Read by two of the UK’s finest stand ups, Charlotte’s Lot is a light-hearted comedy about an infuriatingly self-centered English housewife who strikes up a relationship with a hideously smug celebrity healer. If you’ve ever had your palm read or your aura re-aligned you’ll know the type. Charlotte thinks she’s got everything: a big house, a husband in ship insurance and a pet cat called Missy…. But it’s all about to go wrong and a transformational journey for this super silly simpleton is about to begin.
Likened to a Jane Austen on acid, Charlotte’s Lot is an absurd and funny book about self-help, art, betrayal, discovery, self-obsession, sexual exhibitionism and cake making; an up-beat comedy, which laughs and celebrates our 21st century values.
©2006 Lara Silverstone; (P)2009 Lara Silverstone
This was an enjoyable novel. It was hard to turn it off as following Charlotte through life's ups and downs was so compelling. The narrators were spot on! The voice of Charlotte was very shrill, but she WAS Charlotte. Perfect. It's just that the ending was a let down. Without giving too much away, it just....ended.
I loved the readers...they were great. But I agree with the other reviewer...these characters are impossible to like, and there are all kinds of red herrings throughout the story that NEVER pan out - you're like "what was THAT all about?" And, the author wrote herself into a corner and had no idea how to end the book. It was one of those shaggy dog "Huh???" endings. Just bizarre.
A British friend of mine was familiar with Lara Silverstone's stand-up and recommended this audiobook. It was the first audiobook I'd ever listened to and I loved it. Anyone who likes comedy with profanity and some thoughtful neurosis will enjoy it. This book was sort of a guilty pleasure for a few weekends of my life, it's like a soap opera for non-delusional people. It hooks you like a soap, but it's smart and believable and you can tell the author has some actual experience with people like this (lucky idiots, narcissists, and the self-help industry). Anyway, listening to this book is like eavesdropping on a really juicy private conversation between to people you sort of hate and sort of envy, which is great. Judging by previous reviews, I guess it's safe to say the humor is very British, and so some American listeners might have different expectations about characters and plot resolutions. The characters are intentionally irritating, and the most potent/telling parts of Charlotte's story are the bits you have to read between the lines to get. It's not all spelled out. But it's hilarious. And the readers are great, their voices are clear and expressive.
Found "Charlotte's Lot" light hearted and witty.
Maybe because I grew up in England, I love with this type of humor. I was quickly engrossed in Charlotte's story. I thought that Dr.Bedford was excellently portrayed, so thoroughly smug. Although I don't want to give away the plot, I loved the way the book finished where it started - a great twist which might be confusing if you listen to the book over a long period of time. Charlotte's voice can be irritating at times but once you get used to it, you understand that it's part of the humor.
Narrators- good- the female speaker can be a bit high pitched
Story-Troublesome at times but in the end pretty good. Lots of..." how can this happen to me" and relationship advice from a man's view. It's a tennis match of e-mails. If your not patient this isn't for you.
A two person reading of emails between a bored (and dim) housewife and a self-help author, the book attempts humor and fails. Characters are dull and witless, not worth the time to listen to the audio book. Readers are effective.
Charlotte's Lot was amusing and very entertaining although at times I felt it dragged on a bit. The most captivating part of it was the voice of Charlotte - she brought the character to life and was extremely funny and silly. I loved the subtle arrogance and selfishness of the doctor, even though he tried to hide it behind new age babble.
The worst thing about this audiobook was the quality of it. It sounded as if they were in a big hall (echoes) and bits of it would be repeated.
"Four star review"
I used to be a self-help addict so this book really spoke to me. I've met a million smug Doctor Bedfords in my time and recognised quite a lot of pretentious clap-trap that the writer seems to be poking fun at. I really like the way the story is told via e-mails - given it is a very contemporary feel. I found Charlotte's character a bit annoying at first but after listening to the audio for a while, realised that she was supposed to be annoying and then I began to find her really funny, well maybe to laugh at rather than with. She is so ridiculous and has no perspective, but then she did have a bit of a terrible time. The thing about Charlotte, without wishing to give away the ending, which I loved, was that she changes by the end of the book and I do like a positive ending.
I generally don't like chick lit and was nearly put off buying this by a few of the reviews on the Audible.com website, but having downloaded and listened to this think it's got to be one of the funniest things I've heard. The humour is clearly sublime and ridiculous. I love the ludicrous banality of Charlotte and the revolting smugness of the self-help doctor. It's a really clever plot, and at 11 hours it was good for a couple of weeks worth of driving into work. I've read a lot of self-help books, so i got where this book was coming from.
"Couldn't put it down !!"
I really loved this book and was gripped by Charlotte?s story. It?s the perfect book to listen to if you?ve got a long journey somewhere or just simply need cheering up. I also thought that Doctor Bedford is brilliantly observed. He?s so perfectly smug, like one or two yoga instructors I?ve met. It?s interesting the way Charlotte?s character develops. She?s so stupid at the beginning of the book I wanted to hit her, however by the middle I could see her experiences were having a transforming affect on her. I found it very hard to stop listening and lost sleep because I kept feeling I wanted to know what happened next. I loved the way it was written in emails. I should mention that the actors were cast well as they portray the characters perfectly. Charlottes Lot definately gets my vote as I rarely find books that I feel I have to read all the way through, this is one of those rare finds! Brilliantly written with a quirky yet subtle sense of humour, I'd love to one day find out the author has written a sequel :-)
"I liked it a lot"
I really enjoyed this book. I thought it was clever, and tongue in cheek rather than hilarious. It had a radio 4 feel to it, and kept me occupied for 11 and a half hours which at 11.99 is great value for money.
I would never be friends with a person like Charlotte, she is self-centered and infuriating. That said, I've met a million people like her and enjoyed watching her life fall apart for a while, and even found myself feelings sorry for her. I won't ruin the end, but thought it was a lovely twist. It made me think the book was like a modern Emperors New Clothes. I'm giving this book four stars, for the unexpectedly good plot and originality. I would have given it five if it's description had been more accurate. I don't normally like chick lit, and would normally be put off by any Bridget Jones references.
"A compelling and knowing tale"
This is a great page turner in its audio equivalent - a having to leave it running? However, the blurb does it a disservice for it is wry and knowing and cynical (way before being hate-filled). I was intoxicated by the pair through their distant, never-in-sync email conversations that inevitably had to lead to misunderstandings and listening compulsively.
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