1 title per month from Audible’s entire catalog of best sellers, and new releases.
Access a growing selection of included Audible Originals, audiobooks and podcasts.
You will get an email reminder before your trial ends.
Your Premium Plus plan is $14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $21.31

Buy for $21.31

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

It's 1943, and the war has brought rationing to the Hebridean Islands of Great and Little Todday. When food is in short supply, it is bad enough, but when the whisky runs out, it looks like the end of the world.

Morale is at rock bottom. George Campbell needs a wee dram to give him the courage to stand up to his mother and marry Catriona. The priest, the doctor and, of course, the landlord at the inn are all having a very thin time of it. There's no conversation, no jollity, no fun - until a shipwreck off the coast brings a piece of extraordinary good fortune....

©1947 Compton Mackenzie (P)2018 Hachette Audio UK

More from the same

What listeners say about Whisky Galore

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    12
  • 4 Stars
    11
  • 3 Stars
    2
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    1
Performance
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    22
  • 4 Stars
    2
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    9
  • 4 Stars
    11
  • 3 Stars
    3
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Humour Galore, the narrator MAKES this audiobook, a performance

whiskey Galore is a cultural baptismal dowsing the reader in Scotch whiskey, a story that starts w the lack thereof . If i could give this narrator 10 stars i would. A peaty, earthy voice with hints of burnt caramel and wood smoke. I laughed out loud often, occasionally to point of joyful tears, talented author

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

An Awesome Narration of a lovely, quirky book

Whoever chose David Rintoul as narrator, was a sheer genius! He was simply awesome!

Uisge Beatha - is that a sneeze and a yawn in "Garlic"?

I am in two minds about this book, for I am sure that had I read it in print or on kindle, I would have given it 3 stars only, but the awesome narration of David Rintoul, whom I just cannot praise highly enough!!, rendered it much more enjoyable. His style and Scottish accents delighted my Scotland-loving ears and soul and I could have gone on listening for an ever longer period.

The novel is based on a real story: during WW2 a cargo ship ran aground off the coast of one of the Hebridean Islands, carrying tens of thousands of whisky intended for the US market. The locals set out to salvage as much of this precious cargo as they could, risking prosecution from Customs and Excise authorities.

In the book there are 2 fictional islands of the Outer Hebrides called Great Todday (Protestant) and Little Todday (Catholic) in the year of 1943. While the islanders may have their mild religious clashes (in the book this takes the form of rivalry of which island's people settled there earlier and what their origins are as well as about the observation of Sabbath), they are united on one front: when the provision of whisky starts thinning out and then cut off, the "Drought" affects morale very badly on both Islands, much to the consternation of the snobbish British Home Guard officer, Captain Waggett (who is in mortal fear of losing the war because of the locals' callous behaviour).
Any possible dispute on religion or anthropogeny is forgotten in the brethrenly and spiritual union over the saving, drinking and selling of the salvaged crates of whisky they all refer to as Minnie or St. Minnie to honour the grounded ship which was called The Cabinet Minister. (Obviously with the exception of the local Hotel & Pub owner, with whom this is a sore point as the shipwreck of the Minnie comes at the worst possible time: regular provisions & distribution of whisky is just being restored.)

The book takes its own sweet and long time to build up and gather steam (or is that Whisky fumes?) and at the beginning reads more like a collection of loosely tide storylines about quirky, Scottish Islanders than an organic whole, but then the parts starts to fit together nicely and in retrospect, I did not mind about the really slow and seemingly disjointed beginning.

We are introduced to a great cast of quirky characters on both islands with their side stories, including 2 "romances". And David Rintoul did full justice to the different voices and accents as well as to the Gaelic phrases (not that I am any expert on that!).

I would not say that the book is choke full of laugh-out-loud moments or would cause "unbridled mirth"; it is more of what I'd call gentle humour and it made me smile and chuckle quite a few times.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

What chatacters

Saint Mini saves the day! Now I think I'll go pour myself a wee dram.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for FictionFan
  • FictionFan
  • 04-12-21

Slàinte mhath!

Despite their remote location, the Hebridean islands of Great Todday and Little Todday are not untouched by the ongoing Second World War. Some of the islands’ sons are far away serving in the forces, while various servicemen are stationed around the various islands. Rationing is in force, although the islanders always have their livestock and fishing to fall back on. But when there’s a prolonged shortage of whisky, things begin to get serious! When, after a few weeks of drought, a cargo ship full of whisky is shipwrecked just off one the islands, the temptation to steal the whisky before the authorities get there is overwhelming.

Humour is one of those things that is entirely subjective. Many people, according to the Goodreads reviews, found this hilarious. I’m afraid I found it occasionally mildly amusing, but mostly repetitive and rather dull. It takes about half the book before the shipwreck happens, and for most of that time we are introduced to a variety of quirky caricatures – an English writer’s affectionate idea of what Hebridean islanders should be like – and listen while they tell each other how awful life is because they have no whisky. I grant you that alcohol plays a large role in Scottish social life, and even more in our anti-social life, but not to the extent of it being the sole subject of conversation. I tired of it long before the ship hove into view.

There are a couple of other strands, both regarding romances. One is of an English soldier who has returned to the islands to claim the girl he proposed to a few years earlier, before he was posted abroad. But before they get married, they must have the ritual rèiteach – a kind of pre-wedding party. This leads to the running joke that I swear must have been repeated at least fifty times – that the Englishman can’t pronounce the Gaelic word rèiteach. He’s not alone – nor can I, but nonetheless the humour wore thin after the first dozen times he attempted it and failed. The islanders can’t imagine a rèiteach without whisky though, and so the couple can’t wed till the drought is over.

The other couple are both islanders, and the joke here is that the man is completely under his mother’s thumb, so much so that he’s afraid to tell her that he’s got himself engaged. He needs whisky to give him courage. (Mild spoiler: personally I felt the girl should be warned that the meek and mild model of sobriety she thinks she’s marrying turns into a bullying monster when he has a drink in him, but I think Mackenzie thought his drunken behaviour towards his admittedly irritating mother was admirable. Maybe that’s how men saw things back in those days...)

Mackenzie paints a picture of the lives of the islanders in which his characters seem to have endless amounts of free time and to do very little work, and, while he touches on the religious divides that have plagued Scotland for centuries, he does so in a way that makes them seem playful – I wish! However, despite its lack of realism it’s all in keeping with the cosy tone of the book.

I listened to the audiobook narrated by David Rintoul, who does an excellent job with the accents, and I assume also with the Gaelic pronunciations – I fear my ignorance of Gaelic means I wouldn’t know. There’s a fair amount of Gaelic sprinkled through it, which I would probably have found less annoying in a paper book with a glossary. But in an audiobook, not only did I not understand the words, I couldn’t work out how they would be spelled so that I could google them – it took me ages even to find the word rèiteach, despite it having been repeated umpteen times. Like a lot of Gaelic it is not pronounced how it looks! (My post title Slàinte mhath!, for example, is pronounced roughly slan-ja-va and means Cheers!)

Overall, then, a reasonably entertaining read, mildly amusing but, for me, not funny enough to make up for the lack of substance underneath. It could have made a great novella, but at full novel length there feels like far too much repetitive padding. Maybe I should have read it after a few drams of Glenfiddich…

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Robert
  • Robert
  • 04-14-19

something of a treat

classic story, with the narrator capturing the Ealing-esque tone, and the nature of the characters

Only gripe would be that the tale comes to a bit of an unexpected halt - but then the first rule of entertainmnet is 'leave them wanting more'

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for mr g w bouwens
  • mr g w bouwens
  • 02-23-22

What fun!

I’d seen the film years ago but this book is brilliant. Funny, clever and very witty.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Kim Elliott
  • Kim Elliott
  • 03-15-21

An excellent listen

A well known whimsical story sometimes seen on TV. The book is much better. Wonderfully read.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for M. Parrott
  • M. Parrott
  • 02-14-21

Masterly

Wonderful language, witty and full of interesting characters. A little masterpiece; a feel good book!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for wpm
  • wpm
  • 03-25-19

Wonderful story, outstandingly read

This is the best audiobook I have listened to yet.
If you don’t know the story already, you are in for a comic and touching treat. But if, like me, you’ve already read it, listen to Whisky Galore on audible and enjoy David Rintoul’s absolutely masterly narration. I can’t recommend it highly enough.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Ronald McCoy
  • Ronald McCoy
  • 09-07-19

Endearing tale of other times.

Based on a true story, this tale looks at the impact of history encroaching upon the lives of small island communities. Set in the Western Isles of Scotland, this gentle tale explores and pokes a little bit of fun at people who seemed far removed from everyday modern life. MacKenzie loved the people of the Outer Hebrides, and this entertaining story the depicts many of the things that he fondly cherished. I did enjoy it, although I had some reservations about outsiders making “observations“ of others. There is something a little bit suspicious about it. However, I still enjoyed it.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for vicster
  • vicster
  • 09-03-18

Although I hate whisky, I loved Whisky Galore.

Rollicking good tale with fabulous narration. It makes me want to head to the islands for a toddy.