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Download The Story of Chicago May Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Story of Chicago May Audiobook, by Nuala O’Faolain Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.00851063829787 out of 53.00851063829787 out of 53.00851063829787 out of 53.00851063829787 out of 53.00851063829787 out of 5 3.01 (235 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Nuala O’Faolain Narrator: Terry Donnelly Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2005 ISBN: 9781449801298
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Legend says that May was tall with red-gold hair and big blue eyes, compellingly attractive to men. At nineteen, she stole her family’s savings and ran away from home in rural Ireland to America where she worked as a confidence trickster, a thief, a showgirl, and a prostitute, notorious as much for her violence as for her diamond rings. The tabloids would dub her the “Queen of the Underworld.”

Reaching across the decades for points of connection, Nuala O'Faolain brings sympathetic scrutiny to the understanding of an outlaw experience like no other.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “An absorbing look at an old-time, independent free-spirited crook.”

    Chicago Tribune

  • “Resurrects this remarkable woman and the world she knew with breathtaking prose.”

    Philadelphia Inquirer

  • “The biographer makes herself a complement rather than an intrusion, and May emerges lively, unique and cut from the cloth of Irish and American reinvention.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Acclaimed memoirist Nuala O’Faolain recovers this colorful maverick of the Old Sod as only she could.”

    Barnes & Noble, editorial review

  • “This is not only a thorough portrait of a woman on the wrong path; it is also a fresh and informative view of turn-of-the-twentieth-century America, and fascinating testimony to the need to tell and preserve true stories from all walks of life.”

    Booklist

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lynda Castell-Blanch | 3/11/2016

    " I LOVED this book. And the Narrator's beautiful voice told it so well. (Terry Donnelly) I really enjoyed her "imaginings" of what Chicago May must have felt, it was as if she was channeling her, to me. I don't think she "made up" the book as a previous reviewer stated. It was based on years and years of research that took her all over the world. Her imaginings made it that much more wonderful. I lost my copy I bought years ago and am trying to buy it again but can't find it! 5 stars from me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gail | 2/16/2014

    " Interesting slice of history - author pretty biased, but still a good story "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jen | 2/14/2014

    " The problem that I had with this book is one that the author admits to right away. She pretty much has to make up the book. It is an "imagining" of what Chicago May's life was like interspersed with details and pieces from her original autobiography. It was a little too much fiction for me. Maybe it would have helped if the author had just stopped interjecting herself into the book. She has a very lyrical style-it just distracted me from what the book was supposed to be about. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amanda | 2/11/2014

    " Big on historic facts little on intrigue. Examines what life is like for a working-class woman with little options and big personality during the late 19th through the early 20th century. I was pleasantly surprised by the author's exploration of the significant in a seemingly trivial life. I would recommend this book if you enjoy non-fictions that offer historic context through the story of one life. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 A. Mary Murphy | 2/6/2014

    " O'Faolain makes her process part of the story, so she's as much a character here as May. I committed to the journey right alongside, and was fully engaged by May and her choices. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kristin | 1/24/2014

    " I have to say that I was really excited to read about one of my favorite topics, Irish hookers at the turn of the century, but I was disappointed. I even made myself finish reading the book thinking that it would get better. I guess the authors story meshed with Chicago May's story didn't do it for me. I was more interested in Chicago May, no offense to the author. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laurie Furness | 1/11/2014

    " this was a pretty nitty gritty book true story "

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

    " Couldn't get into this book even though I gave it a chance by reading through two thirds. I didn't like the author's style of imagining May's thoughts and behaviour. Very wishy washy! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Darcy | 12/2/2013

    " When reading biographies, I find it distasteful to interject the author's fantasies of the subject's life when the author does not have enough facts to support their book. The author kept trying to draw comparisions to her life, which I just found annoying and egotistical. The cover's great, though. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 DeAnna | 10/3/2013

    " I loved learning about Chicago May. Like "Devil in the White City," this true story was told so well, it could've been a novel. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Gwen | 8/25/2013

    " No fluff....you don't love her, but can respect her. She's someone who lived for the here and now....painful as that may have been. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Naomi | 3/5/2013

    " Very interesting read. One hears alot about May, it was interesting to see her "come to life" and here the story behind the legend. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Diane | 12/19/2012

    " Expected a novel and got a biography that's as much about the author as the subject. A bit preachy for my taste. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Amy Farrington | 9/17/2012

    " Interesting parts but I had to make myself to finish it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Salina | 9/16/2012

    " Hooker/robber. Love this chick. The story follows her on her on her many "dark side" adventures. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Robert | 8/19/2012

    " This was an "ok" read. It could of been much more interesting except instead of reading like a biography of Chicago May, it read more like an autobiography of Nuala O'Faoain. Too much speculation as well as the author being inserted into the story too often. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dem | 6/2/2012

    " I loved this book about Chicago May and the research is excellent as this is a true story, I had also read another book about the same Woman and again an amazing story about an Irish woman. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sienna Herrin | 12/27/2011

    " A fun read. One of those finish in a night kind of books. Reads like a fiction, fast paced and interesting as stories of passion, sleaze and sex can be... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sandy Brogan | 9/22/2010

    " Saucy "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Naomi | 8/16/2010

    " Very interesting read. One hears alot about May, it was interesting to see her "come to life" and here the story behind the legend. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laurie | 7/12/2010

    " this was a pretty nitty gritty book true story "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Maria | 2/24/2010

    " After reading the story of Mata Hari, this one paled in comparison. It wasn't as thick a book and a bit easier to follow, but just lacking....I'm going to have to start looking elsewhere for my biographies, hahaha. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gail | 2/1/2010

    " Interesting slice of history - author pretty biased, but still a good story "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 DeAnna | 8/5/2009

    " I loved learning about Chicago May. Like "Devil in the White City," this true story was told so well, it could've been a novel. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Diane | 6/4/2009

    " Expected a novel and got a biography that's as much about the author as the subject. A bit preachy for my taste. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Gwen | 4/23/2009

    " No fluff....you don't love her, but can respect her. She's someone who lived for the here and now....painful as that may have been. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Amy | 4/1/2009

    " Interesting parts but I had to make myself to finish it. "

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About the Author
Author Nuala O’Faolain

Nuala O’Faolain (1940–2008) worked as a columnist for the Irish Times and producer for the BBC. She became a feminist early in her youth, motivated by a belief in social justice.

About the Narrator

Terry Donnelly is a narrator and an actress who has appeared on television in Law & Order. She is the narrator of more than a dozen audiobooks, and her reading of Quentins by Maeve Binchy was a finalist in 2003 for the prestigious Audie Award in the category of Solo Narration – Female. She earned an AudioFile Earphones Award for her reading of The Gathering by Anne Enright in which she was praised for “capturing [the author’s] every subtlety.”