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Download What Was She Thinking?: Notes on a Scandal Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample What Was She Thinking?: Notes on a Scandal, by Zoë Heller Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.78 out of 53.78 out of 53.78 out of 53.78 out of 53.78 out of 5 3.78 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Zoë Heller Narrator: Wanda McCaddon Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2006 ISBN: 9781455186693
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Schoolteacher Barbara Covett has led a bitter, lonely life as a self-made careerist. Sheba Hart is the ethereal, inexperienced new pottery teacher at St. George’s school. When Barbara hears of Sheba’s problems in the classroom, her sympathy soon leads to friendship and confidence. But Barbara is unprepared for the secret she will learn: that Sheba has begun a passionate affair with an underage male student. Barbara’s confusion, disapproval, and jealousy are helpless to prevent the coming disaster.

When the story comes to light and Sheba falls prey to the inevitable media circus, Barbara decides to write an account in her friend’s defense, an account that reveals not only Sheba’s secrets but her own. What results is a complex psychological portrait framed as a wicked satire, a story of passion and repression, mercy and betrayal.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Equally adroit at satire and at psychological suspense, Heller charts the course of a predatory friendship and demonstrates the lengths to which some people go for human company.”

    New Yorker

  • “Deliciously perverse, laugh-out-loud funny [with] caustic wit and needle-sharp observations. The reader looks on, amused and aghast, as both unlikely seductress and her self-deluding protector become locked in a helpless embrace of need and betrayal.”

    Vogue

  • “Heller elevates a tabloid-worthy tale of obsession into an intense, witty, literary page-turner.”

    Entertainment Weekly

  • “Gripping from start to finish; Heller brings vivid, nuanced characterizations to the racy story.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Nadia May IS Barbara—self-deluding, jealous, controlling, snide though always civil…Dame Judi Dench plays Barbara in the movie (Notes on a Scandal); it’s difficult to imagine she does it any better than this audio portrayal.”

    AudioFile

  • “Both a penetrating character study and a sharp examination of voyeurism, Heller’s novel is utterly brilliant.”

    Booklist 

  • Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Deirdre | 1/22/2014

    " A beautifully written novel of obsession, jealousy and an inappropriate sexual relationship. The story is written in the third person by a woman whom we perecive to be supportive and sympathetic to the main character. Over time we gain more insight into the narrater's motivation and uncover layers of betrayal and further obsession which are triggered by envy and lonliness. A beautifully written novel which will have you hooked from the first chapter. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Deb | 1/12/2014

    " Not sure what to say about this one. The writing was fantastic, the characters were so developed (although I feel the spinster lady having a cat is too stereotypical) and I was pulled in to the story, but felt very unsatisfied with the end. This book almost makes you question who the true victim is here. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Maija | 1/6/2014

    " Definitely depressing--not really an enjoyable scandal to read about...there's a movie version, though, which is supposed to be excellent. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Belle | 12/27/2013

    " I couldn't get through this book. Too creeped out by the narrator. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ruby Soames | 12/25/2013

    " Re-read this after seeing the film. Such a great book - a real example of cutting, insightful and exquisitely drawn characterisation. Great film too, especially after the first time around, when one can appreciates the subtleties more. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Esoldra | 12/22/2013

    " Gripping yet disturbing. The narrative is unique and very much holds everything together - Barbara is a fantastic protoganist - wonderfully complex "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jesse | 12/21/2013

    " Saw the movie first and then I read the book because I liked how deliciously wrong the movie was. The book was just as deliciously wrong and very detailed and intriguing. I'd recommend it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Courtney Milford | 12/9/2013

    " One heck of a story - helped that it happened in Britain, not here. British teacher has sexual affair and stalks high school student. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Miranda | 11/7/2013

    " annoying in that it was engaging but a maddening story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nicole | 10/25/2013

    " so it's sick and twisted but yeah, I really liked it... pretty much like the movie if you like that.... pretty f'ed up kind of in a virgin suicides kind of way, but not really (now how helpful is this review?!?) "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Afilusia luthan | 9/30/2013

    " unbreakable book that i'd ever read "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Leah | 7/10/2012

    " Yummy! Evil disguised as benevolence, intriguing characters, first-rate writing. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Joni | 6/19/2012

    " It's been a while since I read it, but I don't particularly remember this book resonating with me. Probably because I only picked it up from the library because I thought the cover was cool, and we all know that you aren't supposed to judge a book by its cover. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Susan Foley | 6/19/2012

    " Didn't like the characters so it was hard to read due to the fact that I didn't care what happened to them. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Avril Dalton | 6/4/2012

    " Having seen the film and just loved it, I wondered how the book would fare out. It did and as usual the book was even better than the film.. I couldn't imagine anyone other than Cate Blanchett and Dame Judy playing the parts. It was a great read! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Anh Diem | 4/5/2012

    " Haven't seen the movie yet. This book is a quick read. It's a character piece. While reading this book i got scared, because i have met people in real life who behave like the ones in the book. it's scary to see the dark side of humans beings. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tracey | 10/7/2011

    " Well, it was an entertaining book but kind of slow-moving and almost pointless. But as I mentioned in Lori's review, reading British-English made it so I had to pay attention and I enjoyed learning English words they use for completely different things. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kay Misenheimer | 8/19/2011

    " Good story. Interesting characters. Stupid, anticlimactic ending! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bill | 7/13/2011

    " I enjoyed both the book and the movie. I liked the diary type style and the overall story. Very well written and intersting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Hannah | 5/17/2011

    " better than the movie and the movie was great. "

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

    " A really entertaining read. Characters great depth. Against my prejudice I was really glad that I picked it up. The use of language terrific, Something I have always enjoyed and this one delivered in spades. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kat | 5/7/2011

    " "This flimsy tale, this little psychological masterpiece, continues to disturb long after its last page." - Joanna Briscoe

    Very addictive, quick read. Very good writing. Also, totally disturbing!
    Loved it!! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Betty | 4/10/2011

    " Weird. Didn't really like the characters or the ending, as a teacher, this story is sickening! "

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

    " Recommended to me by the Biblioracle at The Morning News. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sunny | 4/5/2011

    " I would marry this book. The writing is so sharp and clever and sardonic. For me, it was the perfect read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Esoldra | 3/21/2011

    " Gripping yet disturbing. The narrative is unique and very much holds everything together - Barbara is a fantastic protoganist - wonderfully complex "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kathy | 3/18/2011

    " I really enjoyed this book. It's a page turner even though the subject matter is so serious and controversial. I think the story was better told as flashbacks. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kacy | 3/15/2011

    " Creepy, in a very good way. A very engaging read! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Crystal | 3/10/2011

    " This was a fun british read-- about a teacher that has an affair with a student and her friend that writes about it. I really liked the ending of it- very different!! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gayle | 3/6/2011

    " I loved it and I hated it. I think that was the point though. "

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