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Reckoning

A Memoir
Narrated by: Magda Szubanski
Length: 12 hrs and 23 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (962 ratings)
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Publisher's Summary

Heartbreaking, joyous, traumatic, intimate and revelatory, Reckoning is the book where Magda Szubanski, one of Australia’s most beloved performers, tells her story.

In this extraordinary memoir, Magda Szubanski describes her journey of self-discovery from a suburban childhood, haunted by the demons of her father’s espionage activities in wartime Poland and by her secret awareness of her sexuality, to the complex dramas of adulthood and her need to find out the truth about herself and her family.

With courage and compassion she addresses her own frailties and fears and asks the big questions about life, about the shadows we inherit and the gifts we pass on.

Honest, poignant, utterly captivating, Reckoning announces the arrival of a fearless writer and natural storyteller. It will touch the lives of its listeners.

©2015 Magda Szubanski (P)2015 Bolinda

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Moving and powerful

I'd heard good things of this book. Even so, it exceeded my expectations. I was frequently moved by her depictions of her parents, of their dilemmas, of her dilemmas.

The thing that makes this an outstanding audiobook is that her tale is diversely populated - mainly with Poles and Scots, whose accents she captures very well. And occasionally she throws in a Dutch accent or an ocker one.

She deals with important themes - right/wrong, life/death, struggles with sexuality and identity, politics of oppression, encountering feminism.

As a heterosexual Jewish-Polish male nearly ten years older than Magda, I love this book.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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A masterpiece

Magda I am so grateful to you for all the happiness you have given me over the years in your various incarnations - my favourite other than Babe was the Meetings of the Daughters of Satan - I still do a really good rendition.

But, this book is simply magnificent, a masterful and gripping story. Told with such humility, honesty and brilliance. Thank you so much.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Outstanding

Magda
Thank you so much for sharing your most personal information with us. I just bloody loved it, and I'm telling anyone and everyone who'll listen. Your book is a must " listen" to, I'm so pleased I chose to listen rather than read as I've had the journey with you. I've laughed out loud often throughout and cried as well. I've been listening to you every morning and afternoon back and forth to and from work. I can not thank you enough for telling us the story of you and your family. Well done x
Ps love your work I've been a loved fan since d gen. All the best.
Lisa

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Deb
  • 04-01-2016

Always a surprise

What made the experience of listening to Reckoning the most enjoyable?

The fact Magda narrated the story of her life

What other book might you compare Reckoning to, and why?

None, its her original personal journey

What does Magda Szubanski bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Her tone and understanding

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

Yes

Any additional comments?

Magda is an amazing lady who i admire even more now i have heard her story.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Trying too hard to be something it's not

I was really looking forward to listening to this audiobook. I love Magda as an actress and activist and was excited to get to know her a little better, but after a little over 2 hours that barely went anywhere, I gave up. I felt like Magda was more intent on proving to her listeners how intelligent she was, rather than trying to engage them in any meaningful way. There were many instances of her trying to dramatise the mundane and find significance in those events, but it didn't translate well. Instead of writing a punchy and insightful memoir, it was a memoir trying desperately to be War and Peace, and read in much the same way. I really wanted to enjoy this, but I won't be going back to it.

If you're looking for a serious but moving memoir, I'd recommend Sally Field's 'In Pieces'. For a funny, engaging memoir from an Australian comedian, 'The Lucy Family Alphabet' by Judith Lucy is great, likewise Kitty Flanagan's 'Bridge Burning and Other Hobbies'.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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not for me

struggled to get into it, long winded, didn't finish reading,. Tried several times to engage.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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"A Good Read Indeed"

Loved this book, beautifully written & highly recommend. Made listening more special, when read by the author herself. Thank you Magda for sharing your life story & God Bless you for the next chapter in your life's journey.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Amy
  • 03-04-2016

Fantastic book made even better by Magda's reading

Race through this book and found myself making excuses to find time to keep listening to it. A new aussie classic!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Just great! (And awesome)

Magda Szubanski is someone I have always deeply appreciated but this autobiography felt like a unique and new creation, something that I would love even if I didn't have such admiration for this lovely actress. It is beautiful, well constructed, and at moments wonderfully profound. Well written, sympathetic and cathartic without being self indulgent, so much recommendation coming from this brain right now...

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • emma
  • cecil plains, qld, Australia
  • 03-10-2015

great great read

Loved this book. Magda as narrator was so easy to listen to and entertaining. Often giggled when sharron crept in. Inspiring story loved every minute of it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Louise
  • 12-04-2017

Brilliant! Incredibly moving. One of the best

I can't recommend this book enough. It's rare that I can't put an audiobook down but that was how it was with this book. Magda doesn't just read the book, she acts it out as the talented actress she is. Rarely am I moved so much by an autobiography. The writing is superb. Thank you Magda!!! I want to share it with everyone I know, especially my 92 year old Nana and 90 year old Grandma. This book once again underlines how fortunate I am to be who I am, with the family I have, growing up in country Australia. We are blessed.

This book has given me an understanding of the Polish & Jewish people in a way I never had before. May Magda's Dad, his family & those who lived through WWII (& those who did not) rest in peace. We all live the legacy of war in some way or another but descendants of those directly involved live it a little more. Thank you for carrying the burdens you carry. I honour you 🙏 ~ Louise Bibby

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Mark
  • 12-08-2018

Magda is a gifted story teller

what a wonderful and harrowing story. thank you Magda for articulating things that I have never been able to put into words. This is not just a moving and worthy book it is a ripping good yarn. I love you more now and I didn't think that possible x

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  • Rachel M
  • 03-01-2018

Loved it.

Entertaining and endearing. Magda is a national treasure. Readers of the hard copy are missing out big-time on all her wonderful accents, which take the performance to another level.

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  • Matt Lockwood
  • 24-08-2017

I have told so many people to listen to this.


It doesn't matter If you haven't heard of this Australian television personality before.

This narrative includes incredible family insights from Poland during WW2 (and a long time after), life as an immigrant in a new country, brave insights on sexuality, life and a little tennis!

Magda– in case you read these reviews: thank you for writing such a powerful memoir.

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  • meredith
  • 05-10-2016

unexpectedly interesting

So worth reading or listening to.
A story of of her family and others in which she pays homage to the past and the Polish resistance. But so much more than this as well. Magda is so open and honest about her life. Her role as a public figure scarcely figures in this recounting of her life except as incidental. Historical events involving her family cannot but place things coming afterwards into perspective.
As one who has always had an interest in biographies i can say that this is up there with the best.

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  • Sarah
  • 03-09-2016

brilliant

I absolutely loved this story, and especially Magda's telling of it. highly recommended very compelling

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  • David Ranger
  • 10-01-2018

A must read

This book is an absolute marvel, and such a joy to hear Magda tell her story. It's one of the most beautifully written and moving stories. Magda is a wonderful storyteller. Highly recommended.