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Publisher's Summary

A national best seller upon its publication, Anywhere but Here is a moving, often comic portrait of wise child Ann August and her mother, Adele, a larger-than-life American dreamer. As they travel through the landscape of their often conflicting ambitions, Ann and Adele bring to life a novel that is a brilliant exploration of the perennial urge to keep moving, even at the risk of profound disorientation. Simpson's first novel is ultimately a heart-rending tale of a mother and daughter's invaluable relationship.

©2012 Mona Simpson (P)2012 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Mona Simpson writes with confidence, with swagger. She is already a master." (Anne Tyler)
" Anywhere but Here is a wonder: big, complex, masterfully written, it's an achievement that lands [Simpson] in the front ranks of our best novelists." ( Newsweek)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    25
  • 4 Stars
    29
  • 3 Stars
    31
  • 2 Stars
    14
  • 1 Stars
    10

Performance

  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
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    25
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    30
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    20
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    10
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    7

Story

  • 3 out of 5 stars
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    19
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    22
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    24
  • 2 Stars
    17
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    12
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • jennifer
  • BROOKLYN, NY, United States
  • 03-29-13

Fantastic character study

A mother with borderline personality disorder (or similar affliction- it's never formally acknowledged); a daughter who is oddly detached and stoic; a supporting cast of characters endearing and infuriating, woven together in a sort of anti-coming-of-age story: fantastic. I was engrossed from start to finish.

And the narration: excellent. Most narrators irk me some way or another.
Kate Rudd, however, delivers an unpretentious, somewhat monotone, lovely narration that fans of 'This American Life' will enjoy.

So glad I took a chance on this wonderful novel.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mandy
  • San Antonio, Texas
  • 04-01-13

Great Book From Multiple Perspectives

What did you love best about Anywhere But Here?

I really enjoyed how the book was written giving the perspectives of several different generations of the family. It gave the story so much more depth and texture than if the author had taken a single perspective approach. The author created a storyline that drew me in and made me feel emotionally attached to the characters.

What about Kate Rudd’s performance did you like?

I really enjoyed the main characters voices but Ms. Rudd over emphasized the endingS of wordS so ofteN that it drove me nuts. There were times I had to force myself to keep listening because it was so irritating. She didn't do it until around chapter 3. I guess someone must have critiqued her work and told her to be more clear or something? Either way, it was bad advice.

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

YES!

Any additional comments?

If any of you have known someone whose entire personality and mood could flip on a dime and suddenly YOU are to blame for everything wrong in their life you will be able to appreciate the main character in the book.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Loved it.

What did you love best about Anywhere But Here?

It's a dark and engaging story. The characters are complex and edgy.

Who was the most memorable character of Anywhere But Here and why?

Adelle. Adelle is so complex and interesting. The narrator elegantly brings her to life.

Any additional comments?

Beautiful and skillful narration. The actor really brings these characters and places to life. Fantastic.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Dianne
  • Oregon, Untied States
  • 05-19-14

Mother & Daughter one is nothing without the other

Is there anything you would change about this book?

Not really, you got a true insight into the daughters thoughts and lives.

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

Yes it would make a good story - chick flick

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Living in a disfunctional family

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

I found myself getting very frustrated with the characters in this book. I have known a woman with the same sort of personality disorder as Ann August and she was frustrating to deal with.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Kate Rudd?

No suggestions as to another narrator but someone who could give the different voices more of a difference.

Was Anywhere But Here worth the listening time?

Not for me

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Painfully too long

This story had little substance and could have ended about 10 hours earlier. Most of the story felt forced and artificial.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Can't get past the narrator

What disappointed you about Anywhere But Here?

The only way I'll know if this book was a great read is if I actually read it. The narrator's voice doesn't work well as a child/teen.

Any additional comments?

This is a credit I'll never get back.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Boring

What would have made Anywhere But Here better?

More action, any plot twists, less long pointless stories. Oh wait, there was one plot twist.

What was most disappointing about Mona Simpson’s story?

It dragged on and on and seemed to have no point.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Kate Rudd?

Oh she was alright.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Disappointment and boredom

Any additional comments?

couldn't finish it, too long and slow.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Why was there no story?

Would you try another book from Mona Simpson and/or Kate Rudd?

Maybe

What was most disappointing about Mona Simpson’s story?

Great characters who do nothing

Would you listen to another book narrated by Kate Rudd?

Yea

Was Anywhere But Here worth the listening time?

Nah

Any additional comments?

Too bad. Well written for what it was but just became dull after a little while with nothing happening.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

No more unabridged novels

I can't exactly determine where my irritation lies but I'm beginning to think it's with the unnecessary wordiness. I get bored as it drones on about nothing, realize 20 minutes went by and rewind, get distracted again, rewind only to realize it was nothing worth listening to. I couldn't even get half way through it. The characters were not likable and the story was dragging.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful