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Wise Children

Narrated by: Eileen Atkins
Length: 5 hrs and 15 mins
Categories: Fiction, Historical
4 out of 5 stars (55 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Nora and Dora, the 'famous' Chance sisters, prepare to go to their perennially absent father's 100th birthday party. With a wide and colourful, often rather crazy cast, the story veers off in a multitude of directions as Dora's reminiscent narrative slips from past to present suddenly and seamlessly throughout. The illegitimate 'bastard' Chance twins are the black sheep of the family. The all-singing, all-dancing, sweary, aging, make-up caked, high-heeled, bawdy, gritty and overall magnetic Chance twins, that is.

Never apart for long, the two are very much peas from the same pod: Sir Melchior Hazard, surviving head of a great acting dynasty, who is imminently to celebrate his 100th birthday. Packed with gags, tears, histories, mysteries, feuds and romantic (and some not-so-romantic) unions, 'Wise Children', like the Chance girls, doesn't miss a trick, and is jam-packed with all of the entrancing magic realism and nouveau-feminism that has ensconced Angela Carter so snugly in the canon of revered cult writers.

©2009 CSA Word (P)2009 CSA Word

Critic Reviews

"What gives Angela Carter's carnivalesque 1991 novel a shot of new life is Eileen Atkins's superb characterisation. She is 75-year-old Dora, whirling the listener through the dancing, prancing lives of theatrical twin sisters, plus a whole cupboardful of fantastical family members." ( The Observer)

"Angela Carter�s (Wise Children) (...) is sheer and utter bliss, brilliantly read by Eileen Atkins."(The Express)

"What a bouncy and immediate new dimension audiobooks bring to books that are written with ebullience, firecracker wit and unstoppable pace." (The Times)

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Johanna
  • West Hollywood, CA, United States
  • 10-29-12

Unique vaudeville world and engaging reader

If you could sum up Wise Children in three words, what would they be?

bizarre
seedy
glamorous

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

There were a lot of characters and backstory, not such an eventful plot.

Which scene was your favorite?

When the twin girls meet their uncle for the first time and he charms them with a magic trick.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

When the twins met their real father and were not acknowledged.

Any additional comments?

I had a hard time keeping track of all the characters in the extended family and caring about them. The tone and setting were very unique, and made the book interesting

2 of 2 people found this review helpful