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Sex and Stravinsky Audio Download – Unabridged

4.1 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio Download
  • Listening Length: 11 hours and 49 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: Audible Studios
  • Audible.co.uk Release Date: 13 May 2010
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003M57TKO

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I first read Barbara Trapido a long time ago, with the wonderfulBrother of the More Famous Jack. Her earlier novels have all now been repackaged, and I'm sure will tempt lots of readers. This new book, "Sex and Stravinsky", though, feels somewhat less obviously enjoyable than that first read. Josh is married to Caroline, he interested in ballet and mime, she more of an active, cake-baking, floor-sanding type. Their daughter Zoe finds her mother fairly unbearable, yet is nonetheless reluctant to go on her schedule French exchange. Josh is off to his former homeland, South Africa, for a conference, where he meets up with an old flame, Hattie. Hattie's daughter also finds her mother unbearable.

The way the story is constructed feels experimental, narrated in the present tense, and switching between all the main characters in turn. This means that you never quite get to settle with one main character in the way you would in a more conventional book. The book is a page-turner, and the reader definitely guns for the final page: Trapido ratchets up the drama by giving her first heroine an absolutely appalling mother, whose bad deeds are almost of Snow White stepmother proportions. You definitely wish for Caroline, the daughter, to have her revenge, and spend a lot of the book agonising over whether it will ever happen. There is also a lot of sadness, and many thoughtful observations of life in pre-Apartheid South Africa. Then it features two teenagers, both of whom detest their own mothers; mothers and children turn out to be the main theme of the book.

Yet despite all of this excellent raw material, I did come away feeling slightly flat.
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Format: Hardcover
I have loved all Barabara Trapido's novels and this is no exception. The words flow beautifully so it is an effortless read but such a satisfying one! She manages to capture family life and all its vagaries perfectly, all the characters are real (did she know my mother?)and interesting. I couldn't put it down but did not want it to finish; when it was finished though I realised how much she had accomplished. It is more than a story of families, international themes are there, especially with the South African links, social comment is there but it is all intertwined with the magical words showing the pattern of life and lives. A tremendous read!
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Format: Paperback
Always love Ms Trapido's books...the first one I read was well over 20 years ago and at the time was so frank and , to me, so daring, but believable, moving and affecting because of it .. with her normal dash of humour and clever use of serendipidty. I couldn't wait to buy this book and get started. Sadly, it was just not up to her usual gripping unputdownable standards. The story line could have been so much more meaningful. She kept tantalising the reader with issues surrounding Apartheid, Class differences, Bad communication et cetera..but never really followed through on these themes... The setting of the couple's first home together and subsequent chldren there .. was just NOT credible.....there were far too many characters which kept being introduced along the way, the seemingly important Mother and Sister, just dropped away half way through the book, it seemed tired, overlaid with events, complicated histories of NEW characters, and a very - well ALMOST - Mills & Boon ending ... Sorry Barbara...PLEASE get back to your more incisive and 'strike a chord' books...I'm still a fan!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love Barbara Trapido's books, so was really excited about getting this one. It's set in England and South Africa, so combines elements of 'Frankie and Stankie' with the 'Juggling' series. Very readable, and easy to engage with the majority of the characters' narratives (except for the vile mother-in-law, a creature of Austen-like awfulness). The ending was very contrived -as her endings often her- achieving a satisfying and balanced end, although I didn't think one of the main characters deserved his particularly happy ending.
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Format: Paperback
I read this book on holiday and it made the perfect read. It's pacey, which I really love and doesn't hang around in one place for too long (how DOES anyone read Stephanie Meyer? Beats me!). The plot is subtle and beautifully woven. For fans of contemporary fiction with depth, it's a book to get lost in, and a 'must'. And, dare I say it, the cover drew me instantly (clever marketing). I am now a Trapido fan (I hadn't read her before) - so watch out Amazon - a big order is on its way.............
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Format: Paperback
This wasn't Ms Trapido's best novel because a lot of the characters were caricatures, especially leggy perfect intellectual Caroline, mousy Hattie and Caroline's ghastly mother from hell. The Stravinsky theme was alluded to a fair bit, but not really developed, and there was no sex, only the vaguest inference thereof. Several of the characters were so unpalatable that I wanted to punch their fictional lights out. But it was an amusing romp with a few unexpected twists (although the final denouement was entirely predictable). I also found it inplausible that the head of a comprehensive school could just jack it in for love on the other side of the world, especially a meticulous planner like Caroline. I also couldn't understand the 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' analogies, despite being very familiar with the play and having seen an RSC production of it in the same week that I read the book. Odd.
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