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Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness | [Alexandra Fuller]

Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness

Alexandra Fuller won worldwide attention, popular acclaim, and critical accolades for her memoir of her childhood in Africa, Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight. This engaging follow-up explores Fuller’s parents’ childhoods and charts the trajectories of their lives through all the British couple’s experiences in war-torn Africa. With the same sharply etched narrative that has earned the author such immense praise, Fuller expands on and offers new insights into her family’s remarkable trials and successes.
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Publisher's Summary

Alexandra Fuller won worldwide attention, popular acclaim, and critical accolades for her memoir of her childhood in Africa, Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight. This engaging follow-up explores Fuller’s parents’ childhoods and charts the trajectories of their lives through all the British couple’s experiences in war-torn Africa.

Fuller braids a multilayered narrative around the perfectly lit, Happy Valley-era Africa of her mother's childhood; the boiled cabbage grimness of her father's English childhood; and the darker, civil war- torn Africa of her own childhood. At its heart, this is the story of Fuller's mother, Nicola. Born on the Scottish Isle of Skye and raised in Kenya, Nicola holds dear the kinds of values most likely to get you hurt or killed in Africa: loyalty to blood, passion for land, and a holy belief in the restorative power of all animals. Fuller interviewed her mother at length and has captured her inimitable voice with remarkable precision. Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness is as funny, terrifying, exotic, and unselfconscious as Nicola herself.

©2011 Alexandra Fuller (P)2011 Recorded Books, LLC

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (337 )
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4.3 (290 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Gardengirl 03-02-15
    Gardengirl 03-02-15 Member Since 2011
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    1
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    Story
    "Singing"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness to be better than the print version?

    An interesting, well-read book EXCEPT for the singing. Why, oh why, did the publishers require -- if require they did -- the reader to sing the songs in the text? It's utterly painful.


    What other book might you compare Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness to and why?

    When The Crocodile Swallowed The Sun.


    What three words best describe Bianca Amato’s voice?

    Fine except for the singing.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    No


    Any additional comments?

    No

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    KEITH Canyon Country, CA, United States 10-29-13
    KEITH Canyon Country, CA, United States 10-29-13 Member Since 2010

    I have been listening to books on tape for over 20 years. Starting with audio tapes, then CD's and now downloads.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Life in Africa during a war of revolution"
    What made the experience of listening to Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness the most enjoyable?

    I love the truth and relationship between the family members. For the main character to have the nickname of a monkey is just the beginning of the joy, not fun, buy heartfelt joy of reading this book. The narator did a fantastic job and made the book even more enjoyable. I remember as a kid hearing of the wars in Africa between the ruling whites and the majority blacks, but this book gives you a feeling of life in that world.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I love the Mom. She is both as trong character and so fragile psychologically. I love that she tries to make a family of artist during the trying time of war


    Have you listened to any of Bianca Amato’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    This book would not be nearly as interest without Biance. I found that her reading made the book for me. Out of my hundreds of audio books I have listened to she is probably the finest reader I have heard.


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

    Yes. I could not stop. I listened to it while driving to work, at the gym or even sitting in my driveway before going in for the night. I could not put it down.


    Any additional comments?

    I had not listened to Ms. Fuller works before but now have all her audible works on my wish list which I will buy each month. She is like great candy and I will pace myself to enjoy her over the longest time possible. I strogly suggest this work.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Judy Bowna via Albury, Australia 10-05-13
    Judy Bowna via Albury, Australia 10-05-13 Member Since 2011

    Photographer's Moll, Chicken breeder, school administrator and owned by four dogs. Busy life, Happy life!

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    "Just Lovely"

    A well written, well narrated story that describes a family history that is at once difficult and heartwarming. Beautiful descriptions of life in a different era of Africa.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Connie California 07-18-13
    Connie California 07-18-13

    Connie

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    "never grabbed me"

    A good friend recommended this book to me so I wanted to like it. I do generally like the ex-pats in Africa topic. This book however never developed a character I cared much about, and I was glad it wasn't that long.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Blue Wren 05-17-13
    Blue Wren 05-17-13
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    14
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    "Just can't take any more!"

    Tried again to listen to this book but it's so trite and seems to have no plot. Managed to listen to 45 minutes on the train but it was too painful, especially the singing. Best avoided.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    K. Ruple Georgia 03-30-13
    K. Ruple Georgia 03-30-13
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    "Interesting and provides some historical insights"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    Gives you insights into what British settlers experienced, some humor, some sad, good description of dynamics of mother/daughter and siblings. Is the Mother stable? Yet we all have someone like this and move through life. Pace is a bit slow, but good for long runs.


    Would you recommend Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness to your friends? Why or why not?

    To pass the time, doesn't grab you but does entertain you.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Discovering the tree, talking on the veranda


    Could you see Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    Maybe a movie, definitely Meryl Streep, maybe Judy Dench both have the underlying "iron" with a shade of crazy in some of their performances.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pamela 01-17-13
    Pamela 01-17-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Entertaining and educational, but mostly fun!"

    Loved everything about this book! the Locations,characters,and story, with a bit of African history thrown in!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carolyn Cole 01-02-13 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great stories of an unusual life."
    What did you love best about Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness?

    The narrator's voice and South African setting.


    What other book might you compare Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness to and why?

    Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight - also by Alexandra Fuller. This book has the same excellent storytelling and many of the same distinctive characters.


    Which character – as performed by Bianca Amato – was your favorite?

    The Mother - this book was written about Alexandra Fuller's flamboyant, unconventional, passionate and loving mother.


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

    Although I did not listen to it straight through, I could have. It is beautifully crafted, very compelling, and well-paced.


    Any additional comments?

    Alexandra Fuller is a writer of the first rank, and her reader, Bianca Amato, is exceptional.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bridget RICHMOND, VA, United States 01-01-13
    Bridget RICHMOND, VA, United States 01-01-13
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    "Can't get into the book."
    Would you try another book from Alexandra Fuller and/or Bianca Amato?

    I don't know.


    Has Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness turned you off from other books in this genre?

    Maybe.


    How could the performance have been better?

    I don't think the performance is this issue.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness?

    Unsure as I haven't finished the book.


    Any additional comments?

    The book is poorly written, and contains way to much information.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charmaine JOHANNESBURG, South Africa 12-19-12
    Charmaine JOHANNESBURG, South Africa 12-19-12 Member Since 2015

    I have a DLitt and Phil Degree which must imply a level of discernment? I just clocked over at 60. The significance is that I have read a whole lot of books. I'm now revisiting some of my all time favourites - and enjoying some first time round books. Books are my friends. Audible is JUST AMAZING - takes me back to pre -TV days, with my ear pressed to a crackly transistor radio - but now SO MUCH better and more 'classy' from a Kindle!

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    "Disappointing after Don't Let's Go to the Dogs.."

    This was the highly recommended book... When I did my research I decided to start with Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight, which maybe spoilt this experience for me. There is a fair amount of repetition which is not really a problem. What didn't work for me was a narrator who sounded about a hundred years old - and whose pregnant pauses made me think that my iPad had run out of battery. I drifted off to sleep whilst listening - and did not feel too inclined to rewind. It got better as I got into it - but combining events with characterization in The Dogs worked better for me than the focus on Mum who became annoying as she drifted in and out of functionality. Maybe this was a therapeutic experience for Alexandra Fuller - for me it was tedious putting up with a 'spoilt' self indulgent woman who deserved more empathy in the Dogs than in this book which was too much about her - and too little about how she weighed down the family members who incomprehensibly seemed to stand by and put up with her.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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