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Miss Buncle's Book Audiobook

Miss Buncle's Book

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Publisher's Summary

The scene of this entertaining story is laid in a charming English village. The plot centres round Miss Barbara Buncle, a maiden lady who was obliged to write a book because – as she naively explained – her dividends were so poor. Unfortunately, Miss Buncle had no imagination, so she wrote about her friends – quite kindly and truthfully, of course, for she was a benevolent and veracious soul.

The reactions of her friends to Miss Buncle’s book, however, were a little surprising, and the far-reaching and unexpected results of its publication caused quite a stir.

©1934 D. E. Stevenson (P)2010 Soundings

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (252 )
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  •  
    Cariola Chambersburg, PA USA 03-29-13
    Cariola Chambersburg, PA USA 03-29-13 Member Since 2006
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    "Charming. Just Charming."

    I got tired of waiting to find a reasonably priced Persephone edition of Miss Buncle's Book, about which I had heard so many raves, so I downloaded an audio version. Wonderfully read by Patricia Gallimore, it was a true delight! (And I'm not one who usually cares much for humorous novels.)

    Miss Buncle writes and publishes under the pseudonym of John Smith a book based on observations of her fellow villagers, and quite a hoopla erupts as they recognize themselves in 'Distruber of the Peace,' which soon becomes a best-seller. I'm not going to spoil the fun by adding any further details (and I strongly advise that you skip the longer reviews, which contain far too many spoilers). Suffice it to say that I'm on the prowl for more books by D. E. Stevenson; she was a real find for me!

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Constance New York, NY, United States 01-29-11
    Constance New York, NY, United States 01-29-11 Member Since 2009
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    "Adorable, hilarious book"

    A gentle, yet extremely funny book about the doings of a small English village of a bygone era. Miss Buncle writes a book based on the characters of her friends and neighbors "because she has no imagination" (her own assessment). The descriptions in the book are hilarious send-ups, although the innocent and unworldly Miss Buncle only means them as accurate depictions (which they also are). The villagers who are selfish or bad tempered are enraged by the book and want to find out the real identity of the author (Miss Buncle has used a pen name) so "he" can be horse-whipped! Will they find out Miss Buncle's secret? It's a darling of a book, beautifully narrated, and immensely amusing. If you like gore and real hard-core meanness, stay away from it. If not, be prepared to be charmed by this book's and old world wit and tenderness.

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elizabeth Lyle 07-06-10 Member Since 2013
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    "A delightful comedy"

    Here's hoping BBC makes a miniseries from the wonderful works of D.E. Stevenson. If so, the Miss Buncle books would be the place to start. They are charming tales that any fan of Austen or Gaskell would likely appreciate.
    Barbara Buncle is a naive single woman of a certain age who must suddenly find a way to make a living for herself. Deciding that her only option is to write a book, but feeling herself to be sadly lacking in imagination, Barabara writes about her neighbors in the small town of Silverstream- first assuming the pseudonym of John Smith and politely changing the names of all who are mentioned in her tale. Rather than writing the lives of her neighbors exactly, Barbara allows each character to do what she believes they secretly wish to do.
    Unfortunately Barbara does such a good job of describing her neighbors that they quickly recognize themselves. While some infuriated townsfolk begin a witch hunt for the slanderous "John Smith," others, including Barbara herself, take the suggestions of the story as an opportunity to embark on new adventures in this humorous tale of fiction becoming fact.

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Holly ALEXANDRIA, VA, United States 07-16-10
    Holly ALEXANDRIA, VA, United States 07-16-10
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    "Charming and Superbly Written"

    This was my very first D.E. Stevenson novels and remains one of my favorite. It is completely charming and very well-written. The plotline and character development is masterfully wrought. I'm very pleased with the audio version.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cynthea Wellings 07-09-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "An entertaining and well written book - loved it!"

    This is one of the best audiobooks I have listened to and so clever. What a smart and interesting plot and who would have thought that such a benign plot could be so exciting. I loved every minute of this. The reader is very engaging and changes her voice so naturally to depict different characters. So good. Well done!

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sara 01-16-14
    Sara 01-16-14
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    "A complete pleasure"
    Any additional comments?

    I am new to DE Stevenson books-- but the reviews I read about it were so positive I thought I'd give it a try. At first I thought I might have made a mistake--but my suggestion is to wait before judging and keep going. The book is a total charmer. Extremely funny--with hysterical exchanges between the perfectly developed characters. The book was written in the 1930's so it really portrays a whole other world for the reader. It reminded me of the style of humor in the Cary Grant movie Bringing up Baby or the more recent What's Up Doc with Ryan O'Neal and Barbra Streisand. Slap stick silliness. It was really fun listening and I look forward to other books by this author. Strongly recommended!

    22 of 25 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John S. Seattle, WA United States 08-14-12
    John S. Seattle, WA United States 08-14-12 Member Since 2017
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    "Were my expectations too high?"

    Have I become too much of a curmudgeon? Perhaps, but this one left me underwhelmed, largely due to finding most of the characters unlikeable (or at least uninteresting). Miss Buncle herself is incredibly dull, at one point partway through when another character speculates aloud about who the mystery writer might be, she dismisses Miss Buncle to her face as "not smart enough"; towards the end, Miss Buncle "confesses" to another villager, only to be brushed off. She states to her publisher, "I have no imagination at all, so cannot write fiction. I can only report what I see." Zzzzzzzz ...
    The new young vicar came off as a silly, slightly pompous twit, although at the end of the spectrum, Sally, the girl who comes to live next door to Miss Buncle, shows a great deal of enthusiasm and practicality, becoming about the only friend Miss Buncle seems to have at all, except perhaps for the doctor's wife; that lady and her husband were about the best of the local lot. The rest were fairly ... stock.
    1930's England can be interesting, though this lot made the book seem a bit dated to me. One point that did pique my curiosity concerned the two older women "sharing expenses" who came across as a Don't Ask, Don't Tell same sex couple, tacitly acknowledged by the doctor himself at one point when he consults one at length about the condition of the other exactly as though she were a spouse.
    Audio narration was quite good, as Ms. Gallimore differentiated characters well, so I'd recommend the book for folks who love stories set when the (upper) middle class still had servants, but the stuffiness of the Victorian era had pretty much worn off.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paula Kosciusko, MS, United States 08-25-11
    Paula Kosciusko, MS, United States 08-25-11 Member Since 2011
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    "Delightful Experience"

    I haved loved reading D E Stevenson books for years. But HEARING her words read to me is a whole new experience and gave me a new appreciation for her writing. What a delight. I will definitely look for more of her books to purchase.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul Westlake, OH, United States 05-28-12
    Paul Westlake, OH, United States 05-28-12 Member Since 2015
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    "Bought the Next Book in the Series, The SAME day!"
    What made the experience of listening to Miss Buncle's Book the most enjoyable?

    I loved this book so much that I just couldn't stop listening and had to buy the next book immediately! This book is about a dear sweet matronish lady who writes a book about a lady writing a book about the town she lives in. Unfortunately, although she attempted to disguise her situation by slightly changing the names, everybody immediately recognized everyone, EXCEPT for the author of the book. Most of the book is spent talking about the impact of the book on the town and their attempt to figure out who really wrote it. It is a sweet, gentle book with enough tale to keep you wanting to know what happens next.

    This will be a great book for a family listen.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Teresa Portland, OR, United States 05-06-12
    Teresa Portland, OR, United States 05-06-12
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    "Gentle Satire is the best in a well written book"

    I love a gentle book about a small village with a group of families. Jane Austen said it best, didn't she? Now add wonderful satire. Miss Buncle needs to make some money, so she writes a book, published under the name of John Smith. She innocently writes characters based on the people in the village, but writes them as they really are, not as they want themselves to be seen. The villagers are wanting to sue for libel because the character is obviously them --- but of course it is not them. It's great fun.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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  • Cornish Jan
    England
    6/11/10
    Overall
    "A very English book"

    A wonderful book - gentle, humourous, kind and old fashioned in the very best sense. It shows a picture of village life before the war, the alliances and petty rivalries and what happens when one of the villagers writes a book exposing their hidden secrets (good and bad). It's the sort of book to relax into, to listen to on a sunny summer afternoon with a glass of Pimms. It is as quintessentially English as cricket and home made scones. A lovely listen beautifully read.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Carol
    LONDON, United Kingdom
    11/18/13
    Overall
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    "So funny, I could not stop laughing so good."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Never read this if you have a chest cold, you will laugh so much you will have a coughing fit.

    I have downloaded 2 more titles by this author - hope they are as good.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Julia
    Greywell, United Kingdom
    4/7/13
    Overall
    "What a great listen!"

    How I would have loved to have written 'Miss Buncle's Book' - what a joy it is! I found it a skilfully written, gentle and very funny book. The fantastical plot is rooted in the kind of English village life which I recognise from living in my English village today. D. E. Stevenson's characters are true to type; when they do unbelievable things,it doesn't jar or irritate but amuses.This audible version is well read by Patricia Gallimore.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Philip
    Tonbridge, United Kingdom
    3/8/12
    Overall
    "Charming"

    E.F.Benson this isn't quite, but it does have a quiet and placid charm about it. It's great fun and with a heart of gold and (best of all) utterly, utterly stereotypical of the '1930s novel of English Village Life.' it's all there- the young vicar, the retired military man, the lone spinster, the pretty widow, the crashing snob... It really couldn't be more soothing.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • McLeish
    Scotland
    3/3/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Light but amusing"

    If you like characters then you're likely to enjoy this. There are a lot of characters so I wouldn't recommend this book if you get easily confused. It was gentle, pleasant, amusing and well read. It's a long time since I enjoyed a book quite as much as this one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Josephine
    2/15/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good story but ..."

    The story is amusing and very enjoyable. Unfortunately, the narrator tells the story well but her voices for characters are dire. Sorry but there it is.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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