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  • Major Pettigrew's Last Stand

  • By: Helen Simonson
  • Narrated by: Bill Wallis
  • Length: 14 hrs and 4 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (1,510 ratings)

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Major Pettigrew's Last Stand cover art

Major Pettigrew's Last Stand

By: Helen Simonson
Narrated by: Bill Wallis
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Summary

Major Ernest Pettigrew (Ret’d) is not interested in the frivolity of the modern world. Since his wife Nancy’s death, he has tried to avoid the constant bother of nosy village women; his grasping, ambitious son; and the ever-spreading suburbanisation of the English countryside, preferring to lead a quiet life upholding the values that people have lived by for generations - respectability, duty, and a properly brewed cup of tea.

But when his brother’s death sparks an unexpected friendship with Mrs Ali, the widowed village shopkeeper of Pakistani descent, the Major is drawn out of his regimented world and forced to confront the realities of life in the 21st century.

©2010 Helen Simonson (P)2016 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about Major Pettigrew's Last Stand

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

A comic delight to be enjoyed wherever you are.

A great tragi-comedy. But mainly a comedy, for me at least. Anyone, like a previous reviewer, finding it depressing obviously inhabits a different world to me!

I listened to Major Pettigrew while travelling and on holiday and found it a genuine delight. My experience was different to both prior UK reviewers however. Maybe it was partly my holiday mood, but I found it wonderfully engaging and yet relaxing. The themes were potentially going to be either trivialised or unduly serious for a light read, but I found them handled with a sure touch, warmth and great humour. I felt we were being invited to laugh at ourselves rather than at the characters as such. Great humour often requires some degree of cruelty and challenge to our comfortable lives, and this was no exception.

The narrator did a fine job of differentiating characters with appropriate accents - no mean feat, and apparently not achieved by the USA version. Some of the characters could be regarded as stereotypical I suppose, but this didn't worry me as I recognised them (especially from my parents' generation in East Sussex) and I guess this helped me fill in any gaps.

Hugely enjoyable - I recommend it.

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38 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Old age is not for softies

I delighted in this book which tells the story a two very different people with the commonality of loneliness.
I liked the characterisation and felt that those who were not so well drawn were those who were shallow.
I didn't really want to say goodbye to the Major and Jasmina when I finished it!

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36 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • E
  • 26-01-14

A wonderful unexpected love story.

Such a lovely story about loosing ones love, being alone and finding new love and happiness in an unexpected place, whilst overcoming the prejudices of a small rural community and the various factions. Told brilliantly by Bill Wallis

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30 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

An unexpected delight!

I have just finished Major Pettigrew's Last Stand and was not disappointed. I feel like I have reached the end of that rare kind of book that is widereaching in it's content, but deep enough to provoke the reader to consider how they might react to the various elements in it's unusual story line. The plot was unexpected although the summary given is accurate. The characters become friends you want to know about and I can't think of a nicer way to enjoy this book than curled up in front of a roaring fire on a cold winter's day!

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30 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Charming story

A charming story, told in gentle fashion but with enough interest to hold the reader until the end. Makes a change to read a fictional account from an older mind's perspective. Narration was well handled too. Characters come alive and the writer makes one want to know how they get on. Good juxtaposition of old fashioned English gentleman and traditional Asian lady.

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28 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Thought provoking

I loved this book, it seems to be well researched and the writing was fluid and imaginative. I thought the characters, although somewhat stereotypical, were well observed. I was only disappointed when I came to the end. The descriptions of rural Sussex life and the minutiae of day to day routine, the petty prejudices which can quickly overflow into something more sinister were utterly believable. The narration was brilliant, my only criticism was the editing, from time to time the volume was very low indeed and I had trouble hearing even at full blast. There were also one or two long silent pauses where I mistakenly began to wonder if the story had ended.

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24 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

What a book!

This story, how it was written, the words used, the way it is read just make it the perfect audiobook I could ever think about buying. I am very happy to have it among my collection and to be the proud owner of such a wonderfully written story.

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22 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Exceptional Storytelling

I was really concerned that this would provide a two-dimensional account of differing cultures - at times it came close but never quite toppled... If at times it plays on stereotypes never is that stronger than when examining the white middle-class. The story is charming and narrated beautifully.

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17 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Subtle, Beautiful, Intelligent

What made the experience of listening to Major Pettigrew's Last Stand the most enjoyable?

Beautifully read

What was one of the most memorable moments of Major Pettigrew's Last Stand?

Many sections of this book are of note

Which character – as performed by Bill Wallis – was your favourite?

The main two leads

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

the path of one's heart / a journey worth taking

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16 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A very enjoyable book

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

This is the type of book were you say, 'just one more paragraph'. It is so easy to listen to, with a good story well written and well narrated.

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16 people found this helpful