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Publisher's Summary

Does your life feel like a dress rehearsal? Do you long to enter the limelight and steal the show? But what do you do when you're playing second fiddle to an arrogant actor who barely knows your name? And, more importantly, what do you do when you find yourself falling in love with his wife?

©2005 David Nicholls (P)2006 W F Howes Ltd

What listeners say about The Understudy

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Profile Image for Chris and Alison
  • Chris and Alison
  • 05-18-20

Wonderfully funny - this is a delightful listen.

I picked up the recommendation for this book from BBC Radio 4's 'A Good Read', and am very glad I did. It is painfully funny, poignant and makes wonderful (but not brutal) fun of the light and dark of celebrity, wannabe celebrity, and what living a good life means. If you need cheering up - and even if you don't - I think you might like this one very much..

3 people found this helpful

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  • 3lionslover
  • 09-03-19

Easy listening, great narration, disappointing ending...

I enjoyed listening to this book. The narrator was great, playing the different characters excellently. The actual story was good, although not as strong as his others. All in all, a very good holiday read.

3 people found this helpful

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Profile Image for Rosalind
  • Rosalind
  • 12-02-14

Great funny Story

Would you listen to The Understudy again? Why?

Yes, very interested the whole way through and perfect for a tube book.

What did you like best about this story?

I love the acting culture and books that are based around things and places i know this was funny, witty and a good story to follow.

Which character – as performed by Paul Thornley – was your favourite?

Steve, very believable realistic and easy to follow. also i love under dog stories.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

classic under dog story set against the hard life of a west end actor.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Kirstine
  • 07-06-21

Enjoyable exploits of an aspiring actor

I mostly enjoyed this light-hearted and at times farcical account of the understudy's gaucheness and lack of confidence leading to embarrassing scenes. The story follows a trail of disasters and missed opportunities. I felt some of the humour was laboured with scenes milked too long for laughs.
The narrator is excellent as usual

1 person found this helpful

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Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 06-08-21

Below average

None of the characters are likeable the story is not particularly funny and the jokes are more or less predictable. This is not assisted by a mediocre narrator. I got it on offer otherwise I would have returned

1 person found this helpful

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Profile Image for Di
  • Di
  • 07-20-22

Stumbled to empathise.

I struggled to finish this book. Usually if a book hooks me and mostly they do I really want to know what happens. I really had to persevere to see where the story went. I couldn’t find the love and sympathy for the main character. I got to the end and sadly none of them really captured my heart.

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  • s a clarke-moisley
  • 06-02-22

Fun

Fun, enjoyable, easy going book, which made me chuckle. Would make a good holiday book
I would definitely opt to listen to another title from this author :)

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Profile Image for E
  • E
  • 05-31-22

Not for me

I listened to the whole book, though at times thought about giving up. It improved slightly, but the characters were uninspiring and not terribly likeable. I found the book depressing and annoying - the lead character was so wet. It wasn’t particularly funny either. Not for me.

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  • kb.barr88
  • 06-24-21

a slow starter but keep with it

a little slow to start but after the first couple of chapters you will be hooked.

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Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 06-19-21

Funny and Heartwarming

I really enjoyed this book more than I thought I would, as it wouldn't be my usual genre. The story itself flowed well and held my attention to the end. It is a classic underdog tale with likeable and relatable characters. The narrator was fantastic and had me laughing out loud several times, his comic timing really added to the experience for me. Overall it was a pleasant easy listen.