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Publisher's Summary

One of the preeminent writers of weird fiction, Robert Aickman is celebrated for his unsettling and often ambiguous "strange stories", but he once wrote that "those, if any, who wish to know more about me, should plunge beneath the frivolous surface of The Late Breakfasters," his only novel, originally published in 1964.

In The Late Breakfasters, young Griselda de Reptonville is invited by Mrs. Hatch to a house party at her country estate, Beams (which, incidentally, is haunted). There, amidst an array of eccentric characters and bizarre happenings, she will meet the love of her life, Louise. But when their short-lived relationship is cruelly cut short, Griselda must embark on a quest to recapture the happiness she has lost.

Never before published in the United States and long unobtainable, Aickman's odd and whimsical novel is now available for the first time as an audiobook, narrated by Matt Godfrey.

©1964, 2017 The Estate of Robert Aickman (P)2017 Valancourt Books

What members say

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

Matt Godfrey brings quirky Breakfasters to life!

Would you consider the audio edition of The Late Breakfasters to be better than the print version?

Yes! Absolutely no question...Godfrey brings these quirky characters to life.

What did you like best about this story?

It takes you on a truly weird journey in which the journey itself is more interesting and perhaps more meaningful than the destination. It feels like a mixture of Jane Austin and Franz Kafka, in a good way :)

What about Matt Godfrey’s performance did you like?

I found it very interesting that the story was from a female character's point of view yet it was narrated by a man....and it worked out well. Godfrey is good at controlling emotional range which was important for this story in which many strange things occurred and the occurrences were routinely just accepted at face value. This version of Breakfasters contains one of the calmest violent fight scenes I've ever encountered in an audio book which is in perfect keeping with the overall quirkiness of this novel.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

No crying but certainly laughter at parts. At the end I felt I needed to take a moment and think about the ending and how the strange journey ultimately led to that particular ending. There was nothing predictable about this novel.

Any additional comments?

I would certainly recommend Godfrey's audio version of Breakfasters to others, it's an enjoyable read. Thank you to Matt Godfrey and Audio Book Boom for the complimentary audio book in exchange for my fair and unbiased review.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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

A quirky little tale.

I started and stopped this book several times this week. At one point, I had zoned out so much I think I might’ve lost two hours and just started the entire thing over from the beginning. It’s likely me and my lazy brain, which is still a little foggy from lingering back pain, but I’m not going to lie, this book isn’t what I thought it was going to be and it starts off terribly slow.

I don’t even know how to begin this review because the story doesn’t follow any of the rules and does its own thing. I’m still not sure what that thing was but it might’ve gone over my head. If you pick this story up thinking it’s going to be scary or a little creepy because of the cover art, you will be disappointed because it’s not either of those things. It starts out when a young lady named Griselda is invited to a house party by a family friend who enjoys having pretty eye candy around for the men. At least that was the way it came across to me. Also invited are a whole bunch of Very Important People and Political Big Wigs who debate about politics and other things that didn’t interest me in the faintest. There’s also a dull girl whose only interest in life appears to be mascara. They all eat breakfast and go on walks.

I kept waiting for something bizarre and eccentric to happen as the blurb promised me but it didn’t. There is a ghost that may be hanging about the house but nothing much was made of the fact and it certainly wasn’t a scary ghost. Griselda has a lightning fast love affair with a lovely lady named Louise which is likely scandalous at the time but it’s over nearly before it is started and before the two have been able to exchange contact information. Griselda longs for Louise but resigns herself to a life without her, taking on a job in a bookshop and meeting further quirky people who have some odd adventures and that’s really about it. As I said, it’s a strange little story with some fun moments but there weren’t enough to keep me from struggling to finish.

I’m sure someone is saying, “Why did this fool continue to read this story if all she does is whine and moan about it?” Well, here’s why:

• I am not only a fool but I am a stubborn fool. I’m also not really a quitter.

• The writing was beautiful and thoughtful and there’s quite a bit of social commentary thrown in, if that’s your thing.

• Several of the descriptions were oddly hilarious “He began to read the letter, looking, Griselda thought, like a monstrous sheep dyed green.” That just made me smile.

• The narration by Matt Godfrey was fantastic. He has a warm quality about his voice that lulls you in and makes you feel safe and comforted. If it weren’t for his narration, I seriously doubt I would’ve finished this book because this story isn’t the kind I typically seek out.

I’m giving the audio version a three because of the last three reasons. The story clearly wasn’t to my taste but you may read it and fall in love with the uniqueness of the tale. If it sounds interesting to you I’d recommend grabbing the audio and see where you land.

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

Great Narration for a new Favorite

What about Matt Godfrey’s performance did you like?

Matt Godfrey did an excellent job and I will be sure to check out any other books he narrates in the future.

Any additional comments?

Robert Aickman is not going to be for everyone, these type of "Strange Tales" as he called might not be your thing but at least for this reviewer, it was a great listen.

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

Charming and Inscrutable

Any additional comments?

This is a a charming, somewhat inscrutable, novel that never gives you what you expect but is satisfying nonetheless. The tone and prose are full of whimsy that sometimes turns dark, sometimes humorous. Weird and unsettling things lurk at the corners but they are not central.

The reader will experience long tramps in the rain, the eccentricities of the upper class on display during a house party, a couple of unique picnics along with a lightning-strike romance and the aftermath of that encounter. There is an ephemeral quality to everything here as if the reader sort of floats through the novel. Aickman is expressing a lot while saying only a little. If you are a reader who prefers to make up their own mind about things and not be told explicitly what to think this book is perfect for you. There is much to discover here and most of it lies beneath the surface events.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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

i'd be late too...

* I received this audiobook in exchange for a honest review.*

I did not finish this book. I'm sorry but I tried. The narrator is excellent. I probably would've gave up sooner if he wasn't so lovely. I gave this book about 4 hrs but the story has not aged well at all. It's just a bunch of nonsense. They mention the house is haunted and they may get to that eventually but I couldn't suffer til then. I know there's humor everywhere but I must be a robot, it wasn't funny. The quality of the recording is great and no problems there but the story ...!

1 of 2 people found this review helpful