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My Father's Fortune [Audiobook] [Audio CD]

Michael Frayn
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: 21.68 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

12 April 2011
This is the story of Michael Frayn's father, the quick-witted boy from a poor and struggling family, who overcame so manydisadvantages to make a go of his life; who had happiness snatched away, but after many difficulties, found it again.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Audiogo; Unabridged edition (12 April 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1609981537
  • ISBN-13: 978-1609981532
  • Product Dimensions: 15 x 13 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 398,253 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nearly fell off the sofa laughing 15 July 2011
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The poet Wendy Cope recommended My Father's Fortune as one of the books of 2010 in the Observer's annual round-up and I bought the audiobook version on the strength of this, not having read any of Frayn's other work. The memoir starts rather slowly, with the opening chapters devoted to family genealogy from Edwardian censuses, but comes to life once Michael Frayn can act as eye-witness rather than historian. The book charts the varying fortunes of his father, an asbestos salesman who lived in Surrey in the 1940s and 1950s. By the end, I shared Cope's high opinion of the book.

Most striking are the contrasts in tone: the account of Michael Frayn's efforts at poetry as a schoolboy are hilarious (he quotes from a journal that he kept as a teenager which records the arguments about poetic technique he had with a school-friend). Yet there are also very moving passages which deal with his father's misfortunes - which I won't reveal here.

Frayn's book will I think become a classic "father and son" memoir in the tradition of Edmund Gosse, J.R. Ackerley and Blake Morrison.

The shifting moods of the book are brilliantly caught in Martin Jarvis's reading. Jarvis's voice will be familiar to many Radio 4 listeners, but he is also a consummately professional reader of audiobooks. Now in his late sixties, he is at the top of his game and peerless in English comic literature - his recent readings of P.G. Wodehouse are superb.
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