We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.co.uk/access.
 >   > 
Small Island Audiobook

Small Island

Regular Price:$31.21
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Publisher's Summary

Small Island by best-selling author Andrea Levy won the Orange Prize for Fiction, as well as many other awards, including the Commonwealth Writers' Prize and the Whitbread. Now a major BBC drama starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Naomie Harris, its enduring appeal will captivate fans of Maya Angelou and Zadie Smith.

It is 1948, and England is recovering from a war. But at 21 Nevern Street, London, the conflict has only just begun. Queenie Bligh's neighbours do not approve when she agrees to take in Jamaican lodgers, but Queenie doesn't know when her husband will return, or if he will come back at all. What else can she do?

Gilbert Joseph was one of the several thousand Jamaican men who joined the RAF to fight against Hitler. Returning to England as a civilian he finds himself treated very differently. It's desperation that makes him remember a wartime friendship with Queenie and knock at her door.

Gilbert's wife Hortense, too, had longed to leave Jamaica and start a better life in England. But when she joins him she is shocked to find London shabby, decrepit, and far from the golden city of her dreams. Even Gilbert is not the man she thought he was....

©2004 Andrea Levy (P)2015 Headline Publishing Group Ltd

What the Critics Say

"Wonderful...seamless...a magnificent achievement." (Linda Grant)
'A great read...honest, skilful, thoughtful and important.' (Guardian)

"A cracking good read.... I think what appealed to me most was the passion and anger in the writing all the way through, yet it was always leavened with a particularly wry sort of humour - the sort that, tho' you find yourself smiling, you at the same time realise you almost shouldn't be." (Margaret Forster)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

5.0 (7 )
5 star
 (7)
4 star
 (0)
3 star
 (0)
2 star
 (0)
1 star
 (0)
Overall
5.0 (7 )
5 star
 (7)
4 star
 (0)
3 star
 (0)
2 star
 (0)
1 star
 (0)
Story
5.0 (7 )
5 star
 (7)
4 star
 (0)
3 star
 (0)
2 star
 (0)
1 star
 (0)
Performance


There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

Sort by:
  • Bob Gibson
    Toronto, ON Canada
    9/11/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Terrific narration, compelling story"

    I don't generally write reviews, but this performance merits special notice. Andrea Levy, the author of this compelling story, is a first-rate narrator, presenting her several characters and accents with convincing accuracy. The dialogue is natural and engaging, and her Jamaican characters are voiced with the full musicality of their language. A real listening pleasure!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lydia
    Melbourne, Australia
    20/07/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fabulous Story with Excellent Narration"
    Where does Small Island rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Close to the top. The story is captivating.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I enjoyed the fact that the story is narrated by several different characters, each with a unique, and, at times, quite comical, perspective.


    What about Andrea Levy’s performance did you like?

    Ms. Levy breathed life into each quirky, fascinating character. She performed different accents extremely well.


    If you could rename Small Island, what would you call it?

    The Clash Echoes.


    Any additional comments?

    I strongly recommend this nook.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Dolly
    1/10/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A breath taking saga."

    I loved this audio book. I had chosen the book for my book group so listened to it after I'd read it.
    I got so much more from it by doing this.
    I was born in 1940 so was just a baby during the war and this was a real eye opener for me.
    If ever Andrea Levy tires of writing she could surely earn a living with her talent for narrating!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • stylo
    9/06/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent!"
    If you could sum up Small Island in three words, what would they be?

    Worth reading again.


    What other book might you compare Small Island to, and why?

    Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. This book also gave me insight into another culture.


    Which character – as performed by Andrea Levy – was your favourite?

    Andrea Levy was superb in every role, but I particularly enjoyed Gilbert and Hortense. Some of their conversations are hilarious!


    Any additional comments?

    I highly recommend this book and will certainly read it again.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    19/05/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good read!"

    Excellent story. Loved the fact that the author read it especially the use of the accents. I was not expecting that ending. I would thoroughly recommend this book particularly if you are interesting in social history.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Mr
    Sutton Coldfield, United Kingdom
    18/05/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A lovely easy to follow story"

    I found this a very enjoyable book to listen to, easy to follow with only a few key characters. The story develops over time in a very elegant way.

    The narrator (also the author) was excellent.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Richard B Jeppesen
    21/08/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Brilliant view of multi-cultural life in Britain after WW2"

    Stunning-sorry I hadn't found it earlier. Definitely worth listening to again. Thank you for the 'mirror'

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Molly
    24/07/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Thought provoking"

    Slow start but stick with it. Such a shameful part of the English psyche wonderfully exposed by this gripping story of human frailty and prejudice.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Annie
    Brentwood, United Kingdom
    19/05/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Love this book!!"

    Small Island is well written & brilliantly set. Andrea wrote & read it well!

    All characters are well penmed!

    Read it for yourself!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Chris-Ann
    30/01/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Brilliant !"
    What made the experience of listening to Small Island the most enjoyable?

    Small Island is hilarious and cleverly written.
    I loved it !
    Listening to audio walking down the street, I would just burst into laughter .


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • P Garbett
    22/12/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A pleasure from start to finish"
    What did you like most about Small Island?

    The characters, the sense of time and place and the virtuosity of the writing. All this is wonderfully expressed by Andrea Levy. Her narration is a joy.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Gilbert - in a literal sense a man for all seasons.


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    I don't believe there is a dull scene in the entirety of the book.


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    The small island of the title of course relates to Britain in the post-war period as much as to Jamaica or any of the other islands in the Caribbean.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • book fan
    UK
    21/12/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Absolutely Brilliant!"
    What made the experience of listening to Small Island the most enjoyable?

    Andrea Levy's wonderful accents


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Small Island?

    The different perpspectives taken by the characters, and the language used - loved it all


    What about Andrea Levy’s performance did you like?

    Andrea Levy's accents were spot on


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

    Too long for one sitting, but looked forward to listening every time!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.