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Publisher's Summary

It is the early 1960s in a country village in Ireland. Caithleen Brady and her attractive friend, Baba, are on the verge of womanhood and dreaming of spreading their wings in a wider world - of discovering love and luxury and liquor and above all, fun. With bawdy innocence, shrewd for all their inexperience, the girls romp their way through convent school to the bright lights of Dublin – where Caithleen finds that suave, idealised lovers rarely survive the real world.

©2010 AudioGO Ltd (P)1960 Edna Gebler

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Performance

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Story

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

Spectacular Writing and Narrating

I was almost swayed by negative reviews of Edna O'Brien's narration. Wow, am I glad I downloaded it anyway. O'Brien is a spectacular writer whose sensitivity to small details and physical gestures rivals that of Proust. She brings the world of her youth to life in such vivid complexity and psychological honesty, I was completely transported.

As for the reading, it's true she is not a professional narrator and you can hear her taking breaths and pausing at odd moments. HOWEVER, she has a gorgeous voice that is so full of feeling--plus the lovely accent, and a hushed, expectant tone--that I was captivated and hanging on every sentence.

One of the best listens of the year for me. I was driving for much of this and at one point was so moved I had to pull over!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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

Where have all the romantics gone?

Where does The Country Girls rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Right at the top.

What other book might you compare The Country Girls to and why?

Pursuit of Love and Love in a Cold Climate. Terribly Mitford-esque..

What about Edna O'Brien’s performance did you like?

Sound of her voice, incredible diction. marvelous irony.

If you could take any character from The Country Girls out to dinner, who would it be and why?

Mr. Gentleman. You have to ask why?

Any additional comments?

Where are the negative reviews coming from? Really ladies and gentlemen, have we forgotten the romance of courtship and are we too old to remember how hard our hearts ached when we first fell in love? Edna O'Brien has not forgotten, I am hard pressed to find more than a handful of writers who could write about this experience with as much beauty and haunting charm as she evokes This is the first audiobook that has pressed a review from me. Well, I'd put Jeremy Irons reading of Lolita as my all time no. 1, but it's pretty damn hard to knock Nabokov off the top..

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • dorothy
  • gainesville, fl, United States
  • 04-17-13

Hard to listen to

This is an excellent story, and quite an interesting view into life in an earlier time in Ireland. Unfortunately, the author's narration makes the experience almost unbearable, with her long pauses and constant gulping breaths. It is really a shame. I really wished she had let someone else do the reading as I am having a hard time enjoying her wonderful writing and find myself only able to listen to a little at a time, before I can't stand it anymore. Do yourself a favor and get a hard copy of this fascinating glimpse into a different time and place.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

delightful and compelling

A humorous, mesmerizing and well-observed story of the difficulties and excitements of a young girl growing up poor in Ireland. Charmingly and movingly read by the author. I was hooked from the beginning and listened to many passages twice to enjoy them again.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Author should not read her book

This book was part of a book club list, therefore I did not choose to read it. That said, I started off with the written version and decided that maybe I would progress faster with the recording. I was very excited to see that the author was reading her book, but, in this case I think that maybe she made a mistake.
I did not enjoy her reading, there was no characterization: usually a reader gives each character a different rhythm of speech or tone of voice... in this case it was monotonous, the story being a bit monotonous to start with.
And then there was the BREATHING, this was the most difficult part to handle as I really had to make an effort not to concentrate on the intake of air through the nostrils and listen to the words.
Personally I did not enjoy this book, there were too many unnecessary descriptions of nature, which I found had no positive use to the story, they just made it long drawn out. I think there are sufficient descriptions of the story and the characters, so I will not go into them in this review, except to say that the outcome was very abrupt.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Marvelous.

Marvelous reading, old world tone, and sultry, captivating description. I'd listen to this again and again

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Not a pleasant book to listen to.

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

I started listening to the book but I just couldn't continue with Edna O'Brien as the narrator. I found her speech just too slow and garbled. But since the book did get such great review about the storyline, I will read it.

Would you be willing to try another one of Edna O'Brien’s performances?

No.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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

Friendship of circumstance

Newly exploring Edna O'Brien as a wise woman writer. Her description of Ireland sets the stage, viscerally visual, against which the dialects of the main characters in conversation pulled me even further into the world a country girl in Ireland existed in.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • TAG
  • 12-05-18

Disappointing

I’m afraid this is a prime example of why an author narrating their own work is not a good idea. O’Brien talks at an irregular speed in different chapters, sometimes intolerably slowly. She also talks in a whisper which makes it difficult to discern different characters.
I had to listen to this for work but otherwise I would have given up with it.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Suzi
  • 03-05-15

A very impressive book but ends too quickly.

I enjoyed the listeming but still I think one more chapter would have made a big difference. I felt frustrated by the lack of appropriate ending.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jon
  • 07-07-13

Beautiful, evocative voice of Ms O'Brian

Where does The Country Girls rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

My first audiobook, so nothing to compare but i loved it. Got it for long car journey in India, quite surreal listening and being enveloped in Ms O'Brians Irish lilt and soft atmosphere while seeing the colourful expanse of Indian life, especially in Delhi stuck in a traffic jam.

What did you like best about this story?

Her voice, the characters were very real to me

Which character – as performed by Edna O'Brien – was your favourite?

I loved both the girls

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

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