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Publisher's Summary

When Cedric Charlton, an unsuspecting tax inspector, arrives at the door of the Pop Larkin farm, he soon forgets the purpose of his visit: The fun-loving Ma and Pop Larkin distract him at every turn with strawberries, cream, alcohol, and their attractive young daughter, Mariette. Well known by the popular TV series starring David Jason and Catherine Zeta-Jones, The Darling Buds of May is the quintessential feel-good country romp. It will have you falling wholeheartedly in love with the Larkin family and their carefree way of life. So grab a bowl of ice cream, pull out a deck chair, and share in the "perficktion" of country life.

©1958 H. E. Bates (P)2015 Naxos AudioBooks

What listeners say about The Darling Buds of May

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Even better read aloud

I recall reading all five of the Larkin books about 30 years ago and loving them. With so much general dread and fear in the world, I thought this would be an ideal time to reread the Darling Buds. The reader was outstanding, particularly differentiating the various English accents. Purfick!

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Profile Image for John1962
  • John1962
  • 09-03-16

Absolutely wonderful!

If you could sum up The Darling Buds of May in three words, what would they be?

A 'perfick' joy

What did you like best about this story?

It captured my interest from the very first page, and the story got better the more I read.

Which character – as performed by Philip Franks – was your favourite?

O loved all of the characters, but my favourites were Ma and Pa Larkin.

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

There were several scenes in this book which made me laugh. Some of the funniest scenes for me are the ones between Pop and Cedric (Charlie).

Any additional comments?

I really enjoyed listening to this audio book. The story is well written, entertaining and very uplifting. Philip Franks' excellent narration also added to my enjoyment of H.E. Bates classic novel.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Josh
  • 10-17-18

An easy listen in the hot may sunshine

This is a book that is pure nostalgia and country ease, a reminiscence of a British countryside and pace of life that has been lost by too many of us. It will not plumb the depths of human thought or emotions, but it it a reminder of different times and can be the gentle summer breeze in your busy and hectic day that brings a touch of relief, it moved me enough to move to and settle my roots in the world described in this book. Simply Perfic.

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  • M. Price
  • 05-17-16

A darling of a book!

H.E.Bates at his very best , beautifully read by Philip Franks. The only possible verdict on this book is that it's 'Absolutely perfick' to quote the indefatigable Pop Larkin!

4 people found this helpful

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  • Ree
  • 03-07-20

A warm feeling, when you listen to the Darling buds of may, you can see all the meadowlands even hear the birds singing,

Smell the blossom on the trees, just feel so good when listened to it PERFICK

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  • Ayo
  • 05-18-16

Feel good, gentle, relaxing story

Watched the TV drama before listening to the book, pleased to say the TV retelling kept to the original story. Lovable characters, brilliant narration with a wonderful depiction of an English country summer. Warning, the food description will make you ravenous, I'm off to eat an apple tart...with ketchup.

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  • Winstone
  • 05-27-21

A relaxing listen...

If you're looking for a way to unwind and clear your mind of the full blown hurly burly of modern life, then this narration of Bates's opening volley in the Larkin series is a must.
Phillip Franks was a great choice of reader and certainly helps paint the perfect picture.
Have already downloaded the next in the series...

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  • Della Bridgeman
  • 05-03-20

Perfick!!!!!!!

Darling Buds of May , takes me back to times of being uncomplicated and living in the moment Perfick!!!! I smiled and laughed to myself and the fact that my dear old Dad God bless him looks so much like the TV character David Jason who played pop Larkin it filled my mind and imagination
with so many fond memories.

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  • Lucy Owen
  • 09-20-19

Wonderful

Witty, charming and absolutely memorable. I first read this book more than 30 years ago, the characters were so well written I have never forgotten them. Delightful to listen to them come to life once again so many years later!

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  • Ursula Mary Taylor
  • 05-18-18

One of my all time favourite books.

Having read and reread this book a dozen times I simply had to have the audio version . A real pleasure to listen to . Philip Franks is an excellent narrator .

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  • GS
  • 10-01-21

A lovely listen.

A lovely, charming story of a lovely charming family. Soft, gentle humour that was somewhat ahead of its time in terms of attitudes. Well read. Perfick.