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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

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  •  
    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
  •  
    Ana BragaPortugal 09-10-12
    Ana BragaPortugal 09-10-12 Member Since 2009
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    "Deeply touching."
    If you could sum up Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness in three words, what would they be?

    Heartwarming
    Heartbreaking
    Dramatic


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness?

    The ride to the fancy-dress party in Lucy, the mine-proof Land Rover, with Vanessa as a rose, Olive as Spring, and Bobo in the back suffocating inside a insecticide tub as... I forget what.


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

    No, this is the first one. And it was excellent. The abruptness that fits so well the voice of Nicola Fuller (of Central Africa...) sometimes lingered in the main narration, and that was less suited.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    When Violet dies.
    When Adrian dies.
    When Olive dies.
    When "the baby" dies.


    Any additional comments?

    It's an excellent book.
    A very endearing and dramatic account of the life of these astonishingly brave, resilient people that go through the most exciting and most horrific experiences, taking the suffering side by side with joy, and never shirking from living life to its fullest.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susanna 04-01-12
    Susanna 04-01-12
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    "I couldn't put the book down."

    A wonderfully read book that made it hard to get out of the car. My 12 year old daughter loved the bits she heard.The dry humour of the story was highlighted by the droll rendition. The narrator was excellent and I often felt she was the actual writer. Bianca Amato had an easy accent to listen to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Suzanne Philadelphia, PA, United States 01-25-12
    Suzanne Philadelphia, PA, United States 01-25-12 Member Since 2009
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    "Wonderful listen!"

    I learned about this book through a friend. The narrator has the perfect voice for this book, very enjoyable to listen to. It was great to hear about a families life in another continent. "Nicola Fuller of Central Africa" what a character. Can't imagine the losses that she and her husband endured. A very funny yet sad book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Suzanne L. Coste USA 01-25-12
    Suzanne L. Coste USA 01-25-12 Member Since 2009

    Zan Zan

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    "Wonderful listen!"

    I learned about this book through a friend. The narrator has the perfect voice for this book, very enjoyable to listen to. It was great to hear about a families life in another continent. "Nicola Fuller of Central Africa" what a character. Can't imagine the losses that she and her husband endured. A very funny yet sad book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Newport Beach, CA, United States 12-23-11
    Amazon Customer Newport Beach, CA, United States 12-23-11 Member Since 2013
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    "A relaxing wonderful story"

    this is a book you will enjoy listing to in a nice quiet setting. The reader is excellent for the part!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dennis 11-29-11
    Dennis 11-29-11
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    "A good follow on"

    I did not enjoy this as much as "Don't let's go to the dogs tonight" but it was still a very enjoyable listen.
    It manages to capture so much of what is modern Africa.

    Well worth the price.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carolyn APO, AE, United States 09-21-11
    Carolyn APO, AE, United States 09-21-11 Member Since 2008
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    "Musical"

    Bianca reads Ms. Fuller's story as if it were her own. This clever book is full of insight to central Africa history along personal experiences of adaptation. I loved the use of humor that lead the listener through hard time. I thoroughly enjoyed it and look forward to reading Ms. Fuller's other "awful books"!!!!!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    teatime New York 10-09-11
    teatime New York 10-09-11 Member Since 2008

    ghostwriter

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    "Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness"

    I enjoyed Ms. Fuller's first book as well. Tales of an era gone by. How we do forget!

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful

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