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Summary

The narrator is one Mrs. Hawkins. She writes from Italy, a far cry from Kensington indeed, taking us back to her threadbare years in postwar London. As a young, rather fat war-widow she spent her days working for a crazy, almost bankrupt publisher; and her nights offering advice from her boarding-house in South Kensington. In both locations, our heroine soon uncovered difficulties: shady literary dealings; anonymous letters, blackmail, and even suicide. Whilst Mrs. Hawkins innocently, confidently put about setting things right, she could little imagine the ensuing mayhem and consequences. Now many decades older, thinner, and pleased with her situation in Italy, Mrs. Hawkins reflects on all those dark happenings, recounting how her own life changed forever.

Narrated by Juliet Stevenson, A Far Cry from Kensington shows Muriel Spark at the mature height of her powers. Rediscover this classic on the 100th anniversary of Muriel Spark's birth.

©1988 Muriel Spark (P)2013 Canongate Books Ltd

What listeners say about A Far Cry from Kensington

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  • Overall
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an absolute joy

brilliant story artfully performed - perfect to accompany my afternoon dog walks in the woods, also a far cry from Kensington

13 people found this helpful

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Wonderfully crafted.

Listed to this after really enjoying Prime of Miss Jean Brodie last week. Bit embarrassed I'm 45 and not read any Muriel Sparks before because her stories conjure the most wonderful visual images of the characters. Nice accents from Juliet Stephenson too.

8 people found this helpful

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some writer some narrator good story.

What more could a fellow want than Muriel, Julliet and Audible. As close to heaven you'll get.

15 people found this helpful

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Really enjoyed it

I thoroughly enjoyed this audio book.
I liked the main strong female character, and how she interacted with others.
Also the reader had a lovely warm, rich voice.

6 people found this helpful

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Superb - evocative, moving and very funny.

I love this book! Spark's portrayal of 1950's London and post-war publishing through the eyes of a wonderfully droll Mrs Hawkins is pure joy. Plus, she offers really helpful advice for life. As a fellow-insomniac, I found this one particularly helpful:
“You can lie awake at night and think; the quality of insomnia depends entirely on what you decide to think of."
And what better advice on losing weight than this:
"You eat and drink the same as always, only half. If you are handed a plate of food, leave half; if you have to help yourself, take half."

5 people found this helpful

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Spark flies

What the hell just happened? - you may think at the end. It does not matter so much. The pleasure is mostly in Spark’s idiosyncratic narrative voice, full of surprising turns and dry observations with the occasional devastating image.

5 people found this helpful

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An Unexpected Pleasure

This book was a surprise and a joy to listen to. This story was interesting, thought-provoking and very clever. It was enhanced by very good narration; I enjoyed it very much

8 people found this helpful

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Well narrated but so boring....

Bought this in the £3 sale based on what appeared to be an interesting synopsis, but now I realise why it was in the sale. Despite Juliet Stevenson’s excellent narration, I found this book extremely boring. No real story and abrupt ending.

3 people found this helpful

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Pisseur de copie!

The reading is wonderful, the recording is tight and Muriel Spark is funny, sharp, linguistically crisp and refreshing.

3 people found this helpful

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Just not funny

Nostalgia abounds in this novel and I could have stayed with it just to hear Juliets wonderful tones - but even she could not save it for me. Will have to return forthwith!

1 person found this helpful