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Publisher's Summary

This is a story about a brother and a sister.

It's a story about childhood and growing up, friendships and families, triumph and tragedy, and everything in between. More than anything, it's a story about love in all its forms.

©2011 Sarah Winman (P)2011 Sarah Winman

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    31
  • 4 Stars
    38
  • 3 Stars
    20
  • 2 Stars
    7
  • 1 Stars
    3

Performance

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    40
  • 4 Stars
    24
  • 3 Stars
    13
  • 2 Stars
    6
  • 1 Stars
    0

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    32
  • 4 Stars
    24
  • 3 Stars
    16
  • 2 Stars
    8
  • 1 Stars
    3
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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Poorly Executed

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

The beginning was interesting and I liked the main characters and the author's style of prose. She just couldn't seem to tie the plot together and create a good middle and end. Disappointing.

What do you think your next listen will be?

Therese Raquin, by Emile Zola

How did the narrator detract from the book?

The narrator was marginal.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

I did feel anger about what happened to the main character and with the brother's storyline.

Any additional comments?

I would rate this book a "C". Not terrible, but not well done.

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Aline
  • Durban, South Africa
  • 03-07-12

Good read

Well written, absorbing and touching. A gentle story of people resolving the past and how their lives have intersected to make their worlds what they are.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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

A new, true, authentic voice

At the start of listening to 'When God Was a Rabbit' I thought it was going to be a drag: the voice was a bit whiny and she spoke very quickly. But I think it was just transitioning from my previous listen that caused the problem because I very quickly got caught up with Elly and Joe and Jenny Penny and Charlie and Nancy.

Part 1 of the book was completely and utterly wonderful. I laughed at the funny bits and the voice that Ms Winman gave to the characters was individual enough that it made the story flow very well. Elly's voice throughout the book is genuine and believable. I grew up during the same time and related to so many things on a cultural level. The emotional resonance that Elly brings to the story rang very true for me. When Elly got attached to Jenny Penny and then had to separate from her - I felt the pain of that moment. But there were so many more than just that one. Each of the moments that mattered (not that any of them didn't) really touched me.

Part 2 of the book was also wonderful, but also reflected on the characters now that they were older. And this part also seemed to bring into balance Part 1 in a way, for me. I haven't read that many books with 9/11 as a part of the plot, so this was exploratory for me, in a way. Yet, I trusted that Ms Winman would remain true to the voice of Elly and I wasn't disappointed. Reading of someone else's experience of that time expanded my knowledge of the event in a different way. And I appreciated that, actually.

I would recommend this book to anyone who wanted a coming of age tale with strong characterization and a strong storyline. I will definitely be keeping an eye out for Ms Winman's next book and await it eagerly!

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
  • Jamie
  • Nanaimo, BC, Canada
  • 07-24-12

When God was a Rabbit

I loved this book, pretty much immediately - it was recommended by 2 friends who had read it, and I recognized it from various trending book lists.
It was warm, engaging, funny and tragic. A real feelings read. I couldn't help but relating to the main character as well as the other wonderful characters that complete this unique story.
By far one of my top 10 as of late.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Robin
  • LORIENT, France
  • 07-09-11

so disappointed

The story completely fell apart in the last part of the book. I was enthralled by the beginning, but then the plot disappeared and I was left with extravagant excessive writing which I suppose was intended to keep me listening until the end. Endless descriptions and scenes with no apparent attempt to keep any semblance of a plot moving along to any conclusion. I gave up. This was the first audio book I really disliked and I am very careful with my credits - I enjoy good writing. There are many other excellent well-written books to be read...and I can't stand wasting my time.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

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

Astonishing Debut

Sarah Winman has pulled off quite a triumph in this debut novel. Her unique voice and command of language keep what could have been (in less talented hands) a trite genre coming of age in an unconventional family story. In stead, the voice of the novelist and her turns of phase makes this story different, warm, funny- very funny, affecting, endearing. Truly a breakout novel.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Steve
  • Beecroft, Australia
  • 10-11-11

Too much to be plausible

I like to think I am not very critical and will attempt to immerse myself in any story, In general I make it a rule to finish every book I start out of respect to the effort the author has gone to.

I'm sorry this time I made an exception. The story was completely implausible and had I pressed on, immersing myself in the story, letting go of rational thought, I would had been slitting my wrist by the second chapter. I just could not bring myself to finish this book.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lou
  • 04-20-11

My first review

I just had to write something about this audiobook, wonderfully happy, innocent, cheerful, yet tearful, strangly scary and totally all encompassing to listen to. I drive 70 miles each way 3 days a week (and very familiar with the M25) but I just couldn't wait to get back into the car to listen to this book which is read so wonderfully by the author, I was totally engrossed. I cried, I laughed and I gasped and then cried again (happy tears too!) I have a great passion for the 'bunny rabbit' so I was drawn purely by the title, however this book has so much diversity which delivers on so many levels and will give so much pleasure to anyone who reads it. Fabulous.

28 of 28 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jonathan Sorrell-fleet
  • 06-21-11

When God was a rabbit

This book took me right back to my school days and hot summers. Made me miss my brother. Had me in tears one minute and laughter the next. Great first book by the auther. Can't wait for the next.

13 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Sarah
  • 07-01-11

love this

I absolutely loved this book, tears and laughter, such humanness and beauty in the characters, and the authors voice was perfect. It felt like a memoir and I wanted it to be, I wanted all the people in it to be real..........................

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • John
  • 03-29-11

Loved it

I fell in love with this book within the first thirty pages. I love a lot of books but there aren't many that I have been IN love with it. And so it went with When God Was s Rabbit, an adorable, slightly quirky story, about a girl called Elly and those she loves.?

I find it hard to separate the book from the audiobook in this instance. The audiobook was such a perfectly complete piece. Its read by the author, Sarah Winman, with great warmth and perfect nuance, already knowing her characters so well. She has a fantastic voice both as a writer and narrator. I loved the cheeky voices of the children. Adult narrators often over do the chirpy voice thing. ?

Though the children are such adorable characters you miss them when they've flown the coop, all too soon for my liking. Its hard not to be a bit dissapointed when you discover they've jumped to adulthood. I wanted to stay immersed in the wonderful world of childhood that bit longer. But such is life. Like it or not, Adulthood comes knocking and Sarah Winman does her best to hold on to the things we hold dear from our formative years.

Its all too ?easy for novelists to make BIG things happen in their books. Its too easy to give characters great luck, or bad luck, or greath health or wealth or disease, or fame or fortune. I often wince at the obvious plot devices, but?Sarah Winman hilariously turns that on it's head and does it all! ?You could retitle it to?When God Was A Novelist.

31 of 33 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Florence
  • 07-08-13

Great book, great listen

Where does When God Was a Rabbit rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

One of my favorite audiobooks so far; contrary to many audiobooks I listen to which I feel are 'guilty pleasures' to pass the time while traveling, this one I'd recommend warmly

What did you like best about this story?

I can't put in words what I liked so much about this book; I think it might be the way it embraces the complexity of life.

Would you listen to another book narrated by Sarah Winman?

I'd gladly listen to another book from Sarah Winman.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kirstine
  • 08-22-12

Delightful and sad

This is a lovely book full of memorable characters, especially Elie whose life we follow from girlhood to womanhood. It's quirky, funny and sad at the same time with some priceless dialogue. I really enjoyed it.

15 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Robyn
  • 03-09-12

Emotional

A real emotional roller coaster. I had moments of laughter, and at times I found myself completely choked up and holding back the tears (a little awkward during the commuter rush).
It's really just a memoire, but it's simple telling makes it quite dramatic.
Not my usual type of read, but I'm glad I trusted a friend's advice and downloaded it. Certainly worth breaking out of my normal comfort zone for. Well narrated.

13 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Booky
  • 10-13-11

Amazing

You are lulled into a safe and comfortable world and then SLAP. This is a story that makes you laugh and cry sometimes at the same time. Don't be put off by the title God is the name of the pet rabbit.

I listened to this only because a friend told me how fantastic it was and they were so right. Do not hesitate to download this title.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Sarah
  • 05-06-11

Beautiful

The author has a wonderful voice and I'm so pleased she voiced 'When God was a Rabbit' - a beautiful listen and a beautiful book.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Missy
  • 04-17-11

Superb

Really enjoyed listening to this book and have since recommended it to anyone who will listen.
Was very sad when it came to an end.
A very well put together story with twists and turns and a sprinkle of magic, following a young girls life with her family as she grows up and changes are made.
Best book I have listened to on Audible so far.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Leanne
  • 04-22-18

Loved this book

I loved this book so well written and narrated in parts it made me cry.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 06-16-17

good read

well narrated with a good story. kept my attention to the end. i would recommend

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Kristina
  • 06-08-16

Lost the Plot

What would have made When God Was a Rabbit better?

A clearer endpoint. There were several times when it would have felt right to finish, but no, off it meandered again.

Would you ever listen to anything by Sarah Winman again?

Marginally

Would you be willing to try another one of Sarah Winman’s performances?

She read well, but the book was tedious.

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

Yes, interesting characters.