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  • The Queen of the Tambourine

  • By: Jane Gardam
  • Narrated by: Hollis McCarthy
  • Length: 9 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 25
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 21
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 21

In prose vibrant and witty, The Queen of the Tambourine traces the emotional breakdown - and eventual restoration - of Eliza Peabody, a smart and wildly imaginative woman who has become unbearably isolated in her prosperous London neighborhood. Eliza must reach the depths of her downward spiral before she can once again find health and serenity. This story of a woman's confrontation with the realities of sanity will delight listeners who enjoy the works of Anita Brookner, Sybille Bedford, Muriel Spark, and Sylvia Plath. Winner of the Whitbread Prize for Best Novel of the Year.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • The story kept dragging me down into depression

  • By fancygoldfish on 07-25-14

The story kept dragging me down into depression

2 out of 5 stars
3 out of 5 stars
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-25-14

What disappointed you about The Queen of the Tambourine?

After an hour, I finally stopped listening. I didn't know the story was going to be a first person monologue with a narrator who sounded depressed. However, a depressed narrator does fit the content of the monologue, even though she expressed some hope at times, so perhaps the narrator intentional came across that way. In that case, she was talented and effective.

What do you think your next listen will be?

I'm going to listen to a cozy mystery from the Mrs. Jeffries series and the Molly Murphy series.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Hollis McCarthy?

The narrator was fine.

Any additional comments?

In all fairness, I did not listen long enough to see if there was an a ha! moment or a clever twist. I kept waiting for something to happen or a change in the narrator or tone. The whole performance was just too gloomy for me, but may be perfect for someone else. I don't normally like the best sellers that most people do. I like lighthearted cozy mysteries like Hamish MacBeth, Her Royal Spyness, The Poor Relation, and Agatha Raisin.

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