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Publisher's Summary

Penguin presents the unabridged, downloadable, audiobook edition of The Penguin Lessons by Tom Michell, read by Bill Nighy.

'I was hoping against hope that the penguin would survive because as of that instant he had a name, and with his name came the beginning of a bond which would last a life-time.'

Tom Michell is in his roaring 20's: single, free-spirited and seeking adventure. He has a plane ticket to South America, a teaching position in a prestigious Argentine boarding school, and endless summer holidays. He even has a motorbike, Che Guevara style. What he doesn't need is a pet. What he really doesn't need is a pet penguin. <\p>

Set against Argentina's turbulent years following the collapse of the corrupt Perónist regime, this is the heart warming story of Juan Salvador the penguin, rescued by Tom from an oil slick in Uruguay just days before a new term. When the bird refuses to leave Tom's side, the young teacher has no choice but to smuggle it across the border, through customs, and back to school. Whether it's as the rugby team's mascot, the housekeeper's confidant, the host at Tom's parties or the most flamboyant swimming coach in world history, Juan Salvador transforms the lives of all he meets - in particular one homesick school boy. And as for Tom, he discovers in Juan Salvador a compadre like no other....

The Penguin Lessons is a unique and moving true story which has captured imaginations around the globe - for all those who dreamed as a child they might one day talk to the animals.

©2015 Tom Michell (P)2015 Penguin Books Limited

What listeners say about The Penguin Lessons

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The most beautiful heartwarming story ever!!

I will never forget what I have learnt in this book. It deeply touched my heart and I will never forget as long as I live. Huge thank you to Tom Michell the author. What a amazing story.... and how beautifully written...! I am so thankful you shared this beautiful story to us. Now I can not stop watching Juan Salvador’s YouTube clip. He makes me laugh and makes me cry at same time. What a story... what a bird... this is THE most beautiful book I’ve ever read. And Bill Nighy is SUPERB as always!!!

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Lovely story beautifully told

This is one of those books you don’t want to end. Just the heartwarming story and the beautiful reading by Bill Nighy would probably be enough, but the story is well told. I now feel I have a better sense of Argentina – at least at that time – and I definitely know more about penguins! I loved it.

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Wonderful audio book experience

This story is a beautifully written, uplifting, thought provoking and joyous thing. It’s a great gift from Tom Michell to the world. And as if that wasn’t enough, then there’s Bill Nighy’s reading. It’s flawless. Somehow he seems to get inside the story and be speaking to us from there, rather than just doing a great job narrating from the sidelines. This is a fabulous collaboration between writer, reader and listener (and of course, Penguin).

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A beautiful story

A beautiful story about the connection between humans and animals and how we must take care to be mindful of this world we live in.

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A joyous book

A wonderful book story expertly enlivened by Bill Nighy's narration. Enjoyed it thoroughly and you will too.

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  • MEW
  • 17-07-2018

One of the best books I have ever listened to.

Bill Nighy gets a 20 out of 10. Tom Michell gets the same. What a gorgeous story. I listened to it in rapt wonder. Tom Michell brings a little bird to our heads and hearts. Beautifully written and presented and a great lesson to be learnt. Thank you.

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Wonderful Story

Loved it. I looked forward each day to my quiet sit and cup of tea.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 29-06-2020

Outstanding!

Loved this book. It made me laugh and cry. I was sorry it had to end

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 20-03-2020

Highly recommnd this book.

This is a charming and captivating book, read extremely well. Such a refreshing change from the rather strident and irritating American accents which one is so often subjected to. I was entertained from chapter one right through to the end.....and learnt quite a bit too.

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  • LiebeB
  • 02-08-2017

Extraordinary tale!

This book tells the story of a teacher from the UK rescuing a penguin in South America. It is such a moving encoun

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  • Sue156
  • 18-02-2016

Enchanting

This is just a beautiful story and Bill's reading of it is light but intensely moving and entertaining. What a joy.
I would recommend for anyone who loves animals and especially penguins and also anyone who enjoys beautiful language. A gem of a book. Thank you

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  • S. Corner
  • 09-05-2016

absolutely fantastic

I looked at this many times and nearly did not get it. I thought it may be sentimental and kitsch. But not at all. A wonderful book that I found hard to put down. Delightful descriptions of Argentina, the relationship between the school boys and the penguin, and of course his own adventures with his new friend. So well written and so well read. Wholeheartedly recommend this.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Roni
  • 06-04-2016

charming

Just loved this charming gem of a book. Bill Nighy is the perfect narrator. I was so sad to finish and say adios to Juan Salvatore!

2 people found this helpful

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  • kesho
  • 09-02-2017

wonderful

uplifting thoughtful reflections of special relationships, human impacts on the planet and what it was like in argentina 40 years ago. loved it.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Gordon
  • 18-01-2017

Adorable

Beautifully read by Bill Nighy - a delightful story that will gladden your heart and stimulate all of your emotions.

1 person found this helpful

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  • jacqui
  • 22-12-2016

Wonderful, entertaining.

Where does The Penguin Lessons rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

As an entertaining read, highly. In reminding us of our responsibility to nature, also highly.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Penguin Lessons?

When the penguin helps a very lonely young boy.

What about Bill Nighy’s performance did you like?

Not a moments hesitation. Wonderful and lyrical performance. Full emotional force and humour conveyed. A very entertaining and, at times, emotional, listen. Bill Nighy is the best narrator I have come across so far. Amazingly good.

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

What would you do if you rescued a penguin and it wouldn't go back to the sea?

Any additional comments?

This was a most enjoyable book, based upon a true story. Important to remember that it was the seventies, a very different time in many ways. However, our responsibility, to nature and the environment is just as crucial.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Happy
  • 28-08-2021

Easy listen

Lovely story that is easy to listen to.
Bill Nighy makes an entertaining narrator with personable nuances through out the story.

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  • Tim Hawkins
  • 15-08-2021

fantastic story with a gripping narrator

this is a heart warming story read by the brilliant Bill nighy 5 stars

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  • Jenny Cargill
  • 15-07-2021

A delightful book

I felt warmly wrapped by the story, with the narration like a bow tying it up into a beautiful literary gift. I will appreciate so much more the penguins that live in colony not far from my home.

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  • Sara
  • 10-04-2021

wonderful story, narrated with wit and wisdom.

this is a tale of a life well lived. Absolutely magical. I have now visited Argentina and South America vicariously. one day, I hope to do so for real. Thank you.

In the spirit of reconciliation, Audible Australia acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.