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Publisher's Summary

Winner of the Goldsmiths Prize 2019.

Shortlisted for the Booker Prize 2019.

Latticing one cherry pie after another, an Ohio housewife tries to bridge the gaps between reality and the torrent of meaningless info that is the United States of America. She worries about her children, her dead parents, African elephants, the bedroom rituals of happy couples, Weapons of Mass Destruction and how to hatch an abandoned wood pigeon egg. Is there some trick to surviving survivalists? School shootings? Medical debts? Franks 'n' beans? 

A scorching indictment of America's barbarity, past and present, and a lament for the way we are sleepwalking into environmental disaster, Ducks, Newburyport is a heresy, a wonder - and a revolution in the novel.

©2019 Lucy Ellmann (P)2020 Recorded Books

Critic Reviews

"A masterpiece like no other." (Vogue)

"Full of wit and intelligence...and one of the most intriguing, charming and genuinely funny characters I have come across in recent years." (The Herald)

"In her latest novel, Lucy Ellmann doesn't just carry on as before: she doubles up, doubles down, and absolutely goes for broke. (...) Success? Failure? A triumph." (Guardian

What listeners say about Ducks, Newburyport

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Not like anything else I've read

I can see that people could struggle with this book but I loved it. At first it just seems like a jumble of thoughts, and it is, but as it goes on more of a narrative emerges. I really loved the perspective this is told from.
Great narration too, perfect for this book.

3 people found this helpful

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Experimental Fun!

This book is not for everyone, it is not accessible and not the ‘norm’, however, once I got into the book it was so much fun! It’s written as if your reading the thoughts of the narrator with a short story interweaved throughout. The vocal performance is amazing and really enhances the nuisances of the book! I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to explore experimental literature.

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If you like a challenge

Supposedly a great work of modern fiction according to the arts intelligentsia, I found it tedious, repetitive and boring. I'm sure the author is saying something profound, I just can't get past the tedious, stream-of-consciousness narrative to work out what it is, or whether I am even interested. Rarely do I give up on books, but this was one of them. This book makes you work hard to penetrate the buzz of the internal monologue of a neurotic housewife to try to find a plot and what it is saying. In the end I decided it wasn't worth the effort. I work hard during the day. I don't want to spend my evening listening to the impenetrable, neurotic ramblings of a character I just couldn't become interested in. If you like your books to be a challenge this could be for you. It could equally be one of publishing's greatest practical jokes.

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Audiobook is the perfect medium for this.

I don't know whether I would have been able to stick with this in book format, but as an audiobook, listened to while doing other things (much like the narrator's thoughts), it works extremely well.

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  • AWK
  • 11-04-2020

Tremendous _ the fact that it is so excellentl

I can't write highly enoght about this book and what a brilliant reading! It takes a while (short) to get involved. I could feel empathy with the narrator though I am a man - and all those pies! Yes it is long but so worth while! It is so worth the chance of a purchase to get into a person's head and that is my belief of what fiction is about.

9 people found this helpful

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  • steven eccles
  • 22-03-2020

Ducks,Nuwburyport

Truly unique Lucy Ellmann book is a brilliant work of fiction and pushes narrative to the limits. The narration by Stephanie Ellyne is suburb.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Claire FB
  • 27-08-2020

WOW!

What a tour de force- a stream of consciousness, some great recipes, a fascinating interweaving of stories and a comment on the state of humanity, all in one book. Amazing, Lucy Ellmann you are to be congratulated and brilliantly read by Stephanie Ellyne.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Ellen
  • 22-07-2020

Powerful

Ellmann’s highly original concept makes a powerful document of our time. A near perfect listen. Stephanie Ellyne is just brilliant. Because it is so well read, the few slips become the more noticeable and annoying. Mainly some Italian words; Trastevere, Piazzale, ....I often wonder why narrator or publisher doesn’t check intonations with native language speakers.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 16-07-2020

The Karen Book

A pointless, repetitive, superficial book written by a glitching AI. There are a lot of actually good books you could listen to instead of spending 45 mindnumbing hours on this one.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Mrs VMF Overs-Morrell
  • 07-03-2021

The fact that...

This book has kept me company for the last two months. The story line slowly appears in-between the unconscious stream of thoughts of this mother, woman, freelancer - a clever book that takes time but worth the wait. And I learnt some new foods & recipes.

2 people found this helpful

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  • christine coper
  • 22-12-2020

Brilliant narration

I was so sorry when this ended. It’s an almost mesmerising listen and, as it’s so long, I really began to feel part of the world of this book. It was brought thoroughly to light by the tremendous, thoughtful narration. I really felt that Stephanie Ellyne inhabited the persona of the narrator and gave a really great performance. I would highly recommend this recording.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Robert Garton
  • 06-05-2020

Ideal lockdown listen.

Absolutely brilliant,enjoyed every minute did not want it to end. What a brilliant idea wonderfully created. The narration was perfect,really enjoyed it.

2 people found this helpful

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  • HannahCalabaza
  • 17-04-2020

Worth persevering!

Despite the initial shock at the repetitive structure the story unfolds well and is worth persevering with.
Annoying parts in the performance where the narrator mispronounces some words. These do distract.

2 people found this helpful

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  • DebP
  • 11-06-2021

Sample before buying!

For me there is a particular type of female American voice pitched at “whine”. I’m afraid that, and what amounts to a stream of consciousness with every sentence starting with “and the fact that..” , pushed me to the point of screaming. Perhaps the reason for being in the sale? If I’m ever to engage with this novel it will have to be in written form… I’ve given myself a stern warning to listen to the full sample before my next purchase.

1 person found this helpful

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