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The Egg and I Audiobook

The Egg and I

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Publisher's Summary

When Betty MacDonald married a marine and moved to a small chicken farm on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State, she was largely unprepared for the rigors of life in the wild. With no running water, no electricity, a house in need of constant repair, and days that ran from four in the morning to nine at night, the MacDonalds had barely a moment to put their feet up and relax. And then came the children. Yet through every trial and pitfall - through chaos and catastrophe - this indomitable family somehow, mercifully, never lost its sense of humor.

A beloved literary treasure for more than half a century, Betty MacDonald's The Egg and I is a heartwarming and uproarious account of adventure and survival on the American frontier.

©1945 Betty MacDonald (P)2015 Post Hypnotic Press

What Members Say

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  •  
    Jean Santa Cruz, CA, United States 08-25-15
    Jean Santa Cruz, CA, United States 08-25-15 Member Since 2016

    I am an avid eclectic reader.

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    "Oh, I remember those August canning days."

    I remember in 1946 my mother reading “The egg and I” to my sister and I. I remember enjoying the book and when I saw it released in audio format I decided to read it again.

    The book was released in October of 1945 and it was a quirky, semi-autobiographical book about a young woman in the Pacific Northwest during the early decades of the twentieth century. The book opens with her childhood but most of the book is about her marriage in 1927 and her life on a chicken farm in the Olympic Peninsula. We grew up on a farm so the book brought back memories.

    The book is full of humor; some of it farm people will relate to more than a city dweller. MacDonald made the other people in the book into composite characters with fictional names to protect their friends and acquaintances’ identities. She created the Kettle family and in 1947 they were made into a movie. Several people filed lawsuit claiming the book damaged their reputations but they all lost.

    The book is well written and most enjoyable. Be prepared to laugh while reading. The book is narrated by heather Henderson.

    12 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    garlic heart 06-20-16

    garlic heart

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    "can't get enough"

    This is the kind of story you want to keep with you and listen to over and over. The characters and entertaining, inspiring, comforting and funny.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    asassyvic Indiana 03-02-16
    asassyvic Indiana 03-02-16 Listener Since 2007

    asassyvic

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    "The Hens Revenge"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Egg and I to be better than the print version?

    sure no two ways about it. Audio with a fabulous narrator is far more robust than reading a book.


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

    Heather Henderson has a gentle and refined voice. I have listened to some of her other Audio narrations. and she lends a certain something to each book that is special, always she is in tune with the authors intent and true to the characters in the story,


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

    Can't exactly say anything moved me because what did make an impact and not in a good way was when Bob, was so unfeeling and callous when the horse was standing on her foot and she was in real pain. The lout only was annoyed that the work was being slowed down and stopped.


    Any additional comments?

    The Egg and I was written during a very different mindset in history than today so no one should judge Betty for what was normal in 1945.
    It was not far into the story that I really disliked Bob and could foresee that things were not going to work out in the long term for them as a couple. I had a sense he was marrying her for money and a workhorse. He was just mean and selfish. Aside from that he was way to old for Betty and she was to young and innocent for such a clod.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mama C 02-15-16
    Mama C 02-15-16 Member Since 2008
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    "Well Told Tale"

    Betty MacDonald could really tell a story! "The Egg and I" is about her first two years of marriage to Bob on a chicken farm in the 1920s. She humorously tells it like it is, both the good and bad of the situation and neighbors.
    For a book written over sixty years ago, the language was pretty bad and included some unsavory descriptions. But that the book remains interesting and very funny after so many years is remarkable.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paula Becker Seattle, WA United States 09-14-15
    Paula Becker Seattle, WA United States 09-14-15
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    "Egged On"
    Would you listen to The Egg and I again? Why?

    I would listen to The Egg and I again. Betty MacDonald's style is personal and witty, and Heather Henderson voices the story well.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Egg and I?

    My favorite part of The Egg and I and of all of Betty MacDonald's books are her vivid descriptions of her childhood.


    Which character – as performed by Heather Henderson – was your favorite?

    Heather Henderson gets Betty MacDonald's first-person voice well.


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

    I listened to The Egg and I on a car trip between Seattle and Ashland, Oregon, found it very diverting.


    Any additional comments?

    During the latter half of the 20th Century, you would have been hard-pressed to find anyone in the United States who didn't recognize the title The Egg and I, or the name of its irrepressibly witty author, Betty MacDonald. The book sold more than 2 million copies within MacDonald's lifetime, and has remained continuously in print (albeit sometimes on her publishers' backlist) since it came out in 1945. The book has been translated into many languages, and has fans worldwide.Egg spawned three sequels. Betty MacDonald referred to these four autobiographical books as "I" books, since the first two, The Egg and I and The Plague and I (1948), placed Betty herself right in the title. Choosing an audio book narrator to voice "I" books, Betty's especially, means finding a reader who can -- for the listener -- be that "I," aurally illustrating the first person narrative. In this Post Hypnotic Press audio book edition, Heather Henderson's droll delivery is perfect for Betty MacDonald's prose.I have been living within The Egg and I and Betty MacDonald's other books (not literally, but very nearly) for years as I researched her life and work for my forthcoming biography, Looking For Betty MacDonald: The Egg, The Plague, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle and I, scheduled for publication by University of Washington Press in fall 2016. I highly recommend this Post Hypnotic Press audio book edition of The Egg and I. For those who haven't yet had the pleasure of reading the book, listening will be a wonderful introduction to Betty MacDonald. For the book's existing legions of fans, this audio book edition will be a treat, adding the depth and nuance that come from hearing MacDonald's tart, funny prose expertly voiced.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kallyn Keil 07-07-15
    Kallyn Keil 07-07-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Love This Story"

    It's one of my favorites! I've read the book 5 times, only natural to also have it read to me. Funny, genuine and smart.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rebecca L. White Dublin, OH 11-23-16
    Rebecca L. White Dublin, OH 11-23-16 Member Since 2015
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    "This brings back memories."

    I listened to the audiobook version of THE EGG AND I and found it as delightful as the movie and print version. By way of disclaimer, I and most of my forbears grew up on a farm in the Midwest. Betty MacDonald is about the same age as my grandparents. My parents, who also farmed, as well as some of my other relatives, raised chickens, as well as hogs, steers, sheep and milk cows. They gardened, canned, sewed, tatted and worried about running out of supplies before they could make it to town again. My relatives' stories about farming before electricity, running water and tractors became standard are similar in substance, but not as wittily told, as Betty's stories of living and working on a farm. Listening to this audiobook took me back in time to my childhood and to memories of my parents and grandparents talking about "the good old days".

    I noticed, in some of the other reviews, that people were concerned about the way that Betty characterized the local American Indian population. I was surprised at this. For one thing, her characterizations of the American Indians were not entirely negative. She obviously was impressed with Indians that she was familiar with in her youth and the Indians in Washington appeared not to measure up to the high standards of her childhood memories. In any case, Betty's description of these Indians were gentle and kind next to her characterization of her Anglo Saxon neighbors, especially the Kettles. What I love about Betty's writing was that she treated everyone with equal amounts of wit, satire, soliloquy and sarcasm. I rolled on the floor laughing.

    The listener who is not familiar with country living or who cannot imagine life before cellphones may not find this book as enjoyable and funny as I did. But anyone who has raised chickens, even 3 or 4 in your backyard, who has lived near colorful and eccentric neighbors, who has struggled to learn the skills necessary to survive in a new environment, or who just appreciates a well turned word will enjoy this audiobook immensely.

    My hats off to Heather Henderson for a well done narration of this book. She made Betty and her family and neighbors come to life.
    1 like

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Leah 11-18-16
    Leah 11-18-16 Member Since 2015
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    "I didn't want it to be done!"
    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Egg and I?

    The fire. How very frightening! Yet, she still kept on being kind.


    Any additional comments?

    I'm hooked. I just hate when the books are done! The stories are so simple, and tell us what life was like back then. I have nothing to complain about. If I want to boil water, I get a pot out, fill it with water, and turn the burner on. She had to carry it endlessly, and refill the reservoir many times over. Talk about learned patience. Not like today. We want instant results.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tamara B. 12-02-16
    Tamara B. 12-02-16
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    "This was a fun book to listen to!"
    Any additional comments?

    The Egg and I, written by Betty MacDonald, is entertaining, witty, heartening, and uplifting. Ms. MacDonald took difficult times in her life and made them appear fun by utilizing witty and dry humor throughout. The good, the bad, and the ugly of married life on a chicken farm in the late 1920’s is written with such flare that even today I think some people will relate to some of the situations.

    The Egg and I is narrated by Heather Henderson and she performed the story so well that I thought Betty MacDonald herself was sitting in my living room telling the story. Henderson’s voice is soothing and hypnotic and took an already great book to an utterly outstanding book! The ‘voice’ of Pa Kettle was perhaps my favorite, but the ‘voices’ of all the characters were distinctive and enjoyable to listen to. Ms. Henderson is a new narrator for me, but I will definitely search out more titles narrated by her in the future - especially the other books written by Betty MacDonald.

    Overall, this was a fun book to listen to and I found myself laughing out loud throughout. The Egg and I is extremely well-written with charming and delightful characters and is one audio book that I will listen to again and again.

    Story – 4 stars
    Performance – 5 stars
    Overall – 4.5 stars

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Beth Wade Seattle, WA 12-01-16
    Beth Wade Seattle, WA 12-01-16

    Pop Culture Duchess

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    "Wry and witty and definitely of the era"
    What did you love best about The Egg and I?

    I’ve wanted to read The Egg & I for several years, ever since I found out that my grandmother and grandfather had a small farm in Port Orchard, around the same time Betty MacDonald had the chicken ranch in Port Townsend (they would have been 60 miles apart, but experiencing similar challenges and beauty). My grandparents (all of them) died before I reached age 13, so I ever had a chance to know them as adults. It felt like reading this book would give me a better understanding, in some way, of who my grandmother was.

    So when Audiobookworm Promotions advertised the release of it in audiobook format for the first time ever, I jumped at the chance. This is the kind of story very well-suited to an audiobook. The wry humor falls in the same storytelling vein as authors like Garrison Keillor, so listening to it was breezy and fun.

    It’s always interesting to experience an actual historic novel- that is, written by someone living in that era, with all the ideals of the era and no consideration that these values may be incorrect. Historical fiction is fun, but always written from a modern perspective, so it lacks the raw punch of true historic accounts. Listening to Betty’s understanding (aka society’s expectation) of what it means to be a wife, her offhand racist comments toward First Nations, and her exasperation with the “current fad” of chicken ranching was both awkward and honest. Knowing this could have easily been my grandmother, I wanted to show her that she, too, could have wants and needs apart from catering to her husband. But, of course, that was the era.

    Slight cringe-worthy moments aside, the dry wit applied to this memoir makes it fun. And it doesn’t romanticize the self-suficient country life or the area. It seems an apt read, given the rise of homesteading. And of course, listening to it fortified my resolve to never homestead.

    I recommend it for fans of memoirs, the 1940s, homesteading and country/ranch life, western Washington, and dry humor. And I definitely recommend it in audiobook format.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Alan
    9/3/15
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    "The moment it finished I started listening again!"
    Would you listen to The Egg and I again? Why?

    I have loved this book for about 45 years and got many family & friends addicted to it. Betty MacDonald and Jane Austen may seem an unlikely sisterhood but they have got me through some very difficult times between them! I couldn't believe my luck when Audible offered a recording and was concerned the immediacy of the humour might not come across in a reading. I had no need to worry - it is a brilliant reading and the book transfers to audio with ease. In fact the moment I finished listening to it I started listening all over again and have just finished the second hearing.


    What other book might you compare The Egg and I to, and why?

    The Betty MacDonald books are fairly unique - very humorous, perfectly capturing the atmosphere and outlooks of their era, with vivid characterisation and deceptively well written with a fluid, easy to read (or listen) style. The descriptions (especially of the scenery) land you right in the centre of the book - there is nobody else like Betty MacDonald, unique! Who else would write so brilliantly about egg farming or recuperating from tuberculosis (The Plague and I) or high unemployment (Anybody Can Do Anything)?


    What does Heather Henderson bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    Not a reader I had come across but she is amazing - she brings out the fact that Betty was brought up to be a lady which makes her misadventures and tribulations even funnier - imagine Margo from The Good Life suddenly finding herself running a chicken farm! The characterisation is vivid without being cartoonish, her pronunciation of certain words is (to my English ears) delightful and you can tell she is having a ball reading this book and is delighted to share it with you! Her reading is heartfelt, droll and wry. As Juliet Stevenson is to Jane Austen on audio so Heather Henderson is to Betty MacDonald - and there is no higher praise!


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

    I laughed inwardly through most of it and aloud at quite a few moments. It is a total delight but it isn't all perpetual sunshine - the terrible forest fire towards the end is captured brilliantly as is the boredom and loneliness of life on the chicken ranch.


    Any additional comments?

    I understand the reader is going to record Betty's three other autobiographical books - the sooner the better! I can't wait!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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