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Publisher's Summary

Ebenezer Le Page, cantankerous, opinionated and charming, is one of the most compelling literary creations of the late 20th century. Eighty years old, Ebenezer has lived his whole life on the Channel Island of Guernsey, a stony speck of a place caught between England and France yet a world away from either. Ebenezer himself is fiercely independent, but as he reaches the end of his life he is determined to tell his own story and the story of those he has known. He writes of family secrets and feuds, unforgettable friendships and friendships betrayed, love glimpsed and lost.

The Book of Ebenezer Le Page is a beautifully detailed chronicle of a life, but it is equally an oblique reckoning with the traumas of the 20th century, as Ebenezer recalls both the men lost to the Great War and the German Occupation of Guernsey during World War II, and looks with despair at the encroachments of commerce and tourism on his beloved island.

©1981 Edward P. de G. Chaney (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kathy
  • Davis, CA, United States
  • 07-08-12

My favorite audiobook of all!

If you sample this book first, don't be put off by the "codger" voice. I have never listened to a more astonishingly beautiful narration. Roy Dotrice, who incidentally is from Guernsey, has performed an amazing feat in his narration this book and in "becoming" the main character of the story.
As Ebenezer talks about his family history and his life on the island of Guernsey, he draws you in to his story little by little. This is a book that continues to get better as it goes on until you start fretting about what you will do when it is over. Myself, I started it over immediately to clear up some information I didn't get clear in the beginning, when perhaps I wasn't listening as carefully as I could. I had no idea how much I would hang on every word as the book progressed. This book is warm and quite funny (many laugh out loud moments) and sometimes sad. This is a book that I full-heartedly recommend. Don't miss it by having preconceived notions.

26 of 28 people found this review helpful

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Wow!

I picked this audible book for the narrator and the synopsis. Dotrice was excellent as expected but this story was one of the best I've read.
Don't look for much suspense or heavy plot twists but an emotion filled trip through one man's life and all his humor and musings and struggles. I learned quite a bit about myself from this fictional man an ocean away and realized how much of Ebenezer Le page I've got in me.
This is the best piece of fiction I've experienced in a long time, maybe ever.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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I miss Ebenezer


A difficult book for me to describe befittingly, nor can I think of a category for this totally fresh, unique achievement: historical fiction; a fictionalized autobiography; the story of an aging curmudgeon? It's not a story of book clubs and potato peels...I've yet to get through that one (but plan on giving it another try since reading Ebenezer). The word that keeps coming to mind is inspired by the ocean waters that surround Ebenezer le Page's quaint isle of Guernsey -- *flow,* the flow of time, the tides of people that flow in and out of our lives, the flow of change -- an island, and the man who sometimes seems like an island himself. This is a book that now has a place on my shelf of *All-time Favorites." Listening felt like a vacation with someone you grow to love.

Ebenezer is born in Guernsey in 1890 and finishes his book (or journal) in the 1960's. In 3 volumes, he has faithfully written since his youth the goings-on in the vale of Guernsey and his perceptions of his family and neighbors. The novel is told by an aged Ebenezer, now content to die, and reflecting on his life through the passages in his *book*. This method works so beautifully here, allowing the stories to be recalled with the wisdom and tolerance (even love) that become more crystalline with years. Alone, the episodes contain the full spectrum that makes up a life well lived (or more aptly put *colorfully-lived*), but recollected through Ebenezer's uncensored consciousness and the local patois, they are magical and precious. Don't think this is just the ramblings of a withered old man! Ebenezer isn't just an old geezer; he is lively, sexy, opinionated, feisty, intelligent, and interesting. He's the man that starts the fight in the church pew and worships in the pub -- and vice versas. I don't think I've ever experienced such a range of emotions in any book. I know I've never started off thoroughly disliking a person and their views and ended up so enchanted with that same person by the end of a read. The whole novel has that flow I mentioned; the feel of looking over a passage of a life intrinsically connected to the island and its people and history.

Kathy, in her wonderful review, mentioned the narration by Roy Dotrice. I'll tell you how fantastic it is...Dotrice is so good at portraying Ebenezer le Page that I wasn't sure I wanted to sit down and listen to this guy talk to me for 20 hours. That would have been a huge mistake. Dotrice might come by the accent naturally, but he also nails Ebenezer's personality. I enthusiastically say that this is one of best of the books I've listened to -- and that I miss Ebenezer to tears.

22 of 25 people found this review helpful

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  • Andrew
  • MOUNT PLEASANT, SC, United States
  • 08-31-12

Incredible narrative with a perfect narrator

Roy Dotrice is an amazing actor/narrator, as anyone who's listened to the Song of Ice and Fire books knows. I downloaded this book almost entirely because he read it, and it turns out I would have missed an amazing book if he hadn't. It's a fictional memoir of a real place I had never heard of, but I doubt I'll ever forget Guernsey.

Maybe not for everyone, but great writing + great narration + long book (when you have the other two...) is what I hunt for every month.

9 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • ratna
  • Northam, Australia
  • 07-14-15

So beautiful, insightful and rich!

To keep it brief I'll simply recommend this to my friends who have not come across the delightful poignant Mr Le Page 😌

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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A brave and successful reading.

Takes a while to get into this book. One fears at first this may become a sentimental or overly nostalgic view of a lost way of life. After a while you realize you're in good hands with this author. I highly recommend the book, in audio or print.

Roy Dotrice, the reader, performs a great service to the book, I think. I certainly don't know the subtleties of accent and intonation he's dealing with here. But he has made decisions about how he will read it and carries it out over a long span with perfect integrity. His reading turns the entire book into poetry, or even music. Here again you may feel at first that the voice will wear on you, but his skill is such that it carries the story along without fail.

A perfect match of reader and text.

14 of 18 people found this review helpful

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  • Bill
  • Manassas, VA, United States
  • 07-18-12

Very enjoyable story

This is a very delightful book. It recounts the life story of Ebenezer le Page, a confirmed resident of the Guernsey Island. It follows Ebenezer from his early years through World War I and World War II, but those are mostly backdrops for a recounting of life on the Island and his relationships with his family and friends. The voice of the book is that of an old person telling their life story, if you have spent time with the very old and heard their stories the author gets this just right.

The discussion of the relationships of family and of men and men and women has a very good depth of thought and gives something to think about.

I enjoyed this book greatly and would highly recommend it.

The reader does an excellent job of giving voice to this old man and was a true delight.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

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This just made my summer!

Any additional comments?

I just downloaded this book an hour ago and haven't begun listening to it yet, but I cannot tell you how freaking excited I was to find it on Audible. Because it's the best book I have ever read, hands down, no competition.I rarely read a book more than once but I have read this one at least three times. And it's a book that cries out for an audio version because it's written in such an amazing distinctive voice. The only problem is that that voice, and the patois it speaks in, makes it a somewhat difficult read at first. A somewhat difficult listen too I gather from having read the other reviews here. But the difference is that it seems to be a lot easier to slog through a challenging listen than a challenging read. Especially when there are so many people assuring you that you just need to hang in there for a bit.I have given this book to, I think, four people. Two couldn't get past the first 20 or 30 pages and the other two absolutely loved it. If you haven't read it, consider yourself very lucky because you are about to be transported for the first time into the mind of an amazing person.I very much hope that this audio version includes the fantastic introduction by John Fowles. If it doesn't, take the time to try to find it and read it, if not before then after you listen to the book. It gives many insights into the time and place and most importantly the life of the author. I like to encourage people to read it first because otherwise they may become confused into thinking this is a genuine autobiography rather than an imagined one written by a man who left the little island when he was young and never returned.This is not a well known book, not nearly as well known as it should be, but it is a well loved book by those who have been introduced to it. If you don't believe me check the reviews of the print edition on Amazon. Only 46 reviews, but the average score is an almost unheard of 4.8 out of 5 stars.I will update this after I listen, and I apologize for the premature "Performance" review, but you can't leave it blank, apparently. If I don't care so much for it I will change that vote. The other two stand though.I feel like my team just won the Rose Bowl I am so excited about this. I can't wait to finish what I'm currently listening to. I'll have to double down on that. I called my brother and Dad right away to tell them that this book had finally been released--my brother because he loved it when he read it and is as excited as I am about the audio version, and my Dad because he couldn't make it into the book and now he'll have a chance to try again. Even though it may mean that I'll have to buy him his first MP3 player.

9 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • Dayle
  • Hoover, Al, United States
  • 12-30-17

Im going to miss Mr. le Page......

Any additional comments?

Took me back in time....
I remember visits to Mississippi as a child in 50s, early 60s. Sitting in ancient living rooms with ancient furniture, and listening to the Old Folks reminicing about the past....past neighbors, cousins, marriages and children. The accents rich and deep, and idioms surprising and humorous. This story is like that but more complete. It is multidimensional yet pure. The narrator is probably best ive ever heard. A real treat. Bravo

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Pierced My Heart and Left an Aching Void


This book pierced my heart and left an aching void. It covers the scale of human nature from wondrous to pure meanness, the depth and range of our emotions, and recalls the importance to a life of the few true connections one really makes in a lifetime.

I didn't see Ebenezer Le Page as the "cantankerous" old man the publisher describes, a description that held me back from reading this for a couple of years.

Some people have a problem with the narrator's accent. I enjoyed it, as authentic-sounding. This is the same guy who narrated the Game of Thrones books, if that makes a difference to you.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Valerie
  • 01-31-14

Wonderful warm story

What did you like most about The Book of Ebenezer le Page?

It created the world of Ebenezer in the way that folk remember.

What did you like best about this story?

It was beautifully observed and delicately handled

Which character – as performed by Roy Dotrice – was your favourite?

Oh, I haven't got a favourite. Roy Dotrice brought them all to life so beautifully.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Absolutely. I even took it to bed with me and listened half the night.

Any additional comments?

I would recommend this book to anyone. It is a beautiful story, very sensitively written and narrated. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • craig bale
  • 05-01-16

a most relaxing listen

This is an unusual book, beautifully written and brought to life by the narrator. Although slow, I got used to the pace and loved to listen to it at bed times when the days pressures would evaporate...... I'll miss you Ebenezer Le Page.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Jackie
  • 02-15-16

A gem

I laughed and cried over this book - beautifully read and beautifully written. Not to be missed.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Silver Surfer
  • 03-31-17

Special

I first heard Roy Dotrice reading this on Woman's Hour over 30 (?) years ago. At the time I tried to get a recording of it but all my efforts came to nothing. I bought the book and enjoyed it, though my enjoyment was enhanced because I could hear, in my mind, the voice of Roy Dotrice with his Guernsey accent.
Someone, I don't remember who, had borrowed my copy and not returned it so I went to Amazon to buy another. Imagine my joy when I saw that Audible had a recording of it and that it was the very same one that I had enjoyed so much all those years ago.
It has been a long held desire to listen to it again. I loved it.
There is no plot as such, but Ebenezer tells his life story so charmingly and truthfully that one feels a strong connection with him and his characters.
Do not read or listen to this book if you like mysteries or murders or sex scenes; it is about people.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Rebecca
  • 01-29-17

Listen You Will Not Be Dissapointed

It is a life lived and very well read I cant explain it all but you will like it

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Sp
  • 11-18-17

a wonderful listen

a magical performance by the late Roy Dotrice - he brings Ebenezer'a reminiscences alive and captures the joys and sadnesses of a long life perfectly.

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  • Yarnie A
  • 08-13-17

READ THIS BOOK

A masterpiece... Brilliantly narrated by Dotrice... I'm going to miss Ebenezer and the story of his life.