Audie Award, Fantasy, 2013
Award-winning author, narrator, and screenwriter Neil Gaiman personally selected this book, and, using the tools of the Audiobook Creation Exchange (ACX), cast the narrator and produced this work for his audiobook label, Neil Gaiman Presents.
A few words from Neil on Anita: "Anita is an almost forgotten novel by one of the finest UK writers. But it is a favorite of mine. Anita works on two levels: on the one hand, the stories are a product of the 1960s - they come out of a swinging world and a "Georgy Girl" time, and Keith Roberts, then a young art director, has captured the feel of the sixties. At the same time, he writes about a teenage witch being brought up by her Granny; he writes about a young witch falling in love, getting her heart broken, about change and growing up and compromise, about what magic is and how you can lose it sometimes and how you can get it back. And the character of Anita's Granny is amazing, one of Keith Roberts' best characters…. [Anita] set the template for all the teenage witch stories that come after, and she did it better and more magically. I wanted these stories back in "print", where people could hear them and could fall in love with Anita and Granny, as I did."
Meet Anita Thompson: she's young, she's lovely, she's clever ... and she's a witch. A real one.
Anita lives in two worlds: the modern world of supermarkets and sports cars, radio and rock & roll, where she is a thoroughly modern girl with a thoroughly modern interest in boys and fast living and her own independence. But the ancient and rustic world of traditions, cauldrons, and familiars , where she and her Granny (a witch of the Old School, broom and all) invoke elemental spirits int he service of Him Wot's Down Under. She has senses no ordinary mortal can imagine (at least nine); with them, she can hear the voices of every creature of the night. She can changer her shape, call a drowned corpse from a lake, reverse the flow of time, and ride the Sea Serpent (there's only the one, you know; always has been -- always will be) deep into the ocean in the company of a mermaid, even though the modern world is trying to crowd aside -- and even change -- that world of witchcraft and magic. Yet, complicated as a young witch's life may become, Anita never loses her sense of fun, or her essential innocence.
When the Anita stories first appeared in Science Fantasy and The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction in the late 1960s, they were immediately recognized as a strikingly original departure for the author of such celebrated works as Pavane. One critic called the original 1970 collection of these stories a "treasure." This new volume presents the stories in the author's corrected, definitive texts, a new introduction by the author, and an additional story which did not appear in the first edition.
To hear more from Neil Gaiman on Anita, click here, or listen to the introduction at the beginning of the book itself.
©1990 The Estate of Keith Roberts (P)2011 Wildside Press LLC
Nicola Barber's performance was terrific.
She got all the voices spot-on.
Neil's introduction really helped to set the scene and explain the book - a collection of stories vs. a linear narrative.
I would try again. One not as satisfying as expected book is enough to decide not trying others
First time for Keith's
I did enjoy parts of the performance. The range of characters and the way Nicola defined them is the reason I am still listening to the book. I did stop for a few days half way thru but not because of the performance.
Interesting question whether it would make a movie worthwhile seeing. I think it would simply because a lot of the material could be rendered well in a visual media.
I have mixed feelings about the story line. There are enough scenes that I have enjoyed listening to. Some of the dialog between Anita and her grandmother made me smile. Would I buy it for someone else? Probably not. I certainly have not been able to listen to the book "in one sitting" like I have others. Still, regret is not a word I would use to describe how I fee. Maybe the next one will be better. And Nicola's interpretation is a plus. Will look for other books she has narrated
The way I like to enjoy audiobooks is to listen in smaller doses then I would If I were reading a story, sometimes while doing something that requires no concentration. Anita was perfect for this because each chapter is a thoroughly enjoyable short story in and of itself. It is satisfying to listen to a chapter, finish a story, set my headphones aside, and know that when I pick them up again an equally imaginative and endearing story will be awaiting me.
Each story is a saga in the life of Anita and throughout these stories characters change, past stories are reflected upon, the world evolves, and you never get bored as new adventures take place. I believe I would not have enjoyed it nearly as much if it wasn't for the wonderful narration by Nicola Barber. I really got the sense that I was hearing the different characters as they spoke not just because different voices were assigned to different characters, but because each voice was well performed and matched the dialogue and personality of the character perfectly.
This was a fun book. The chapters are separate short stories and one doesn't necessarily flow into another however, they do follow in a chronological order as Anita learns to use her powers and improve her skills.
Absolutely - the short stories are something I see myself returning to - maybe around Halloween.
Its' hard to say really, Anita is so different from most modern tales of young witches. She doesn't spend a lot of time dithering about what she wants to do and her experience of magic is rather unique. There's none of the self-justification that occupies so much of Urban Fiction.
I loved Barber's performance as Anita's Gran - she is a hilarious old busybody.
Original story, good narration, i just couldn't get into it. I like stories about magic and such but this one couldn't hook me.
While the story was definitely cute, it was the narration that really made it for me. Nicola Barber really brought each of the characters larger than life.
The grand mother was a charming/funny carter
I would have given the story a villine or some main point to over come.
It was funny in parts but not much
entertaining - funny - sweet
Anita is an engaging character. I loved her interaction with her granny.
Nicola has a great voice and is very expressive. Her performance made the book more enjoyable.
I'd definitely recommend this to a friend as it's fun and easy to get into. Anita has many playful details that provide depth one sometimes doesn't expect from YA lit.
The relationship between Anita and Granny Thompsen.
No. I generally listen on my commute and the short story structure of this lends itself to that sort of fractured listening.
The book shines when Anita is being bold and adventurous. It tends to get a little muddled and confused during the
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