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Download The Matisse Stories Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Matisse Stories, by A. S. Byatt Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: A. S. Byatt Narrator: Wanda McCaddon Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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In this elegant set of stories, three modern women are touched in different ways by the paintings of Henri Matisse.

In “Medusa’s Ankles,” a distinguished translator visits a hair salon hoping to regain a hint of her youthful looks. Hung on the wall before her is one of Matisse’s iconic portraits.

In “Art Works,” the three inhabitants of one household—a generous wife, her petulant husband, and their regal housekeeper—make very different artists.

And in “The Chinese Lobster,” a self-tortured, anorexic art student confronts the smug opulence of Matisse’s nudes while pondering suicide.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Hits the imagination’s retina with all the vibrant splatter of an exploding paint-box…Everywhere, scenes sizzle with chromatic intensity.”

    Sunday Times (London)

  • “I have the hardback, but it is better to hear [McCaddon] linger on some of Byatt’s finely honed description…Virtually every phrase is a treat for the ears. [McCaddon], a professional narrator from way back, knows how to make each word count.” 

    Philadelphia Inquirer

  • “[Wanda McCaddon] brings just the right amount of emotion to three subtle and witty stories…The combination of [McCaddon’s] animated style and Byatt’s vivid workmanship results in a seamless and engrossing audio production.


  • “Ravishing descriptions of sounds, colors, and smells…bring each setting to life and steer each conflict to its eviscerating conclusion…These are breathtakingly beautiful stories, rendered with precision and poetry.”


  • “Byatt uses bright splashes of verbal color…to paint word pictures similar to the oil paintings of Matisse…[The] plots are expertly crafted and completely believable, with surprising twists and turns…These are memorable portraits.”

    Library Journal

  • “[McCaddon’s]…excellent pacing and authoritative grip on the material won me over. Her narration commands attention from beginning to end.”


Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Pascale | 2/18/2014

    " Two out of 3 of the stories in this collection have a satisfying twist towards the end. A pity the 3rd one is so lame. Altogether there are too many descriptions of objects and the link with Matisse is tenuous at best. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Peter | 2/4/2014

    " I don't generally care for fiction that uses works of art as a point of departure, but this collection worked becaue Byatt makes such skillful use of the themes of feminism and feminine body images. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Jonah | 1/31/2014

    " Three longish short stories that are pleasant to read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Fiona Mclaughlin | 1/26/2014

    " A.S. Byatt is one of my favourite authors, and this book of short stories inspired by artwork from Matisse was edifying. "

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