promise the glamour and historical intrigue of his famous Edwardian series. But I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed Snobs. Like Downton, its storyline is about the British upper class, this time focusing on a "commoner" marrying into a blue-blooded family. But the book is not really driven by plot as much as it is by its finely-tuned characters. What I found myself enjoying most was the author's adept way of observing and articulating the nuances of how people talk and perform for each other. His insights on British society, class structure, and etiquette were enlightening, too. All in all, a fun insider's look at the "job" of being an English aristocrat, and the misguided hopes of those aspiring to high society. "

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

    " Wanted to like this since it's the same writer as Downton Abbey, but just didn't. The story picks up towards the end, and I enjoyed the narrator's sharp wit in places, but overall I was able to put this book down far too often and was never really excited when I picked it back up. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Patricia T. | 2/6/2014

    " The New York Times says, "When you read a book, you're lost in time. All the more reason to read Snobs. It will distract you pleasantly. It's like a visit to an English country estate: breezy, beautiful and charming." Although it got mixed reviews, I look at it as a high class British romance, with an undertone of social commentary. I loved the audio version. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Eileen | 1/28/2014

    " I have to say the resolution was pat and disappointing; the stylings of the book, in contrast, were minute and well-timed. It seems like the point of this book is not necessarily to explore and resolve the plot, but to show that the social strata and behaviors of the British gentry haven't changed for hundreds of years, and are not likely to in the near future. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rita | 1/27/2014

    " A lovely insightful novel. Has humour and feeling for the characters. Even Lady Uckfield had readeeming features as the mother trying to help her son. I highly recommend it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Johanna | 1/24/2014

    " I greatly enjoyed this glimpse inside modern day artistocracy. I love all things British and this was a modern Gosford Park. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cloie | 1/23/2014

    " These never get old. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Betsy | 1/19/2014

    " Read this for book group -- BEST way to find books one would never stumble on... This was sort of wince-inducing, but great lines of dry humor and portrayal (I guess accurate) of how class works and does not work in England. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Cecily | 1/18/2014

    " Reads like an essay or etiquette book about the upper classes, disguised as a novel. Self consciously clever and witty insights, but very unoriginal plot. First person narrator knows more of Edith's inner thoughts than makes sense. Only "enlivened" by an implausible ending. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rose | 1/17/2014

    " It's not exactly a substitute for Downton, but it's pretty entertaining. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ki Charm | 1/13/2014

    " fun romp through the lives of the upper crust "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sylvia | 1/7/2014

    " A very enjoyable read, I recommend it to fans of Downton Abby, and Pride and Prejudice. Fellowes eye for detail and ear for language is very sharp, but he's more than just style. I think Jane Austin would be please. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Pam Craven | 1/4/2014

    " Light read to pass away the day on vacation. Fans of Downton will see similarities. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ann O'Connell | 12/27/2013

    " This along with his second novel Past Imperfect are very funny and insightful books about British society a few degrees removed from the royal family. You will laugh, and both are very quick reads. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kathryn | 12/27/2013

    " Hilarious. Never dull or dry, the writing was crisp, clean and hit the spot. This American was very entertained. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rowan | 12/27/2013

    " Interesting exploration of the British caste system. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dianna | 12/23/2013

    " It was a fun cottage read, but I wouldn't say I learned anything! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Heather | 12/20/2013

    " So disappointed... I was really looking forward to reading this book, but it just kept stalling. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Dolanite | 12/13/2013

    " It was no P.G. Wodehouse. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rita | 12/8/2013

    " A lovely insightful novel. Has humour and feeling for the characters. Even Lady Uckfield had readeeming features as the mother trying to help her son. I highly recommend it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marybeth | 11/28/2013

    " What a writer. Snobs has all the qualities that made the Downton Abbey series so colorful and evocative of English aristocracy passing through a changing world. Snobs brings both pinpoint darts and kind, though rueful, understanding to the inner sanctum of great houses and titles. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Beverlyannsvoice | 10/16/2013

    " I am not British so I'm not familiar with the British jargon, this made it a little hard going from tome to time for me. I also didn't find it funny, but a little sad, and for me it was a tedious read overall. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Pooch | 9/11/2013

    " Satire of British society . Perhaps third or forth strata of self-important people and their country life in estates & manors. Edith, common but pretty, weds the passive, dim son of a very haughty mother, Lady Uckfield. Not an impressive book, but it did become more interesting as I read on. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Dolanite | 3/10/2013

    " It was no P.G. Wodehouse. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sandi | 1/30/2013

    " A light, quick comedic take on the British upper classes in the 1990s by the screenwriter of Gosford Park "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Gasuski Suski | 11/15/2012

    " Read this book since Julian Fellowes wrote Downton Abbey. It is about the different classes in the UK set in modern times. Girl meets an aristrocat and it goes from there. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Emma | 9/22/2012

    " I enjoyed this book as a peeping-tom enjoys...well...peeping. Having the rare opportunity to see how high society really works - quite relieved really to be an outsider. Quite eye-opening at times and realising that our class system is a strong as ever even in these modern times. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lynne | 9/12/2012

    " Like candy for dinner. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Charlene | 9/5/2012

    " I couldn't seem to get into this book and because I didn't get it finished in time for book club, I set it aside. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joe | 8/15/2012

    " This really is the best telling of the "romance of the century" if you can read between the lines. City girl marries country squire. And the rest, as they say, is history. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Liene | 8/12/2012

    " Wanted to like this since it's the same writer as Downton Abbey, but just didn't. The story picks up towards the end, and I enjoyed the narrator's sharp wit in places, but overall I was able to put this book down far too often and was never really excited when I picked it back up. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Zoe Smith | 8/3/2012

    " As a Downton Abbey fan, I was excited to read this. It was okay. There was a bit of insight into the class and society that exists to this day among "estate owners" and I could find things relevant to the characters of my fav show! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Becky | 5/1/2012

    " Writing style was easy to read, but I found the characters to have no redeaming qualities. it is very hard to like a book if you can not relate or like a character. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Julie the Mothman | 4/14/2012

    " Excelente! como todo lo que hace Lord Fellowes. Un paseo excitante por la aristocracia inglesa y sus costumbres. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Leigh | 3/24/2012

    " Delightful, nicely detailed. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Anna | 3/7/2012

    " A little bit slow to start but once it did! Highly entertaining, well written and a pleasure to read. I'll add gosford park to my list as well now. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Emma | 2/29/2012

    " I enjoyed this book as a peeping-tom enjoys...well...peeping. Having the rare opportunity to see how high society really works - quite relieved really to be an outsider. Quite eye-opening at times and realising that our class system is a strong as ever even in these modern times. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sze | 1/11/2012

    " i read this at home in budapest to accompany meal times and have reread it a dozen times, with my favourite sections being descriptions of snubbing and being snubbed. fun. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Katie | 1/1/2012

    " A modern day Downton Abbey - good, but not as good as D.A. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Yuliana | 8/10/2011

    " Delightfully fizzy. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Bibi Silvas | 7/11/2011

    " I really enjoyed this book. I would give it 3.5 stars, but it is very close to 4 stars. If you like Downton Abbey you will enjoy this modern version. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kathryn Levine | 7/11/2011

    " Pretentious. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sylvia | 5/14/2011

    " A very enjoyable read, I recommend it to fans of Downton Abby, and Pride and Prejudice. Fellowes eye for detail and ear for language is very sharp, but he's more than just style. I think Jane Austin would be please. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Johanna | 3/13/2011

    " I greatly enjoyed this glimpse inside modern day artistocracy. I love all things British and this was a modern Gosford Park. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Michelle | 2/24/2011

    " Not nearly as funny or as interesting as it was made out to be. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kathleen | 2/20/2011

    " I'm torn between 4 and 5 stars--I loved this book! Clearly the guy knows how to write about class differences and structure past and present! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Qing | 1/14/2011

    " Interesting view into Britain's society hierarchy in modern times. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jo | 1/3/2011

    " I did like this and am a bit sad I have finished it "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Anna | 11/18/2010

    " Very funny and interesting book about the peculiarities of high society life in modern Britain. "

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About the Author
Author Julian Fellowes

Julian Fellowes is the Emmy Award–winning writer and creator of Downton Abbey and the winner of the 2001 Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for Gosford Park. He also wrote the screenplays for Vanity Fair and The Young Victoria. He is the bestselling author of Snobs and Past Imperfect, and his other works include The Curious Adventure of the Abandoned Toys and the book for the Disney stage musical of Mary Poppins. As an actor, his roles include Lord Kilwillie in the BBC Television series Monarch of Glen and the Second Duke of Richmond in Aristocrats, as well as appearances in the films Shadowlands, Damage, and Tomorrow Never Dies. He lives in London and Dorset, England.