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The Copper Peacock and Other Stories Audio Cassette – Abridged, Audiobook


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Product details

  • Audio Cassette: 180 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Audiobooks; Abridged edition edition (21 Feb. 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 185686068X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1856860680
  • Product Dimensions: 10.9 x 1.7 x 14 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,685,397 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Ruth Rendell has won many awards, including the Crime Writers' Association Gold Dagger for 1976's best crime novel with A Demon in My View; a second Edgar in 1984 from the Mystery Writers of America for the best short story, 'The New Girl Friend'; and a Gold Dagger award for Live Flesh in 1986. She was also the winner of the 1990 Sunday Times Literary award, as well as the Crime Writers' Association Cartier Diamond Dagger. In 1996 she was awarded the CBE and in 1997 became a Life Peer.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Michele L. Worley on 9 Jun. 2005
Format: Paperback
Don't expect simple murder and mayhem, or neat storybook endings.
"The Copper Peacock" is both a 'vulgar' bookmark and a vain young man who wouldn't have it as a gift. Bernard, young but successful biographer of obscure literary lights, has great (good?) luck in his friends. Before leaving for a US publicity tour, fellow author Peter loans Bernard his flat as a kid-free workspace. The flat even comes with cleaning service, Judy, a young woman who keeps it neat as Bernard's mother's place, quietly feeding him lunch (as his wife has no time to do) as he writes about literary men dazzling their working-class mistresses. But though considering himself an artist, Bernard doesn't look at the world around him - sometimes deliberately, refusing to think of life when his wife returns to her job in the spring, and sometimes not, when Judy turns up bruised from 'accidents'.
"Dying Happy" The nameless narrator listens to a dying friend unburdening himself about the love of his life - Susanna, with whom he cheated on his wife Miriam twenty years ago. Over time, he ceased openly comparing Miriam unfavourably to Susanna, and his marriage somewhat recovered. But upon her husband's recent request to see Susanna again, Miriam exploded, complete with death threats if Susanna (whom she'd never met) turned up. Funny how things work out...
"The Fish-Sitter", Cyril (viewpoint character), works for Malvina's Aquarium at a seaside resort, locking up and feeding the fish in the evenings (but not cleaning the tanks, a specialist job). When Cyril gives a crab dinner to a girl working in the same complex, Malvina accuses him of using one of her exhibits.
"Long Live the Queen" begins with a death, as Anna runs over a cat-lover's most treasured companion.
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By A Customer on 17 Mar. 2003
Format: Audio Cassette
I usually love ruth Rendell's work, however this collection is very disappointing. I felt many of the stories were left in mid air and I sat there, expecting more, only to realise that the story in question had ended! The only saving grace is the narrator, Penelope Keith, who reads each tale with enthusiasm and injects various (and often amusing) dialects into each one. Basically, I felt rather cheated at the end of every story and will steer away from further short stories by this author.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 1 review
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
9 short stories, only one Wexford among them 24 May 2005
By Michele L. Worley - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Don't expect simple murder and mayhem, or neat storybook endings.

"The Copper Peacock" is both a 'vulgar' bookmark and a vain young man who wouldn't have it as a gift. Bernard, young but successful biographer of obscure literary lights, has great (good?) luck in his friends. Before leaving for a US publicity tour, fellow author Peter loans Bernard his flat as a kid-free workspace. The flat even comes with cleaning service, Judy, a young woman who keeps it neat as Bernard's mother's place, quietly feeding him lunch (as his wife has no time to do) as he writes about literary men dazzling their working-class mistresses. But though considering himself an artist, Bernard doesn't look at the world around him - sometimes deliberately, refusing to think of life when his wife returns to her job in the spring, and sometimes not, when Judy turns up bruised from 'accidents'.

"Dying Happy" The nameless narrator listens to a dying friend unburdening himself about the love of his life - Susanna, with whom he cheated on his wife Miriam twenty years ago. Over time, he ceased openly comparing Miriam unfavourably to Susanna, and his marriage somewhat recovered. But upon her husband's recent request to see Susanna again, Miriam exploded, complete with death threats if Susanna (whom she'd never met) turned up. Funny how things work out...

"The Fish-Sitter", Cyril (viewpoint character), works for Malvina's Aquarium at a seaside resort, locking up and feeding the fish in the evenings (but not cleaning the tanks, a specialist job). When Cyril gives a crab dinner to a girl working in the same complex, Malvina accuses him of using one of her exhibits.

"Long Live the Queen" begins with a death, as Anna runs over a cat-lover's most treasured companion. Anna soon regrets leaving a note for the owner, who by turns calls Anna a murderer and demands 800 pounds in compensation (everything spent on the 'queen' throughout her life). Creepy.

Charlotte, more dedicated to her career than her husband, accepts Nell as a "Mother's Help" for car-loving three-year-old Daniel. Trouble brewing right off, as Ivan takes time off "to be with Daniel". Nell as the viewpoint character is besotted with Ivan, but nevertheless manages to lull Charlotte's suspicions with talk of an imaginary boyfriend. Charlotte appears more concerned with Daniel's late talking (and fondness for his nanny) than with a husband whose main objection to divorce seems financial. Some women have poor pattern-recognition skills - but which woman?

"A Pair of Yellow Lilies" embroidered on a jacket she can't afford distracts Bridget as her bag is stolen (ironically, while researching a motivational speaker), together with cash from her well-off aunt. But the theft gives as well as takes away; a helpful librarian befriends her, and a good-looking stranger returns some of the bag's discarded contents. Nice character study.

The nameless narrator, abandoned to the care of her loveless grandparents at birth, is fascinated by her grandmother's secret "Paperwork". The grandmother has no friends locally, but keeps up scrapbooks and a large correspondence that she locks away in her "sewing-room". Nice touches, not calling things by their right names (a study that isn't a study, a granddaughter called "it"), the fact that only basenjis are accepted as pets (dogs that never learn to bark unless raised with other breeds).

The author of a suicide note refers to herself as "An Unwanted Woman", but is it so? Events begin well before the police case as Hilary, a friend of Jenny Burden, asks for help with Sophie, her teenage daughter who has turned against Hilary's new husband despite their careful courtship. Hilary's ex-husband is years gone; Sophie has taken refuge with Ann Waterton, a grandmotherly lonely neighbour, and refuses to go home until Hilary's husband is gone. But the most the law can do is take Sophie into care. This can't go on...

A garden open to the public offers a standing challenge to find "Weeds" - one pound per weed, when the entry fee is only two pounds. Jeremy, having been dragged in to humour one of his publisher's biggest authors, wanders into the wrong secluded area, and runs across a much livelier scenario than even the unhappily married owner bullying his staff...
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