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Publisher's Summary

We don't want to tell you too much about this book. It is a truly special story and we don't want to spoil it. Nevertheless, you need to know something, so we will just say this: It is extremely funny, but the African beach scene is horrific. The story starts there, but the book doesn't.

And it's what happens afterwards that is most important.

Once you have read it, you'll want to tell everyone about it. When you do, please don't tell them what happens either. The magic is in how it unfolds.

©2008 Chris Cleave (P)2010 Isis Publishing Ltd

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
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    6
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    11
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Performance

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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    11
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    4
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    2
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    2
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Story

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

A waste of time

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

Didnt like this at all

Would you ever listen to anything by Chris Cleave again?

No

How could the performance have been better?

No idea

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

No

Any additional comments?

It was given such high regard the first I heard of it. When I checked comments after I read it most people felt the same way. A waste of time

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Gifted storyteller

What made the experience of listening to The Other Hand the most enjoyable?

Purely the storytelling ability of Chris Cleave. The story is unexpected, and manages to be both sad & delightful at once.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Probably Sarah. Someone who had the guts to do what she did not knowing what the outcome would be. But Little Bee has to be my favourite too. She is so intelligent & caring. A wonderful young person.

Which character – as performed by Zanubia Zafeera and Anna Bentinck – was your favorite?

Zanubia Zafeera did a wonderful job of playing Little Bee. Such warmth & beauty.

Who was the most memorable character of The Other Hand and why?

Little Bee. I am trying so hard not to give the story away at all, but I am left feeling for her after reading the story.

Any additional comments?

This read is not too light, not too heavy - just right. It's a story that would appeal to most if not all readers & there is some enlightenment in there too. Lots of questions...I found myself asking my husband if you were [insert situation from the book here] what would you do? But even more I found I was asking myself. I am a very black & white person, but nothing is straightforward.

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  • Overall
  • Ida
  • 04-23-12

Interesting.

This is an enjoyable story barring a few scenes that I felt marred the gentle melody of the story. It was very interesting and opened my eyes to some things I had not thought about much.I feel that the rape and murder is described in more graphic detail than was needed. The fear and unfairness of life came across clearly and for that reason the graphic scenes were not necessary and spoiled it a little bit for me. One other thing I found disappointing and that was the ending.There was no real resolution. It left me unsatisfied.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • sharon
  • 06-10-12

suprising

i only bought this because it was cheap and i was intriged by the info on it, when it first started i though 'this was a waste of money im not going to get into this story' boy was i wrong.
i want to know what happens next though..............

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Martin
  • 04-19-15

We should shout about this book!

This is a truly special story but they should tell us more about it so that it wouldn't take me years to find this book.
It's the tragic story of Little Bee who had to leave her home country Nigeria for England where's she's being kept in a refugee detention centre. By some strange coincidence she's released after two years. Without her papers she has to find her own way and survive in England where she doesn't know anyone except two people who're living in Kingston upon Thames.
It was a pleasure to listen to the brilliant narration by Zanubia Zafeera and Anna Bentinck.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Story
  • Barry
  • 01-18-14

Weakened by ham fisted mea culpa sexual politics

I admit to falling for the clever marketing "don't tell anyone about this book" ploy. It is true that there are moments of almost poetic beauty, mostly in Little Bee's musings, but once I noticed that all the men in the book, every single one, is a monster, I found the sexual politics very distracting. All the women, every single one, is a victim of beastly selfish men and is basically honest and heroic given half a chance. It tries to disguise this behind describing injustice, events and behaviour that any basically decent human being of any sexual orientation would deplore. It keeps talking about "men" in every negative context one could think of. I was amazed that the man-hating author is in fact a man. I had to stop and check that Chris Cleave is not the nom de plume of some deranged teenager or an emotionally savaged woman going through some sort of crisis.

On the plus side the narration is exquisite and kept me listening. There is no doubt that the basic plot is clever. It is just the ever-present ham-fisted mea-culpa sexual politics is like a streak of sour vinegar in a sherry trifle. Once I noticed that every man in the book was a coward, a selfish pig, a rapist, a callous killer or just a thoughtlessly cruel moron who deserves punishment and death according to the author, I found it hard to find anything else sincere in a book that depends on you believing in its sincerity.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • sarahmoose2000
  • 04-10-12

Are we allowed to write a review?

They don't want us to tell you too much about this - so I'll just say that I enjoyed it and would have given it five stars if the ending didn't leave me wanting more.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Joanna
  • 02-21-12

Truly wonderful book

My only criticism is that the ending leaves you wanting to know much, much more...

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Julia
  • 04-16-16

To much hype about end

There was so much hype about not talking about the end, this is just another story. And more seriously it seemed to assume that most white British people are racist and openly treat migrants with contempt and verbally attack them when they meet.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • susi
  • 04-06-16

moving

I found this book Heartbreaking, Funny and so Thought provoking I would recommend it highly

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • mrs marise garside
  • 10-21-15

The Other Hand

A compelling story which I found quite sad. I would like to know what happened to Little B which is a sign of a good story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Emma
  • 03-03-15

A story of hope and humanity

A wonderful story of hope and humanity which is beautifully written as well as being read with extraordinary emotion and poise.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Jane
  • 12-05-16

Beautiful telling of the experience of grief

A complex and gripping story of two worlds colliding and finding the power and beauty of love whilst dealing with loss and grief

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Jenny
  • 12-02-16

Exceptional story & narration

This was compelling listening in spite of the brutal darkness at its core...touching on another culture & country that we're so removed from and exposing the tragedy behind so many fleeing refugees. The strength of the human spirit shines through like rays of sunshine through thunderous clouds.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Deborah Shand
  • 10-19-15

Beautiful

Really lovely story, engaging characters. Beautifully written. The narrators are fantastic. The way it's written makes it easy to drift away & get lost in the story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Kerry
  • 04-02-15

Fantastic read

so good I keep reading it again. Laughter and tears and everything in between. Great

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Kim Baker
  • 11-13-17

Disappointing read

This book started really well and I liked Little Bee and her reading. The characterisation of all characters was, in my opinion, uneven and in many situations unreasonable. They were all ill-defined, behaving in quite contradictory ways, saying one thing this time and something quite different at another. Sarah's vacillation and empty-headedness did not endear her to me. The relationship and conversations between Lawrence and Little Bee were unrealistic and sometimes made no sense. What might have lifted the book from slushiness(the trip back to Nigeria) was skipped over, and again, unrealistic. The plot had started to spread out like a spill and lost any coherence that it might have had. Repetition of phrases demonstrated a lack of imagination. Unnecessary plot development seemed to exist simply to spin out the story and added little to its integrity. The last 3hours were boring and eventually I couldn't wait for it to end. It was a book that had begun with hope and optimism and ended in an unresolved mess. Having said all that I did enjoy the device of what Little Bee might have told "the girls back home". I appreciated the historical background which led me to google the Nigerian events. Sadly, I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone.