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Extended Audio Sample The Garden Party Audiobook, by Katherine Mansfield Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,694 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Katherine Mansfield Narrator: Marguerite Gavin Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: August 2008 ISBN: 9781455174966
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The fifteen stories collected in this volume demonstrate the genius of a woman who, in her own short lifetime, was compared to Chekhov. The tales are sensitive revelations of human behavior in ordinary situations. With careful, quiet observation, Mansfield illuminates complicated relationships and profound, often troubling ideas. Her stories often feature young women in the process of maturity, confronting for the first time some of the realities of life.

In the title story, a young woman’s garden party coincides with the death of a working-class neighbor, bringing a brush of mortality and realism into her carefully constructed plans and ideals. Her difficulty in fully realizing the seriousness of the event is typical of Mansfield's ironic world.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “[Marguerite Gavin’s] voices are marvelous; presenting British accents of every description from cockney to Queen, with clear delineation between characters male and female, is a skill especially important in these character-driven tales. Her sound effects (birdcalls, running water, etc.) are perfect, and she sings in such a lovely clear soprano that the listener wishes there were more songs in the stories…Highly recommended.”

    Library Journal

  • “With the timing and phrasing of a musician, Marguerite Gavin narrates this last-published collection of Katherine Mansfield's short stories. Gavin has a lovely singing voice…[she] reads with a great deal of enthusiasm and expression.”

    AudioFile

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alberteinsteinmaloney | 2/18/2014

    " Ethereal, gorgeous, charming, wistful, wise and eerie: a near perfect read. It's rare to find a book of short stories that utterly absorbs you while you're reading and that then captivates your imagination for weeks after you've finished. This is one of those books. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 morganaa | 2/16/2014

    " Hab ich auf Englisch gelesen. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mark Stephenson | 2/13/2014

    " 15 stories, some fairly lengthy, others, such as "The Bank Holiday" more like vivid sketches. In most of them the universality of death is a common chord but two, "Mr. and Mrs. Dove" and "the Singing Lesson" touched me by allowing seemingly insuperable barriers to marriage be overcome. What a great talent for observation and drama this author displays! "

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

    " Fifteen short stories. The first couple of stories are long on descriptive writing and short on interest. However, as I continued reading, the stories got better and better: They became more concise, sparer, more focused and altogether very powerful. Delightful read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Everett Darling | 2/5/2014

    " The best short story writer ever. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Aaron Simonsen | 1/20/2014

    " New Zealand's best short story writer. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ibis3 | 1/17/2014

    " The second volume of short stories by Katherine Mansfield that I've read this year. I find them way too placid and languid to read. With so little action and such subtle character development they're soporific. However, the effect diminishes completely when listening to them being read aloud. We're invited into these little vignettes of people's lives and see how the events "out there" affect the characters' inner lives. Still not my favourite type of short story but I give 'em an 8/10. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Aditya / | 1/16/2014

    " "At the bay" was one of the finest pieces of writing I've ever read. Out of the rest, I only liked "Mr and Mrs. Dove" and "Her First Ball" and did not like the rest. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jane | 1/15/2014

    " Wish it was a whole novel... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 morganaa | 1/13/2014

    " Hab ich auf Englisch gelesen. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Trine | 1/9/2014

    " If I should evaluate this collection of short stories from its literary value I ought to give it 5 stars. The problem is that so many of the stories are quite depressing and so few give the reader hope and put a smile on ones face. And I must admit that that's the kind of stories I prefer. But when that's said, I am very impressed by Kathrine Mansfield and find her stories so much better than all those short stories I was forced to read in English classes in school. If I were an English teacher I would put Kathrine Mansfield on the curriculum immediately. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Merinde | 1/6/2014

    " Half-realised meanings, people grasping at something - there is so much uncertainly and a sense of...fleetingness and melancholy in this book. I have no idea how to review this really, except for saying that it was somehow very touching, very human. Katherine Mansfield just writes beautifully, and I wish I had heard of her earlier. The Lady's Maid was just painful, you could feel her life slipping away, or maybe her as a person, buried under years of servitude and humiliation and not deserving, not being allowed her life, first by others then by herself, because she never learned to take. Maybe only half realising it as she tells her story, maybe not? You can almost her her hesitating, it is as if she is in the room, talking to you. The stories posses a sort of clarity, like you're not just looking into a room and seeing people talking but really see those people, or see through them. They didn't need to be any longer. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Siobhan | 1/5/2014

    " Wonderful--I read this on a recommendation from a friend who tends to know what I'll like and what I won't, even though we don't always agree on what's good. This collection contains a range of stories from the earlier and later years of Mansfield's writing life and as a result the experience of reading it is a bit uneven--some stories are brilliantly successful: hilarious, pointed, sharp. And then others are these sort of unsatisfying "slice of life" vignettes that feel younger and less finished. But Mansfield has a way with an exciting sentence; even if a lot of her characters feel similar to one another, her settings are always alive and ticking and waiting for their moment. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Trine | 12/26/2013

    " If I should evaluate this collection of short stories from its literary value I ought to give it 5 stars. The problem is that so many of the stories are quite depressing and so few give the reader hope and put a smile on ones face. And I must admit that that's the kind of stories I prefer. But when that's said, I am very impressed by Kathrine Mansfield and find her stories so much better than all those short stories I was forced to read in English classes in school. If I were an English teacher I would put Kathrine Mansfield on the curriculum immediately. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Aditya / | 12/24/2013

    " "At the bay" was one of the finest pieces of writing I've ever read. Out of the rest, I only liked "Mr and Mrs. Dove" and "Her First Ball" and did not like the rest. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rose Gowen | 12/23/2013

    " The first three stories, "At The Bay", "The Garden Party", and "The Daughters of the Lat Colonel" are stunning, particular, and complicated. The rest are shorter, more predictable, and only fine. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Frances | 12/20/2013

    " I believe I may have read a couple of these stories before. Love the straight-forward writing style. Some of them were so hard hitting. Wow. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kelsey | 12/20/2013

    " Loved this short story. Loved loved loved. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Delphine | 12/14/2013

    " A must-read, a wonderful style. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lucy | 12/13/2013

    " Got to be 5 stars because what she does, she does so well. My advice though if you have not read her, is to read only one story a week, maybe - taken at a gulp, the mechanism begins to show ever so slightly. Ultimately, I suspect these stories came from the brain not the heart. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rick Barnes | 12/12/2013

    " I rarely read fiction, but Katherine Mansfield will always be an exception. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Frances | 12/11/2013

    " I believe I may have read a couple of these stories before. Love the straight-forward writing style. Some of them were so hard hitting. Wow. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gitte | 12/4/2013

    " I really liked most of these short stories. The writing was very good. I just wished all these stories were novels instead - I wanted to know more about the characters and I wanted the stories to go on! That's why I rarely read short stories - they're too short and they leave me unsatisfied. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kelsey | 11/29/2013

    " Loved this short story. Loved loved loved. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Emgeenl | 11/18/2013

    " Only read the Garden party from this book. It's a nice story about the differences between a rich family and the poor folks. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ferris | 10/31/2013

    " Audiobook...........Katharine Mansfield has a lovely writing style. Her short stories are poignant, subtle, and easy to move through. I was definitely left wishing for more. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nina | 10/30/2013

    " The Garden Party is one of my favorite stories ever- it has been a while, I should read it again! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rosa | 10/20/2013

    " Mansfield well illustrates the art of the short story, however you can't help thinking she must have been immensely sad during the time of their writing. While I did enjoy the crafting of the stories, I would not call this an uplifting collection, not at all. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Staci | 10/7/2013

    " Well, I listened to a few of the stories in the collection, mainly the title story, The Garden Party. I really enjoyed that one and do plan to listen to the rest of the stories at some point as well. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rose Gowen | 7/24/2013

    " The first three stories, "At The Bay", "The Garden Party", and "The Daughters of the Lat Colonel" are stunning, particular, and complicated. The rest are shorter, more predictable, and only fine. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Danielle | 7/10/2013

    " It's all about "Miss Brill" "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kelly | 1/1/2013

    " Read 11 of 15 of these- Review to come. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Staci | 12/30/2012

    " Well, I listened to a few of the stories in the collection, mainly the title story, The Garden Party. I really enjoyed that one and do plan to listen to the rest of the stories at some point as well. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Claudia | 10/3/2012

    " Slightly satiric regarding the class struggle between the rich and poor. Quite enjoyable, overall. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lydia | 3/13/2012

    " I was bored and couldn't get into the story at all. It seemed totally pointless. Overly descriptive with nothing actually happening. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Zen Cho | 3/7/2012

    " I sort of didn't expect Mansfield to be this ... twee. I'd read her diary and found it very interesting and sharp, but while her stories are sharp, the way people talk and think is so twee! I can't blame her, though. I guess that's how they actually talked and thought?? "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Gill | 1/18/2012

    " I learned that I don't really get Katherine Mansfield. Overly descriptive and downright odd in parts. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jenn | 12/26/2011

    " A recent re-read, I'm struck again how Mansfield finds the deep human moments in the ordinary. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Donna | 12/19/2011

    " I loved these stories. Jeez they're heartbreaking though. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gemini Ai | 11/18/2011

    " Garden Party, an invisible wall separated the sorrow of death and joy of life. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laura | 5/9/2011

    " It's a pity KM didn't live in New Zealand her whole life but certainly this beautiful inspired her work in some way. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Linda Seltenright | 5/7/2011

    " This book is a series of short stories which makes "The Garden Party" a good pick for a quiet hour here or there. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marguerite | 4/22/2011

    " I'm still reading The Garden Party, or rereading it, as some of the stories, eg. Miss Brill, seem familiar. I love the way Mansfield delves into her characters' subtle emotions with understanding and pathos. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lily | 3/2/2011

    " The Garden Party -- a timeless classic of innocence, loss, and deep emotion! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laura | 1/23/2011

    " It's a pity KM didn't live in New Zealand her whole life but certainly this beautiful inspired her work in some way. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lydia | 9/23/2010

    " I was bored and couldn't get into the story at all. It seemed totally pointless. Overly descriptive with nothing actually happening. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Karen | 8/20/2010

    " The stories are beautifully written and the most part light on complete storyline. It's like they are exercises. She is a fabulous writer. I think she is not strong on ending the story. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Bethany | 8/18/2010

    " I absolutely adored the first story, At The Bay, but was disappointed from there on out. The stories are just kind of boring, and I found myself pushing through to finish. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ruby | 8/5/2010

    " Very, very good.
    Also - this particular edition came with a very interesting, useful and well written introduction, that definitely helped me to enjoy the stories even more. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Gill | 8/2/2010

    " I learned that I don't really get Katherine Mansfield. Overly descriptive and downright odd in parts. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gemini | 5/10/2010

    " Garden Party, an invisible wall separated the sorrow of death and joy of life. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Emgeenl | 1/27/2010

    " Only read the Garden party from this book. It's a nice story about the differences between a rich family and the poor folks. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tatiana | 11/20/2009

    " so many characters crossing our gaze at insignificant moments of their lives and yet so bespoken by these glimpses. Mariage à la mode is particularly heart-breaking, as the mocking Isabel reads her loving husband's letter and cruelly dismisses it, just to join her empty friends.. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kathy | 10/12/2009

    " Fifteen short stories. The first couple of stories are long on descriptive writing and short on interest. However, as I continued reading, the stories got better and better: They became more concise, sparer, more focused and altogether very powerful. Delightful read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nioniel | 5/7/2009

    " Read for my English 10 online course "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jane | 11/24/2008

    " <sigh> Wish it was a whole novel... "

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About the Author
Author Katherine Mansfield

Katherine Mansfield (1888–1923) was born in Wellington, New Zealand, and settled in Europe to finish her education. She published her first short fiction in The New Age, then in Rhythm, whose editor, the British writer and critic John Middleton Murry, she soon married. Her writing contributed to the development of the stream of consciousness technique and to the modernist use of multiple viewpoints, and her style has had a powerful influence on subsequent writers in the same genre.

About the Narrator

Marguerite Gavin is a seasoned theater veteran, a five-time nominee for the prestigious Audie Award, and the winner of numerous AudioFile Earphones and Publishers Weekly awards. Marguerite has been an actor, director, and audiobook narrator for her entire professional career. With over four hundred titles to her credit, her narration spans nearly every genre, from nonfiction to mystery, science fiction, fantasy, romance, and children’s fiction. AudioFile magazine says, “Marguerite Gavin…has a sonorous voice, rich and full of emotion.”