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A Startling True Story of Love in A World of Liars, Cheats, Narcissists, Fantasists and Phonies
Narrated by: Claudia Karvan
Length: 10 hrs and 19 mins

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Publisher's Summary

Women the world over are brought up to hope, even expect, to find the man of their dreams, marry and live happily ever after. 

When Stephanie Wood meets a sweet, sophisticated man who owns land and businesses, she embarks on an exhilarating romance with him. He seems compassionate, truthful and loving. He talks about the future with her. She falls in love. She also becomes increasingly beset by anxiety at the lavish three-act plays he offers her in the form of excuses for frequent cancellations and no-shows. She begins to wonder, who is this man? 

When she ends the relationship Stephanie switches back on her journalistic nous and uncovers a story of mind-boggling duplicity and manipulation. She also finds she is not alone; that the world is full of smart, sassy women who have suffered the attentions of liars, cheats, narcissists, fantasists and phonies, men with dangerously adept abilities to deceive.

In this brilliantly acute and broad-ranging book, Wood, an award-winning writer and journalist, has written a riveting, important account of contemporary love and the resilience of those who have witnessed its darkest sides.

©2019 Stephanie Wood (P)2019 Penguin Random House Australia

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  • Neil
  • 07-10-19

Interesting story but scattered and lacking sound engagement

I liked the book. But for a lot of the time I felt I was meandering down a lane going nowhere.

I listened to this as an audiobook but I’m finding that podcasts on similar situations more compelling and more engaging because of the different sound edits that podcasts use.

I reckon if this audiobook used sound edits like podcasts it would be a winner. Thank you

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Rachel
  • 07-15-19

Fascinating

It’s something you hear more and more about these days - online dates turning out to be conmen and conwomen. This book was so interesting and well-written. I devoured it. What happened to the author could really have happened to any of us.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Lisa Fletcher
  • 07-09-19

Personal, factual & poetically visual

A beautifully vulnerable story of strength & resilience. A must read for anyone on the dating merry-go-round.
Fascinating & riveting I couldn’t put down!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Clare Cotton
  • 07-24-19

Hard to put this book down

A must read for anyone interested in human behaviour. Stephanie tells her very personal story with gut wrenching honesty. The stories of otbers similar to hers are skilfully interwoven with well-researched knowledge of behavioral characteristics of narcissistic sociopaths. This reader came away with a greater understanding of how and why otherwise smart people are susceptible. Some beautiful lyrical passages of prose shine in what might have been heavy reading. I love the final chapter, The Getting of Wisdom which makes for a very positive ending for the author as it is for her readers.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-05-19

Gripping, honest and relatable

Engaging narration. Compelling and beautifully written. An important and (unfortunately) relatable account that all women should read.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Annette Gayfer
  • 10-03-19

Loved it

Loved Claudia Karvan’s narration. This story is so interesting, I really enjoyed it and would recommend it

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-13-19

Great read

Honest and heartbreaking. I thoroughly enjoyed Stephanie Woods account of her relationship and aftermath. She is a brave soul.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Sue
  • 09-01-19

What a con!

I really liked this book, well narrated by Claudia Karvan (by the way, where are you Claudia? Haven't seen you on the screen for ages, miss you :-) ) . Just goes to show what some males will do to fill their ego buckets up, at the expense of lovely women who are just looking for a mate. So glad 'Joe' comes undone, though, probably changed his name and is still swindling and conning the lives of more women! Must have been such hard work keeping on track with all his lies, exhausting even. What a prick....

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Josephine Donohoe
  • 07-23-19

Great story

I loved this book. Fascinating insights into how some people operate. Great detail and beautifully read by Claudia Karvan.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Nancy Weatherford
  • 10-05-19

Loved it!

Summarises so many experiences! Nothing this intense yet similar in so many ways! Thank you for sharing your story! And well read by Claudia!