When the story comes to light and Sheba falls prey to the inevitable media circus, Barbara decides to write an account in her friend's defense; an account that reveals not only Sheba's secrets, but her own. What results is a complex psychological portrait framed as a wicked satire - a story of passion and repression, mercy and betrayal.
©2003 Zoë Heller; (P)2006 Blackstone Audio Inc.
"Gripping from start to finish; Heller brings vivid, nuanced characterizations to the racy story." (Publishers Weekly)
"Both a penetrating character study and a sharp examination of voyeurism, Heller's novel is utterly brilliant." (Booklist)
"Equally adroit at satire and at psychological suspense, Heller charts the course of a predatory friendship and demonstrates the lengths to which some people go for human company." (New Yorker)
This was my first experience of an audiobook narrated by Nadia May. I was so impressed by her ability to do so many different voices that I immediately looked for another by her.
I haven't yet seen the Oscar-nominated movie, but seriously question whether the movie version can possibly match this narrated version. Nadia May has an amazing ability to bring to life a wide variety of characters, her male voices are as good as the female, and her phrasing and accents are perfect.
The novel itself is one of the best I have had the pleasure of experiencing for a long time, and Zoe Heller, I predict, is going to be one of the most-read novelists of our times. If you had only one novel to read/hear this year, let this be the one.
Very highly recommended indeed.
I decided to listen to this audiobook after having seen the superb movie version earlier this year. As fascinating as I found the movie, the original book is so filled with layers of subtlety, emotion, ambiguity, and irony that it was hard to put it down. Who is the main protagonist in this story? Is it the naive, inexperienced school teacher Sheba, who lets herself be seduced by an underaged student? Or is it the late middle-aged colleague, Barbara, who seeks to escape her bitter loneliness in befriending Sheba, documenting Sheba's affair in a diary, and ultimately being the possible cause of her downfall? The story is told from the point of view of Barbara: sensible, cautious, frank, but also somewhat self-deluding. Nadia May's narration, as always, is alive and nuanced.
"What was she thinking?: Notes on a Scandal" was excellent. I also saw the movie, and I think the narrator of the book did a wonderful job...I could practically see Judi Dench and Cate Blanchett as I was listening in my car. I would definitely recommend this audio to others.
I agree with the other member about Nadia Mays narration. I listened to Notes on a Scandal(did not see the movie) while traveling and at work. I was impressed with how clear Nadia spoke even with an accent. I was equally impressed with her ability to represent each character with a different voice.
I had many "laugh out loud" moments with the text which was enhanced by her characterization. Listening to this audible is encouraging me to get the movie. Hopefully, I will not be disappointed.
I have rarely enjoyed an audiobook as much as I enjoyed this. The story itself and the characters are both very realistic and bitingly satirical. The time spent listening to this book literally flew by and I know I will be listetning to it over and over in the weeks to come.
In addition to being a good story with very good characters, this audiobook also sets the standard for narration. The narrator here is nothing short of brilliant. I cannot imagine that the film version of this book brings these characters to life any more than this narrator did with her wonderful performance here. My only fear is that she has spoiled me for other audiobooks.
I agree with most of the reviewers the book was well written and narrated. But I found myself genuinely NOT liking the characters.
Immigration lawyer in Kansas City. I like Character driven dramas, fantasy (monsters, magic and witches oh my!) and coming of age stories. Favs include: The Book Thief, The Game of Throne series, Harry Potter Series, Dresden Files, Nightside series, anything by Neil Gaimen, 100 Years of Solitude.
Great story and great narrator I thought the ending was a little weak. It seemed it just sort of stopped. Although I could probably guess what happend next (trial sentencing disgrace, divorce) I sort of wanted more.
Having seen the movie did not detract from the pure delight I felt in listening to this excellent novel, with its scandal conveyed to us in all its tawdry detail by Barbara, one of the finest examples of an unreliable narrator ever created. Nadia May's narration is exquisite -- she renders Barbara's high-handedness and cunning self-delusion with precision and even a pang of sympathy.
This book is an excellent and interesting read. I was hooked from the start. The narrator was perfect and the story was very well written. I enjoyed it tremendously!
I agree with several of the other reviews here. The subtly and elegance of the writing was masterful. I have not seen the movie and from what I've heard, think I'll just leave it that way. I came away with such vivid pictures of these characters I would hate to spoil it, like toothpaste after orange juice. The progression of the main characters from independent interesting women into their tangle of dependancy was so smooth you hardly felt it happening. I made me really look at the more subtle aspects of who we lean on in our lives and why.
I also agree that the narration was perfect for the book. I really enjoyed the entire package.
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