• Starter for Ten

  • By: David Nicholls
  • Narrated by: Dave John
  • Length: 12 hrs and 41 mins
  • 3.8 out of 5 stars (11 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Brian has arrived at university with a stronger desire than the acquisition of knowledge: he's going to be a star of TV's hottest quiz, University Challenge. But his progress on 'The Challenge' is somewhat stymied by his growing desire for the beguiling Alice Harbison, struggling to make her mark as an actress. And as obstacles impede their affair, Brian becomes more and more convinced that only overwhelming success on the quiz show will win her.

©2003 David Nicholls (P)2004 W F Howes Ltd

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Carol
  • Carol
  • 04-13-13

a good read

the young working class boy at university - a middle class girl, a classic scenario but well done and the way that the story hinges around University Challenge made it page turning and amusing.

Well read - it pushed all my empathy to the boy, even feeling his embarrassment in some of his more ridiculous predicaments

6 people found this helpful

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  • Miss T Willis
  • 08-28-19

How did the Glaswegian accent get through??

Not a bad narration. But the Glaswegian accent is a real shocker. Really ought be rerecorded. My Scottish husband ran out of the room screaming with his fingers in his ears

4 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Gavingks
  • 04-23-13

One Day, this is not, but a great read and fun

I loved One Day and so came to this with very high expectations. Yes I was a little disappointed but actually after I got over that it was a good fun story. Loved the underlying theme that holds the story together, the games show.

Story line is obvious and linear but actually all the better for that.

A pleasure to listen to and you do grow close to the small pool of key characters.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Gerard
  • 08-30-15

Confident and assured

A very assured piece of writing. Enjoyable and good to listen to. More uplifting than some of the other titles by DN. I'll look out for more.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Kathy
  • 02-20-15

Hard to read when you're constantly cringing

What disappointed you about Starter for Ten?

I expected the main character to evolve and demonstrate some redeeming qualities but he seemed to get more and more stupid and shallow as the book went on. There was just one gag running through the entire book - what is this idiot going to screw up next? I hung on in there, as I'd found One Day to be such a good read, but every time he, and the book, seemed about to turn a corner, he blew it again.
I found it unconvincing that the femme fatale character would at any point return his affections.
Maybe men can relate to this catalogue of woes better than me.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

I would have taken a look at what other characters were experiencing rather than the one claustrophobic perspective.

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

The narrator fitted the main character, but the relentless "cheeky chappie" style, no matter what pain he was going through, started to irritate me.

You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

It was interesting to relive a pre-digital world, with some good descriptive passages.

4 people found this helpful

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  • K. Mackinnon
  • 07-28-15

Never gets going

I didn't like the story of this audiobook. It just doesn't get very meaty and to be honest I struggled to care about the main character.
The narration was very good although he needs to work on his female voices.

1 person found this helpful

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Profile Image for Blondie
  • Blondie
  • 07-24-22

Great fun

Nicholls creates credible characters with whom we can empathize, having made many of their mistakes ourselves. You can see the problems coming and cringe and snigger when they come. Great narration.

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  • Mr. D. J. Miles
  • 06-30-21

ok story a bit slow

was ok and an easy listen
bit slow in places. characters relatable but can be a bit annoying

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-23-21

Very good stuff

Dave John is brilliant in this one! I have listened to all of Nicholl's audiobooks and this one has the best performance among them all!

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  • Elisa
  • 06-03-21

Fun story but the narrator is a non- starter

This book was funny and touching but surely when a narrator is chosen a key question at interview might be - this book requires accents can you deliver? Answer: only if you need a mangled mix of audio-horror performed with screeching enthusiasm. It has to be heard to be believed. I almost couldn’t continue with the book at any point the Scottish character had to speak. On a positive note, the male narrator from south east England is fantastic at bringing the male protagonist from south east England to life. Don’t mention Minneapolis.

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Profile Image for Mike Reed
  • Mike Reed
  • 11-27-19

Disappointed

I thoroughly enjoyed reading David Nicholls books until I read this one. An unlikable main character makes constant embarrassing mistakes building up to a telegraphed and unlikely disaster that kills any desire to finish the book.

Not credible or enjoyable.