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Publisher's Summary

Audie Award Nominee, Short Stories/Collections, 2013

The fascinating characters that roam across the pages of Emma Donoghue's stories have all gone astray: they are emigrants, runaways, drifters, lovers old and new. They are gold miners and counterfeiters, attorneys and slaves. They cross other borders too: those of race, law, sex, and sanity. They travel for love or money, incognito or under duress.
With rich historical detail, the celebrated author of Room takes us from puritan Massachusetts to revolutionary New Jersey, antebellum Louisiana to the Toronto highway, lighting up four centuries of wanderings that have profound echoes in the present. Astray offers us a surprising and moving history for restless times.
©2012 Emma Donoghue (P)2012 Hachette Audio
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Jim "The Impatient" on 11-22-14


Like most everyone else I listened to Room and loved it. Like I usually do I searched for another recording of Donoguhe, after listening to the CD. All books audible has by her have low ratings and not so good reviews. I have a promise to myself to not waste a credit on books with low ratings, so I ignored her for a time. Finally I took a chance on this collection of short stories. It is less then seven hours long and they are short stories, so my mental investment was not that long.

The very first story was Man and Boy. It was a story about an actual man in history and an actual elephant. I am an animal lover and this was a sort of love story between a man and an elephant. I also love historical fiction. This was a great story. All of these stories are based on something in history. Sometimes it was one line in a newspaper in which Emma draws a whole story. Sometimes it is a more in depth knowledge of the historical facts and sometimes it is totally made up, using the facts of the time, such as Snow Blind, which is about the Gold Rush. After each and every story you are told how she came up with the story, so you will know how much is fact and how much is fiction. At the end of the book is an Afterword, which explains the reason for the whole book and it's name Astray.

Emma also brings out some interesting events, which will surprise you. There are stories about gays, cross dressers, tough women, and one involving rape. In one story an adult woman does not find out till after her dad dies, that he was a woman. This is based on historical records. One story is about a man's struggle with his religion, sin and his own sexual desires. There are 14 stories and an afterword. I would give an A grade to four of the stories. I listen and read lots of short story collections and to have that many stories that I would rank that high is very rare. Several stories are average, but none of the stories are awful to listen to. I have found that I like ED's style of writing and regardless of the low ratings, I will take a chance on another of her books.

The narrators are excellent.

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18 of 19 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Doug on 12-10-12

Great use of historical fiction

This is a fine and unique collection of historical fiction pieces, with a postscript behind each story explaining the origin of the characters and the situation.

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8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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