Brazzaville Beach

  • by William Boyd
  • Narrated by Harriet Walter
  • 12 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

I live on Brazzaville Beach...
I am here because two sets of strange and extraordinary events happened to me...
One in England, first, and then one in Africa.
On Brazzaville Beach, on the edge of Africa, Hope Clearwater examines the complex circumstances that brought her there. Sifting the details for evidence of her own innocence or guilt, she tells her engrossing story with a blunt and beguiling honesty that not only intrigues and disturbs but is also completely enthralling.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

An absolutely brilliant book

What did you love best about Brazzaville Beach?

Its complexity with the different strands of the story, yet so easy to listen to, the story has great rhythms to it.

Which character – as performed by Harriet Walter – was your favorite?

I did like the central character Hope the most. She overcame obstacles in her professional life and in her personal life, that did not necessarily lead to a traditional happy ending in any part of the book. She was strong, fallible and likeable, Hope will continue to have an interesting life, I cannot imagine her ever settling for an office job.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Many moments in this book moved me, quite complex. Finding out about her most recent lover, floored me. Serious read here, not for the fainthearted.

Any additional comments?

Loved, I wish there was more to read.

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- Sheila V.

My first William Boyd and certainly not my last

Hope Clearwater is a young woman who has already accumulated quite a few harrowing life experiences, and she tells the story of what has led up to her living on Brazzaville Beach in some unnamed part of Africa. First comes a marriage to a mathematician shortly after having finished her own studies as a researcher. Completely obsessed by his research into the mathematics of unpredictability, her husband displays more and more distressing signs of mental instability until Hope must face the fact that she cannot continue living with him. Then comes her work in Africa as part of a research organization that focuses on studying primates in the wild. Here again, she soon sees some disturbing behaviour on the part of the chimps under her observation, which runs contrary to the long-held belief that they are peaceful and gentle animals, and rather more like humans than anyone, including her boss, is willing to accept. Brilliantly written and filled with unexpected twists and turns, I was continually impressed with the way Boyd incorporated what must have been an incredible amount of research (into primate behaviour and advanced mathematics, among other things) into a very engaging novel. Great narrations by Harriet Walter, who does a very convincing job as Hope Clearwater.
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- Ilana

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-01-2010
  • Publisher: Audible Studios