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Anywhere But Here | [Mona Simpson]

Anywhere But Here

A national best seller upon its publication, Anywhere but Here is a moving, often comic portrait of wise child Ann August and her mother, Adele, a larger-than-life American dreamer. As they travel through the landscape of their often conflicting ambitions, Ann and Adele bring to life a novel that is a brilliant exploration of the perennial urge to keep moving, even at the risk of profound disorientation. Simpson's first novel is ultimately a heart-rending tale of a mother and daughter's invaluable relationship.
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Publisher's Summary

A national best seller upon its publication, Anywhere but Here is a moving, often comic portrait of wise child Ann August and her mother, Adele, a larger-than-life American dreamer. As they travel through the landscape of their often conflicting ambitions, Ann and Adele bring to life a novel that is a brilliant exploration of the perennial urge to keep moving, even at the risk of profound disorientation. Simpson's first novel is ultimately a heart-rending tale of a mother and daughter's invaluable relationship.

©2012 Mona Simpson (P)2012 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Mona Simpson writes with confidence, with swagger. She is already a master." (Anne Tyler)

"Anywhere but Here is a wonder: big, complex, masterfully written, it's an achievement that lands [Simpson] in the front ranks of our best novelists." (Newsweek)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.3 (73 )
5 star
 (17)
4 star
 (12)
3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Overall
3.0 (64 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
3.4 (64 )
5 star
 (15)
4 star
 (18)
3 star
 (17)
2 star
 (8)
1 star
 (6)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    jennifer BROOKLYN, NY, United States 03-29-13
    jennifer BROOKLYN, NY, United States 03-29-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    42
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    "Fantastic character study"

    A mother with borderline personality disorder (or similar affliction- it's never formally acknowledged); a daughter who is oddly detached and stoic; a supporting cast of characters endearing and infuriating, woven together in a sort of anti-coming-of-age story: fantastic. I was engrossed from start to finish.

    And the narration: excellent. Most narrators irk me some way or another.
    Kate Rudd, however, delivers an unpretentious, somewhat monotone, lovely narration that fans of 'This American Life' will enjoy.

    So glad I took a chance on this wonderful novel.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Miranda Austin, TX, United States 04-01-13
    Miranda Austin, TX, United States 04-01-13 Member Since 2004

    The things I know for sure I am are: Christian, Wife, Mother, Daughter, Granddaughter, Sister, American, Patriot, Friend, Teacher, Student, Seeker, and Thinker. I am far from perfect but I do try to be kind, honest, honorable, trusting and trustworthy. Lover of sunshine, books, southern food, vacations in national parks, singing in my car, cookie dough and icing, and cucumber margaritas.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Great Book From Multiple Perspectives"
    What did you love best about Anywhere But Here?

    I really enjoyed how the book was written giving the perspectives of several different generations of the family. It gave the story so much more depth and texture than if the author had taken a single perspective approach. The author created a storyline that drew me in and made me feel emotionally attached to the characters.


    What about Kate Rudd’s performance did you like?

    I really enjoyed the main characters voices but Ms. Rudd over emphasized the endingS of wordS so ofteN that it drove me nuts. There were times I had to force myself to keep listening because it was so irritating. She didn't do it until around chapter 3. I guess someone must have critiqued her work and told her to be more clear or something? Either way, it was bad advice.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    YES!


    Any additional comments?

    If any of you have known someone whose entire personality and mood could flip on a dime and suddenly YOU are to blame for everything wrong in their life you will be able to appreciate the main character in the book.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer Knight Napa, CA 02-28-14
    Jennifer Knight Napa, CA 02-28-14 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    "Loved it."
    What did you love best about Anywhere But Here?

    It's a dark and engaging story. The characters are complex and edgy.


    Who was the most memorable character of Anywhere But Here and why?

    Adelle. Adelle is so complex and interesting. The narrator elegantly brings her to life.


    Any additional comments?

    Beautiful and skillful narration. The actor really brings these characters and places to life. Fantastic.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sara 05-20-14
    Sara 05-20-14 Member Since 2010
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Can't get past the narrator"
    What disappointed you about Anywhere But Here?

    The only way I'll know if this book was a great read is if I actually read it. The narrator's voice doesn't work well as a child/teen.


    Any additional comments?

    This is a credit I'll never get back.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dianne Oregon, Untied States 05-19-14
    Dianne Oregon, Untied States 05-19-14 Member Since 2012

    A busy Mum and Accountant. Listen to books while driving to work or sunbathing is my guilty pleasure.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    "Mother & Daughter one is nothing without the other"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    Not really, you got a true insight into the daughters thoughts and lives.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Yes it would make a good story - chick flick


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cassie 05-10-14
    Cassie 05-10-14
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Boring"
    What would have made Anywhere But Here better?

    More action, any plot twists, less long pointless stories. Oh wait, there was one plot twist.


    What was most disappointing about Mona Simpson’s story?

    It dragged on and on and seemed to have no point.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Kate Rudd?

    Oh she was alright.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disappointment and boredom


    Any additional comments?

    couldn't finish it, too long and slow.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Virginia Barneveld, WI, United States 04-11-14
    Virginia Barneveld, WI, United States 04-11-14 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    78
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    "Painfully too long"

    This story had little substance and could have ended about 10 hours earlier. Most of the story felt forced and artificial.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C. Oneal California 04-04-14
    C. Oneal California 04-04-14 Member Since 2012

    I'm addicted to Audible. A new grandma I am responsible for my grandsons library, which reignited my interest in books.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    37
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    "No more unabridged novels"

    I can't exactly determine where my irritation lies but I'm beginning to think it's with the unnecessary wordiness. I get bored as it drones on about nothing, realize 20 minutes went by and rewind, get distracted again, rewind only to realize it was nothing worth listening to. I couldn't even get half way through it. The characters were not likable and the story was dragging.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joanne Eugene, OR, USA 04-01-14
    Joanne Eugene, OR, USA 04-01-14 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
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    8
    4
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    "Living in a disfunctional family"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    I found myself getting very frustrated with the characters in this book. I have known a woman with the same sort of personality disorder as Ann August and she was frustrating to deal with.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Kate Rudd?

    No suggestions as to another narrator but someone who could give the different voices more of a difference.


    Was Anywhere But Here worth the listening time?

    Not for me


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Meagan vR Ohio 04-13-14
    Meagan vR Ohio 04-13-14 Member Since 2010

    I collect spores, molds, and fungus.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    20
    ratings
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    34
    23
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    2
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    Story
    "Why was there no story?"
    Would you try another book from Mona Simpson and/or Kate Rudd?

    Maybe


    What was most disappointing about Mona Simpson’s story?

    Great characters who do nothing


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Kate Rudd?

    Yea


    Was Anywhere But Here worth the listening time?

    Nah


    Any additional comments?

    Too bad. Well written for what it was but just became dull after a little while with nothing happening.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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