The Garden Party and Other Stories Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
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With careful, quiet observation, Mansfield illuminates complicated relationships and profound, often troubling ideas. Her stories often feature young women in the process of maturity, confronting for the first time some of the realities of life.
In the title story, a young woman's garden party coincides with the death of a working-class neighbor, bringing a brush of mortality and realism into her carefully constructed plans and ideals. Her difficulty in fully realizing the seriousness of the event is typical of Mansfield's ironic world.
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|Listening Length||6 hours and 41 minutes|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||August 21, 2008|
|Publisher||Blackstone Audio, Inc.|
|Best Sellers Rank||
#338,134 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals)
#2,982 in Literature Anthologies
#3,024 in Fiction Short Stories
#11,821 in Classic Literature (Audible Books & Originals)
Top reviews from the United States
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The Table of Contents is poorly done here, and often only part of the TOC is readable. But don't let that stop you from enjoying these stories from an eminent writer.
Here are the stories, with the Kindle location, so you can jump right to any story in the book.
1. At the Bay (Location: 47)
2. The Garden Party (Location: 764)
3. The Daughters of the Late Colonel (Location: 1074)
4. Mr. and Mrs. Dove (Location: 1501)
5. The Young Girl (Location: 1657)
6. Life of Ma Parker (Location: 1789)
7. Marriage À La Mode (Location: 1921)
8. The Voyage (Location: 2137)
9. Miss Brill (Location: 2299)
10. Her First Ball (Location: 2385)
11. The Singing Lesson (Location: 2511)
12. The Stranger (Location: 2612)
13. Bank Holiday (Location: 2872)
14. An Ideal Family (Location: 2934)
15. The Lady's Maid (Location: 3063)
Times were different, but people deep down inside are still the same. Ms. Mansfield has a wonderful way of catching you up in her stories.
Any one who appreciates a well written story will appreciate this collection.
I assume it is this reason for so many negative reviews which complain about the apparent tediousness of the stories, however if you pay close attention to what is said and what is described or remarked upon you will be fascinated by even the details such as whether a hat is necessary to wear or not. A pity her life was so short, reminds me of the fate of Flannery O'Connor.
Top reviews from other countries
This Penguin Modern Classics edition (my copy has the lovely cover art of 'Interior with Housemaid' by Vanessa Bell) contains fifteen stories which, apart from one of her most well-known stories 'The Garden Party' also includes the richly descriptive 'At the Bay' - one of Mansfield's longest short stories, set in a seaside town in New Zealand, where several families are holidaying together; there is the marvellous (and one of my particular favourites) 'The Daughters of the Late Colonel' which focuses on two spinster sisters, whose overbearing father has recently died, but whose presence is still very much felt by the poor, timid siblings; then there is the very poignant 'Ma Parker' where we learn about the sad and very hard life of a self-centred young man's cleaning lady. Also included is 'Marriage a la Mode' about the unhappy marriage of William and the lovely Isabel; the marvellous and beautifully described 'Miss Brill' (another personal favourite) about an ageing spinster who overhears a conversation which spoils what was, until that point, a beautiful and promising day; 'The Voyage' where we meet a young Fenella Crane, who after the death of her mother is sent to stay with her grandparents on South Island, New Zealand, and who worries that she will going away from her father forever; and the entertaining 'Singing Lesson' where a music teacher feels her future life has ended when her fiancé sends her an extremely thoughtless letter.
I enjoyed all of the stories in this collection - some more than others (the ones mentioned above are my personal favourites) but they are all very good, if not excellent, examples of the art of short story writing and although I have read these stories more than once over the years, I often return to them when I have a few moments to spare, but not enough time to become involved in a full-length novel. Just one final comment - if you are thinking of downloading the free Kindle edition, it might be worth you spending just a little more and downloading this edition: 'Delphi Complete Works of Katherine Mansfield (Illustrated)' - which contains not just the complete short stories, but also includes Katherine Mansfield's poetry and her non-fiction works, including her marvellous journal.
Such brilliant writing was a joy to read.