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Publisher's Summary

Alexandra Fuller won worldwide attention, popular acclaim, and critical accolades for her memoir of her childhood in Africa, Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight. This engaging follow-up explores Fuller’s parents’ childhoods and charts the trajectories of their lives through all the British couple’s experiences in war-torn Africa.

Fuller braids a multilayered narrative around the perfectly lit, Happy Valley-era Africa of her mother's childhood; the boiled cabbage grimness of her father's English childhood; and the darker, civil war- torn Africa of her own childhood. At its heart, this is the story of Fuller's mother, Nicola. Born on the Scottish Isle of Skye and raised in Kenya, Nicola holds dear the kinds of values most likely to get you hurt or killed in Africa: loyalty to blood, passion for land, and a holy belief in the restorative power of all animals. Fuller interviewed her mother at length and has captured her inimitable voice with remarkable precision. Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness is as funny, terrifying, exotic, and unselfconscious as Nicola herself.

©2011 Alexandra Fuller (P)2011 Recorded Books, LLC

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    231
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    174
  • 3 Stars
    64
  • 2 Stars
    24
  • 1 Stars
    12

Performance

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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    252
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    130
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    38
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    15
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    8

Story

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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    156
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    56
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    21
  • 1 Stars
    10
Sort by:
  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Just can't take any more!

Tried again to listen to this book but it's so trite and seems to have no plot. Managed to listen to 45 minutes on the train but it was too painful, especially the singing. Best avoided.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Interesting and provides some historical insights

Is there anything you would change about this book?

Gives you insights into what British settlers experienced, some humor, some sad, good description of dynamics of mother/daughter and siblings. Is the Mother stable? Yet we all have someone like this and move through life. Pace is a bit slow, but good for long runs.

Would you recommend Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness to your friends? Why or why not?

To pass the time, doesn't grab you but does entertain you.

Which scene was your favorite?

Discovering the tree, talking on the veranda

Could you see Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

Maybe a movie, definitely Meryl Streep, maybe Judy Dench both have the underlying "iron" with a shade of crazy in some of their performances.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Entertaining and educational, but mostly fun!

Loved everything about this book! the Locations,characters,and story, with a bit of African history thrown in!

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Great stories of an unusual life.

What did you love best about Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness?

The narrator's voice and South African setting.

What other book might you compare Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness to and why?

Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight - also by Alexandra Fuller. This book has the same excellent storytelling and many of the same distinctive characters.

Which character – as performed by Bianca Amato – was your favorite?

The Mother - this book was written about Alexandra Fuller's flamboyant, unconventional, passionate and loving mother.

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

Although I did not listen to it straight through, I could have. It is beautifully crafted, very compelling, and well-paced.

Any additional comments?

Alexandra Fuller is a writer of the first rank, and her reader, Bianca Amato, is exceptional.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Bridget
  • RICHMOND, VA, United States
  • 01-01-13

Can't get into the book.

Would you try another book from Alexandra Fuller and/or Bianca Amato?

I don't know.

Has Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness turned you off from other books in this genre?

Maybe.

How could the performance have been better?

I don't think the performance is this issue.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness?

Unsure as I haven't finished the book.

Any additional comments?

The book is poorly written, and contains way to much information.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Charmaine
  • JOHANNESBURG, South Africa
  • 12-19-12

Disappointing after Don't Let's Go to the Dogs..

This was the highly recommended book... When I did my research I decided to start with Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight, which maybe spoilt this experience for me. There is a fair amount of repetition which is not really a problem. What didn't work for me was a narrator who sounded about a hundred years old - and whose pregnant pauses made me think that my iPad had run out of battery. I drifted off to sleep whilst listening - and did not feel too inclined to rewind. It got better as I got into it - but combining events with characterization in The Dogs worked better for me than the focus on Mum who became annoying as she drifted in and out of functionality. Maybe this was a therapeutic experience for Alexandra Fuller - for me it was tedious putting up with a 'spoilt' self indulgent woman who deserved more empathy in the Dogs than in this book which was too much about her - and too little about how she weighed down the family members who incomprehensibly seemed to stand by and put up with her.

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  • Story

I couldn't put the book down.

A wonderfully read book that made it hard to get out of the car. My 12 year old daughter loved the bits she heard.The dry humour of the story was highlighted by the droll rendition. The narrator was excellent and I often felt she was the actual writer. Bianca Amato had an easy accent to listen to.

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  • Story
  • Suzanne
  • Philadelphia, PA, United States
  • 01-25-12

Wonderful listen!

I learned about this book through a friend. The narrator has the perfect voice for this book, very enjoyable to listen to. It was great to hear about a families life in another continent. "Nicola Fuller of Central Africa" what a character. Can't imagine the losses that she and her husband endured. A very funny yet sad book.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Wonderful listen!

I learned about this book through a friend. The narrator has the perfect voice for this book, very enjoyable to listen to. It was great to hear about a families life in another continent. "Nicola Fuller of Central Africa" what a character. Can't imagine the losses that she and her husband endured. A very funny yet sad book.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

A relaxing wonderful story

this is a book you will enjoy listing to in a nice quiet setting. The reader is excellent for the part!