The scene of this entertaining story is laid in a charming English village. The plot centres round Miss Barbara Buncle, a maiden lady who was obliged to write a book because – as she naively explained – her dividends were so poor. Unfortunately, Miss Buncle had no imagination, so she wrote about her friends – quite kindly and truthfully, of course, for she was a benevolent and veracious soul.
The reactions of her friends to Miss Buncle’s book, however, were a little surprising, and the far-reaching and unexpected results of its publication caused quite a stir.
©1934 D. E. Stevenson (P)2010 Soundings
I am new to DE Stevenson books-- but the reviews I read about it were so positive I thought I'd give it a try. At first I thought I might have made a mistake--but my suggestion is to wait before judging and keep going. The book is a total charmer. Extremely funny--with hysterical exchanges between the perfectly developed characters. The book was written in the 1930's so it really portrays a whole other world for the reader. It reminded me of the style of humor in the Cary Grant movie Bringing up Baby or the more recent What's Up Doc with Ryan O'Neal and Barbra Streisand. Slap stick silliness. It was really fun listening and I look forward to other books by this author. Strongly recommended!
Have I become too much of a curmudgeon? Perhaps, but this one left me underwhelmed, largely due to finding most of the characters unlikeable (or at least uninteresting). Miss Buncle herself is incredibly dull, at one point partway through when another character speculates aloud about who the mystery writer might be, she dismisses Miss Buncle to her face as "not smart enough"; towards the end, Miss Buncle "confesses" to another villager, only to be brushed off. She states to her publisher, "I have no imagination at all, so cannot write fiction. I can only report what I see." Zzzzzzzz ...
The new young vicar came off as a silly, slightly pompous twit, although at the end of the spectrum, Sally, the girl who comes to live next door to Miss Buncle, shows a great deal of enthusiasm and practicality, becoming about the only friend Miss Buncle seems to have at all, except perhaps for the doctor's wife; that lady and her husband were about the best of the local lot. The rest were fairly ... stock.
1930's England can be interesting, though this lot made the book seem a bit dated to me. One point that did pique my curiosity concerned the two older women "sharing expenses" who came across as a Don't Ask, Don't Tell same sex couple, tacitly acknowledged by the doctor himself at one point when he consults one at length about the condition of the other exactly as though she were a spouse.
Audio narration was quite good, as Ms. Gallimore differentiated characters well, so I'd recommend the book for folks who love stories set when the (upper) middle class still had servants, but the stuffiness of the Victorian era had pretty much worn off.
I haved loved reading D E Stevenson books for years. But HEARING her words read to me is a whole new experience and gave me a new appreciation for her writing. What a delight. I will definitely look for more of her books to purchase.
Home school family with six children ages 7-21. We love listening to audible books together. We like Twaddle-free books.
I loved this book so much that I just couldn't stop listening and had to buy the next book immediately! This book is about a dear sweet matronish lady who writes a book about a lady writing a book about the town she lives in. Unfortunately, although she attempted to disguise her situation by slightly changing the names, everybody immediately recognized everyone, EXCEPT for the author of the book. Most of the book is spent talking about the impact of the book on the town and their attempt to figure out who really wrote it. It is a sweet, gentle book with enough tale to keep you wanting to know what happens next.
This will be a great book for a family listen.
Laugh out loud funny! A delightful book, with delightful characters. My favorite chapter was the meeting of the outraged at Mrs. Featherstone-Hogg's. The performance was absolutely incredible. I think this book is more fun as an audiobook because the reader is fabulous with accents and characterizations.
Give me a good tale, one to make me stay up all night! I love non-fiction, and 19th century Victorian fiction. Georgette Heyer is a worthy successor to Jane Austen. Married, 2 kids, worked in tech support.
I love a gentle book about a small village with a group of families. Jane Austen said it best, didn't she? Now add wonderful satire. Miss Buncle needs to make some money, so she writes a book, published under the name of John Smith. She innocently writes characters based on the people in the village, but writes them as they really are, not as they want themselves to be seen. The villagers are wanting to sue for libel because the character is obviously them --- but of course it is not them. It's great fun.
Reader. Painter. Newspaper columnist. Nurse. Humane Society. Lake life. Walker. Happily remarried - was a widow.
Original and entertaining story.
More than you expect.
Not your usual English cottage story. Kind and gentle, but has an edge of sorts and I found it delightful, easy to listen to, and absolutely fun. I plan to read the sequel. Well written. Worth your time.
Hi all. I'm in my 50's (that's relevant, i think), and I favor fiction. I like the british sensibility, and was introduced to the Forsyte Saga through audible ... loved it! I happen to also like Chinese writers, but they are not well represented yet at audible. Looking to follow readers with similar tastes ...
I realize that I am in the minority on this one, but I found this book basically boring ... Cute premise, but often tedious. Too many characters for no particular reason. Good narration, though.
This is the favorite Stevenson book, rather like Oscar Wilde in its humor. Nice studies of the space between personality and what is projected to the world often with a delightful jar as the hypocrisy becomes manifest
The novel is about a woman writing a book about a woman writing a book! Genuinely funny and great characters that are well drawn. This is a story that can be reread over and over.
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