Billy Liar

  • by Keith Waterhouse
  • Narrated by John Simm
  • 6 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

For William ‘Billy’ Fisher, an energetic imagination makes life tolerable, but well-nigh intolerable for all around him. He lies his way into and out of every situation, making any promise to get him out of trouble, thereby creating ever more tortuous entanglements to be wriggled out of in the future.
Billy dreams of escaping the dull drudgery of his life at home with his parents and grandmother in the monotony of his stifling Yorkshire hometown. He has three fiancées and a truly dead-end job as an undertaker’s clerk, but dreams of becoming a writer for a comedian and escaping his everyday life. Unable to separate fantasy from reality, Billy becomes embroiled in a mess no lie will eradicate; the web of lies will bring many a chuckle to listeners, but will the outcome of his mistruths be quite as funny to Billy? Quasi-comic, this novel has enjoyed many interpretations, as a film, play, musical, TV series and now, an unabridged audiobook.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Audible Could Not Have Picked A Better Narrator

Would you listen to Billy Liar again? Why?

Yes - it's the unusual combination of a classic novel which is hugely entertaining, and John Simm's performance takes the experience to a whole different level.


What other book might you compare Billy Liar to, and why?

It's a product of the 60s, so could be compared to 'Look Back in Anger', 'Poor Cow' or 'Loneliness of a Long Distance Runner' or other books from the 'kitchen sink' genre, but it really is unique in its characterisation and its combination of comedy, escapism and social commentary.


What does John Simm bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

John Simm's narration is spectacularly good - getting a really classy actor to read an audiobook is one thing, but Simm inhabits the main character in a way I've not heard another actor achieve. He simply is Billy. His accents throughout are pitch perfect, but it is his performance as Billy which is the real standout.


Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes, if I could have I would.


Any additional comments?

Hugely entertaining, highly recommended.

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- Liz

Billy Is A Liar!

Billy Fisher has a remarkable imagination. This gets him through the day!

For those around him, Billy's imagination makes life very difficult.

He lies his way through every situation, constantly promising what he cannot deliver.

Billy dreams of liberating himself from the drudgery around him.

If I hadn't of been studying this book, I would not have continued listening to it.
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- Annie

Book Details

  • Release Date: 11-02-2011
  • Publisher: CSA Word