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Remarkable Creatures | [Tracy Chevalier]

Remarkable Creatures

From the moment she's struck by lightening as a baby, it is clear that Mary Anning is marked for greatness. On the windswept, fossil-strewn beaches of the English coast, she learns that she has "the eye"-and finds what no one else can see. When Mary uncovers an unusual fossilized skeleton in the cliffs near her home, she sets the religious fathers on edge, the townspeople to vicious gossip, and the scientific world alight.
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Publisher's Summary

From the moment she's struck by lightening as a baby, it is clear that Mary Anning is marked for greatness. On the windswept, fossil-strewn beaches of the English coast, she learns that she has "the eye"-and finds what no one else can see. When Mary uncovers an unusual fossilized skeleton in the cliffs near her home, she sets the religious fathers on edge, the townspeople to vicious gossip, and the scientific world alight. In an arena dominated by men, however, Mary is barred from the academic community; as a young woman with unusual interests she is suspected of sinful behavior. Nature is a threat, throwing bitter, cold storms and landslips at her. And when she falls in love, it is with an impossible man.

Luckily, Mary finds an unlikely champion in prickly Elizabeth Philpot, a recent exile from London, who also loves scouring the beaches. Their relationship strikes a delicate balance between fierce loyalty, mutual appreciation, and barely suppressed envy. Ultimately, in the struggle to be recognized in the wider world, Mary and Elizabeth discover that friendship is their greatest ally.

©2010 Tracy Chevalier; (P)2010 Penguin

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (385 )
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4.3 (200 )
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Performance
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  •  
    J. Fiona Roogen Nesconset, NY USA 03-11-14
    J. Fiona Roogen Nesconset, NY USA 03-11-14 Member Since 2011
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    "I never write reviews..."
    Any additional comments?

    …because reading is so personal -- like clothing or food. But I must say this book was a huge disappointment. I have read (or listened to) everything Chevalier has written. I love them all, so it was a big surprise to get one-quarter of the way through this book only to feel like I wasn't going to make it to the end. I did, and it didn't get any better. The story was really awful. I can get through a reader who is not so great, but if the story isn't compelling, there's nothing the reader can do for the book. It's like an actor in a bad play. To be frank, I finished the book this morning and cannot recall if the performance helped the story in any way. It certainly couldn't hurt it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sylvia McIntyre-Crook Gainesville, Florida, US 08-23-13
    Sylvia McIntyre-Crook Gainesville, Florida, US 08-23-13 Member Since 2011
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    Story
    "A unique story and well read"
    Would you listen to Remarkable Creatures again? Why?

    I would listen to Remarkable Creatures again because of the uniqueness of the story in combination of the fact that the characters are real historical people. The voicing is wonderfully done, especially for the two main characters, Mary and Elizabeth. The Jane Austen references and setting of the story add another aspect of complexity - that the women butt against social conventions of the time. There is a nicely paced developmental evolution of the characters as the book progresses. This becomes evident as their discoveries become more remarkable and they must confront the male dominated world of science as well as fight for the monetary value of their discoveries.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charles United States 11-28-12
    Charles United States 11-28-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Natural and Human History"

    The novel retained my interest throughout. There are some repetitive themes but I kept looking forward to the outcome of each encounter. This book, based on a historical figure, appealed to my interest in nature and history.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    susana Miami Beach, FL, United States 09-02-12
    susana Miami Beach, FL, United States 09-02-12
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    "Phenomenal!!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Absolutely. The writing and story are wonderful.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The interesting topic, story line and focus on women in history.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    yes


    Any additional comments?

    Tracy Chevalier is one of the 21st Century's best writers. She is amazing. Her other books have been a bit depressing due to the subject matter, but I didn't find this one to be!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    carmen OFallon, MO, United States 08-02-12
    carmen OFallon, MO, United States 08-02-12 Member Since 2011

    Favorite author: Alexander McCall Smith Favorite narrator: Gerard Doyle Favorite listen : Burton and Swinburne Trilogy

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    5
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    Story
    "remarkable women"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    yes, I don't know what made me buy this book at first. it is totllay not a book I would normally pick but I am glad it made its way into my library.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Remarkable Creatures?

    There was two times where the friendship of mary and elizabeth was tested and it was revealed that Elizabeth was a very loyal friend.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    When Mary and Captain Curie got caught in a landslide was a very heartwrenching moment.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    actually I did want to hear what happened next. The narration by thw two different women is very beautifully done. I would never have picked this book because I would have thought it to be maudlin andoverly sentimental and or Romantic. it was none of those things. It was a great story about smart women trying to survive without a man. I am sure it is easier today but I can relate being somewhat of a spinster myself. However Elizabeth never felt sorry for herself rather embraced the fact that her situation allowed her to do things other " ladies" could not.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    carol port orchard, wa, United States 05-14-12
    carol port orchard, wa, United States 05-14-12 Member Since 2011

    love books,cats,computers,information

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "woman finds dinosaur bones"

    I enjoyed this novel very much. An unusual story. Leads with the imagination.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Loie cary, NC, United States 04-23-12
    Loie cary, NC, United States 04-23-12 Member Since 2003
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    71
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    Story
    "This one took a while"

    My husband and I listened to this book during a 14 hour round trip. At first we weren't sure that we liked the story. It took us both almost the first 1/4 to say that we were enjoying it. I thought having the story told from both Mary and Elizabeth's points of view made the story more interesting. The narrator did a very good job of depicting both main characters so it was easy to identify who was talking.
    I had forgotten that this was based on actual people and events. After listening to the story, I find myself wanting to visit Lyme.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MaryD Hausman 01-12-12 Member Since 2010
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    "LOVED THIS BOOK"

    I was so entraptured by the story of Mary Anning and Elizabeth Philpot. The fact that they are real life characters made this book so much more intrigueing and entertaining. The narrators do a fantastic job of depicting the characters. A great book, highly recommended!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jerod SALINA, KS, United States 12-31-11
    Jerod SALINA, KS, United States 12-31-11
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    "Lady's stories"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    I really really like


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Remarkable Creatures?

    The second half.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Leslie austin, TX, USA 07-07-10
    Leslie austin, TX, USA 07-07-10 Member Since 2009
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    "Takes you back in time."

    I enjoyed this book as it really brings you to the scene of the small Wales village. Insight into the status women held and the social issues they faced. Charlotte Parry was an excellent narrator. Loved the accent.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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