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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.
Regular Price:$21.95
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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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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
 (48)
Story
4.1 (766 )
5 star
 (378)
4 star
 (212)
3 star
 (102)
2 star
 (35)
1 star
 (39)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Ron Barr 09-24-12
    Ron Barr 09-24-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    4
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
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    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Well-written, well-read. This is a "little" book."
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Yes, I enjoyed the book but I also didn't expect too much.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    The ending was satisfying but not particularly profound.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The challenge with this book is that nothing ever happened.


    Was Among Others worth the listening time?

    Listening to this was worth the time.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    david Seattle, WA, United States 09-17-12
    david Seattle, WA, United States 09-17-12 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    3
    3
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    FOLLOWING
    16
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Bit of a let down"
    What did you like best about Among Others? What did you like least?

    The reader is fabulous, and probably the reason I persevered with the story. The story is full of onerous details like what someone is wearing, expressions on faces, the weather, which slow everything down. The reader is hoping for a big finish to reward the slow going. But the end of this story is a bit of a fizzer.


    Would you recommend Among Others to your friends? Why or why not?

    Not really. There are plenty of better reads than this I can recommend.


    What about Katherine Kellgren???s performance did you like?

    Fabulous


    Did Among Others inspire you to do anything?

    Wish I hadn't bought more Jo Walton books


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C. Telfair Shepherdstown, WV, United States 08-21-12
    C. Telfair Shepherdstown, WV, United States 08-21-12

    Audible has changed my life! Dry , itchy eyes were destroying one of my greatest pleasures - reading. Now I am experiencing books again!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1755
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    275
    258
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
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    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Both Magical and Excruciating!"

    If you're thinking of getting this book, you'd better listen to the sample of the narration! Consider whether or not you can deal with that voice and that accent (on and on without variation) for 10 hours! Seriously!

    That said, there is a very intriguing story here. There are moments of magic, but also a good bit of frustration. The main character is wonderful and engaging. But there's a lot of name dropping (of book names and author names, especially SF and Fantasy) that is overdone in my view. I relished the stuff about love of reading, and libraries, and book shops, but I must admit I mostly just wanted to get on with the story, if there was ever going to be one!

    Because of the narration, I am going to give this book another chance -- in written form! I know some reviewers have loved "the voice", but I ultimately found it to be unbearable.

    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Blue State Girl Vermont 09-26-11
    Blue State Girl Vermont 09-26-11 Member Since 2011

    Home is where my books are.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    552
    ratings
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    621
    254
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    56
    55
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "God the accent is painful!"

    I usually love the lilt and musicality of the Welsh accent, but as performed by this reader, it was so emphatic and so thick that it really became painful to listen to. It was like a Welsh valley girl constantly rambling on and on about nothing -- AAaaarrrgggghhhhHHH! Shut up already! I'm about 2/3 of the way through and I had to stop to give my brain a rest! Will I like it better when I finish it? (Oh, I WILL finish it!) I don't know. But for now, what started as a charming story became a forced march through teenage hell. Proceed with caution!

    6 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    L.W. 08-26-11
    L.W. 08-26-11

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    517
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    229
    224
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    124
    29
    Overall
    "This might be good"

    The writing seems to be good. The story line intrigued me. The flow was good but the narration (for me) was just too awful. The singsong speech pattern distracted from what I think is a good story. I really hate to be critical of narrators because I appreciate the work they do.

    7 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carl West Palm Beach, FL, United States 09-24-12
    Carl West Palm Beach, FL, United States 09-24-12 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    533
    ratings
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    875
    164
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    21
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    Performance
    Story
    "Reader Ruins It"

    Note: Don't know if I would have liked story because reader ruined for me so that I could not continue. Reader has a Irish accent that is thicker than I like but that is not worst part. She doesn't have any pause at the end of sentences so a whole paragraph seems to be one continous one. She also doesn't use different voices for different characters so it is hard to know which character is talking.

    I would try the book again if there was a different reader but I don't think that is going to happen.

    2 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bookoholics Anon 07-15-12 Listener Since 2009

    No Pink Ponies

    HELPFUL VOTES
    78
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    23
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    9
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    Performance
    Story
    "Less here than meets the eye (or ear)"

    This is a diary form of a tale, told in first person by Morwenna, who survived a car accident that cost her her twin sister. But the accident is no ordinary accident; magic is involved--and witches, and...Morwenna's mother, who is apparently trying black magic to become the Dark Queen and be empress of the world--or so we are led to believe. We follow Morwenna as she's reunited with her absent father, goes to a posh but dull boarding school mandated by her three rich (witch?) aunts and she matures as a teen, gets a boyfriend, and battles magic. All through the book there is a running thread of the books Morwenna reads and loves, most of them science fiction. It's fun to hear her (abbreviated) opinion of the classics of sci fi but ultimately, there is less here in this novel than meets the eye and and the ultimate showdown is a bit of a let-down. The rest of the novel maunders on in diary form--interesting enough but not really gripping. Katy Kellgren's Welsh accent gets a bit on my nerves after the first section, but it's well-done and she's a good narrator, though she sounds a bit mature for the role of teenager. I've read worse, but didn't think it deserved a Nebula in the least.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A. Kongs New Mexico, USA 08-28-14
    A. Kongs New Mexico, USA 08-28-14
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    11
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Magical & entertaining"
    What made the experience of listening to Among Others the most enjoyable?

    Katherine Kellgren, the reader of this audiobook, was so delightful to listen to. Her voices, her pace, her animation was absolutely delightful and drew me in, really coloring the story for me.


    What other book might you compare Among Others to and why?

    There is no comparison. A book full of magic and, well, other books!


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

    She read it perfectly. Her tone, her different accents - she was very good at switching between characters during their dialogue. Absolutely magnificent job.


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

    Of course, but my life/job makes that impossible unfortunately.


    Any additional comments?

    The best audio book I've ever listened to. I give as much praise to the writer as to the reader on this one. A brilliant story line that was brought even more to life by the narration. Bravo!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John O'Keefe Stow, MA 02-03-14
    John O'Keefe Stow, MA 02-03-14 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
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    6
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    "Simply a wonderful book"
    Where does Among Others rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Easily in the top 2. Just a wonderful work and performance. I'm a huge Charles de Lint fan and there are strong similarities.


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

    Morwenna's first time at the book club, really resonated with me. I would have loved to have that experience as a kid.


    What about Katherine Kellgren’s performance did you like?

    Just flawless. The performance elevated an amazing book to new levels. Often I hear a character's voice in my head but Kellgren's performance was so much better than I could have possibly imagined.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    So much of Morwenna's childhood feelings if isolation and otherness mimicked my own growing up in the same era. Certainly, there could have been pandering to a like-minded audience but this never felt like anything other than authentic.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cherie FRANKLIN, TN, United States 11-18-13
    Cherie FRANKLIN, TN, United States 11-18-13 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    42
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Had high hopes"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Nothing. This was not a book for me. I didn't like the narrator. She made the character sound stuck up and bored. The story had so much philosophy that I could barely stand it! Just too long and weird for me.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Jo Walton again?

    NO


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Yes, she sounded stuck up and bored. It really controlled the tone of the story.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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