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Publisher's Summary

Penguin presents the audio edition of Live a Little by Howard Jacobson, read by David Sibley.

A wickedly observed novel about falling in love at the end of your life, by the Man Booker Prize-winning author of The Finkler Question.

At the age of 90-something, Beryl Dusinbery is forgetting everything - including her own children. She spends her days stitching morbid samplers and tormenting her two long-suffering carers, Nastya and Euphoria, with tangled stories of her husbands and love affairs. 

Shimi Carmelli can do up his own buttons, walks without the aid of a frame and speaks without spitting. Among the widows of North London, he’s whispered about as the last of the eligible bachelors. Unlike Beryl, he forgets nothing - especially not the shame of a childhood incident that has hung over him like an oppressive cloud ever since.

There’s very little life remaining for either of them, but perhaps just enough to heal some of the hurt inflicted along the way and find new meaning in what’s left. Told with Jacobson’s trademark wit and style, Live a Little is in equal parts funny, irreverent and tender - a novel to make you consider all the paths not taken, and whether you could still change course.

©2019 Howard Jacobson (P)2019 Penguin Audio

What listeners say about Live a Little

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  • Ricci
  • 01-07-21

It’s all right

If you want a story of wealthy geriatrics in North London then look no further. I chose this book because I love Howard Jacobson’s dry whit, but there’s not much of that in this book. He’s applied himself to crafting the characters & situations instead. Well written, so-so narration. I’m hoping for a bit more drama in my next book

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  • bookylady
  • 04-28-20

Amusing and bittersweet.

This is a lovely tale of two old people who find each other after following very different life paths. Both of them have secrets and lies, behaviours they wish to bury, moments of shame and regret. But they also have wisdom to share with others and stories to tell that inform , exasperate and entertain the people around them.
Howard Jacobson has a gift for storytelling and using humour to illustrate not just the absurdities of life but also the absolute truths of what it is to be a fallible human being. I just love his writing. This is not as good as some of his novels but it is still worthy of much praise.

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  • Shelley
  • 02-01-20

Deep and amusing insight into lives of the elderly

Loved looking into the thoughts of the elderly. Witty and moving. We need more stories involving the over 70s

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  • beamer
  • 08-23-19

A very moving and funny book

I wasn’t too sure in the beginning. I didn’t think I would warm to the main character. Suddenly she reminded me of my mother- in -law .

Then myself.

I would recommend this book for every parent and grandparent.... and their children. A great story.h

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  • Debbie
  • 07-30-19

Just the wrong voice

It’s a good book but needs a different voice.
Many words were pronounced incorrectly which ends up being very annoying when it’s a character’s name that’s often repeated like Ephraim. Should be ‘Eff-rah-yim’ not Eff-raiii-yeeeem’
The prayer is ‘kaddish’ not ‘kadeeesh’ - best to check these things. Plus the old fashioned actor voice was all wrong. Shame. Spoiled it a bit for me.
Usually love the Readers too!

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  • Darina
  • 07-24-19

A must read

stunning language ,moving story that makes old age seem strangely appealing. Highly recommend. Excellent narration.