• Sweet Caress

  • The Many Lives of Amory Clay
  • By: William Boyd
  • Narrated by: Jilly Bond
  • Length: 15 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 10-09-15
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Whole Story AudioBooks
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars 4.3 (483 ratings)

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.
©2015 William Boyd (P)2015 W F Howes Ltd
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Critic reviews

"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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Regular price: £20.89

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
2 out of 5 stars
By Louise on 22-10-15

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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41 of 46 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By Maddy on 12-12-15

Not the best Boyd

Having said as the title "Not the best Boyd", William Boyd can tell a pretty good story at his worst. However, I didn't feel that he had got inside Amory Clay and that despite all her adventures she remained a shallowly drawn character. But the reader for me ruined the book, and I find it interesting to read other reviewers who found the reading an attractive one. Beauty is in the ear of the listener. I finally realised that the reader made the heroine sound to me like Linda Snell out of the Archers (I'm not an Archers' fan) and that did it. Although she described herself at the beginning as being a touch sardonic, I think Amory Clay and the prose would have been better served by a lighter touch from the reader. The other characters (with the exception of the Australian) were well read, though.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
1 out of 5 stars
By Michele L Rousseau on 16-02-18

Narrator destroys story

I am a big fan of William Boyd’s novels. Unfortunately I could not listen beyond the first few chapters. I found the narrator’s style intolerable. Others may disagree as I realize that whether one likes the narrator or not is highly subjective. However I wanted to write this incase others felt the same and Audible would be inspired to use another narrator.

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