Get Your Free Audiobook

Actress

Narrated by: Anne Enright
Length: 8 hrs and 4 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (27 ratings)

Non-member price: $39.50

After 30 days, Audible is $16.45/mo. Cancel anytime.

Publisher's Summary

Longlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction 2020

From the Booker-winning Irish author, a brilliant and moving novel about fame, sexual power and a daughter’s search to understand her mother’s hidden truths.

This is the story of Irish theatre legend Katherine O’Dell, as told by her daughter Norah. It tells of early stardom in Hollywood, of highs and lows on the stages of Dublin and London’s West End. Katherine’s life is a grand performance, with young Norah watching from the wings.

But this romance between mother and daughter cannot survive Katherine’s past, or the world’s damage. As Norah uncovers her mother’s secrets, she acquires a few of her own. Then, fame turns to infamy when Katherine decides to commit a bizarre crime.

Actress is about a daughter’s search for the truth: the dark secret in the bright star, and what drove Katherine finally mad.

Brilliantly capturing the glamour of post-war America and the shabbiness of 1970s Dublin, Actress is an intensely moving, disturbing novel about mothers and daughters and the men in their lives. A scintillating examination of the corrosive nature of celebrity, it is also a sad and triumphant tale of freedom from bad love, and from the avid gaze of the crowd.

©2020 Anne Enright (P)2020 Penguin Audio

What listeners say about Actress

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    18
  • 4 Stars
    6
  • 3 Stars
    2
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    22
  • 4 Stars
    1
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    15
  • 4 Stars
    6
  • 3 Stars
    3
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Anne Enright does it again.

loved it. fierce. tender. beautifully told. a mighty story of fame and ordinariness. of deep trauma and compassion.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Mother protector

Very sad. But honestly written with an irish charm and worldly appraisal that all can relate to.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A mind set to language

It's just that you don't know where the line, the boarder, the transition between the uniqueness of the insight and the sheer delight of the words used is and it strikes me as so unsettlingly beautiful to not know. Some truly remarkable sentences rendering observations profound in how the author positions one to see the consciousness of a person. I want to go and read it now so I can see how the words look on the page.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Sublime!

The characters are so authentically created that the story seems to blur the lines between biography and fiction. So much rich and nuanced detail that I am in awe of the imagination and skilful writing that drew me into their world and made me forget that this was make believe. Add Anne Enright’s fantastic narration and I think it is one of the best audiobook experiences I’ve had in a while. This is being added to my list of Favourite Books right now!

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Karen McCarthy / Brenda Dass
  • Karen McCarthy / Brenda Dass
  • 11-10-2020

Astounding

This is my favourite of her books, and that is saying something because I have a profound and enduring love for anything Enright writes.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for theonewhogotaway
  • theonewhogotaway
  • 30-03-2020

standing ovation

A remarkable character study and an unforgettable story about a mother-daughter relationship that, in Anne's inimitable style, casts an unsentimental yet deeply empathetic eye on the vulnerabilities and resiliences that make us human. An exceptional writer with a rare gift at evoking time and place - and an eye for peculiar or distinctive detail that makes you feel you've just found words for things you've always known but never named. It look me a little while to get used to her reading voice but I warmed to it very much. There were times though in the earlier part when I found it hard to make out certain words in the lower register and needed to adjust volume a bit.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Book Groupie
  • Book Groupie
  • 23-02-2020

Wry, humane, beautifully read by author

Anne Enright creates a completely believable Maureen O’Hara type character and world. It helps the enjoyment if you know Dublin slightly, but no matter if you don’t. It’s as good as Anne Enright’s recent The Green Road, if not better.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for ClareR
  • ClareR
  • 21-05-2020

A new go to author!

Actress is the story of Katherine O’Dell, told by her daughter. She looks back on her mother’s career as Ireland’s darling, as she works her way up through Ireland’s bus-and-truck circuit, London’s West End , Broadway and finally Hollywood. Norah lives through the more successful period of her mothers life, and then has to deal with her fall from Grace after she commits a thoroughly bizarre crime. I really loved this book, and I had to keep reminding myself that it was in fact fiction. The author, Anne Enright, read her book, and she did it so well. It really sounded like someone who was telling their own life story, as opposed to telling ‘a’ story. It was really immersive and well told. I’m not surprised that it was on the long list for the Women’s Prize 2020. I loved the way that we watched Katherine’s slide into mental health problems through the eyes of her daughter, juxtaposed with the life that she had lived before - the whole bohemian, free living, carelessness of it. And then the reveal that all was not as it seemed. I enjoy books that explore family relationships - in fiction the opportunities are endless. I really liked the historical element as well: the troubles in Ireland and how they impacted on Katherine and Norah. Not that it’s an enjoyable topic, but I have family connections, and the history of this fascinates me. To be honest, a lot of things impact on the relationship of this mother and daughter. It must have been very difficult for Norah to grow up in the way that she did - and again, I have to remind myself that this isn’t a true story! This is the first Anne Enright novel that I’ve read/ listened to, and I have another book of hers on my bookcase that I’ll be moving up the ‘to be read’ pile. I think she’s an author that I’ll also be adding to me ‘read everything by them’ list!

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Ian McGonagle
  • Ian McGonagle
  • 30-05-2020

Brilliant

loved it. loved the author reading it too. she is so good at getting underneath a family and relationships.who is the actress in this book? for me there was more than one! it is brilliant and highly recommended.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Earnest
  • Earnest
  • 14-04-2020

Listen to this.

Everything one might want from a story, a performer and a human being. Remarkable resonance in every way.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Sheila
  • Sheila
  • 07-10-2020

Wonderful book and excellent narration

I really loved this book. Normally I hate when authors read their own books, but Anne Enright is a superb narrator. So evocative about theatre, Ireland and life in Dublin. Superb.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Viv
  • Viv
  • 27-09-2020

Irish story

not always easy to follow, promised more than it actually delivered in the end. perhaps like Katharine O'Dell, the main character?

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for MS AOIFE GRIFFIN
  • MS AOIFE GRIFFIN
  • 26-09-2020

Like being back home

Kept away from Dublin this has been a real comfort. it has let me pretend I'm not so far away.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for K. A. Mosedale
  • K. A. Mosedale
  • 25-08-2020

Wonderful Storytelling

I'm not sure I would have particularly enjoyed reading this book myself, but having it read by the author was a wonderful experience. At times it was easy to forget that it was a novel rather than a memoir, so convincing was the characterisation and the narration.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Elaine Gardner
  • Elaine Gardner
  • 13-08-2020

Fascinating and gripping.

Expertly crafted and beautifully read by the author. It is hard to imagine these were not totally real characters playing out a true story. Perfect.