Bleaker House

  • by Nell Stevens
  • Narrated by Nell Stevens
  • 7 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

A whimsical blend of memoir and travelogue, laced with wry writing advice, Bleaker House is a story of creative struggle that brilliantly captures the self-torture of the writing life.
Twenty-seven-year-old Nell Stevens was determined to write a novel, but life kept getting in the way. Then came a game-changing opportunity: she won a fellowship that would let her spend three months, all expenses paid, anywhere in the world to research and write a book. Would she choose a glittering metropolis, a romantic village, an exotic paradise? Not exactly. Nell chose Bleaker Island, a snowy, windswept pile of rock in the Falklands. There, in a guesthouse where she would be the only guest, she could finally rid herself of distractions and write. In three months, surely she'd have a novel.
And sure enough, other than sheep, penguins, paranoia, and the weather, there aren't many distractions on Bleaker. Nell gets to work on a delightful Dickensian fiction she calls Bleaker House - only to discover that total isolation and 1,100 calories a day are far from ideal conditions for literary production. With deft humor, the memoir traces Nell's island days and slowly reveals details of the life and people she has left behind in pursuit of her writing. They pop up in her novel, too, and in other fictional pieces that dot the book. It seems that there is nowhere Nell can run - an island or the pages of her notebook - to escape the big questions of love, art, and ambition.
As Nell races to finish her book, Bleaker House marks the arrival of a remarkable literary talent.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Like one long episode of Seinfeld.

I know how hard authors work and I know how hard writing is, so leaving a negative review of this book feels like I'm being a big jerk. However, I don't want people to sit through something if they're expecting a story. I feel like this had so much potential on so many levels but it ended up being a story about nothing. The little short stories in between were hard to differentiate from her musings when listening to the book on audible. Maybe it look different in print and would have been easier to pick out. In my head just listening it all sort of ran together like one big blob. I initially wanted to read this because all of the setting. I desperately wanted something to happen in this book. I kept listening in high hopes that something would happen. But then, nothing did. The author's voice was difficult to listen to compared to audible's typical professional Voice actors. If you enjoy books about the writing process this book is for you. If you're looking for anything else just skip it and save yourself eight hours.
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- Heidi Bonnema

Innocent-sounding young narrator and writer

Not so innocent as the story unfolds, unbraiding the threads of her own short life, longer family history, and all in the blistering weather of the Falklands. I admired it but didn't love it. it was a bit more workmanlike than inspiring.
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- deryck durston

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-14-2017
  • Publisher: Random House Audio