England between the wars was a paradise of utter calm and leisure for the very, very rich. But into this enclave is born Mrs. Emmeline Lucas - La Lucia, as she is known - a woman determined to lead a life quite different from the pomp and subdued nature of her class. With her cohort, Georgie Pillson, and her husband, Peppino, she upends the greats of high society, including the imperious Lady Ambermere and her equally imperious dog, Pug; the odious Piggy and Goosie Antrobus; the Christian Scientist Daisy Quantrock, with her penchant for the foreign; and everyone else in the small English town that the wealthy Britons call their country home. Beset on all sides by pretenders to her social throne, Lucia brings culture, the fine arts, and a great deal of excitement and intrigue into this cloistered realm.
(P)1997 Blackstone Audio Inc.
"[A] delicious satire of the pretensions and foibles of provincial middle-class life in Britain in the 1920s and '30s...[with] droll send-ups of the bitter battles waged by matrons desperate to live out their fantastical versions of upper-class elegance and wit, and...shrewd readings of the ways in which our longings can make us both bizarre and sometimes appealing." (Kirkus Reviews)
I have to admit that I bought this book almost 2 years ago but couldn't get through it. Even my favorite narrator, Nadia May, couldn't make me understand what the hell was going on. But I recently watched the British mini-series "Mapp & Lucia" on Netflix and I finally got it! I was shocked considering 99% of the time I prefer the book to the movie. I went back and tried it again and I absolutely loved this book! I even bought Benson's "Miss Mapp" as soon as I finished this one. Lucia, Georgie, Miss Mapp, Quaint Irene and all the other characters come alive with May's masterful narration. This is a great story of small time snobs in a teeny-tiny village who absolutely thrive on cliquish, gossipy behavior, and "up womanship". "La Lucia" and her rival Miss Mapp are hilarious trying to outdo each other trying to be big fish in a very small town, knowing that they could never survive in a big city like London during the reign of King George V. Mink coats and "Royces" here are like millennium hip-hop artists with their "bling-bling"! If at first you don't succeed in listening to this book, please try, try again. It's well worth the price of admission! (And there's always Netflix for a primer!)
Nadia May is superb, which suits Lucia just fine. The story as narrated by miss May is never tarsome
Ms May does a delightful job with the male voices.
Nadia May does a fine job at bringing this charming story to life.
"Before North Shore High - there was Risholm"
Having been in hysterics watching the "Mapp and Lucia" adaption on BBC recently, I thought I'd get a bit more familiar with the original 1920's series. And I'm so glad I did.
If you find the Blair Waldorfs of this world bit lacking in substance - then this is for you. These deco gossip girls (and boys) are the original "mean girls".
Kept having to remind myself these were written in the 1920s. They are so pithy and quick they could have appeared in the last decade, were it not for the lack of iPhones and Facebook references.
I found it hard not to contain my laughter and horror on the train to work as Lucia's true grasp of the "bella lingua" inevitably gets uncovered.
The Wagnerian and piano references are a secondary plus (to anyone with a classical music bent) and I continued to chuckle at Lucias avoidance of the last two movements of the Moonlight Sonata. Delicious.
"Yehay for EF Benson and Lucia"
I really enjoyed listening to this, I have read it about 5 times previously but never get tired of Lucia, Georgie, Mrs Quantock, Pepino and Olga what a troop with their trials, tribulations and successess!
Excellent narration captures the innuendo and arch idiocy of every character.
Others in the Mapp and Lucia series, but Benson is a one off.
Distinct voice for each character which captured the humour, manners and satire all at the same time.
Yes, but I spread it over a few sittings. Virtually every line is a gem and it's worth savouring.
I've read the books and listened to a couple of radio adaptations of Mapp and Lucia. I've watched the 1980s TV series and never tire of the humour and satire. The characters are so filled with their own importance and place and they interlock with panache. It's a wonderful portrayal of a particular inter war period which will never be seen again. The pretensions, class distinction and daily one puma ship is priceless.
This is a charming reading of the light and amusing activities of Lucia and all the delightful characters who live in her village. A pleasant and entirely soothing accompaniment to the day's activities.
the fact that it was so culturally alien to my life and the fact that some of the snobbery was so easy to understand. I could see why in such a tiny world as Tilling that so many small mishaps have such large consequences. Funny and brutal
too rich for just one sitting
Listen to Miss Mapp first then both stories will make better sense.
"Brilliant, tiny world"
I love the Mapp and Lucia books and this one was beautifully read. The life and death import of tiny matters of etiquette in the village of Riseholme is beautifully sketched. The complete absence of children and young men in this contrived but all consuming world must have given some respite to readers in the 20's, many of whom would be struggling with the loss of sons or lovers. Well worth the money.
"So boring blah blah blah"
I read 2/3 books a week an tried to get into this book on 5 different days. Never read anything so boring. Could not get interested at all worst book I have bought in years Blah blah blah. Money back please!,,
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