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The Golden Age

Narrated by: Daniel Koek
Length: 5 hrs and 12 mins
Categories: Fiction, Historical
3.5 out of 5 stars (6 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Perth, 1954. Thirteen-year-old Frank, a refugee from wartime Hungary, is learning to walk again after contracting polio.

At The Golden Age Children's Convalescent Home, he meets Elsa, and the two patients form a forbidden, passionate bond. The Golden Age becomes the little world that reflects the larger one, where everything occurs: love, desire, music, death and poetry.

Subtle, moving and remarkably lovely, The Golden Age evokes a yearning for deep connection, from one of Australia's finest and most loved novelists.

©2014 Joan London (P)2016 W.F. Howes Ltd

Critic Reviews

"London’s tale is an extraordinarily rich symbol of transition." ( Australian Book Review)
"Our finest living writer of marriage and family life...her most accomplished and keenly felt work to date." ( The Australian)

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Alison
  • Alison
  • 06-19-19

Possibly a good book, poorly narrated

I plan to return this after just four chapters. I usually enjoy Joan London's novels but this narrator captures none of the beauty and nuance of her prose and characterisation. His tone is flat and lifeless as if he's reading an instruction manual. I can't bear it anymore. Will seek out the hard copy.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for A. Gander
  • A. Gander
  • 04-18-18

Shame about the narration

If you could sum up The Golden Age in three words, what would they be?

Understated, poetic, bittersweet

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Golden Age?

The ending

How could the performance have been better?

The narrator was monotonous and wooden, not to mention almost downright insulting to women when trying to adopt a female voice at times. Apparently older female characters sound like shrieking pantomime dames.

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

It was a poignant ending that gave me a lump in my throat.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-04-18

A beautiful ensemble

The Golden Age is a beautifully told story of intersecting lives and cultures at a children's Polio Hospital in Perth. Revolving heavily around the young New Australian, Frank, the narrative provides a warm and diverse look into all of the different patients and families at the home. Most captivating are the glimpses of Ida and Meyer's experiences from their escape of both the Nazi occupation in Hungary, and the ensuing 'liberation' by the Red Army. London beautifully voices the fragile tension between memory and imagination as the Gold's try to make a new life in Australia, yet never allowing themselves to become complacent - "we Jews have to be on the lookout"

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 08-27-17

A struggle !

I gave up with this book and never finished it, I found the presentation flat and monotonous, the lack of pitch variation in the voice and the lack of attention to punctuation made listening hard work and I found my mind wandered. it's a shame as the story may be excellent but I was simply not able to engage with the books presentation.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Josh
  • Josh
  • 02-01-17

Terrible Book for School

What disappointed you about The Golden Age?

It might be a great book for some, but to me, it sucks so much. I find myself falling asleep. This may fit more to people who like to read about peoples lives, not as a school book we must read...

What was most disappointing about Joan London’s story?

The lack of any action that created suspense in the story of at least the first half

Would you be willing to try another one of Daniel Koek’s performances?

It was alright, a bit slow, but at 1.40x speed it was great for me, made the book a bit better too.

What character would you cut from The Golden Age?

I would cut the parts with the babies.