- 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)
Oh Dear Silvia Audio CD – Audiobook, CD, Unabridged
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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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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.Read more ›
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Too deep for me found myself skipping pages.
Lots of long conversations with themselves
Sorry because I love dawn x
This kept my interest from start to finish. Who would have thought that Dawn was so talented as a writer. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Sue
A good read, has a bit of a "lull" in the middle, I feel it was a little strung out. Though worth a read, usual humour from Dawn which is great, particularly as this is... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Nicola
Really not liking this book. I thought it was going to be funny but it's not. I wouldn't recommend it to friends to readPublished 1 month ago by mrs h