The Garden Party and Other Stories

  • by Katherine Mansfield
  • Narrated by Marguerite Gavin
  • 6 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The 15 stories collected in this volume demonstrate the genius of a woman who, in her own short lifetime, was compared to Chekhov. The tales are sensitive revelations of human behavior in ordinary situations. 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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What the Critics Say

"With the timing and phrasing of a musician, Marguerite Gavin narrates this last-published collection of Katherine Mansfield's short stories. Gavin has a lovely singing voice....[She] reads with a great deal of enthusiasm and expression." (AudioFile)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Great writer . . . poor narrator.

Would you try another book from Katherine Mansfield and/or Marguerite Gavin?

Katherine Mansfield's stories are delicate gems, but they require a sensitive reading, which is sadly lacking here.


What did you like best about this story?

The stories are held together with tiny strands, usually made from the internal emotional progression of the characters, but sometimes held together by the reader's emotional reaction to the story. A specific effect or mood seems to be intended, so it's more effective to read/hear these stories at one sitting.

These are delicacies, not steak and potatoes. But when you connect with the story, the emotional zingers are quite powerful. That is what I enjoy about Mansfield's stories.


How did the narrator detract from the book?

The narrator is terrible, I'm sorry to say. This my first great disappointment with an Audible.com narrator. I guess she is trying to sound ironic, but instead she sounds laconic, catatonic, lobotomized, monotone. Once in a while she loses her self-consciousness and gets emotionally connected with the reading. At those times she is fairly effective.


What character would you cut from The Garden Party and Other Stories?

These are exquisite masterpieces for the connoisseur who appreciates them. You can't edit masterpieces!


Any additional comments?

Look for another collection with a different narrator. This reading is just too painful to enjoy.

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- James

lovely reads

soothing and artistic voices. a pleasure to listen throughout the day and during a long drive
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- Michelle

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-21-2008
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.