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Among Others | [Jo Walton]

Among Others

Startling, unusual, and yet irresistably readable, Among Others is at once the compelling story of a young woman struggling to escape a troubled childhood, a brilliant diary of first encounters with the great novels of modern fantasy and SF, and a spellbinding tale of escape from ancient enchantment.
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Publisher's Summary

Startling, unusual, and yet irresistably readable, Among Others is at once the compelling story of a young woman struggling to escape a troubled childhood, a brilliant diary of first encounters with the great novels of modern fantasy and SF, and a spellbinding tale of escape from ancient enchantment.

Raised by a half-mad mother who dabbled in magic, Morwenna Phelps found refuge in two worlds. As a child growing up in Wales, she played among the spirits who made their homes in industrial ruins. But her mind found freedom and promise in the science-fiction novels that were her closest companions. Then her mother tried to bend the spirits to dark ends, and Mori was forced to confront her in a magical battle that left her crippled - and her twin sister dead.

Fleeing to her father, whom she barely knew, Mori was sent to boarding school in England - a place all but devoid of true magic. There, outcast and alone, she tempted fate by doing magic herself, in an attempt to find a circle of like-minded friends. But her magic also drew the attention of her mother, bringing about a reckoning that could no longer be put off.

Combining elements of autobiography with flights of imagination in the manner of novels like Jonathan Lethem's The Fortress of Solitude, this is potentially a breakout book for an author whose genius has already been hailed by peers like Kelly Link, Sarah Weinman, and Ursula K. Le Guin.

©2010 Jo Walton (P)2011 Audible, Inc.

What the Critics Say

  • Hugo Award, Best Novel, 2012
  • Nebula Award, Best Novel, 2011

“Walton succeeds admirably. Her novel is a wonder and a joy.” (The New York Times)

"Katherine Kellgren’s Welsh accent, with its lyrical cadences, suggests that audio may be the most authentic way to experience this 2011 winner of the Nebula Award." (Audiofile)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.7 (886 )
5 star
 (271)
4 star
 (288)
3 star
 (190)
2 star
 (77)
1 star
 (60)
Overall
3.7 (769 )
5 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.1 (766 )
5 star
 (378)
4 star
 (212)
3 star
 (102)
2 star
 (35)
1 star
 (39)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Kathy Choctaw, OK, United States 11-23-12
    Kathy Choctaw, OK, United States 11-23-12 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    53
    ratings
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    21
    13
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    Story
    "Complete Drivel!"
    What disappointed you about Among Others?

    I could not recommend the story or the narrator. The story is essentially a teenage girl reading her diary as she writes it. Despite the fact that it is a teenage girl the narrator manages to make her sound like an old woman. The story is about as interesting as an real teenage girl's diary. None of the characters are engaging and really nothing happens. You get a lot of reviews of older science fiction works since the main character has a penchant for SF, and sad to say that is actually the most interesting part of the book. Save your credit and go elsewhere.


    What could Jo Walton have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Actually having a story would have been interesting.


    How could the performance have been better?

    The narratorstries so hard to have a Welsh accent that she ends up sounding like the old witch the main character claims her mother is.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Nope.


    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gardeneroh 10-02-12
    Gardeneroh 10-02-12

    Gardeneroh

    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
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    45
    6
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    "This one's not for me."

    The plot and characterization of the book were all right--I'd put it between three and four stars, if I could. I also might have rated the novel higher if I had read it, rather than listened to it--hard to say. The reader, however, wrecked whatever I might have enjoyed. The side characters she portrays quite well. Her performance of the main character starts off not great, but fair, in my opinion. But the farther along I listened, the more grating and finally almost intolerable, it was. The Welsh accent is strong, but sounds put on. As the book progresses, the accent starts to sound more and more like the arrogant, condescending, 'evil' high-caste English aunts. I think this was meant to show how the character was changing in her new environment, but the last two-thirds of the novel sounded to me like false Welsh/condescending English, which was mind-drilling. I was glad I fell asleep for the last bit of the book (listening in bed), but woke up enough to hear the final scene--I got to hear the end of the story without having to listen to that voice.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cheryl EATON, CO, United States 05-25-12
    Cheryl EATON, CO, United States 05-25-12 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    31
    ratings
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    29
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    3
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    Story
    "Don't waste your money."
    Would you try another book from Jo Walton and/or Katherine Kellgren?

    I really enjoyed the Small Changes trilogy (Farthing, Ha*Penny and Half Crown), so I would probably try another one.


    Has Among Others turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No, and it hasn't turned me off from this author - I would give Jo Walton another try.


    What three words best describe Katherine Kellgren???s performance?

    Singsong, but a nice rendition of a Welsh accent.


    You didn???t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    The author does have an occasional nice turn of phrase. Descriptions are very well done.


    Any additional comments?

    This book was so dull that I only continued to listen because I can't believe anything this boring ever got published! Do take the time to enjoy Farthing, but don't waste your time/money on this dull as dishwater recounting of science fiction reviews!

    7 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janet Madison, WI, United States 02-20-13
    Janet Madison, WI, United States 02-20-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A very different coming of age story."
    If you could sum up Among Others in three words, what would they be?

    Blossoming, fannish, and different


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

    Love the accent. Really brought me me over to Wales with the voice.


    Any additional comments?

    It's not a usual coming of age story. The characters are all flawed, some with deep scars inside. Made it more real, more believable characters. Really enjoyed the book. Also enjoyed her discovering the fannish world and her love of books.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nathan London, Ontario Canada 06-16-13
    Nathan London, Ontario Canada 06-16-13 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    56
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    "A love letter for classic sci-fi & fantasy"

    Written in the style of a diary or memoir, a fictional coming of age story of a teenage girl going to English boarding school in late seventies. It has the most realistic approach to how magic could exist in the real world, but there is very little magic actually done.
    If you grew up as the outsider and used sci-fi, fantasy or reading as a form of escapism you'll connect with this main character. At least half the book is of her views and opinions of classic sci-fi & fantasy stories.
    For some reason I found this an addictive read.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thomas 01-23-13
    Thomas 01-23-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Must Listen"

    The story is interesting and fun. The performance, however, is wonderful. Katherine Kellgran makes this book a great listen.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kevin 08-06-12
    Kevin 08-06-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    18
    15
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    1
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    "Not SF, not fantasy, not sure what"
    Where does Among Others rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Top 10%


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Among Others?

    (No spoiler here.) The final scenes which reveal (I think) what the story was really all about.


    What about Katherine Kellgren’s performance did you like?

    Excellent. I am not sure about her Welsh accent, but she has me convinced. First rate, and a difficult role.


    Any additional comments?

    The book is more of a coming of age story than anything else. There is no SF in it at all, and even the fantasy is thin - this is not a negative criticism.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Schervem Portland, OR, United States 09-01-11
    Schervem Portland, OR, United States 09-01-11 Member Since 2010

    Totally addicted! It's possible I might need Audible rehab.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Narration, make or break...."

    It's rare that I don't get through a book. I can't give an honest review of the story because of the narration. I appreciate a good thick accent but this was missing changes of inflection or something. It was just difficult for me to listen to long enough to really invest in the story.

    10 of 19 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Connie 07-24-15
    Connie 07-24-15 Member Since 2015
    ratings
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    2
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Loved it!"

    It felt like two stories at once, the present and the past slowly revealing themselves. The characters are weird and lovable, the plot builds at the perfect pace.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Whitney 05-08-15
    Whitney 05-08-15 Member Since 2015

    I LOVE SciFi ! I'm also a PhD student in Engineering and can only find the time to read using Audible!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    48
    4
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    "Good but anticlimactic"

    It was exceptionally real feeling. The thought process written down of a young girl in her diary feels spot on. All the SF references were great, and especially amusing in a fantasy story. The fantasy aspect of the story was relatively mild, but then became disproportionately intense.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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