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Quentins Audio CD – Abridged, Audiobook

3.9 out of 5 stars 208 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

In Maeve Binchy's timely and topical tale, Quentins, Ella Brady is a documentary filmmaker who wants to bring the tale of the eponymous Dublin restaurant to the screen. Quentins has had its fair share of ups and downs over the years and has become the meeting point for a lot of characters, including some familiar faces from previous Binchy novels. As Ella makes more and more headway with her documentary, the secrets, betrayals, and stories of love that emerge make her question whether or not she wants to bring the tale of Quentins to the screen after all; especially as she is also forced to confront a devastating dilemma from her own past.

Regarded by many as the true queen of the romantic Irish drama, Binchy has once again produced another fine page-turner that will please her army of loyal fans and hopefully win her many more. She has a real eye for character and exploring the often painful choices people are forced to make in their everyday lives. This is a tale of normal people, ordinary folk and the heartaches that have made them who they are. Fans will welcome the return of some familiar Binchy characters and Ella is a strong, likeable heroine, a woman who, in exploring the lives of these people, is forced to consider some choices she has made in her own life. So make a reservation at Quentins, sit back, and relax--you'll be in very good company. --Jane Warren, Amazon.co.uk --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Fans of the bestselling Binchy will be grateful that the basic formula is still intact-decent people pulling through hard times-and that some favorite characters from previous novels reappear: Cathy Scarlet from Scarlet Feather, Nora from Evening Class, Ria from Tara Road and others. When Dubliner Ella Brady's affair with a married financial consultant turns sour-he bilks his clients of their hard-earned money and then hightails it to Spain-she decides to throw herself into something productive: she agrees to help with a documentary about Quentins, a once-modest Dublin restaurant whose increasing success and sophistication over the past 30 years mirrors the changing fortunes of the city itself. Ella collects stories of customers who recall celebrating life's milestones at Quentins. These vignettes (about a man who learns he's to be a grandfather, a girl who finishes school with honors, and other regular folks) are meant to fill out the too-thin tale, but most of them end a little too neatly to be satisfying. Binchy doesn't exactly trade in suspense (can there ever be any doubt that a Binchy heroine will do the right thing? Or that goodness will ultimately be rewarded?), but this novel is more tepid than other works in her oeuvre. Still, readers who love hardworking, honest-living characters with strong values can get their fix here.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Penguin Audio; Abridged edition (October 28, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0142800139
  • ISBN-13: 978-0142800133
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.7 x 5.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (208 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,597,009 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Maeve Binchy is the author of numerous best-selling books, including Nights of Rain and Stars, Quentins, Scarlet Feather, Circle of Friends, and Tara Road, which was an Oprah's Book Club selection. She has written for Gourmet; O, The Oprah Magazine; Modern Maturity; and Good Housekeeping, among other publications. She and her husband, Gordon Snell, live in Dalkey, Ireland, and London.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
If you're a fan of Maeve Binchy, you've already visited Quentins. This restaurant, run by the cool efficient Brenda Brennan and her husband Patrick, is a place that characters in other Binchy novels always seem to be visiting at crucial points in their lives. It's the sort of place where you'd think "If these walls could talk..."
Ella Brady, the main character of this novel, thinks the same thing. After an affair with a married man goes bad, she throws herself into producing a documentary about Quentins to get her mind off her heartbreak. Along with Ella, we learn about Brenda and Patrick, hear the stories of many Quentins patrons over the years, and even meet Quentin himself. As you'd expect from Binchy, the stories are funny, sad, and heartwarming.
As a bonus to fans of Maeve Binchy, you also get to revisit some of your favorite characters from other novels. Ever wonder what happens to Signora and Aidan from Evening Class? Tom, Cathy, Simon, and Maud from Scarlett Feather? Ria from Tara Road? Pick up this book. You won't be disappointed.
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Format: Hardcover
We can all stop mourning Maeve Binchy's retirement. She's back and as good as ever with heartwarming stories about ordinary people whose lives are changed while dining at Quentins. The popular Dublin restaurant from her previous novels is at the heart of this story. Its owner, managers, employees, and customers all have a story to tell: Martin, the father with a short fuse, who dines with his son Jody; Maggie, the good student whose parents give her a serious celebration at the restaurant; Drew the visitor whose change of heart changes his life; Mon the waitress who unwittingly unmasks the banker's book in the plain brown wrapper; Yvonne whose mother's little white lie creates a new life for Frank and his three daughters; Laura who finds a way to spend Mother's Day without her children. And best of all, there is Quentin himself, whose encounter with a shabby and eccentric old man sets the whole story in motion.
The fabulous bonus of this book is we find out what happened to some favorite characters from previous books. Ria Lynch's life was left on hold when TARA ROAD ended, but now we know what happened. Ditto for Tom and Cathy and Simon and Maud from SCARLET FEATHER and the Signora and Aidan from EVENING CLASS.
The story of the restaurant and its people are all brought into focus by Ella Brady who is in charge of developing a documentary about modern day Dublin. Her love affair with an unscrupulous married man has left her life in shambles and nearly destroyed her family and friends. But Ella has a special place in her heart for Quentins and its managers--- the unflappable Brenda Brennan, her chef/husband Patrick, and his uniquely appealing brother Blouse. When she chooses to tell Dublin's story through the people who walk through the door of Quentins she gets more than she bargained for.
So pour yourself a cup of tea and book the best seat in the house for a relaxing time at Quentins.
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Format: Hardcover
Having thought that Maeve Binchy had retired from her craft in 2001, I was surprised and thrilled when "Quentins" appeared, and I snapped it up.
"Quentins" is by no means Binchy's best book. It's a bit tired, a bit confusing, and its tone is ever so slightly cynical. I hope this is not a reflection of Binchy's state of mind, but merely the subject matter of the plot. The heroine, Ella, a strangely one-dimensional character when compared with Binchy's usual, sails through an exemplary early life only to fall madly, obsessively in love with the wrong man.
Ella's story is told with Quentins, a fictional upscale Dublin restaurant, as the backdrop. Through this popular eatery, we meet lots of interesting people, whose stories we learn--and we have the return, however briefly, of some previous Binchy characters as well. But even they do not have the life they had in the original books--they seem somehow two-dimensional. I don't know whether that was the fault of this reader, who had a lot of trouble keeping all the names straight, or of Binchy herself, who is practically sacred in my eyes!
I would never recommend reading this book as a first taste of Maeve Binchy. But for those of us who have followed her wonderful literary career through the years, and who have read her entire collection, it's a joy just to be reading another offering when we thought that Binchy had retired from writing. If this were any other author, I would rate the book a 3. But I just can't do that; the book captured and kept my interest, and although its odd tone made me uneasy, I'm not at all sorry I read it. Binchy fans: Go for it, but don't expect "Circle of Friends" or its ilk. Binchy newcomers: pick another book, such as the aforementioned, before tackling this one.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I've observed the following about Maeve Binchy's books - I tend to like the sprawling, character-driven sagas but find her short story collections dissatisfying. Although "Quentins" has a unified theme related to a documentary film, much of the story involves small sketches of characters which last five to six pages, and are ultimately confusing and somewhat distracting from the central theme. I give this book three stars because of the denouement it provides to some of Ms. Binchy's beloved characters from other works.
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