A Lady Cyclist's Guide to Kashgar

  • by Suzanne Joinson
  • Narrated by Susan Duerden
  • 10 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

It is 1923. Evangeline (Eva) English and her sister Lizzie are missionaries heading for the ancient Silk Road city of Kashgar. Though Lizzie is on fire with her religious calling, Eva's motives are not quite as noble, but with her green bicycle and a commission from a publisher to write A Lady Cyclist's Guide to Kashgar, she is ready for adventure.
In present day London, a young woman, Frieda, returns from a long trip abroad to find a man sleeping outside her front door. She gives him a blanket and a pillow, and in the morning finds the bedding neatly folded and an exquisite drawing of a bird with a long feathery tail, some delicate Arabic writing, and a boat made out of a flock of seagulls on her wall. Tayeb, in flight from his Yemeni homeland, befriends Frieda and, when she learns she has inherited the contents of an apartment belonging to a dead woman she has never heard of, they embark on an unexpected journey together.
A Lady Cyclist's Guide to Kashgar explores the fault lines that appear when traditions from different parts of an increasingly globalized world crash into one other. Beautifully written and peopled by a cast of unforgettable characters, the novel interweaves the stories of Frieda and Eva, gradually revealing the links between them and the ways in which they each challenge and negotiate the restrictions of their societies as they make their hard-won way toward home.
A Lady Cyclist's Guide to Kashgar marks the debut of Suzanne Joinson, a wonderfully talented new writer.


What the Critics Say

"Beautifully written in language too taut, piercing, and smartly observed to be called lyrical, this atmospheric first novel immediately engages, nicely reminding us that odd twists of fate sometimes aren't that odd." (Library Journal)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Terrible Narration

I don't know what I was thinking when I bought this book. I guess it was because I like riding a bicycle and I've actually been to Kashgar. So I had interests in common with the book--right? My own stupid fault. There are many terrible warning reviews here and I took a chance anyway. I thought--really how bad can it be??

This is without a doubt the weirdest and most extreme narration that I have ever experienced in a recorded book. I am not just talking about digital downloads from Audible since 2005--I am including my entire history of listening to recorded books on CDs and cassette tapes. That is quite a feat--literally thousands of books and this takes the cake. Just plain terrible.

It really is a shame because the story itself has some potential in a quirky way. Not enough however to keep me listening past chapter 12 (I can't believe I made it that far) out of 40(!!!). What I would like to know is what were these production people thinking??? Mind boggling.
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- sara "Avid reader/listener/reviewer"


This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

I tried, I really did. I tried to listen to this book but the narrator is so bad that you can't concentrate on the book. What I thought might be an interesting book, turned into a sad, sad attempt to get past the poor narration of the story. One wonders if the publishing company did not have enough money to hire a good narrator, or perhaps, there was a female relative in need of a job? Ms. Duerden spends half her time whispering the words and half her time making the story sound like a very poor attempt at an epic poem- complete with pregnant pauses at the end of each phrase. And she literally sings the last word in each phrase, single syllable or not, with each word having two sing-song notes in it. Enough. I couldn't get through the first chapter and that is a shame because the plot and synopsis sounded very interesting. A complete waste of a credit.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Susan Duerden?

Anyone, even Yoda would have been a better narrator.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

Who knows if the book had redeeming qualities, as I could not get past the awful narration.

Any additional comments?

Sorry, Suzanne Joinson! I am sure that you spent an extraordinary amount of time writing this book and when it went audio, I bet you were thrilled. Who knew it would sink like the Titanic simply because of the narration.

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- Cheryl

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-22-2012
  • Publisher: Tantor Audio