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Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.

Narrated by BAFTA winning actress Joanna Scanlan. 

From the prize-winning author of Reasons to be Cheerful comes a story about the ebb and flow of female friendship over half a lifetime. 

Susan and Norma have been best friends for years, at first thrust together by force of circumstance (a job at The Pin Cushion, a haberdashery shop in 1990s Leicestershire) and then by force of character (neither being particularly inclined to make friends with anyone else). But now, 30 years later, faced with a husband seeking immortality and Norma out of reach on a wave of professional glory, Susan begins to wonder whether she has made the right choices about life, love, work and, most importantly, friendship.

Nina Stibbe's new novel is the story of the wonderful and sometimes surprising path of friendship: from its conspiratorial beginnings, along its irritating wrong turns, to its final gratifying destination. 

©2022 Nina Stibbe (P)2022 Penguin Audio

Critic reviews

"Joyful. Stibbe's comedy probes what it means to become an adult." (Daily Telegraph)

"Funny, charming, odd-in-the-best-way and gorgeously uplifting! A delight from start to finish." (Marian Keyes)

"Stibbe is one of the great comic writers of our time." (Irish Times)

What listeners say about One Day I Shall Astonish the World

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Another great book from Nina Stibbe

I loved it and will miss listening to this story hugely. I can only hope Nina is busy writing another book for me and others to enjoy in the future!!!

2 people found this helpful

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  • me
  • 22-06-22

Extremely entertaining listen

I'm glad I decided to give this new novel a try, having loved Nina's previous books, in spite of some negative reviews.
The narration was great and the story funny, heart warming and gut wrenching in places.
I loved the ending! I encourage you to give it a try....

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Do yourself a favour and buy this audiobook

Such a funny and well observed book. Joanna Scanlon’s performance is sublime. A complete joy from start to finish.

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Boring

Disappointed, not much of a story.
passed the time on a flight.
Narrator was good.

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I miss it.

A great read/listen. I miss it the characters and will definitely listen again as there is more to this story than love lost and found.

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super story

I loved the honesty of this book. It was heartwarming and funny. Brilliantly read by Joanna Scanlon

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A delicious story of a crab in a bucket

Some of us likely will sail through life never once having met a crab in our bucket. Others of us are not so fortunate.

Now a bunch of crabs in buckets are interesting. One of their number might see the need and desireability to escape the bucket, but sadly never figure it how. Why? Because there is always another crab in the bucket ready to pull them down. Crabs in buckets haven't and will never cotton on to the concept of teamwork. Just as one crab is looking up to see the stars - out will come a claw and bring the potential escapee promptly back to the bars. And in turn another crab will reach out a claw and pull others down. So it goes. No crab ever escapes buckets.

Sometimes it's a teacher, or a parent, or sibling who is the crab in the bucket of our lives. In the fictional world Nina Stibbe created for us it was a 'friend': Susan meet Norma.

While perhaps not Stibbe's 'best', I found it an entertaining read with droll asides and wonderful observations of the everyday. Central to my enjoyment of One Day I Shall Astonish the World was the study of the relationship between Susan and Norma.

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What’s not to like about a Nina Stibbe novel?

I love the naturalistic way she writes. The characters are so believable and often so very funny, I laughed out loud a few times!

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I’m disappointed

I loved Man At The Helm and had high hopes for this. It was as if it didn’t ever get going. Some of the chapters are just plain dull. Not for me. Bit miffed I used a credit on it now.

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Disappointed

Really disappointed that the author is not the narrator as with her other books
Ruined it for me