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Oh Dear Silvia | [Dawn French]

Oh Dear Silvia

Who is in Coma Suite Number 5? A matchless lover? A supreme egotist? A selfless martyr? A bad mother? A cherished sister? A selfish wife? All of these. For this is Silvia Shute, who has always done exactly what she wants. Until now, when her life suddenly, shockingly stops. Her past holds a terrible secret, and now that she is unconscious in a hospital bed, her constant stream of visitors are set to uncover the mystery of her broken life. Meanwhile she must lie there, victim of the beloveds, the borings, the babblings and the plain bonkers. Like it or not, the truth is about to pay Silvia a visit. Again, and again and again...
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Publisher's Summary

The unabridged, downloadable audiobook edition of Dawn Frenchs’ second brilliant novel, Oh Dear Silvia, featuring a full cast of readers including Gareth Armstrong, Jane Collingwood, Beattie Edmondson, James Fleet, Llewella Gideon, Jack Lowden, James McArdle, Pauline McLynn, Patrice Naiambana, Celine Rosa Tan, Maggie Steed, Ruby Turner, and Dawn herself.

Who is in Coma Suite Number 5? A matchless lover? A supreme egotist? A selfless martyr? A bad mother? A cherished sister? A selfish wife? All of these. For this is Silvia Shute, who has always done exactly what she wants. Until now, when her life suddenly, shockingly stops. Her past holds a terrible secret, and now that she is unconscious in a hospital bed, her constant stream of visitors are set to uncover the mystery of her broken life. Meanwhile she must lie there, victim of the beloveds, the borings, the babblings and the plain bonkers. Like it or not, the truth is about to pay Silvia a visit. Again, and again and again...

©2012 Dawn French (P)2012 Penguin Books Ltd

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (23 )
5 star
 (9)
4 star
 (7)
3 star
 (4)
2 star
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Overall
3.9 (21 )
5 star
 (8)
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3 star
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1 star
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Story
4.0 (22 )
5 star
 (12)
4 star
 (5)
3 star
 (1)
2 star
 (1)
1 star
 (3)
Performance
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  •  
    Mrs. J. A. Garratt Adelaide, South Australia, AU 10-05-13
    Mrs. J. A. Garratt Adelaide, South Australia, AU 10-05-13 Listener Since 2004

    Julie Adelaide :)

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Can't get into it. Rather slow."
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    The voice of the sister drove me nuts!


    What could Dawn French have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Read the whole thing :)


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Over acting sister.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Boredom


    Any additional comments?

    Not my cup of tea. A bit slow and depressing sorry.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susannah Adelaide, Australia 06-24-13
    Susannah Adelaide, Australia 06-24-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    17
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    16
    16
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Favourite audio book so far..."
    Would you consider the audio edition of Oh Dear Silvia to be better than the print version?

    Yes...we studied this book for our Book Club. I was the only one to listen to it...everyone else read it. The narrators bring each character to life in such a way that I felt I knew them all personally. At our Book Club meeting I played some of the audio so that my fellow readers could enjoy some of the characters for themselves.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The narration was wonderful.


    What does the narrators bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?


    See above.


    Who was the most memorable character of Oh Dear Silvia and why?

    Each character was memorable in this book...no-one stood out more than another...they were all fabulous.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J South Bexley, Australia 05-01-13
    J South Bexley, Australia 05-01-13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Oh Dear Dawn - what a pearler"
    What made the experience of listening to Oh Dear Silvia the most enjoyable?

    This is an audible experience which moved me through the gambit of emotions from laughter and tears and everywhere in between. Brilliant concept in which the characters develop with each page. Thoroughly enjoyable! Great Job Dawn!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amy Hughesdale, Australia 03-14-13
    Amy Hughesdale, Australia 03-14-13 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    0
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    20
    1
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    FOLLOWING
    1
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    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Intriguing twists and turns."

    After a slow and slightly grating beginning, I really became involved in the story and all it's characters. The contrast between personalities and perspectives, was enjoyable and the plot was engaging if not completely flawless (some characters over do it at times). I enjoy much of Dawn French's work, this is no different, fun, thought provoking and a good listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Judith Bargara, Australia 11-29-12
    Judith Bargara, Australia 11-29-12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fantastic Book"
    If you could sum up Oh Dear Silvia in three words, what would they be?

    As a ICU nurse I have witnessed these scenarios. I found it fascinating to imagine Silvia hearing all of this twisting quirky and yet familiar portrait of a family.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The characters


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

    No


    Who was the most memorable character of Oh Dear Silvia and why?

    Jo


    Any additional comments?

    I loved it!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-5 of 5 results
Sort by:
  • jan
    Bromley, United Kingdom
    11/1/12
    Overall
    "Hilarious!!!!"

    This book is witty, sad in places but absolutely hilarious! I was laughing out loud, only Dawn French could write something so funny so eloquently.

    12 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • gail
    Hertford, United Kingdom
    11/1/12
    Overall
    "Great Listen"

    This is very well read by several people, including Dawn French. They all do a great job. In some places I was laughing so much I had to rewind and listen again. All the characters are believable and the book is very well written. I was left wanting more.

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • Karen
    HAYLING ISLAND, United Kingdom
    12/1/12
    Overall
    "Utterly Brilliant - now one of my top 5 ever!"

    Dawn French has pulled out all the stops in the totally amazing story - I loved every single word!



    Really well written; great idea; fabulously read by the author in her own inimitable style with nuances where only she would know they were needed; and guest narrators for each characters making everything easy to follow and totally believable.



    I didn't see any of the twists and turns coming which was fantastic - loved every one!



    I've encouraged all my friends to get on board with this story, I really can't praise it enough.



    I loved Tiny Bit Marvellous but this is in a league of its own.



    One of my Top 5 ever - definitely!

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Joanna
    Birmingham, West Midlands, United Kingdom
    4/13/13
    Overall
    "Dear Silvia"

    When I started this book I regretted choosing it, as it was very slow, the characters didn't interest me, and I found it irritating.



    It got better - and the plot developed, but I probably won't listen to it again. It's an interesting subject to write a book about, but it seemed a bit contrived. The characters were either all good, or all bad ... Except Silvia, who remained an enigma....

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Mrs
    Leeds, United Kingdom
    11/21/12
    Overall
    "Funny, poignant and seriously good"

    I loved this book, read by the author and a cast of actors. More than a book, for me this felt more like a play. Great characters and a very clever storyline. Would definitely recommend, makes you laugh out loud and shocks you too. Excellent.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Ms. C. T. Bell
    Belfast
    11/19/12
    Overall
    "Fantastic read"

    I really enjoyed this book - Dawn French's characterisations are just masterly! I simply didn't want to put it down. I usually prefer a single reader and dislike dramatisations, but the different (excellent) actors voicing the characters was wonderful bringing each person to life. I thought the premise intriguing - getting to know a person simply by the recollections of others - and this over-delivered on what I was expecting. The characters were just perfect, complex in some ways and simple in others, just as we all are.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • S B HALL
    4/17/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "*oh Dear Silvia *"
    What made the experience of listening to Oh Dear Silvia the most enjoyable?

    Silvia is in a coma. I found it interesting that a person, and her relationships, could be 'brought to life' by her visitors and their one sided conversations.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Silvia's foreign cleaner who spoke to her in 'English' (as taught by her sons!)


    Have you listened to any of the narrators’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    I have not heard any other performances by Dawn French, but after listening to 'Oh Dear Silvia', I look forward to hearing more!


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

    Despite the serious nature of the story, parts of the book made me smile, or even laugh out loud. The lasting feeling I got was the fact that we don't always know people as well as we think we do.


    Any additional comments?

    Oh Dear Silvia is so well written. I thoroughly enjoyed the book.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Kate
    Flinders, Australia
    11/6/12
    Overall
    "Disappointing"

    I was so excited when I saw a new Dawn French novel as I love A Tiny Bit Marvellous. Oh Dear Sylvia just didn't live up to my high hopes at all. I don't know if it was the radio play feel of it with a full cast reading their own lines that I didn't like...maybe I will try reading the book to see if that makes a difference...I don't know, i already feel let down. Full cast might have worked better for A Tiny Bit Marvellous as that was broken in to sections narrated by the different characters.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Sarah
    GLASGOW, United Kingdom
    8/20/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Total Downer"

    I should really have read a synopsis for this - I assumed because D French wrote it, it would be all warm and bubbly like her - error!

    This was a really grim wee book. Sylvia is in a coma and we are introduced to those who visit her and her caregivers. None of them have a happy background, so the interactions are very depressing. I also found that the sound quality wasn't that great, it was like they were mumbling and I had to put the volume up quite high.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Stefanie
    Uttoxeter, United Kingdom
    11/13/12
    Overall
    "Thought provoking"

    Excellent novel by Dawn French. I expected a funny book as her last novel was a real side splitter. I was a little perturbed when I first started to listen but soon couldn't stop. Fascinating insight, extremely well written. Thank you again Dawn, excellent.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
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