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Miss Mapp | [E. F. Benson]

Miss Mapp

Miss Elizabeth Mapp, magnificent grande dame and heiress, is always on the lookout lest her neighbors fall outside the bounds of perfect, exemplary manners. But her tightly controlled world is soon beset on all sides by interlopers, first in the disturbingly masculine form of two very different retired army officers, both of whom are anything but retiring in their conflicting aims upon her heart.
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Publisher's Summary

Miss Elizabeth Mapp, magnificent grande dame and heiress, is always on the lookout lest her neighbors fall outside the bounds of perfect, exemplary manners. But her tightly controlled world is soon beset on all sides by interlopers, first in the disturbingly masculine form of two very different retired army officers, both of whom are anything but retiring in their conflicting aims upon her heart. Second, there appears the elegant, insidiously evil Contessa possessed of dazzling charm and diabolical designs.

(P)2001 Blackstone Audiobooks

What the Critics Say

"Nadia May does a hilarious Miss Mapp, the small-minded small-town heiress of a certain age who leads an absolutely full life spying on and attempting to best her neighbors." (AudioFile)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (69 )
5 star
 (30)
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 (22)
3 star
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Overall
3.9 (35 )
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Story
4.2 (33 )
5 star
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3 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    G. Griffin 04-26-05
    G. Griffin 04-26-05 Listener Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Classic British Turn of the Century Comedy"

    The Lucia series by Benson is as fresh as it was 100 years ago. This is broad comedy, with a lot of absurdity. This is one of a six book series (as originally written) and introduces Miss Mapp, who is a wholly riduculous and mostly unlikeable character. But very, very funny; as we can all still some of oursevelves (and others) in this comdedy. The series was very daring for its time with a major gay character (not in this book, but all of the others), and a lesbian--but never any sex.

    Nadia May is one of the better British readers, although her women (not surprisingly) are quite a bit better than her men. But in this series of books, only the women really matter. The men are just foiils for the plotting, backstabbing, and--when it all comes home to roost--the hilarious, slow-train-wreck-of-an-exposure.

    This is not a romance though.

    12 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Die Falknerin 11-18-12 Member Since 2008

    Painter, musician, bibliophile...

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Benson at his satirical best"

    Benson's inimitable gift for satire shines in this classic. Yes, obviously it is very much a story of its time: that is the whole point. As others have said, this is certainly not a romance: it is satire in the finest British tradition. Sometimes darkly comic, sometimes farcical, it plays up the manners, customs, and social-climbing of a small society of seaside Edwardians. If you're not interested in reading that sort of thing, look elsewhere. But I daresay if you enjoy Wilde and Saki, you will adore Benson and long for more!

    The narration is superb. From the brusque (and sometimes inebriated) exchanges of the military men to the catty competition of Elizabeth Mapp and "Diva Darling" Plaistow, the false brogue of the Reverend, and the flirtatious Contessa, Nadia May brings each character to life. Somehow you feel you reallly know them.

    Of course I recommend you continue with the "Mapp and Lucia" series if you enjoy this book. And don't neglect Benson's supernatural short fiction: most of the stories are excellent entertainments for Hallowe'en and dark winter nights.



    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mara P Alameda, CA 11-09-07
    Mara P Alameda, CA 11-09-07
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    "Enjoyable"

    I had a little trouble getting into this book, but after about 45 minutes I was hooked. While I thought that Miss Mapp could be petty and gossipy, her little rants, plottings, and schemes seemed familiar and realistic. I even found myself laughing out loud at some of the conversations that Miss Mapp had with Diva. For me, the competitions between Miss Mapp and Diva were the best part of the book and I thought the book lost momentum when it followed other characters.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ruth Leonia, NJ, United States 01-17-12
    Ruth Leonia, NJ, United States 01-17-12
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    "Fun and joyful"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, itis a funny, endearing story, a reminder of another time when life was so simple!


    What did you like best about this story?

    Mapp's character is funny and sooo hypocritical!


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

    No


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ruth A. Swinney 01-17-12 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    167
    3
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    "Fun and joyful"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, itis a funny, endearing story, a reminder of another time when life was so simple!


    What did you like best about this story?

    Mapp's character is funny and sooo hypocritical!


    Have you listened to any of Nadia May???s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    NK Turoff New York, NY United States 02-24-14
    NK Turoff New York, NY United States 02-24-14 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Perfection!"

    This recording is, for me, a dream come true. The Mapp & Lucia stories are long-time favorites of mine, and Nadia May is perhaps my single favorite female voice in the audio book universe. (Well--not my "single" favorite, as she also records under several "nom de mike"s, including Donada Peters, Leonora Stafford, Ann Miles and her real name--Wanda McCaddon.)

    I have been listening to the previously-available recording of "Miss Mapp", narrated by Prunella Scales, for many years. Ms. Scales is excellent, but the quality of the recording is poor. I mean no disparagement of Ms. Scales, but Nadia May's diction and style are superior: a perfect match for the writing style and time period of this novel.

    Can I say "perfect" again?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Liza Keswick, VA, United States 07-10-13
    Liza Keswick, VA, United States 07-10-13
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    "Perfect Narrator for this charming story"
    Any additional comments?

    Nadia May was spot on as the narrator for this charming tale of English village life. A delightful listen for long summer days.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William Redwood City, CA, USA 04-15-05
    William Redwood City, CA, USA 04-15-05 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Boring..."

    The subject should be all I write on this book...boring. If you are looking for a turn-of-the-century romance, filled with sharp witty dialogue this is not it. If you are looking for a painfully slow story about the shallow cares of high society this is your book. The main character, Miss Mapp, was so annoying I found myself encouraging others in the book to scorn her and found no satisfaction in her happiness. The additional characters were no more loveable and I feel the overall listen was a waste of time.

    4 of 23 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-8 of 8 results
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  • Philip
    Tonbridge, United Kingdom
    4/22/10
    Overall
    "and escapist delight"

    It would be difficult to say quite what it is about this audiobook that is so mesmerically wonderful. i've listened to it repeatedly. Familiarity just makes it more comforting- like a warm blanket.

    It's a picture of a perfect world; a group of people living in a beautiful little town 'Tilling' (Rye really, as everyone knows, in Sussex) All the charecters have enough money to live comfortably, and servants to do the hard work so they have all day to plot against each other- living lives of constant point-scoring, petty meanness and one-up-manship.

    We're still waiting for Blackstone Audio and Audible to bring us the sequels...

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • Jackie
    Dundee, Angus, United Kingdom
    5/29/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Miss Mapp is my mother in law!"

    Very much of it's time but it's a time that I like. A wittily observed picture of small town middle class ladies of a certain age and their rivalries and frailties. It's actually very funny in it's own genteel fashion and Miss Mapp's similarity to my above mentioned relative made my blood run cold. He must have known her! Very well written, well read and entertaining.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Deborah
    Umberleigh, United Kingdom
    12/23/12
    Overall
    "Hillarious & an enjoyable read!"

    This may have been published some 90 years ago but E.F. Benson's observation of people is still just a relevant for today. The story is s series of 'episodes' of Miss Mapp's life in Tilling [Rye] and the many interactions with fellow villagers. They are hilarious events such as decorating clothing with cut out flowers from curtains and consequential one-man-up-manship that takes place; The visit of the Prince of Wales and the schemes to meet him.



    It is great descriptive writing that will have you chuckling out loud.



    Nadia's reading is enjoyable with the various voices 'just right'. Read while on a 2 week cruise and has fond memories. I re-reading often enjoying going back to certain chapters for sheer escapism to Tilling.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • S Wood
    6/5/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Perfectly charming A period piece"

    I remembered the TV series so was delighted to see the original book. I wasn't disappointed. Miss Mapp is an absolutely charming period piece that perfectly captures 1920's market town snobbery. Written with a perfect dry ascerbic wit that would put Stephan Fry to shame I would thoroughly recommend this book

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-4 of 4 results

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