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  • While I Live

  • The Ellie Chronicles
  • By: John Marsden
  • Narrated by: Suzi Dougherty
  • Length: 9 hrs and 26 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (25 ratings)

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While I Live cover art

While I Live

By: John Marsden
Narrated by: Suzi Dougherty
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Summary

The town of Wirrawee is emerging from war, slowly, like a flower after a cold snap. Businesses are starting to reopen, the school has re-commenced classes, and local farmers are gradually repossessing their land. But it's not the same Australia as before the war. A new nation exists just a few miles away, a new border that separates Australia from its invaders. Or does it?

For Ellie Linton, being back on the farm with her parents is what makes the terrible things that happened during the war, the things she and Homer, Lee, Fi, and the others had to do, all worthwhile. It's where she belongs. But the war won't let her go. A devastating tragedy has shattered any hope she ever had to reclaim her life, or herself. It's a new kind of fight. And the enemy isn't always from the other side of the border.

©2003 Jomden Pty Ltd (P)2004 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd

Critic reviews

"A brilliant, spirited, wonderfully written, extraordinary book." ( Sunday Tasmanian)

What listeners say about While I Live

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

If you loved the tomorrow series you'll love this!

Both me and my husband loved the tomorrow series of books and this is the first of 3 in the follow ups, so of course we had to get this audio book. The best thing is they have used the same narrator which is good, although be warned its the last book with this narrator.



This book is all from Elle, one of the main characters of the tomorrow series. Its great to hear what is happening now so its an enjoyable book. We won't say too much as we don't want to spoil the story for you, its good and with the characters you've grown to love over the tomorrow series.



Still we can't help but think, should the author of done follow ups or left it where it ended in the tomorrow series. Don't get us wrong, this book is great and it is nice to know more but sometimes you do wonder, is it really?



Great story though, enjoyed every moment and would happily recommend. As with the tomorrow series, these books are suitable for all and not just teenagers. We are both adults and thoroughly enjoyed all these books.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing story!

I LOVE All (ten) of the Ellie books(!!), and listening to it is just as amazing as I hoped.
(seriously, these books should be Everywhere!)

It feels real, and I love that we get to see how it goes after the war..


Most of the time the narration is brilliant, but I really dislike her depiction of male voices.. At first I thought it was an awful impression of someone who's deaf, which is 1. not okey (unless specified in the text I guess, but still not really..?), and 2. not necessary, since Gavin isn't noticeably deaf.. But then every other male had the same weird voices, and I guess that's just how the narrator does that.... still annoyed me after a bunch of hours tho...

There's only ONE thing I don't like about While I Live, and that's that Homer has a cell phone. Even though it does give the story more... something... I guess... But Its just after a war. in the nineties, right? At least he's the only one who has one.
Everything else I really really really really Love!!!

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Kim
  • 06-03-05

What accent is it spoken in?

I'm surprised to see this is the ONLY John Marsden book available at this site. Without the back story of the 7 book "Tomorrow" series, this first book of the new post-war "Ellie Chronicles" may not make much sense to those not familiar with the story. However I am sure any fans of John Marsden's books will be glad to see at least one offering here.

Disturbing though is the rather confusing accent the story is read in. I have only listened to the 9 minute sample but keeping in mind this is an Australian book with an Australian setting and an Australian heroine - there is a decided North American candence and twang to the reading. As I listen on some hints of Australian pronounciation become a bit more apparent, but so do elements of British pronouciation. The end result (as far as one can tell from the sample) is a mish-mash that detracts (at least for this antipodean reviewer) from the narrative.

Aussie accents are notoriously hard to mimic (just ask Meryl Streep), I suspect the narrator IS Australian - but one who has lived in the US for many years. You can hear the twang in her voice. That "twang" makes the narrator NOT Ellie. To do these fantastic books justice (and audiophile should seek to get ALL the earlier series available on audio) they NEED to be told in a truly Australian voice.

We don't ALL sound like Steve Irwin you know. :)

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Bev
  • 26-09-07

Strength

Another installment of the John Marsden "tomorrow" series. I cannot comprehend why these have not been made into a film... We follow Ellie, our heroine from the war, as she tries to assimilate back into "normal" life after the war. Australia has been split and Ellie lives on the enemy border, where there is still hatred and fighting. After losses that bring her to the brink of her ability to survive, Ellie, once again stands up brushes herself off and gets back to the business of living. Independant and strong, Ellie works hard to do just that.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • The-Organist
  • 12-11-06

You DO get used to the lisp!

My first concern when listening to this recording was that I would have to cope with a difficult accent, made worse by the unclear diction and lisp. However, it took no time to get used to and I even believe that Ellie speaks like that now!

Classic Marsden - great story and I'm looking forward to hearing the next one.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Althea
  • 31-05-09

action addict

I adore this series and I'm so glad that these chronicles have still kept the same spirit alive. I feel like I'm just as addicted to the action as the main character is and the only thing I didn't like was that the action ended about half way and the rest was all about fighting for Gavin. Still, I suppose it serves as a good resolution.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Lindsey
  • 05-06-05

Excellent, even if you havn't read the series

Ellie struggling to run the farm and get though school got my sympathy and attention straight away.I had read only the first of this series of books, but this didn't detract from my enjoyment of this latest title. John Marsden is an excellent writer, capable of writing a real crossover book, as good for adults as for the teenagers.
I was swept up in Ellie's world and cheering her on.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 15-07-20

Great story, narration was a bit of a let down

First half of the book was a nice reflection on the series although lacking with action. Second half had enough action but the narrator taking big pauses was a bit painful.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Guin
  • 05-01-13

Great follow on to the When the war begins series

Suzi Dougherty is great.
Loved this book - Elle is amazing and inspiring with what she goes through.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Jaclyn
  • 12-08-11

Good Story

More than one narrator would of been a better choice. Although great as Ellie, for Gavin and Homer it was a bad choice. Homer is greek, but sounds like he has a learning delay with no sign of accident and Gavin sounds girly. But still a good story to listen too.