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Publisher's Summary

Penguin presents the unabridged, downloadable, audiobook edition of The Penguin Lessons by Tom Michell, read by Bill Nighy.

'I was hoping against hope that the penguin would survive because as of that instant he had a name, and with his name came the beginning of a bond which would last a life-time.'

Tom Michell is in his roaring 20's: single, free-spirited and seeking adventure. He has a plane ticket to South America, a teaching position in a prestigious Argentine boarding school, and endless summer holidays. He even has a motorbike, Che Guevara style. What he doesn't need is a pet. What he really doesn't need is a pet penguin. <\p>

Set against Argentina's turbulent years following the collapse of the corrupt Perónist regime, this is the heart warming story of Juan Salvador the penguin, rescued by Tom from an oil slick in Uruguay just days before a new term. When the bird refuses to leave Tom's side, the young teacher has no choice but to smuggle it across the border, through customs, and back to school. Whether it's as the rugby team's mascot, the housekeeper's confidant, the host at Tom's parties or the most flamboyant swimming coach in world history, Juan Salvador transforms the lives of all he meets - in particular one homesick school boy. And as for Tom, he discovers in Juan Salvador a compadre like no other....

The Penguin Lessons is a unique and moving true story which has captured imaginations around the globe - for all those who dreamed as a child they might one day talk to the animals.

©2015 Tom Michell (P)2015 Penguin Books Limited

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • LiebeB
  • Nanjing, China
  • 08-02-17

Extraordinary tale!

This book tells the story of a teacher from the UK rescuing a penguin in South America. It is such a moving encoun

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Sue156
  • 02-18-16

Enchanting

This is just a beautiful story and Bill's reading of it is light but intensely moving and entertaining. What a joy.
I would recommend for anyone who loves animals and especially penguins and also anyone who enjoys beautiful language. A gem of a book. Thank you

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • S. Corner
  • 05-09-16

absolutely fantastic

I looked at this many times and nearly did not get it. I thought it may be sentimental and kitsch. But not at all. A wonderful book that I found hard to put down. Delightful descriptions of Argentina, the relationship between the school boys and the penguin, and of course his own adventures with his new friend. So well written and so well read. Wholeheartedly recommend this.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Roni
  • 04-06-16

charming

Just loved this charming gem of a book. Bill Nighy is the perfect narrator. I was so sad to finish and say adios to Juan Salvatore!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • kesho
  • 02-09-17

wonderful

uplifting thoughtful reflections of special relationships, human impacts on the planet and what it was like in argentina 40 years ago. loved it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Gordon
  • 01-18-17

Adorable

Beautifully read by Bill Nighy - a delightful story that will gladden your heart and stimulate all of your emotions.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • jacqui
  • 12-22-16

Wonderful, entertaining.

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

As an entertaining read, highly. In reminding us of our responsibility to nature, also highly.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Penguin Lessons?

When the penguin helps a very lonely young boy.

What about Bill Nighy’s performance did you like?

Not a moments hesitation. Wonderful and lyrical performance. Full emotional force and humour conveyed. A very entertaining and, at times, emotional, listen. Bill Nighy is the best narrator I have come across so far. Amazingly good.

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

What would you do if you rescued a penguin and it wouldn't go back to the sea?

Any additional comments?

This was a most enjoyable book, based upon a true story. Important to remember that it was the seventies, a very different time in many ways. However, our responsibility, to nature and the environment is just as crucial.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • G. Glover
  • 08-10-18

fun and interesting.

Easy to read and informative. Loved this story and well read, easy to follow, a fun read.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-08-18

Beautiful story

Beautifully written story, that pulls on your heart strings. Unpretentious writing style, meaningful, honest and peppered with humor.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-26-17

It's enough to turn you into a vegan!

A moving story, well told. You will never think about penguins in the same way again.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-20-17

Captivating

I absolutely loved this book. The narration by Bill Nighy definitely added to my enjoyment - his voice is soothing and engaging and I loved all the accents and different voices he used for the various characters.
The story of Juan Salvador is a bitter sweet one, the descriptions of his movements so vivid I could easily picture his waggling bottom. The political landscape is cleverly and subtley woven into the story of the rescued bird.
I would recommend this book to anyone and can't wait for someone to make the film!

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  • MEW
  • 07-17-18

One of the best books I have ever listened to.

Bill Nighy gets a 20 out of 10. Tom Michell gets the same. What a gorgeous story. I listened to it in rapt wonder. Tom Michell brings a little bird to our heads and hearts. Beautifully written and presented and a great lesson to be learnt. Thank you.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-13-17

Wonderful Story

Loved it. I looked forward each day to my quiet sit and cup of tea.