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Publisher's Summary

No growing pains have ever been more hilarious than those suffered loudly by the riotous Gilbreth clan. First, there are a dozen red-haired, freckle-faced kids to contend with. Then there's Dad, a famous efficiency expert who believes a family can be run just like a factory. And there's Mother, his partner in everything except discipline. How they all survive such escapades as forgetting Frank, Jr., in a roadside restaurant or going on a first date with Dad in the backseat or having their tonsils removed en masse will keep you in stitches. You can be sure they're not only cheaper, they're funnier by the dozen.
©1948 Frank B. Gilbreth, Jr. and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey (P)2000 Random House, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Lighthearted.... One of the most amusing books." ( The Chicago Sun)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    247
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    51
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    11
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    11
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    12

Performance

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    36
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    25
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    8
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Story

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

Narration: Slighty Less Annoying than Fruit Flies

When I was a high-schooler having a rough day and crying in the girls' bathroom, our school librarian found me and gave me a copy of this book. It's one of the most joyful, happy books you'll ever read, and the fact that it's a true story just makes it that much more magical. The Gilbreths were such a fascinating family: parents who were motion study experts raising their twelve children in accordance with the principals of motion study. It's almost as though the parents decided to script out their very own comedy from the beginning! And the love that this family had comes through, too, and (for me, at least) makes you start reminiscing about family stories of your own. In short, every person ought to read this book.

That being said, this is one of the worst narrations I've come across. In the first ten minutes, I wondered if the narrator was trying to set some sort of speed record, as she was racing through the text so fast that I could barely follow her! To make matters worse, she had the backdrop of a hideously loud incompetent musician belting out poorly scored hits of the gay nineties. I almost returned the book without finishing it at that point, because the loud music (for lack of a better term for the noise) and the speed-demon narrator were about to give me a headache rather than lull me to sleep (as had been my hope). I stuck with it, though, and learned that the narrator does eventually slow down, and the music only happens for the first page or two of each chapter (and is equally terrible each time).

After we got into the story, my chief complaints were that the narrator makes every child sound cloying and high pitched, and the mother always sounds like a washrag or prude. Quite a disservice to the real Lillian Gilbreth, I felt, since she was such an accomplished and remarkable woman. If I were a child listening to this story, I would likely feel insulted that the narrator was talking down to me, and as an adult listening, I feel like it's a dreadful thing to have happen to such a wonderful story. I stuck with it to the end only because I love the book so much. My advice is to only buy this one if you are a diehard fan of the book -- otherwise, there are simply hundreds are far better narrators to listen to on Audible.

15 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • John
  • San Jose, CA, USA
  • 06-11-04

Great book, a classic.

This is really a great book, even abridged.
Audio is a bit poor, mainly the music that is over the chapter start and ends, this drove us crazy, and we often missed some of the words.
Kids and adults loved this one.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Margaret
  • St. Charles, MO, USA
  • 04-27-04

Music interferes with listening

I enjoyed this book very much. It was entertaining and funny. However, I did find the music included with the recording distracting and rather loud. At times it was difficult to hear the reading over the music. That is my only complaint.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Loved in print, even more in Audio!

I loved reading this book, it is so light hearted and fun. I loved this audio version of it as much if not more so than the printed copy! We all need to just kick back and enjoy a belly laugh every now and then, this book is just the ticket! Try it, you won't be sorry!

9 of 11 people found this review helpful

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

The music — why?

I can’t even tell if the narration is good because it’s overlaid on a music loop so annoying I couldn’t listen fir more than 2 minutes before rage quitting.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Five stars from the whole family

This narrative offers something for parents and children alike. I was surprised that even our 4 year old son asks to listen to Cheaper By the Dozen. Entertaining and inspiring!

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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

Is this my favorite book ever?

this is the third time I've read this book. It's inspiring and laugh out loud funny. It makes me want get efficient, and have a big family.

The only downside here is the way the narrator says "Kaduga"... she totally missed what an old car horn sounds like. My grade 6 teacher nailed it when he read it to us: "Kaduuuuuuuugah!"

The music between chapters was way too long, but the book itself....one of the best of all time. excellent clean fun. do it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

Entertaining and Informative

Would you listen to Cheaper by the Dozen again? Why?

Yes, I would listen to Cheaper by the Dozen again, because it is amusing and gave me something to think about.

Who was your favorite character and why?

My favorite character was Mrs. Gilbreth because she is an example of a strong and capable woman and loving mother.

What about Dana Ivey’s performance did you like?

Dana Ivey's voice was full of fun and smiles and I felt that she was telling the story as if it were her own.

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

I'm really too busy to do anything while sitting! I listened to this book while sewing and had to keep pausing my iPod during the noisy sewing machine tasks so that I wouldn't miss anything. I did keep sewing all day so that I could keep listening to this wonderful book! My daughters also listened to it and thoroughly enjoyed it.

Any additional comments?

A real treasure in this book for me was the fact that it was a primary historical resource for family life and societal attitudes in the 1920s. I'm making a personal study of the changing attitudes through the 19th and 20th centuries, especially as related to fashion tastes. It was informative to hear the family's reaction to the sudden change in clothes and

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • TH
  • USA
  • 01-07-04

Terrific book, but not related to 2003 movie

This is a terrific story. It's too bad the new movie has nothing to do with it except the name. (There is an older movie that's actually based on the book, though.)

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

A Wonderful Reminiscence

I saw the movie when I was young and always wanted to read the book. This is a sweet story and Dana Ivey is so entertaining. Reminder of a time gone by.