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The Forgotten Affairs of Youth

An Isabel Dalhousie Novel
Narrated by: Lesley Mackie
Series: Sunday Philosophy Club, Book 8
Length: 7 hrs and 43 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (15 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The continuing adventures from Isabel Dalhousie, Edinburgh philosopher and curious observer of the behaviour of her fellow man.

©2011 Alexander McCall Smith (P)2011 Hachette Digital

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

a light enjoyable read

This was a light enjoyable read, but the attempt to reproduce an Australian accent was absolutely dreadful. For an Australian living in Sydney to have to listen to this it was painful and irritating. The voice of the Australian character who was looking for information about her natural parents was a blend of a South African twang and broad rough Australian sounds of a centuary ago! Other than that it was a pleasant story but nothing remarkable.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Gentle Entertainment

The story continues the interfering daily life of philosopher Isabel Dalhousie. These are gently entertaining stories with interesting observations of humanity. At times I find myself becoming slightly annoyed at Isabel's intense navel gazing but these times pass. I also get a bit frustrated at the repeated references to the same Auden quotes & other repeated details from previous stories. I understand Isabel is an Auden fan but I'm over the "being in love with a pumping engine" story.
However, with this particular book I found the narrator the biggest issue. Leslie Mackie, a fine actress, reads the book well but her attempts at Australian & New Zealand accents leaves a LOT to be desired. As an Australian, I found these awful accents really grating & the listening hard going. Aussie & Kiwi accents are very different yet Ms Mackie made them sound exactly the same & equally awful. And no Australian pronounces Melbourne, MEL-BORN. Americans call it that. Aussies say MEL-bun!

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More about Isabel Dalhousie

I have read all in this series and am waiting for the next as Isabel's life unfolds. McCall Smith is a great story teller and the endings are always positive.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Karen
  • 07-17-12

Wrong voice

I bought this not realising the narrator was different from the previous stories and I am afraid the change made it un-listenable for me! Can't finish it, yet loved all the others.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Diane
  • 04-20-13

Wonderful book: Rubbish narrator

I am afraid that this was a HUGE disappointment for me.

Up til now he whole series of Isabel Dalhousie books, along with the other Ian McCall Smith books has been a delight. Here we have a different narrator, and to be honest the experience of listening to her is dispiriting. Such a pity after the very good reading of the other works by Phyllis Logan and Hilary Melville.

PLEASE don;t get this narrator to read any more of these lovely books. She ruins them.

And for audible listeners: if you have enjoyed the rest of the series: DON'T get this.

I wonder: Are Audible considering doing a new version? Would be good.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Colin McIntosh
  • 05-27-17

Bring back Hillary Neville. Worst Narrator I've ever heard

I adore these novels and have been listening to them daily but I hate when narrators change and with this and one more book to go it's now Lesley Mackie and much as she is a good actress when she did Judy Garland, she is an appalling narrator. So difficult to listen to and I genuinely feel so upset as when you listen to the same narrator you become attuned to their voice and characteristics.
If you love the Isabel Dalhousie series I hate to say it but read the books from here on as the narration is slovenly and monotone and doesn't hold you as Hillary Neville's did. I honestly dog think I could tell you what this was about as it was so hard to listen to.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • William Stewart
  • 11-12-18

Brilliant, didn't want it too finish.

I felt I had known Isobel Dalhousie all my life, I would have liked another few chapters to tidy up the loose ends.

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  • Paddington
  • 12-05-16

Interesting story set in Scotland

I enjoyed this story as it unfolded. However the voice of the young Australian woman was absolutely dreadful and irritating. It was so wrong. As an Australian I suggest that thet should not have tried to change the voice, it was dreadfully inaccurate..... on occasions it seemed like a bad imitation of a broad New Zealander!