Would you listen to The Egg and I again? Why?
I have loved this book for about 45 years and got many family & friends addicted to it. Betty MacDonald and Jane Austen may seem an unlikely sisterhood but they have got me through some very difficult times between them! I couldn't believe my luck when Audible offered a recording and was concerned the immediacy of the humour might not come across in a reading. I had no need to worry - it is a brilliant reading and the book transfers to audio with ease. In fact the moment I finished listening to it I started listening all over again and have just finished the second hearing.
What other book might you compare The Egg and I to, and why?
The Betty MacDonald books are fairly unique - very humorous, perfectly capturing the atmosphere and outlooks of their era, with vivid characterisation and deceptively well written with a fluid, easy to read (or listen) style. The descriptions (especially of the scenery) land you right in the centre of the book - there is nobody else like Betty MacDonald, unique! Who else would write so brilliantly about egg farming or recuperating from tuberculosis (The Plague and I) or high unemployment (Anybody Can Do Anything)?
What does Heather Henderson bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?
Not a reader I had come across but she is amazing - she brings out the fact that Betty was brought up to be a lady which makes her misadventures and tribulations even funnier - imagine Margo from The Good Life suddenly finding herself running a chicken farm! The characterisation is vivid without being cartoonish, her pronunciation of certain words is (to my English ears) delightful and you can tell she is having a ball reading this book and is delighted to share it with you! Her reading is heartfelt, droll and wry. As Juliet Stevenson is to Jane Austen on audio so Heather Henderson is to Betty MacDonald - and there is no higher praise!
Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
I laughed inwardly through most of it and aloud at quite a few moments. It is a total delight but it isn't all perpetual sunshine - the terrible forest fire towards the end is captured brilliantly as is the boredom and loneliness of life on the chicken ranch.
Any additional comments?
I understand the reader is going to record Betty's three other autobiographical books - the sooner the better! I can't wait!
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
If you could sum up The Egg and I in three words, what would they be?
Interesting, funny, original
Who was your favorite character and why?
Betty MacDonald is the obvious favourite. Her great observational wit makes her books wonderfully entertaining.
Which character – as performed by Heather Henderson – was your favourite?
Heather Henderson is the perfect narrator for Betty MacDonald's audio books. All the characters are entertaining.
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
I would have really enjoyed listening to this book in one sitting if I had the time!