Not Quite Nice

Narrated by: Celia Imrie
Length: 8 hrs and 53 mins
4 out of 5 stars (22 ratings)

$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

Theresa is desperate for a change. Forced into early retirement, fed up with babysitting her bossy daughter's obnoxious children, she sells her Highgate house and moves to the picture-perfect town of Bellevue-sur-Mer, just outside Nice.

With its beautiful villas, bustling cafes and shimmering cerulean sea, the village sparkles like a diamond on the French Mediterranean coast. Once the hideaway of artists and writers, it is now home to the odd rock icon and Hollywood movie star, and, as Theresa soon discovers, a close-knit set of expats.

There's Carol, the infinitely glamorous American and her doting husband, David; the erstwhile British TV star, Sally; the ferocious Sian and her wayward Australian poet husband; the sharply witty Zoe with her strangely youthful face and penchant for white wine; and the suave Brian, who catches Theresa's eye.

As Theresa settles in to the gentle rhythm of seaside life, she embraces her newfound friendships and freedom. However, life is never quite as simple as it seems, and as skeletons start to fall out of several closets, Theresa begins to wonder if life on the French Riviera is quite as nice as it first appeared.

©2015 Celia Imrie (P)2016 Audible, Ltd

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    6
  • 4 Stars
    7
  • 3 Stars
    8
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    1

Performance

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    10
  • 4 Stars
    6
  • 3 Stars
    4
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    1

Story

  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    4
  • 4 Stars
    5
  • 3 Stars
    9
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    1

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

No Reviews are Available
Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for jacqui
  • jacqui
  • 12-30-15

fun and unexpected turns

Once I started reading this could not put it down. Started out feeling very frustrated with first character 's relationship with her daughter and the initial switch of Theresa 's decision was a little quick. However, it then became more interesting, with lots of twists and turns and humerous characters. A. fun read.

Celia Imrie, as always, was wonderful as the narrator.

12 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Shirley M Day
  • Shirley M Day
  • 01-07-16

A joyful entertainment

What made the experience of listening to Not Quite Nice the most enjoyable?

This is a fascinating and joyful book. The characters are keenly observed and most are larger than life . Nevertheles,s the incredible twists and turns of the plot make for good entertainment

What does Celia Imrie bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Celia Imrie gives a spirited reading and lends credence to all her characters. She is a versatile actress and is more than able to hold her listener enthralled and wanting more.

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

My reaction to Ms Imrie's drawing of the younger generation's attitudes certainly touched a chord making me angry yet very amused.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Denise
  • Denise
  • 03-21-16

Please stick to the day job Celia

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

Better writing

What was most disappointing about Celia Imrie’s story?

Thin storyline and clunky writing

Would you listen to another book narrated by Celia Imrie?

Narrated by - yes, written by - no

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

Brought back nice memories of NICE

14 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Grandi
  • Grandi
  • 03-31-16

Not quite good

If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

What a waste of a credit. Stick to acting, Celia! The storyline is highly questionable; the main character, a woman who gets to retirement age and still thinks everyone is nice and helpful, is as wet as a weekend in Wales and the characters she meets are mainly caricatures of rather ghastly people. She has a peculiar and very old-fashioned impression of men and lets herself be walked all over by her dreadful daughter and granddaughters. If you want to read about a drippy posh woman who goes to live in France and never meets a French native this is the book for you.

What will your next listen be?

Something with more teeth, maybe the book about the Salem witches.

What three words best describe Celia Imrie’s voice?

No.

What character would you cut from Not Quite Nice?

The performance was fine as the author is an actress.

Any additional comments?

Stick to books written by people with writing talent.

18 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for sara
  • sara
  • 04-02-16

loved it

Great story only wished it had lasted longer. Celia cant wait for your next book

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Marina Elaine Richards
  • Marina Elaine Richards
  • 03-22-16

Relaxing listening

Characters described well, which you endear to as the book progresses. Well read by Celia.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Mrs Smith
  • Mrs Smith
  • 05-21-16

Sunny escapism

I listened to this book over a weekend whilst decorating. It was light, funny and refreshing, with very good characters. The story had many twists and turns and it was a good job I listened, rather than read it, otherwise the decorating would not have been done!
Celia Imrie's narration was first class.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for PurpleVelvetElf
  • PurpleVelvetElf
  • 02-22-16

Disappointing

I love Celia and will want him this fantastic actress in anything.
But I'm afraid it's not the same with this book. The story just didn't flow and was a bit tedious in places. Neither the plot or characters worked for me.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Hannah
  • Hannah
  • 01-06-16

fantastic

amazing,hilarious book! Didn't want it to end and I want to hear the next book

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for April Axton
  • April Axton
  • 03-08-18

So Dull

This is the perfect book for those suffering from insomnia ...you will be so bored sleep will come

1 person found this helpful

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for vanda
  • vanda
  • 01-12-16

Very nice Nice

Great reading voice, expressions done very well. Great story line, good funny spots. I'd definitely listen to the same author.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Aussielee
  • Aussielee
  • 12-22-19

Not quite nice at all

Well, it’s an apt title. Or an alternate could be Not Quite Good.

Ugh. I’m so disappointed. I was so looking forward to reading this book, the first by Celia Imrie, one of my favourite actresses. I assumed it would be funny and feature older characters finding love. Older character romance is my favourite and so rarely done. There was also the promise of the French riviera and some feminist empowerment.

And cue the ‘fantasy vs reality’ meme… Ugh.

The book has two female leads. Theresa, a divorcee, is fired from her administrative position in a solicitor’s office and, faced with a retirement of babysitting her bratty granddaughters, packs up and moves to a seaside town just near Nice in France. There, Sally, an ex-game show hostess, resides with the dream of returning to serious acting and buying a bigger home.

Their ‘friends’ include an obligatory gay couple, a stylish American couple, an older botoxed-to-the-hilt loudmouth drunk, the mousy nondescript newbie, a corporate highflyer (whose first scene involving her slapping Theresa like some sort of trashy Dr Phil guest is too ridiculous for words) and her philandering poet of a husband.

One thing many of the characters have in common is their children are horrid. And I mean horrid. I can’t quite fathom that a/ children would treat their parents like they do in this book or b/ anyone would let their children treat them like they do in this book. I’m sorry, it’s unbelievable. Okay, so there might be people out there with awful children but I would assume they were horrible parents in the first place. These middle aged horrors seem to have all been hatched from hell with no help from their mother or father. One bad apple might be understandable but for these characters to *all* have such demon children is weird.

The main plot of the book is not these parents sorting out their middle aged evil spawn, or them finding some sweet romance, or them having any sort of life affirming epiphanies. No, it’s them being victims of a conman thief. The conman’s identity isn’t even made a secret, so the only mystery you have to solve is why these grown ass women are so naive and pathetic.

I want to go on and on about these English characters going to another country and only mingling with other English people when they get there but to point out how blatantly racist this is would just get me cranky again… I really feel for the poor locals.

Actually they aren’t only English, there’s a couple of Americans and even an Australian (just don’t even get me started on this, I mean it's like Imrie decided to cast Paul Hogan or Bryan Brown's evil twin from the 80s into the role and we're supposed to think he's what? cute? funny? quirky? I can't even...) but they’re all white (diversity is merely the token gay couple) and all extremely non-French. So much for immersing yourself in the place.

The weak plot and horrible characters are not even saved by any sort of flowery pretty descriptive passages. There’s water and sunshine and restaurants and… Oh, there’s random foodporn which is also strictly non-French. I was so utterly confused about this. Again, way to immerse yourself in the setting…

I glanced at the other reviews for this book and a couple mentioned the book might have worked better for them if they’d listened via Audible as Imrie narrates. I’m here to tell you, this is not the case. I listened and swapped over to reading often as Imrie’s slow drawn out narration of most of the scenes increased my impatience with the novel. The sad thing here is that her voice was how, I would assume, she imagined the characters to sound/act as she read and some of her choices for their tone made me hate these people even more, if possible.

I’m so sad (mad?) that the only reason this was published was because it was written by a well known actress. Surely no publisher would have snapped up this mess on its own merits.

Plus I’m horrified that I’d already purchased the sequel to this mess, Nice Work. My only question is, will I embark on some sort of social experiment and read it. Maybe. One day. Not quite now.

1 out of 5

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon Customer jo
  • Amazon Customer jo
  • 02-24-18

Mixed reaction

I am a big fan of Celia Imrie but I was shocked by the violence and foul language. I think the reading should be prefaced with a warning. The excerable Australian accent was like something from a 1950s movie (I live in Oz so I know). The story was gripping but I had trouble keeping up with who was who in the cast of characters. In future I will read her books instead of listening to them.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Fern
  • Fern
  • 01-14-17

not quite nice

loved it😊beautifully narrated and I really enjoyed the insites into human relationships in this book.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for ValleyGirl
  • ValleyGirl
  • 07-17-16

Don't bother

Disappointed with this book since previous reviews made it sound good. Story finally got a little bit interesting at the end. Character development was lacking, I didn't really care about any of them particularly.
Narration: possibly the worst attempt at an Aussie accent I have ever heard. Cringeworthy.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for sailing_with_mrs_scott
  • sailing_with_mrs_scott
  • 05-24-16

A Lightweight Listen

What did you like most about Not Quite Nice?

Perfect background noise, it didn't matter that I missed bits while turning kitchen appliances on and off ;) There were a couple of twists which were very funny (and quite unexpected)...

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

At the risk of sounding harsh maybe inflict a little more suffering on the main characters, add depth and provide opportunity to demonstrate meaningful problem solving.

Have you listened to any of Celia Imrie’s other performances? How does this one compare?

No, but she is an accomplished actress!

Any additional comments?

Very lightweight escapism.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for davkat
  • davkat
  • 04-29-16

A bit predictable

the story started off so well but ended up being a bit long and drawn out and the ending predictable.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Lyn
  • Lyn
  • 04-08-16

could not stop listening

loved it, unexpected twists and turns, but all will be revealed! Celia's narration draws you in and you don’t want to stop listening.