We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access .
 >   > 
Small Island Audiobook

Small Island

Regular Price:$26.36
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Publisher's Summary

Andrea Levy's acclaimed Small Island is a delicately wrought and profoundly moving novel of empire, prejudice, war, and love. It was awarded the 2004 Orange Prize for Fiction, the 2004 Whitbread Book of the Year Award, and the 2005 Commonwealth Writers Prize.

It is 1948, and England is recovering from a war. But at 21 Nevern Street, London, the conflict has only just begun. Queenie Bligh's neighbours do not approve when she agrees to take in Jamaican lodgers, but Queenie doesn't know when her husband will return or if he will come back at all. What else can she do?

Gilbert Joseph was one of the several thousand Jamaican men who joined the RAF to fight against Hitler. Returning to England as a civilian, he finds himself treated very differently. It's desperation that makes him remember a wartime friendship with Queenie and knock at her door. Gilbert's wife, Hortense, too, had longed to leave Jamaica and start a better life in England.

But when she joins him, she is shocked to find London shabby, decrepit, and far from the golden city of her dreams. Even Gilbert is not the man she thought he was.... Read by the author.

©2004 Andrea Levy (P)2015 Headline Digital

What the Critics Say

"Wonderful...seamless...a magnificent achievement." (Linda Grant)

"A cracking good read...I think what appealed to me most was the passion and anger in the writing all the way through, yet it was always leavened with a particularly wry sort of humour - the sort that, tho' you find yourself smiling, you at the same time realise you almost shouldn't be." (Margaret Forster)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.8 (5 )
5 star
 (4)
4 star
 (1)
3 star
 (0)
2 star
 (0)
1 star
 (0)
Overall
4.6 (5 )
5 star
 (3)
4 star
 (2)
3 star
 (0)
2 star
 (0)
1 star
 (0)
Story
4.8 (5 )
5 star
 (4)
4 star
 (1)
3 star
 (0)
2 star
 (0)
1 star
 (0)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Bob Gibson Toronto, ON Canada 11-09-15
    Bob Gibson Toronto, ON Canada 11-09-15 Member Since 2009
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Terrific narration, compelling story"

    I don't generally write reviews, but this performance merits special notice. Andrea Levy, the author of this compelling story, is a first-rate narrator, presenting her several characters and accents with convincing accuracy. The dialogue is natural and engaging, and her Jamaican characters are voiced with the full musicality of their language. A real listening pleasure!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lydia Melbourne, Australia 07-20-15
    Lydia Melbourne, Australia 07-20-15 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fabulous Story with Excellent Narration"
    Where does Small Island rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Close to the top. The story is captivating.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I enjoyed the fact that the story is narrated by several different characters, each with a unique, and, at times, quite comical, perspective.


    What about Andrea Levy’s performance did you like?

    Ms. Levy breathed life into each quirky, fascinating character. She performed different accents extremely well.


    If you could rename Small Island, what would you call it?

    The Clash Echoes.


    Any additional comments?

    I strongly recommend this nook.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Dolly
    10/1/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A breath taking saga."

    I loved this audio book. I had chosen the book for my book group so listened to it after I'd read it.
    I got so much more from it by doing this.
    I was born in 1940 so was just a baby during the war and this was a real eye opener for me.
    If ever Andrea Levy tires of writing she could surely earn a living with her talent for narrating!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • stylo
    6/9/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent!"
    If you could sum up Small Island in three words, what would they be?

    Worth reading again.


    What other book might you compare Small Island to, and why?

    Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. This book also gave me insight into another culture.


    Which character – as performed by Andrea Levy – was your favourite?

    Andrea Levy was superb in every role, but I particularly enjoyed Gilbert and Hortense. Some of their conversations are hilarious!


    Any additional comments?

    I highly recommend this book and will certainly read it again.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    5/19/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good read!"

    Excellent story. Loved the fact that the author read it especially the use of the accents. I was not expecting that ending. I would thoroughly recommend this book particularly if you are interesting in social history.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Mr
    Sutton Coldfield, United Kingdom
    5/18/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A lovely easy to follow story"

    I found this a very enjoyable book to listen to, easy to follow with only a few key characters. The story develops over time in a very elegant way.

    The narrator (also the author) was excellent.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    ilford, United Kingdom
    8/18/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "History with Taste"

    Andrea Levy is as awesome a narrator as she is an author. This is my first reading of Andrea Levy and l must say that she creates a mosaic of history with taste. I can relate for l appreciate the story, the nuances and the depth she threads into book. l am completely moved by the reality of her writing.

    Absolutely superb.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Paul D
    Normandy, France
    8/13/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "You had to be there . . . . ."

    This is a timely reminder of the amount of open bigotry, prejudice and discrimination that existed in this 'small island' after the 2nd WW. The Brexit debates are but a shallow reflection of this. Perhaps the main difference is that such attitudes are no longer the socially accepted norm . . . but scratch the surface and sadly much is still there.
    I grew up in the 50's and can testify that such attitudes and behavior were both socially acceptable and the norm. I am sure that as a child I was a culprit and it was many years before I was able to free myself from such conditioning.
    The book . . . . five stars say it. Read it and reflect on that small island does not have to equate to small minded

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • MR
    8/3/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A brilliant window into post-war multi-cultural GB"
    What did you like most about Small Island?

    The insight into moving to Britain after the second world war to find that despite all you have been told and all that you have done for the mother country, that you never feel accepted or welcome.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The characters. The characters make this story. Sure, the way each of their lives entwine is a little far-fetched but ultimately it makes for an incredibly compelling look at post-war multi-cultural Britain and how each of these people from these very different cultures and backgrounds adapts to a country that has in a way lost its identity following the horrors of the war.


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

    I haven't but would be interested to pick another one up.


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    the mother country's unwanted children.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • John Knight
    Oswaldtwistle near Accrington, England
    7/6/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A very moving story"

    A very moving story with lots of smiles and also sadness, I could just imagine a scenario as this story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Laura
    7/4/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A huge huge story"

    I thoroughly enjoyed this story, wonderfully read. Andrea Levy made the characters so real and entertaining. Highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.