Skios and over 2 million other books are available for Amazon Kindle . Learn more
£22.74
  • RRP: £23.76
  • You Save: £1.02 (4%)
FREE Delivery in the UK.
Only 1 left in stock (more on the way).
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon.
Gift-wrap available.
Quantity:1
Skios has been added to your Basket
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Skios MP3 CD – 19 Jun 2012

293 customer reviews

See all 16 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
MP3 CD
"Please retry"
£22.74
£12.97 £17.28
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.
£22.74 FREE Delivery in the UK. Only 1 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.



Product details

  • MP3 CD
  • Publisher: Dreamscape Media; MP3 Una edition (19 Jun. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1611208777
  • ISBN-13: 978-1611208771
  • Product Dimensions: 14.3 x 1.4 x 12.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (293 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,487,271 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

Product Description

Review

'Farce is theatre. I wouldn t have thought it possible to whisk up a novel that is an exquisite, hilarious reflection of the stage format. Michael Frayn s Skios is just that a brilliantly plotted skirmish through events on a Greek island where an important foundation is holding its annual gathering. I loved it.'
The Spectator, Books of the Year


'Michael Frayn's brilliantly plotted Skios, set in and around a plausibly farcical cultural centre in Greece, is laugh-aloud funny, as fine as anything his mentor Wodehouse ever wrote.'
Philip French, The Observer, Books of the Year



'A witty Rube Goldberg construction of a novel... Think 'Being There' set to the staccato pacing of 'Noises Off', and hold on to your funny bones.'

--Library Journal

'The flair for farce that gave Frayn s play Noises Off such comic brio is here uproariously let loose across the pages of a novel. A mix-up with suitcases on a Greek island plunges a pompous elderly lecturer (en route to a cultural symposium) and a raffish young character heading for an amorous assignation into a helter-skelter comedy of errors. The result is a bravura feat of nimbly plotted mishaps and misunderstandings.'
Peter Kemp, The Sunday Times, Books of the Year



'Skios, Michael Frayn's new novel, his first for 10 years, truly does make you laugh out loud.'

--The Observer

'Frayn's latest novel Skios is a side-splitting comic delight, which takes in almost every sub-genre from drop-your-pants farce and slapstick to verbal jokes and a satire of intellectual poseurs.' --The Stage --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Book Description

Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, Skios, Michael Frayn's most recent novel, is a story of mislaid identity, misdirected passion and miscalculated consequences. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Inside This Book

(Learn More)
Browse and search another edition of this book.
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Excerpt | Back Cover
Search inside this book:

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

61 of 61 people found the following review helpful By Metropolitan Critic on 11 Dec. 2012
Format: Hardcover
Michael Frayn has said that Skios was a literary experiment to see if a farce could be written as a novel. The premise is that Dr Norman Wilfred, a distinguished academic, is to give a lecture on 'scientometrics' at a research foundation on a Greek island. When Dr Wilfred arrives at the venue, he turns out to be suspiciously young and charming. The explanation is that he is not Dr Wilfred, but Oliver Fox, a floppy-haired Hugh Grant-type character, who decided to impersonate Dr Wilfred after seeing Nikki Hook, the attractive administrator who came to meet the visiting speaker at the airport.

Apart from mistaken identity, many other familiar devices of the genre are present: lost clothing, thwarted romantic designs, preparations for a public event which is bound to go awry. It is all firmly in the Wodehouse tradition.

Skios is elegantly written and, particularly in the first half, pretty funny. Frayn is good on the fatuousness of so many lectures of this type (well captured by the title of Dr Wilfred's talk: 'Innovation and Governance: The Promise of Scientometrics').

But Frayn's literary experiment is not, I think, entirely successful. Although some relaxation of the laws of probability is inevitable in a farce, the events related here go beyond the frontier of the merely improbable into the land of the frankly incredible. Too often the reader finds themselves saying, in Victor Meldrew style, 'I don't believe it!'.

The other weakness is the ending, which is unsatisfying and arbitrary. It is almost as if Frayn simply lost patience with assembling the intricate Swiss watch of his plot and simply threw the thing against the wall.
4 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By J. Wickens on 16 Sept. 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Unlike many of the other reviewers here, I didn't buy this expecting great literature or stylistic finesse to rival Proust or Henry James. I found what I wanted - an entertaining read that is light without insulting my intelligence, and plenty of humour, not least in the form of parody (possibly missed by reviewer Not_Stoppard?). I raced through this book, enjoying it greatly almost to the end (the denouement is weak after the tautness of the plotting in the first three-quarters of the book). I can honestly say that I laughed out loud several times, and my biggest disappointment, apart from the handling of the ending, was that it was all over too soon!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Ripple TOP 500 REVIEWER on 4 Aug. 2012
Format: Hardcover
Set on a Greek island, a cultural foundation is preparing for the biggest event in its year at which renowned academic Dr Norman Wilfred is due to give the keynote speech. Also heading to the island on the same plane is Oliver Fox, a morally vacant but charming Lothario, who has arranged an assignation with a girl who he has met for only five minutes but has invited to spend a week with him at the villa that he was due spend a week with his ex-girlfriend before she threw him out. But when the girl send to collect Dr Wilfred from the airport, Nikki, turns out to be irresistibly charming Oliver decides to play the role of Dr Wilfred and follow her to the foundation while the real Dr Wilfred, minus luggage is transported to the villa at the other end of the island. Someone still has to give the speech though - will it be the real Dr Wilfred or the fake Dr Wilfred?

As you will have gathered this has all the ingredients for a good, old-fashioned farce. Michael Frayn is as well placed as anyone to explore this now somewhat neglected genre, having written the superb farce play "Noises Off" as well as the screenplay for the John Cleese vehicle "Clockwise". The question remains as to whether the farce genre can work as successfully as a comic novel. Frayn is very far from a one genre practitioner but it's hard to think of any modern writer who is as well versed in the nuances of farce. If anyone can pull it off, it is going to be him.

However, not even a writer of Frayn's undoubted gifts can get quite get this to work successfully. Having said that, it would make a fine holiday read - it's light, easy reading with pleasant doses of humour, although even here, the ending is likely to prove a little disappointing.

There are innumerable challenges a farce writer faces.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By MisterHobgoblin TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 17 Sept. 2012
Format: Hardcover
Skios is a farce requiring a case of mistaken identity as a guest speaker arrives on Skios to deliver the annual lecture to the Fred Toppler Foundation.

The plot is contrived. It never really pretends not to be. Once the real Dr Wilfred Norman has gone astray everyone conveniently does or says exactly what is required to keep the farce going. That's OK, because what the novel does really well is portray the way the various characters behave and think once they are put in the mind-boggling situation.

We have Nikki Hook, the naïve but scheming Executive Assistant at the foundation; the real Dr Norman, a pompous and boring celebrity academic; Georgie, the lust hungry long-weekender; and the charming, lugubrious Oliver Fox who can sweet talk his way into anywhere and out of anything. We also have a supporting cast of credulous saps who might know they were being hoodwinked if they were a bit less self-conscious and a bit more honest. Plus, two brothers who drive the Skios taxis and hate each other.

I don't want to spoil the fun, but it is a slapstick farce that would probably work well on stage where actors are customarily over the top. The dialogue is spot on and it is all done so neatly and so effortlessly. The one slight limitation is the grand finale when it all descends into chaos. That's the only point at which the novel becomes slightly incoherent and hard to follow.

Overall, Skios is great fun. It probably isn't great literature - though it is really pretty polished if you look closely. It won't give you new insights into the human race but will reflect what you already know into comic relief. It is sun-shiney and will make you laugh. What's not to like?
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews



Feedback