To Throw Away Unopened

Narrated by: Jasmine Blackborow
Length: 9 hrs and 16 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (17 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Shortlisted for the Costa Biography Award 2018

What was I fighting for? Even now I'm not sure. Something so old and so deep, it has no words, no shape, no logic.

Every memoir is a battle between reality and invention - but in her follow up to Clothes, Clothes, Clothes. Music, Music, Music. Boys, Boys, Boys., Viv Albertine has reinvented the genre with her unflinching honesty. 

To Throw Away Unopened is a fearless dissection of one woman's obsession with the truth - the truth about family, power and her identity as a rebel and outsider. It is a gaping wound of a book, both an exercise in bloodletting and psychological archaeology, excavating what lies beneath: the fear, the loneliness, the anger. It is a brutal expose of human dysfunctionality, the impossibility of true intimacy and the damage wrought upon us by secrets and revelations, siblings and parents.

Yet it is also a testament to how we can rebuild ourselves and come to face the world again. It is a portrait of the love stories that constitute a life, often bringing as much pain as joy. With the inimitable blend of humour, vulnerability and intelligence that makes Viv Albertine one of our finest authors working today, To Throw Away Unopened smashes through layers of propriety and leads us into a new place of savage self-discovery.

©2018 Viv Albertine (P)2018 Faber Audio

Critic Reviews

"Fierce, direct, unashamed. She masks nothing... Scythes through the myths, the distortions, the adornments and finds the rich, distinctive stories underneath." (The Sunday Times) 

"A chronicle of outsiderness... Searingly honest.... A painstaking and painful dissection of familial fallout." (The Observer)

What listeners say about To Throw Away Unopened

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Profile Image for Sarah Power
  • Sarah Power
  • 01-18-19

A read again and again book!

"Viv Albertine should be anointed patron saint of the domestically dispossessed." Viv once more entertains, enlightens and makes all the mistakes and cringe worthy life experiences we go through as women a part of a life well lived. Sibling rivalry, terrible parental relationships and Viv's own self awareness and thoughts on life are astute and more often than not heartbreakingly hilarious . I will miss her in my life, in my head and will listen again and again to this book. Really hope another appears!

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  • JC
  • 10-23-18

Brilliant

Loved it, such an honest and funny tale of Viv Albertine's life. Great narration. Would recommend

1 person found this helpful

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  • Becca J
  • 09-03-20

Perfection

Just utterly wonderful. I didn't want it it end. Thank you, Viv, please write more. Beautiful work by Jasmine, the narrator.

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  • Valdis Anspoks
  • 02-01-20

Everyone should read or hear this.

My first audio book follows an appearance on my beloved R 4. Beautifully written, well researched, loved the quotes and a trip down memory lane. Some may consider it almost unrelentingly miserable but having shared some of her experiences I found it thoughtful and an unflinchingly accurate description of a life. Fantastic.

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  • mancbella
  • 08-23-19

very depressing

this was a difficult and painful listen. only go there if you like the dark side.

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  • Eve Johnston-Ryde
  • 08-19-19

Tough Going But So Worth It

Keep going if you, like me, found this book full on, grim and heavy. I think it's well worth the pain and getting to the end

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  • Anonymoose
  • 06-16-19

Unflinchingly honest

An unflinchingly honest and feminist memoir of family secrets and the death of Albertine’s mother. It’s told in a beguilingly non-chronological, apparently stream of conscious style. What she uncovers about her own parents as her 90-odd-year-old mother is dying unravels slowly and unsettlingly. It’s also peppered with wry take-no-shit observations about womanhood.