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
Being a story instead of a collection
It was whiny. Sometimes almost on target as entertainment but mostly a sort of "and THIS is why we hate these people" so prevalent in today's fiction - political correctness precedes anything else of value in the book. If you are a Christian or white or male, for instance, or just believe in marriage - you have a big target on your forehead. This is particularly true in this book which openly scorns human beings as being irretrievably stupid and foul. This form of self loathing is not something I find amusing or inspiring.
Im some guy in Oshkosh, WI that walks to work and has found the joy of listening to good books and values good narrators :).
The description of the book doesn't let you know that his book is really a bunch of short stories about Anita's life (at least I didn't pick up on it). There are a few characters that carry over from one story to the next but theres no over all plot. So with that in mind the stories are great to listen to and mostly humorous.
The Narrator Nicola Barber switches from one voice to the next with apparent ease and is really fun to listen to she really make Anita personality come to life. Some of the characters have thick Scottish (i think) accents and some don't have any accent at all so the variety was really pleasing.
I picked this up for a long drive and my gf (who mostly sleeps throu long trips) enjoyed just having it on and listening to Barbers voice when she was awake. She didn't follow the stories but really enjoyed the narration.
Reader. Painter. Newspaper columnist. Nurse. Humane Society. Lake life. Walker. Happily remarried - was a widow.
Bought based on review. I wanted to like it more. Was hard for me to get through but I did. The young lead's stubborn inability to learn from experience was a bit hard for me to enjoy. However, it was VERY well written so that part of the review was dead on accurate.
I can't help but think that Neil G. is indulging himself a bit overmuch. I found the first several stories suprising enough (they actually worshipped Satan? They would probably not get away with that now!) and charming enough. But then I got sick of the perky voice of the narrator, and I felt I had sampled quite enough of the character. Perhaps, had it been a serial released periodically, I would have looked forward to the next installment.
Marketer. The Engineer-MBA stereotype. Sports-fiction writer. Poor reader of text. Thus at Audible. God Bless.
Yes, if they are interested in magic in an urban setting kind of stories. The audiobook is worth the price for Nicola Barber's reading alone. She's awesome! Not that the stories are bad, or even anything less than very good...
Granny Thompson, of course! I like Ella Mae (or is it Ella May?).
She is amazing! She does different voices so brilliantly, and really has the knack of telling a story. Maybe falters a bit with the Texan drawl, but you cannot expect everything...
It made me smile quite often.
Fine, fun short stories. Sixties witch, a bit of a wild child, is this Anita. But good. Breezy read.
This collection of stories is a bit uneven. However, on the whole the stories are enjoyable and entertaining. Nicola Barbers narration is terrific and pushes the entire book up a notch.
I suffered through a few chapters and then returned it. It's very strange - like an old fashioned book of children's short stories without any sort of character development...
Retired teacher and interpreter. I read classic and contemporary fiction, as well as Mystery/Suspense/Horror, Fantasy&Sci-fi.
The perfect narrator really brought the characters to life.
Every story in the book really just sparkles with humor and love of life, wonderful vivid descriptions of the woods and creatures, and with Anita's unique perspective.
She really is the perfect fit for this book.
Oh no, this is is a linked series of tales.
Just absolutely delightful fun.
When I started this book I was expecting a unified narrative, start to finish, but it turned out to be just a series of loosely connected short stories. Each episode was self-contained, in and of itself. All the stories charming, and many were funny and/or sweet. But ultimately, I really just wanted a long story with a beginning-middle-end, and this definitely was not that. I think my reaction probably says more about my own state of mind as I was listening to Anita than it does about the actual quality of the writing. My expectations prevented me from enjoying this book fully.
I adore Neil Gaiman but this one was not for me. Could not finish. That seldom happens. I found the plot hard to grasp if there was one. The narrator was delightful. That is what gave the book a second star. I expected the story to be more Gailman-ish. It was not. Fans of the incomparable Mr. Gailman will know just what I mean.
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