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Half of the Human Race (Unabridged)
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Half of the Human Race (Unabridged) [Audio Download]

by Anthony Quinn (Author), Roger May (Narrator)
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
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Product details

  • Audio Download
  • Listening Length: 17 hours and 35 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: Whole Story Audiobooks
  • Audible.co.uk Release Date: 8 July 2011
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005C4KWI4
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
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Product Description

In the sweltering summer of 1911, suffragette Connie Callaway is introduced to Will Maitland, cricketer and rising star of his county. Despite parting on uncertain terms, they are destined to meet again, their lives inextricably entangled. Combining national drama and private tragedy, this is a story of love, sacrifice, suffrage and county cricket, projected against a vivid backdrop of England in an extraordinary age of turmoil and violence.

©2011 Anthony Quinn; (P)2011 W F Howes Ltd

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
68 of 71 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bowled over 30 Jan 2011
By Ripple TOP 100 REVIEWER
At heart, `Half of the Human Race' is a `will they, won't they' love story featuring an upper class, emerging county cricketer, Will Maitland, and a middle class strong, educated, cricket-loving woman, Constance Callaway. But this is so much more than a question of will the cricketer bowl a maiden over? It's a novel about friendship, love, fighting for what you believe in and, also, surprisingly, about celebrity.

The book is set in that fascinating period of British history from the end of Queen Victoria's long reign to the Great War. It's no surprise that this is an attractive period for writers as this was an age of such contrasts and emerging political and social change. It was a period of that British idyl of the idle rich having the freedom to not grow up, until of course the outbreak of war when those that survived had to grow up fast, while so many never got the chance. It was also a period of ideas, not least among them the key theme running through this book of the issue of the suffragette movement and the opportunities for women to be more than homemakers. Constance is an educated young woman but her nascent career in medicine has been cut short when the family falls on hard times and all the available funds are diverted to her brother's education. On a family holiday she meets for the first time the young cricketer, Will, but their mutual attraction initially founders due to Will's traditional views that a woman should be seen and not heard.

I've mentioned the cricket theme a number of times already and I confess that as a cricket-lover, there's no doubt that enhanced my enjoyment of the book. However, aware that probably more than `half of the human race' do not share this passion, it's fair to point out that there is no need to share this cricketing enthusiasm.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars County Cricket - Jane Austen style 2 Jan 2012
By Isola
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This novel is beautifully written and I absolutely loved it. I've become an instant Anthony Quinn fan and am about to dive into his debut novel 'Rescue Man'.

At the heart of 'Half of the Human Race' is a compelling 'will they - won't they' Austen style English romance, which takes place from the end of Queen Victoria's reign through to the first world war - which not only blighted human life but changed the role of women in society.

Will Maitland, a rising county cricket star; a man of traditional means and patriarchal opinions meets Constance Calloway; an unwavering suffragette, would-be surgeon working in a book shop. The author tells his excellent tale from the point of view of both protagonists, portraying their gender specific worlds equally.

His significant other characters are engaging and well drawn; especially Will's hero, a legendary batsman and Connie's friend, a Bohemian artist. Descriptions throughout the book are vivid and true, from the horrors of Holloway to the terror of the trenches. Quinn also covers the misunderstandings of mental illness during that period; highlighting the fact that failure and suicide issues are not a 'modern' medical disorder.

The entire novel is well crafted, thoroughly researched and detailed in development. The prose is elegant and the pace a perfect pitch. If Anthony Quinn holds a tight rein on his novel, it would make a wonderful British film.

Highly recommended (even if you don't like cricket!).
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars best book I have read for ages - and I read a lot 14 April 2011
By Linda
This is an absolutely first rate read. I do read a lot and rarely find something this good. The female character is incredibly well drawn by the male author but I would have thought the book has appeal to men and women alike - particularly those with an interest in the years before and aft WWI.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it (despite the cricket...) 14 Jan 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed Anthony Quinn's first novel, The Rescue Man, mainly because it was set in Liverpool and I was familiar with a lot of locations in the book. From the synopsis I thought his second, Half of the Human Race, sounded just my cup of tea - and I was right.

I find the time just before, during and after WW1 fascinating because of all the changes taking place in society, with barriers between the classes and sexes starting to break down, and this book is a compelling portrait of one particular aspect of that tumultuous second decade of the 20th century. Our heroine Constance (Connie) Calloway, has had to put her dreams of becoming on a surgeon on hold due to a combination of reduced family circumstances and hostility towards female medics. Instead she has joined the Suffragettes and is making a name for herself as an agitator. Through a family connection she meets Will Maitland, a lawyer turned professional cricketer. Will is a principled man, fiercely loyal to his friends, but he's also a traditionalist and doesn't approve of or even understand some of Connie's more extreme endeavours in the Suffragette cause.

I have to say there's a bit too much information about cricket for my liking in the first 100 pages or so, and I was worried that this would carry on for the whole book. Thankfully it doesn't - the Suffragette storyline soon takes centre stage as Connie and her comrades fight to free themselves of the constraints placed on their gender, using every means necessary to make their voices heard.

All this is happening as the timeline moves into 1914, which inevitably means that these young people will find themselves thrown into the chaos of war, with their lives changing forever.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant book.
The book arrived in good time and was as described. Thank you.
This was a book recommended from our book group. Really enjoyed it.
Published 1 month ago by Mrs Pauline Hinson
4.0 out of 5 stars Tale of an Independent Woman
This is a well-crafted and balanced novel, but is not especially original. In 1911 we find Connie Callaway, a bright, independent girl who supports women's suffrage. Read more
Published 6 months ago by gerardpeter
4.0 out of 5 stars Charming story
I really enjoyed this Edwardian love story set within a dramatic backdrop of female suffrage and the horrors of World War One. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Rj Alder
2.0 out of 5 stars Not my cup of tea
I was attracted to this novel by a number of its promises. It featured cricket, the suffragette movement, the Edwardian age and the carnage of the 1WW, all of which, as themes,... Read more
Published 7 months ago by John Brain
2.0 out of 5 stars Boring
Boring read. couldn't recommend it unless you're keen on cricket, and boring war stories. Sorry, I couldn't recommend this as a good read at all.
Published 9 months ago by Mrs. C. E. Thompson
2.0 out of 5 stars Creative writing overdose
The basic plot was interesting, with some interesting characters. The style was laboured and it felt as if the writer had been on too much of a creative writing course. Read more
Published 11 months ago by variety reader
5.0 out of 5 stars A captivating read!
The first of Anthony Quinn's books that I've read, but it won't be last! Captivating from start to finish; this beautifully written novel captures the horrors of war, both abroad... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Judi
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting
I read the review of this in the Daily Mail and was very interested. It did not dissapoint, its now on its way around our book circle.
Published 12 months ago by Lesleye
3.0 out of 5 stars Suffragettes and Cricket Whites
Suffragettes and Cricket Whites, goes some way to describe Half of the Human Race. Whilst not a bad novel overall, it is, I feel, deeply flawed. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Quicksilver
5.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking brilliance
An intelligent and thoughtful look at life in the UK pre & post WW1. Mr Quinn is to be commended for his ability to portray Connie's attitudes, beliefs and their development... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Moonshine
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