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Egg & Spoon

Narrated by: Michael Page
Length: 12 hrs and 43 mins
Categories: Teens, Sci-Fi & Fantasy
4 out of 5 stars (624 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Elena Rudina lives in the impoverished Russian countryside. Her father has been dead for years. Her brothers have been conscripted into the Tsar's army and taken as servants in the house of the local wealthy landowner. Her mother is dying, slowly, in their tiny cabin. And there is no food. But then a train arrives in the village, a train carrying untold wealth, a cornucopia of food, and a noble family destined to visit the Tsar in St. Petersburg - a family that includes Ekaterina, a girl of Elena's age. When the two girls' lives collide, an adventure is set in motion, an adventure that includes mistaken identity, a monk locked in a tower, a prince traveling incognito, and - in a starring role only Gregory Maguire could have conjured - Baba Yaga, the witch of Russian folklore, in her moving house perched on chicken legs.

©2014 Gregory Maguire, original book published by Candlewick Press (P) (P) 2014 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.

Critic Reviews

  • Audie Award, Teens, 2015

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    247
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    110
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    34
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    30

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    122
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    54
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    10
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    18

Story

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Goes ever, ever on.

Fun and fascinating, to a point; but keeps trudging far too long- for my interest, at least. Baba Yaga is fabulous, however, to the end!

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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

If Mark Twain had been Russian...

He might well have twisted Russian folklore to tell a story much like Egg & Spoon - witty, charming, a little food for thought, and just plain fun. I don't know why this book is listed as "Teens" because like the best of "fairy tales" or fables, this is a fantasy yarn that could be enjoyed by any age listener and the ultimate hero is Baba Yaga (yes, you heard me, scary old Baba Yaga saves the day), who is ancient! The story is a bit slow picking up speed in the beginning as the characters are introduced, but gets fun and adventuresome fairly soon. I think if I had actually read the book, I would also think some of the length could be edited. However, listening to this book performed by Michael Page is a real delight - what an artist! So, the length in the audio book is not a problem. I'm SO glad Audible had this on a Daily Deal because the teen classification might have caused me to miss it otherwise.

21 of 23 people found this review helpful

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

Young listeners would enjoy this book

The book was a decent listen and very whimsical. The two main characters were written vividly, however I felt like everyone else fell rather flat.

It's hard to explain, but it felt like stuff just randomly appeared because it needed to in order for the story to be resolved, as opposed to an intricate tale being woven, if that makes any sense. The same thing happened with characters. They stated that they felt certain ways instead of showing it, which made it seem like it was easier for the author to just write in things that seemed uncharacteristic, rather than to recreate the character to work.

The story was cute and fun for kids...and it's not that I wasn't entertained, it just seemed sort of slapped together rather than deeply created.

The narrator was interesting. It took me awhile to get use to Page doing all of the voices, but once I did it was fine. However, when he started voicing the dragon, I almost turned off the book. Luckily it was only for a chapter or so.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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

Best Book Ever!!!

Where does Egg & Spoon rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

One of my favorites, great story(ies), humor, lots,of surprises, wonderful characters.

What does Michael Page bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

She brings the story alive with her wonderful portrayal of all of the characters.

Any additional comments?

What a story, a little bit of The Prince(ss) and the Pulper, a bit of Russian folklore- Baba Yaga (think Hansel and Gretel) with a cat familiar named Mewster who warns the "guests" of what not to do, Baba Yaga's comments are priceless, the Firebird goes missing taking the magic of Russia with him, the White Winter Dragon who wakes up too soon and a black hen whose wish....I'll let you find that out. There is a grand ball (what to wear!), people are imprisoned/escape (not all of them), a quest, a solution for world hunger.......I laughed my way through it. Thanks to Gregory McGuire and Michelle Page!

56 of 73 people found this review helpful

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

Dynamic performance of some great characters

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

Everything came together in a nice, tidy way - just like a fairy tale should.

What about Michael Page’s performance did you like?

All of the characters were unique. Page portrayed the deranged Baba Yaga energetically, with hysterical results. Baba Yaga's cat, Mewster, was sly and sardonic. The performance throughout was elevated by lively and hilarious dialogue.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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

Baba Yaga come to life!!

As a child, I loved reading fairy tales, and ones about Baba Yaga were not very common in my story books. I got this book simply because Baba Yaga, Russian witch/ magic maker; was a central character. This book exposed bits of Russian history and folk lore which I truly loved. and I enjoyed the plot. However, I felt as though I was having to slog through the book rather than eagerly listening for the next portion. This is not a child's book but is would be ok for young adults.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

a fairy tale worth reading

the end was a little dry at part but the middle was most fantastical what a lovely tale

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

A snail's pace

I found it hard to stay interested in this book. It had some moments that caught my attention but a majority of it just dragged on until I stopped caring about the characters and plot.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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

Great Read

There were quite some unusual characters that we met along this strange adventure. Our entire family loved this story!

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

Not worth the time.

Egg and Spoon is a disjointed Kluge of Russian folk stories and historical events. Gregory Maguire hops from one storyline to another faster than Baba Yaga’s chicken legged house. As soon as you are interested in the people of the poor village, the heroine takes off to St. Petersburg. As soon as you’re interested in that story, enter Baba Yaga Stage right. Just when it looks like the stories are aligned as they head to Petersburg, they decide to takeoff for the north country. But the story never develops as a good journey tale, instead each phase of the story seems to be an independent unit that never quite fuses with the rest.

Maguire never develops realistic characters, like the cat in the story, they are all shape shifters. One moment the aunt is a priggish old maid, the next she is a maternal caretaker. There’s no reason in the story for the change. The two heroines Elaina and Cat switch back-and-forth between being humble and sweet one minute and conniving or stuck up the next. All of the characters were mercurial. They changed from one minute to the next with no real reason for the change.

I didn’t like the narrator either. His voices for Baba Yaga, the cat and the old woman in the village were grating.

I will admit that sometimes he had some funny lines. Maguire is good at that. But the rest of the story lets you down.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Marina
  • 09-07-18

Stunning!

Everything about this magical book is so wonderful i want to live in it! Narration is superb.