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  • Writer's pictureTheatre Of The Mind

The Terraced House Diaries:Curmudgeon Avenue, Book 1

Written by Samantha Henthorn Narrated by Lindsay McKinnon

Published by Samantha Henthorn 14 May 2020

Genre Satire, Humour

Listening Length 5 hours and 50 minutes

Format Audiobook

Language English

Audiobook ASIN     B088MJKH2F

- I have been enjoying the Terraced House Diaries books for some time now - Book 5 will be available shortly - so when I discovered Book 1 was coming out, I decided to buy a copy for myself.

The blurb: When Curmudgeon Avenue introduces sisters Edna and Edith Payne, their presence is not welcomed by the proud, yet grouchy Victorian terrace. Widowed Edith is looking for love, and dates one of Edna's ex-boyfriends Maurice. This does not end well, especially for the cat. Edna is heartbroken after her long-term partner moved to France and is now unhappily cohabiting with her idiot sister. Edith's son Ricky Ricketts permanently hangs around Curmudgeon Avenue with his on/off girlfriend Wantha, her sister Toonan, and all the tomfoolery they bring.

The sisters decide to advertise for a lodger, and the notable Harold Goatshed moves in. He is yet another of Edna's exes. Still vulnerable from the Maurice incident, Edith falls for his charms. This delightful social satire tells of the quarrels, romances, and dramas of the intertwined lives of Curmudgeon Avenue's residents.

My thoughts:

I love the new and eye-catchingly colourful cover which is being used across the various formats of this quirky, updated story. Curmudgeon Avenue is only the second audio book I've ever played, and the first I've listened to using the Audible app. I moved the playing speed up to 1.15x as that was a more comfortable speed for me, and got through the whole audiobook in a weekend. 

The audio book brings to life the weird and wonderful characters that I have long been imagining. Number One, the house itself, has a refined accent, and listeners can hear the house rather pompously looking down its nose at the various visitors who enter within. 

Sisters, Edna and Edith, are just as I imagined they would be, impoverished, genteel but not overly bright, middle-aged ladies. At the other end of the social scale is Edith's son, Ricky Ricketts. He is a loathsome individual and not to be trusted, something which comes across in every word he utters, as well as in Edna and Number One's dislike of him.

My favourite character in this series is Patchouli. She has a quirky way of speaking, which I hadn't expected, but it really works for the image I have for the mother of the likeable but not at all bright Toonan and Wantha. 

The Narrator, Lindsay McKinnon, has made a good job of telling of this amusing story, and in bringing the numerous characters to life. I look forward to listening to Book 2, The Harold and Edith Adventures, very soon.

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