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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 (767 )
5 star
 (227)
4 star
 (246)
3 star
 (169)
2 star
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1 star
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Overall
3.7 (664 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.1 (662 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
 (88)
2 star
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1 star
 (37)
Performance
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  •  
    John Sarasota, FL, United States 09-11-12
    John Sarasota, FL, United States 09-11-12 Listener Since 2004

    I'm64 years old and a retired design engineer. Rreading audio books since 1954...59 years. Strong interests are music and sf/fantasy, all of which I create myself and enjoy from others.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    20
    ratings
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    12
    7
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    "Utterly wonderful."
    Would you consider the audio edition of Among Others to be better than the print version?

    Without question... the audio version should be the only "allowed" publishing... :-)


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Not applicable... the whole idea was the book.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I don't want to telegraph anything... but this book builds to its ending the way a great book should.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    I am not good at capsulizing an entire book... especailly one specifically *about* words... into a few words... or a "tag line". For anyone to do that with this book, it would be insufficent and take away from its magic.


    Any additional comments?

    The reader took my breath away. She not only read the book as if she understood every word almost as if she had written them herself, but as if she understood every one of the many books this story mentions and precis's in its very illuctable way.

    I have never heard any other books read by Katherine Keligher. However, I have been listening to talking books since 1954, so I have no idea how she isn't among the few dozen pure favorites I have come to love. If it means anything... which it most certainly actually does... I will be reading every other thing she has ever done. Soon."

    There is an almost magical simultaneity here... but then, that is what magic and this book is about. I recently listened to another book just out on Audible... a book by Orson Scott Card (Earth Unaware). At the end he metnions his favorite authors and that he loves reading audible books. His notes sounded as if I had written them myself. I love Sci-Fi and Fantasy, the bigger, the more epoch, the more amazing ... the more I like it. He seemed to echo my very thoughts about this. The precise authors he named are somehow my absolute favorite authors as well. He even put a special and unchanging place of honor for J.R.R. Tolkien and his Lord Of The Rings. It was uncanny to say the least. Of course, I want you to read everything Mr. Card has ever written so you will appreciate that book as much as I did.. and thereby, hopefully, appreciate his short wonderfully "telling" note about his favorite authors. What he wrote could have been a prescient revue of "Among Others".... whether he has read it yet or not... I have no idea.

    In any case, if you are in the same realm as he and me in our love of The Lord Of The Rings... and Science Fiction/Fatasy overall... then you will simply love this book. It isn't big, and epoch and it didn't seem like something that would be anything other than a nice read... coming from that full depth of grand fiction and Universes that live in the pages of the best SF and Fantasy. I just didn't think it would blow me away... yet somehow it did. Maybe it did so because it sneakily and smoothly integrated the author's same love of it all into the main thread of the book itself... and it does it magically.

    I wasn't quite sure all the way through just how much I really loved it, and wondered a time or two just why it was holding my interest so fast... until the end came. It was nothing short of one of the best passages and conclusions that I have ever read (or heard...) and remember that note about me listening to audio books since I was 5 years old (circa 1954). If you're counting and calculating... and I am now that I'm thinking about it and writing this revue... that is thousands and thousands of audio books. Yes, you can take it to the bank... this is a great piece of science fiction/fantasy and along with the phenomenal reader, this is one credit you will think very well spent. The Lord Of The Rings and all the wonderful books beside it notwithstanding, but included, this little snip of a book fits in and fits in well.

    The only thing I could wish for you to make this book the pleasure that it was for me... is that you could somehow *be* me, with my memories of the past 58 years of reading and listening to audio books before you start it. Too bad.... cant make that happen for you... but if your love of The Lord Of The Rings and the genre of SF and Fantasy, and of reading itself... is even one millionth that of mine... this book will bring you great joy.

    And if OSC has somehow not yet listened to this marvelous little production... which I highly doubt... he at least won't have to write a review... my bet is he would agree word for word and thought for thought with this one. I saved him some work. -Esak

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dave Wylie, TX, United States 07-07-12
    Dave Wylie, TX, United States 07-07-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    26
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    8
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    15
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    "A really, really, really long book...in 10 hours"

    This book seemed to take a very long time to make it through. I kept checking the timer of the player and thinking “2 hours and 30 minutes? How can that be?” I was thinking this book was about magic in modern societies, but I ended up believing this is a diary of a schizophrenic. The further I got into it, the more she sounded like the Chief from “One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest”. Truly, the 200+ hours of the Games of Thrones series moved more briskly. I will never again complain that Peter F. Hamilton’s Void series was too verbose. This was the longest 10 hours of my life. If you only have 10 hours to live, this is definitely the book. Not only will it make those 10 hours seem much longer, but it will make you want to “cross over” so it will end.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer Windsor, Australia 01-04-13
    Jennifer Windsor, Australia 01-04-13 Listener Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    14
    ratings
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    39
    9
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    0
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    "Huge red ballon that fizzes out"
    If you could sum up Among Others in three words, what would they be?

    Book on books


    Would you be willing to try another book from Jo Walton? Why or why not?

    Possibly, but the reviews would have to be rave worthy


    Any additional comments?

    Picture a book as a balloon. It gets blown up as the story progresses. Some are those long, narrow balloons that take a lot of lung power to get going. Some are normal balloons that fill with air, get tied off and stuck on a poster. Some get filled with helium and float you away. This could have been the later, but instead it was a great big balloon that someone let go of at the last moment and it just blew all over the room making an obnoxious sound.

    Characters were personable. Felt like you could have a cup of tea (or water!) with them. Plot seemed to be leading up to something big, and then blah. Can't even say the balloon was popped, because that would at least imply a surprise or shock. This was just a let down. My only hope is that Ms Walton tries again, she'll remember to use helium and let the sucker float us away.

    Narration was lovely. Could listen to Katherine Kellgren's voice anytime!

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Antonio Alfonso TPA, FL 07-20-12
    Antonio Alfonso TPA, FL 07-20-12

    shamsky

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I Really Do Not Understand The Critical Acclaim"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    No, the pacing is too slow.


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

    No


    What three words best describe Katherine Kellgren’s performance?

    Authentic, tedious, sing-song


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    No.


    Any additional comments?

    I fail to understand the critical acclaim that has been given to this work. While it IS my first listen with this author and narrator, I found the work to be concerned with daily minutiae
    that was of little interest to me. A tedious listen.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Baars Netherlands 07-06-12
    J. Baars Netherlands 07-06-12 Listener Since 2009

    Jose Baars

    HELPFUL VOTES
    30
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    126
    12
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    0
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    "Sweet tale, not exciting"

    The superb performance of narrator Katherine Kellgren, and the wonderfully understated humor of the writer couldn't help the lack of a strong plot and a convincing ending.

    0 of 3 people found this review helpful
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