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The Following Girls Audiobook – Unabridged

4.2 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio Download
  • Listening Length: 7 hours and 23 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: Whole Story Audiobooks
  • Audible.co.uk Release Date: 13 Feb. 2014
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00I3KPOSW

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I really enjoyed this novel - a bit of light reading but one which really evokes the memories of being a teenager back in the 70s. School, friendships, a future career, family problems are all part of the life of the main character, Amanda Baker. A rebellious 15 year old, who with her friends delights in breaking rules and organising pranks, Amanda can see the pettiness of school life...
(spoiler alert) The author's epigraph: "The Hate had started", is taken from George Orwell's 'Nineteen Eighty-Four'. We learn that Amanda is studying Orwell, and Levene very loosely structures her novel around that work. Amanda is a latter-day Winston Smith, making a stand against authority - there's even a friend and co-conspirator, Julia - but will medicine and drugs bring her into line?
Very enjoyable but doesn't really seem to go anywhere, so more of a *3.5.
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By Damaskcat HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 13 Feb. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
I have read this author’s previous two novels and enjoyed both of them. This one is something a bit different. Its heroine – almost an anti-heroine – is Amanda Baker. At the start of the book she is fourteen and goes around with three other girls called Amanda – the Four Mandies. Baker, as she is mainly referred to, is a thorn in the side of her father and step mother and as well as her school teachers. I think the author captures extremely well the way schoolgirls in the nineteen seventies interacted.

Baker’s mother left the family when Baker was three to ‘find herself’ and still sends appropriate and inappropriate gifts to her daughter including, amongst others, a subscription to ‘Spare Rib’. Baker struggles to fit in at school but somehow in spite of her best efforts she always seems to be in trouble and on the verge of expulsion. He father despairs of her and spends all his time sending for brochures for schools which might turn her into the sort of daughter he wants her to be.

I enjoyed reading this book and thought the characters were believable and likeable. I thought the way the friendship between the four girls waxed and waned was convincing. I also liked Pam (Spam) – Baker’s stepmother with her sherry bottle under the sink which she had no problems sharing with Baker herself at times. This book is well written and presents an interesting picture of the life of schoolgirls in the nineteen seventies. There is plenty of humour and some marvellous one-liners which made me look at certain things in life in a different way.

If you like books which fit into several genres but are also in a genre all of their own then you may enjoy Louise Levene’s writing. I received a free copy of this book for review.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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Format: Kindle Edition
The ethos for private schools for girls in the 1970s (though not confined to that dire decade) was intended to quell adolescent anarchy - or as headmistresses preferred to claim, prepare young women for a fulfilled life (undefined). Louise Levene's fire-cracker of a book takes the side of rebellious teenagers as they defy the rules and expectations of teachers and parents.
The four Mandies in the same form at Mildred Fawcett School - all named Amanda, to the irritation of teachers ticking them off individually - gang up against authority in uneasy alliances. But how long can youngsters hold out? Is it smarter to subvert the system by playing by the rules, as slightly older Julia does? Everyone has a weak spot, as those in control know full well.
Though this book is immensely diverting, a St.Trinians of the Seventies, its conclusion is unnerving. Growing up entails burning out, selling out, giving up. Read it with glee but without nostalgia.
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Format: Hardcover
Change the genders, and this could almost have been about me and my all-boys' Grammar. Most books and articles about "Growing Up in the 1970's" annoy me intensely as clichéd and inaccurate. This book is absolutely spot on. The cultural references are subtle, obscure even: smoking beagles, "cats like plain crisps" (a bizarre graffito of the period), "Ads and Admen" magazine, and "the bald one in Roxy Music" (Brian Eno?) hit the spot. Above all, it captures the claustrophobia and frustration of well-meaning but hopeless teachers with no idea how to motivate their charges, bored kids who don't see the point, an awful pedantic Geography teacher (my school had one even worse), stupid speech-days addressed by dopey posh people on a completely different wavelength, equally clueless child psychologists and the whole futile pettiness of it all. This book is uncomfortable reading but brilliant!
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