Synopses & Reviews
Barefoot, thirty-something Amber shows up at the door of a Norfolk cottage that the Smarts are renting for the summer, insinuating herself into their family. Dazzled by her seeming exoticism, the Smarts begin to examine the accidents of their lives under the searing lens of Amber's perceptions. When the mother Eve finally banishes her from the cottage, Amber disappears from their sight, but not--as they find when they return home to London--from their profoundly altered lives. Fearlessly intelligent, disarmingly playful, The Accidental is a Joycean tour-de-force of literary improvisation that explores the nature of truth, the role of chance, and the transformative power of storytelling.
"Heather O'Neill plays Amber, a mysterious stranger who wangles her way into the lives of a vacationing English family spending the summer in a remote cottage. O'Neill reads with studious detachment and a persistent air of mischief, as if the entire story is a particularly juicy practical joke. Given Amber's predilection for wreaking havoc in her new adopted family's comfortably misguided lives, the emotion is supremely apropos. O'Neill is joined by a cast of performers, including Ruth Moore as the perpetually harried, perpetually preoccupied Eve, who spends all her time dreaming of the characters of the latest historical novel she's writing, and Stina Nielsen as Astrid, a 12-year-old with a frightening imagination and a propensity for recording the world on her video camera. The bulk of the book, though, is read by O'Neill, who provides a suitably nuanced reading, at times placid, at times flashing an air of free-floating menace. It is her work, above all, that brings Smith's novel to fully fleshed existence. Simultaneous release with the Pantheon hardcover (Reviews, Oct. 31). (Jan.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Shortlisted for the the 2005 Man Booker Prize. A chance encounter forever alters a family's understanding of itself in this exhilaratingly inventive, thought-provoking novel from the author of "Hotel World." Unabridged. 8 CDs.
About the Author
STINA NIELSEN has appeared on Broadway, London's West End, and at many regional theaters. Her TV credits include primetime slows, soap operas, and commercials. She has narrated over 30 audiobooks, including The Accidental and Year of Wonders.HEATHER O'NEILL has appeared in numerous Off-Broadway plays. Her audio narration credits include Blessed Are the Cheesemakers, The Accidental, Field of Blood, and The Dead Hour.SIMON PREBBLE, a British-born performer of considerable talent and experience, has built a successful career that spans the Atlantic. As a stage and television actor he has played in everything from soaps to Shakespeare, but it is as a veteran narrator of some 275 audio book titles that he has made his mark since coming to the U.S. in 1990. Audiofile magazine has named him a “Golden Voice” and in 2004 he was named “Narrator of the Year” by Publishers Weekly. He lives with his wife in New York.ALI SMITH has written six works of fiction including Hotel World, which was shortlisted for both the Man Booker Prize and the Orange Prize and won the Encore Award and the Scottish Arts Council Book of the Year Award. Born in Inverness, Scotland, she now lives in Cambridge, England.JEFF WOODMAN originated the title role in Tennessee Williams' "The Notebook of Trigorin" and won the san Francisco Critics' circle Award for his performance in "an Ideal Husband" In addition to numerous Off-Broadway credits, his TV appearances include Law and Order, Sex and the City, and Cosby. His more than 200 audiobook narrations has earned him numerous awards, including a People magazine "Annual Top Five" citation and a spot in AudioFile magazine's "Top Fifty Voices of the Century".