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Oh Dear Silvia Audio CD – Audiobook, CD, Unabridged

3.7 out of 5 stars 667 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Penguin; Unabridged edition (25 Oct. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1405909102
  • ISBN-13: 978-1405909105
  • Product Dimensions: 13.9 x 3 x 13.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (667 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 394,211 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Beautifully observed. Makes you laugh on every page (The Times)

Hilarious. Chortle-out-loud turns of phrase, razor-sharp observations (Stylist)

Fresh, extremely funny (Sunday Times)

Really enjoyable and highly recommended. Dawn French is a wonderful writer - witty, wise and poignant (Daily Mail)

A hilarious and compelling read (Good Housekeeping)

About the Author

Dawn French has been making people laugh for thirty years. As a writer, comedian and actor, she has appeared in some of this country's most long-running and celebrated shows, including French and Saunders, The Vicar of Dibley, Jam and Jerusalem, and more recently, Roger and Val Have Just Got In. Her first two novels, A Tiny Bit Marvellous and Oh Dear Silvia, are both Number One bestsellers.


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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Frances Stott TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 1 Nov. 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I came to this novel with mixed feelings, as novels by celebrities are so often disappointing. But I had heard good things of this one, so I thought I would give it a try.

And I'm so glad I did, for Dawn French writes beautifully. This is the story of the eponymous Silvia, who is lying in hospital in a coma after a fall from a balcony. Into her hospital room comes a series of visitors, and as they visit they reflect on Silvia, their separate relationship with her, and their own stories. Much of this is done in the form of speaking aloud to the apparently lifelss Silvia, and all to the background of the regular hiss of her ventilator. Among the visitors is her ex-husband, Ed, her mad sister Jo (who is determined to rouse Silvia by whatever means she can; supernatural if need be), her cleaner Tia, her estranged daughter Jess, her best friend Cat, and the lovely West Indian nurse Winnie (my favourite character). As they talk we build up a picture of Silvia and her life, the affect she has had on others, and the dark secret that comes to light in the course of the book. The characters are drawn with great warmth (this is one of the book's greatest strengths), and it would be hard not to sympathise with any of them.

My only slight problems would be the fact that two of the characters - Tia and Winnie - speak with strong accents, and this can be distracting. Winnie's West Indian is beautifully done, but the addition of Tia's broken English was, I felt, going a step too far. Parts of the novel, too, are a little over-long (especially the lengthy letter from her soldier son in Afghanistan). But these are small niggles.

This novel has come out at just the right time, and will I'm sure make a lovely Christmas present for anyone wanting a light, funny, entertaining read. I highly recommend it.
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By ACB(swansea) TOP 50 REVIEWER on 25 Oct. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This second novel by Dawn French is easy to read but in the early parts difficult to interweave the various contributions of the narrators into a cohesive piece of work. Persevere, it is worth it. Silvia Shute has fallen three floors from a balcony. She is in intensive care in a coma on life-support including mechanical ventilation. She is the younger sister of the eccentric Jo. They lost their mother at a young age and their army-trained father went off the rails. Sylvia divorced dependable Ed after showing little love for him or their two children, Jamie and Cassie who after leaving home had no love or respect for their mother.

This background is the canvas on which the author paints the past and mysteries of Silvia through a series of monologues delivered by family and friends. She is inert and unresponsive 'like a marble sarcophagus'. The content of the monologues alternate between love and hatred, sibling rivalry and jealousy with Ed in particular, 'dead inside'. The prose jumps from straight dialogue to charming descriptions particularly of the woods where Silvia and Ed spent much of their courtship. The dismal outlook and depressing medical predicament of this tragedy are broken by episodes of humour. The Indonesian Tia (Silvia's cleaner) spends her moments relating the contents of current gossip magazines in an amusing format. Jo refuses to give up hope and reality of waking her 'frozen sister' with a series of bizarre, funny and hilarious attempts to stimulate some response.

The novel is held together by Silvia's Jamaican nurse, Winnie. She treats Silvia with the repect she gives all her patients and is the only one with no axe to grind, no anger, hate or questions but only wishes good things for Silvia. She is a totally professional caring person.
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Format: Paperback
I found it an incredibly boring book, i m sorry to say ! All this ranting about trees and forests and crazy friends, etc etc. The story really did not appeal to me, i never connected with this book. You know this lovely feeling when you re soo in to your book, that you long to read on and drop everything. Let s just say that when i went to bed where i always read before going to sleep, it was such a bore that last night i skipped half of it and went to the end, something i have never done before. And this means somehing because i am an avid reader since the age of 6 so that s 40 years of intense reading. I know it is a bestseller, but i do not get what the fuss is about. Big disapointment....
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Oh dear! I have admired and respected Dawn for many years and before purchasing the book I read some of the reader reviews of Oh Dear Sylvia, I thought that those giving 1 star just didn't "get" the plotline.
However having struggled through the first 10 chapters I do get the plot, indeed it is obvious from chapter 2, but I cannot for the life of me find anything even faintly humerous about all the visitors at the bedside of someone in a coma. I can't even believe the professional critics were laughing "on every page". I found I was dozing off after about 3 pages and I am someone who was so engrossed in a book I could not put it down and read it right through the night.
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Format: Paperback
I cannot understand how anyone can find a comic element in this. I am a great admirer of Dawn French, but this is not her finest hour. The underlining of words in the text just irritated me, and was not at all necessary. The character of Winnie was offensive in its stereotyping, not to mention hard to understand. The basic concept was quite clever, and the gradual unveiling of the truth was interesting, however although we discover that Silvia probably had good motives for the way she behaved, by that time I really did not care.
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