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Extended Audio Sample The Pregnant Widow Audiobook, by Martin Amis Click for printable size audiobook cover
2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 2.00 (1,260 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Martin Amis Narrator: Steven Pacey Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: December 2010 ISBN: 9781482980059
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The year is 1970, and it’s a long, hot summer. In a castle on a mountainside in Italy, half a dozen young lives are afloat on a sea of change, trapped inside the history of the sexual revolution. The girls are acting like boys, the boys are going on acting like boys, and Keith Nearing—twenty years old, a literature student all clogged up with the English novel—is struggling to twist feminism and women’s ascendancy toward his own ends.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Sparkling and pointed.…[Amis’s] prose in this sex comedy is angular and tart.”

    New York Post

  • “Tight, funny, sexy, poignant.”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • “Sumptuous.…It is beautifully achieved, cunningly relaxed, and also reveals considerable emotional depth.…Moving and humane, The Pregnant Widow also captivates by the accustomed wit and elegance of its style.”

    Daily Telegraph (London)

  • “The buzzing sense of fresh, limitless erotic license is captured brilliantly.…[Amis] is beginning to write with Old Master assurance on the important subjects.”

    Times (London)

  • “An ambitious, historically-minded project with keen insight and masterly sentences.…The Pregnant Widow is a stunning book; it contains within it all that is best in the English novel.”

    The Millions

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Margarita | 2/10/2014

    " I really liked this book. Many reviewers focused on the sexual aspect of the character development, but I think it is so much more than that - it is about relationships and about incidental encounters that inform them, and sometimes help determine the course of our lives. in a way, it is a sadder, more sinister "Ensemble, c'est tout" (aka Hunting and Gathering). No happy endings here, and The Pregnant Widow goes even farther than other books of its genre - it has the fortitude to look forward into the future (or back into the past) and make sense of a life mostly lived through. This retrospective/introspective analysis takes courage and also mastery of prose that makes Martin Amis' style shine. No drama here, just life if you can take it. Looking forward to reading more of his books! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Martha | 1/20/2014

    " More than wonderful. I'm a big fan of his, but Amis hasn't been this effortless, clever, or generous in years; an absolute pleasure to read. Endlessly gratifying and equally impressive. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Samantha Readingmother | 1/20/2014

    " I was torn between 3 and 4 stars. Amis is a writer's writer or a serious reader's writer, but this is not a serious book. It's very sex obsessed as most 20 year old men and women are which is the age group of the main charachters. If this had been a library book I may have abondoned it at about page 100 but I am glad I saw it through. He is a brilliant writer, I now want to read more of his books, but I doubt this is his best. The joy of this book is the comedy and the writing. There is nothing particulary profound in the main body of the story. There is however profound sentances here and there. I was moved by Violet's story but I felt this wasn't fully explained. This book is very much from a male of Amis's era's perspective and I can understand why some female readers may find him offensive. However I think that if read as a perspective, not a truth then it's amusing and interesting. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Justin Paul | 1/12/2014

    " Very disappointed. I have enjoyed all the Amis books I have read. Until this. He is a great stylist, an author you want to read aloud to others, but the in a novel about sex, I found Amis's characters frigid....as if they were standing at a remove playing with themselves! Not the return to form that was promised...distant and seemingly full of in-jokes I wasn't clever enough to understand. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Marian | 1/11/2014

    " forgotten how much I dislike Martin Amis's books..... "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Steve | 1/4/2014

    " The writing is great, the characters and storyline unlikable and misogynistic. Avoid. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Shelly | 11/28/2013

    " It wasn't bad, but it isn't a storyt hat particularly stood out this year. The characters are a little self indulgent, allthough the story itself is good. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Madeleine Decker | 11/10/2013

    " I was happy when I finished it... it was looooooooong, loooooong. Did not enjoy it much. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Carolyn Phelps | 9/20/2013

    " Incredibly disappointing. Billed as a "smart, meaty novel", I found it repetitive and was totally unable to sympathize with any character. If this is a portrait of the sexual revolution of the 70's, I'm glad I missed it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mike Hart | 1/11/2013

    " The ending somewhat tarnished the novel for me. I enjoyed the encapsulation of that one summer Keith Nearing spent in the countryside. The vignettes of life moments following did nothing to the story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jonfaith | 10/21/2012

    " Medium intensity Amis, checking the mirror for further dissent. It shouldn't change anyone's life, but it was enjoyable. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tom | 10/15/2012

    " Really enjoyed the book up until Keith's Italian vacation ends and then the last 100 pages is just dross. A real shame as the book demonstrated the usual Amis flair to that point. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Michael Sterckx | 7/16/2012

    " This is obviously an older Martin Amis, so the brutality of description is still there, it still can be coldly nasty and the sneer is still in place. There is more warmth this time though. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Craig | 4/2/2012

    " Excellent when dealing with the central events, set in Italy; the rest is skippable and the way the novel ends doesn't work: it feels rushed and ill thought out. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Lauren | 12/27/2011

    " Hmm, got through it but hated the characters and the pretense "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Jane | 11/5/2011

    " I normally like Martin Amis but this was WEIRD "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lynne Elsisy | 6/21/2011

    " Epic in scale, flawed, but worth the effort. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Lynda | 5/20/2011

    " Anyone who was able to get past the first chapter impresses the hell outta me. I know this guy's famous, I know he's prolific, I've heard people love to hate him and hate to love him, bla bla bla. To me this was the writing of a novice. I couldn't and didn't want to "get it." "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pip | 5/19/2011

    " I don't know why this book has been so panned by critics and readers alike. I find it quite enjoyable and hope it holds up that way. Highly entertaining so far. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Craig | 5/18/2011

    " Excellent when dealing with the central events, set in Italy; the rest is skippable and the way the novel ends doesn't work: it feels rushed and ill thought out. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mike | 5/4/2011

    " The ending somewhat tarnished the novel for me. I enjoyed the encapsulation of that one summer Keith Nearing spent in the countryside. The vignettes of life moments following did nothing to the story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Christa | 4/6/2011

    " Martin Amis is a genius. That is all. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Valley Cottage | 4/5/2011

    " Martin Amis either invented a new genre, or perfected an old one- "Erotic Historical Fiction for English Majors." "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Steve | 3/16/2011

    " Some people are Dog People.

    Some people are Cat People.

    Some ariters illuminate the world.

    Some writers are opinionated pricks.

    I'm a Dog Person. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Jane | 2/1/2011

    " I normally like Martin Amis but this was WEIRD "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ted | 1/24/2011

    " Not my favorite Amis book. Meh. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Michael | 1/12/2011

    " pretty dull, compared to his early work "

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About the Author
Author Martin Amis

Martin Amis is the author of many novels, two collections of fiction stories, several of nonfiction, and the memoir Experience, for which he received the James Tait Black Memorial Prize. Amis has been listed for the Booker Prize twice and was a professor of creative writing at the Centre for New Writing at the University of Manchester until 2011. He lives in Brooklyn.

About the Narrator

Steven Pacey’s extensive work in the West End includes the role of Alec in Dolly West’s Kitchen, Stanley in The Birthday Party, Hamish in Things We Do for Love, and Bertie Wooster in By Jeeves—for which he earned an Olivier Award nomination. He was also directed by Harold Pinter in his successful productions of Celebration and The Room. Pacey has appeared in numerous television roles, including Tarrant in Blake’s 7, and has made over three hundred radio broadcasts. His audiobook narration has won him three AudioFile Earphones Awards.