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The Paying Guests

Lu par : Juliet Stevenson
Durée : 21 h et 29 min
4.5 out of 5 stars (2 notations)

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Description

Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award 2014

There came the splash of water and the rub of heels as Mrs Barber stepped into the tub. After that there was a silence, broken only by the occasional echoey plink of drips from the tap....

Frances had been picturing her lodgers in purely mercenary terms - as something like two great waddling shillings. But this, she thought, was what it really meant to have paying guests: this odd, unintimate proximity, this rather peeled-back moment, where the only thing between herself and a naked Mrs Barber was a few feet of kitchen and a thin scullery door. An image sprang into her head: that round flesh, crimsoning in the heat.

It is 1922, and London is tense. Ex-servicemen are disillusioned, the out-of-work and the hungry are demanding change. And in South London, in a genteel Camberwell villa, a large silent house now bereft of brothers, husband, and even servants, life is about to be transformed, as impoverished widow Mrs Wray and her spinster daughter, Frances, are obliged to take in lodgers.

For with the arrival of Lilian and Leonard Barber, a modern young couple of the 'clerk class', the routines of the house will be shaken up in unexpected ways. And as passions mount and frustration gathers, no one can foresee just how far-reaching, and how devastating, the disturbances will be.

This is vintage Sarah Waters: beautifully described with excruciating tension, real tenderness, believable characters, and surprises. It is above all a wonderful, compelling story.

©2014 Sarah Waters (P)2014 Hachette Audio

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Notations
Global
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Interprétation
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Histoire
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Il n'y a pas encore de critique disponible pour ce titre.
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  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Interprétation
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Steve
  • 24/11/2014

To be a fly on the wall in 1922

If you could sum up The Paying Guests in three words, what would they be?

moving, thrilling, suspensful

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Paying Guests?

So Many, the ashtray, the verdict

Have you listened to any of Juliet Stevenson’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Started off OK, but the more i listened, i thought Juliet really brought the characters to life.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The desparation of francies and Lillan to be happy

Any additional comments?

Started of a bit slow, But gradually it pulls you in. Sarah waters is just a great story teller.
Started to re listen again.

3 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Interprétation
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Ms WS Rall
  • 30/10/2014

Fantastic

What made the experience of listening to The Paying Guests the most enjoyable?

Engaging, well written and wonderful characters.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Francis, she is a complex and interesting. Not predictable.

What about Juliet Stevenson’s performance did you like?

Her energy and different characters.

If you could take any character from The Paying Guests out to dinner, who would it be and why?

Francis

Any additional comments?

Excellent!

2 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Julie
  • 28/09/2014

21 hours I will never recover

Made tragically boring by extreme length, introverted soul searching that took longer than real time and an array of seriously whiney and unattractive characters. I only continued to listen in the hopes of a last minute twist to the ending which, sadly, did not eventuate.

1 personne a trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 14/05/2020

Not to my taste, but well written (minor spoilers)

I will try to keep the first part of this review spoiler free, when I start going in to spoilers, I will write a warning.

This book really consists of two separate stories, a love affair and a murder history, they flow in to each other but the love story occupies the first half of the book, the murder the other.

The story is seen from the point of view of Frances, an upper class woman living with her mother in their old house, her father left them nothing but debts when he died and so they are forced to take in lodgers, a young married couple. Frances starts having an affair with the woman in the couple and they start making plans for how they can be together.

This is just a personal opinion of mine BUT: I find it very tiresome that almost every historical novel that centres a female character has to be about a woman who is upper class, or in the very least middle class. I really long for a good historical novel from the point of view of a working class girl or woman. And I would have found it even more intriguing to read about a working class homosexual woman, as I know Waters have done in the past with "tipping the velvet". However I did enjoy the descriptions about domestic life in the 1920's and I did find the romance sweet.

I will say that Waters is very masterful when it comes to her portrayal of men, especially in how she portrays ordinary men's everyday disrespect of women's boundaries. I have never before seen a writer who so skilfully manages to convey that terror that happens when you, as a woman, are faced with a man who does not behave in a way that is overstepping the line, but just toeing it enough to make you feel uneasy and unsafe but without being able to speak up as the man is not doing anything extraordinary. So for instance, when Frances is at a party and a man clings on to her and refuses to take her hints that she does not wish for his company, that's very well portrayed and feels incredibly true to life.

I will also say that Juliet Stevenson does a fantastic job with the narration, no complaints, she's just marvellous.

spoilers in the rest of the review!

I am no big fan of murder mystery novels or anything of that sort, and this story does not do anything extraordinary with the whole "murderers point of view"-thing. It plays out exactly as you would have expected and the whole thing just feels very anonymous. None of the charm or wit that had been there previously in the novel came through after the murder. It became very by the books and so maybe if you are in to murder stories this might still be up your alley, but for the rest of us, I would not bother really.

I also found that the characters all acted very odd and "out of character" after the murder had taken place. Of course they were shaken by the events, but, still there were a lot of odd things that just seemed out of place. No one acted like a real person, they all just became like people in an ordinary Noir thriller.

All in all, I will read or listen to more by Sarah Waters, as this book did intrigue me. And I am looking forward to it as well, but this book just didn't do it for me.

  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Interprétation
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Berenice Gómez Zaleta
  • 01/09/2019

Buena pero no tanto como otras de Waters

Entretiene, pero no captura del todo. Ha sido la más floja de las historias que he leído de Sarah.

  • Global
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Interprétation
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    2 out of 5 stars
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  • wendy campbell
  • 07/07/2015

Disappointing

What was most disappointing about Sarah Waters’s story?

I loved all previous Sarah Waters books so I was shocked that this one was so dull, long winded and annoying.

  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Interprétation
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • mgn
  • 01/05/2015

Keeps you engaged

A little repetitive in part but the story line is good and engaging. The ending is a tad abrupt. Overall I listened to this over several days while walking and the novel was a motivator in my setting out on my walks.

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  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Marina
  • 17/09/2014

Sarah Waters at her best but ...

Die Charaktere sind wunderbar beschrieben und Juliet Stevenson liest wie immer einfach wundervoll vor. Die Story ist auch so spannend, so daß ich mich nur schwer von den "earphones" trennen konnte. Aber die Beschreibung der Liebesszenen zwischen den beiden Protagonistinnen war für mich "a bit too much". Natürlich weiß ich um die sexuelle Orientierung von Sarah Waters und deren Einfluß auf ihre Werke, habe alle ihre Bücher mit Vergnügen gelesen, gehört oder zumindest deren Verfilmung gesehen. Aber in diesem Buch hat mich die zum Teil extensive Darstellung der besagten Szenen gestört. Vielleicht bin ich auch nur zu altmodisch, weshalb sich jeder selbst darüber eine Meinung bilden möge. Jedenfalls ist es ein großartiges Hörbuch, wenn manche vielleicht auch einige Szenen ausblenden möchten.

3 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Sanna
  • 27/08/2017

Boring

Deeply disappointed. The story was not convincing at all, especially the so called love affair. The main character is always complaining about everything. For me this audiobook was a complete waste of time.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Interprétation
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Juergen
  • 27/06/2016

Excellent

Juliet Stevenson deserves a full 5-Star rating! Brilliant! I hope she recites another book soon!