The Means of Escape

  • by Penelope Fitzgerald
  • Narrated by Donada Peters
  • 2 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

With the death of Penelope Fitzgerald in 2000, the literary world lost one of its finest, most original, and most beloved authors. Completed just before her death, The Means of Escape was Fitzgerald's first new book since the best-selling The Blue Flower. Never before have her short stories been collected in book form, and none of them has ever appeared in the United States. The Means of Escape showcases this incomparable author at her most intelligent, her funniest, her best. Like her novels, these brilliant stories are miniature studies of the endless absurdity of human behavior. Roaming the globe and the ages, the stories travel from England to France to New Zealand, and from today to the seventeenth century. Uniting them is a universal theme: the shifting balance between those who are in positions of power (by wealth, status, or class) and those who are not. The Means of Escape memorializes a life and a writer guided by a generous but unwavering moral gaze.


What the Critics Say

"Strange, whimsical, sometimes gothic or bizarre, these tales demonstrate Fitzgerald's cool and civilized wit and the merciless eye she casts on worldly pretensions....Crisp, with the economical suggestiveness of poetry, these stories will be treasured by Fitzgerald's readers." (Publishers Weekly)
"Enthralls....Donada Peters brings perfect pitch and timing to the narration....A collection and performance to treasure." (AudioFile)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Not The Bookshop

If your only exposure to Fitzgerald is The Bookshop, you may find this collection of odd shorts disappointing. Too much effort is put into trying to devise clever endings or stoke literary quirkiness that calls attention to itself; it quickly becomes tiring. Having said that, the lead Sakiesque story is a winner by any standards and deserves a listen. The others are good for when you want to experiment a bit. Approach it with that attitude and you may discover something worthwhile (but wait until this one is offered at sale pricing so you're in the right frame of mind).
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- Michael

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-18-2004
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company