Sweet Caress

  • by William Boyd
  • Narrated by Jilly Bond
  • 15 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

It is Amory's photographer uncle, Greville, who gives her a camera and some rudimentary lessons in photography and unleashes a passion that will irrevocably shape her future.
Her search for life, love and artistic expression will take her to the demimonde of Berlin of the late '20s, to New York of the '30s, to the Blackshirt riots in London and to France in the Second World War, where she becomes one of the first women war photographers.

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What the Critics Say

"Serious, provocative, intelligent, Boyd's writing is endlessly open to ideas." (Daily Telegraph)
"His eccentric wit and restless intelligence exert a powerful appeal." (New York Times)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

I think it is the narrator....

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Yes and No. I have a feeling that the story is good, and I am a great admirer of William Boyd. But the narration was about the most annoying performance I have ever experienced. I pushed on to the end, in respect to Mr Boyd, and hoping something would change. But no, every time I switched it on, SO wishing to enjoy it - I just cringed at the reading.


What was most disappointing about William Boyd’s story?

Without doubt, the horrible reading. She made the character of Amory so enormously annoying, shallow and unlikeable. She had this peculiar way of ending every sentence with this sort of 'cute' and usually completely inappropriate impression that she has a broad smile on her face and a stifled giggle. Most bizarre. It seemed also a very light story line - but again, it is so hard to separate it from the narrator who made it all sound so flippant.


Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Jilly Bond?

Possibly ANYONE else would have been better. But to be more helpful - I thought Barbara Flynn (who read an abridged version on BBC Radio 4) was very good - and it was hearing some of that broadcast that made me want to hear the whole book on Audible.


Was Sweet Caress worth the listening time?

No, I am sorry - I didn't think so. It may well be worth reading - but it is too late now for me to find out!


Any additional comments?

I think I've said plenty! - and I am aware that I may be in the minority as other reviews are so good! Therefore - to the person who is considering it - you may find it wonderful!

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- Louise

Irritating narration.

I read and enjoy everything by William Boyd and found "Any Human Heart" such a rewarding audiobook that I listened twice.
I feel rather unkind taking such a dislike to the voice of this narrator. Her reading is very animated and this seems appropriate in the beginning as the voice of a school girl.Although I find the story quite interesting, I keep stopping because Jilly Bond has the kind of voice that becomes very tiresome. It is a voice produced from a tight throat with an affected prissy quality. Every character she evokes seems stagey . The men don't convince and I find many female narrators excel at this. I think I can't go on. There are six hours of the book to go but despite the quality of the writing I have started to lose the desire to hear any more of Amory Clay. Perhaps William Boyd intended to create an unsympathetic central character but I think I would have felt differently if I had read the book. Audio books are wonderful until this happens. Maybe the narrator has captured Amory as Boyd intended but something in the story fails to engage and I am no longer interested in the outcome.
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- D. Cottam

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-09-2015
  • Publisher: Whole Story AudioBooks