Cover Image: Pam Ayres - Down the Line

Pam Ayres - Down the Line

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Member Reviews

With typical Pam Ayres humour this collection of some of her "discussions" with her audiences we find that the lady of poetic humour is still as endearing and enjoyable as she always was. It was such a delight to revisit the wonderfully accented voice of my childhood, listening along with my mum who introduced me to her many years ago, it has been a real journey of fun, laughter and enjoyment. Well worth a listen for all those of a certain age that remember with fondness the sartorial wisdom on the wonderful Pam Ayres.

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A lovely escape for a few hours. Fun but not frivolous, many of the poems stayed with me after I'd finished listening and I will definitely listen to this audiobook again.

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I remember enjoying poetry as a child, and that is mostly because of Pam Ayres. My grandparents were fans, so we’d sit and watch her TV specials together. They also owned several of her books, which I read. Pam Ayres made poetry fun. (Then I got to high school, where I was introduced to “proper” poetry, and lost all interest in the genre.)

So I requested the audiobook of Down the line for review for two reasons: to see if Pam Ayres was as much fun as I remembered, and to test my (dis)like of audiobooks. This recording shows I like both, as long as it’s the right poet reading the right poetry.

Yes, this collection is entirely performed by Pam Ayres herself. It’s recordings of two of her recent live performances, followed by her reading a handful of poems from her latest book at the end. I particularly enjoyed the live performance, particularly Pam’s own commentary about and in between the poems. That gave an insight into her life and personality, and I can see why my grandparents were fans. They were English and would have grown up in similar circumstances to Pam Ayres. Listening to her from far-off New Zealand would have brought back memories of post-war England.

I did enjoy some of the poems more than others. My favourites were the ones where she talks about being a woman of a certain age. Her reflections on aging were funny and all to relevant and relatable.

If you’ve heard or read Pam Ayres before, you’ll enjoy this recording. If not, give it a go and let Pam Ayres remind you that life (and poetry) aren’t meant to be taken too seriously.

Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for providing a free audiobook for review.

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This was so much fun. I wasn't actually familiar with Pam Ayres, but I quickly fell in love with her quirky, down-to-earth humour. Down the Line contains recordings of 2 live shows, as well as introductions to each section and some readings of her poems. Lots of laughter and a great emotional release.

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Hilarious and moving in equal measure, as always with Pam Ayres.

The live show recordings had more life to them - unsurprising as this kind of poetry is best when read to an responsive audience, and Pam seemed to feed off their reactions. But the studio recordings included two absolute gems that both moved me to tears: her poem on the National Health Service and her tribute to her sister.

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Pam Ayres has a distinctive voice and a quintessentially British sense of humour that is based on observation, daily life and character – it’s never smutty or crass, but it is definitely hilarious and will appeal across the generations. I don’t think anyone who has travelled by aeroplane will fail to recognise her experiencing of visiting “the airline toilet”, and the description of obtaining & then getting into her first wetsuit on a holiday to Newquay is priceless!
The contents of this audiobook are a mixture of humour, nostalgia and poignancy. I first encountered Pam Ayres as a child with her “Oh I wish I’d looked after me teeth” poem, and her simple rhymes that are down to earth still amuse me 40 years later: “I always like a dog at home, it makes it nice and hairy, and if a burglar calls, your dog will make the place sound scary. Your dog will idolise you, and his love will never stop, You only need some food and drink, a bucket and a mop”
Pam often looks at life from a different view & we get poems from “Fred the Grand National Horse” and in “Down the Line”, her poignant poem written for the centenary of the end of WW1, there is a section from the point of view of the railway tracks” – she is an animal lover & has such a way with words that poems like “Tippy Tappy Feet” about the death of a beloved family pet, and “The Last Hedgehog” about the decline of the species are enough to bring tears to your eyes, whilst you are also trying hard not to laugh at the observational humour.
This audiobook is a compilation of recordings from two recent stage shows – Pam introduces each recording and then reads many of her more recent poems, with anecdotes & stories in between. Trly delightful and the perfect tonic for a dark winter’s day or for some light hearted relief in these uncertain days.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this audiobook free via Netgalley. Whilst thanks go to the publisher for the opportunity to read it, all opinions are my own.
#PamAyresDowntheLine #NetGalley

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Read a number of Pam ayres books a few years ago live her humour. This was the same. A fantastic view on varied aspects of life. Unfortunately every time I pause the ebook and restarted it went back to the beginning

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I have very fond memories of listening to Pam Ayres when I was a young child, "I Wish I'd Looked After Me Teeth" springs to mind but I have to confess I didn't know she was still writing let alone performing on stage, so the offer to review this audio book came as a lovely surprise. Listening to Pam is a bit like having your favourite and slightly eccentric auntie in the room, reminiscing about the past in a gentle way. She has a rare talent for picking up on the most normal of every day events and finding humour in them, and listening to the two live shows in the book, I could definitely identify with the audiences as I found myself chuckling away to Pam's shrewd observations. I totally understand where she was coming from in the "have I left my tongs on?" saga - I too have been there, rushed home in a panic to find them switched off! - and gosh, I remember my Mum having the same dreadful block of mascara and the little blue brush!! I think this in one of the reasons the poems are so well received is that most of us have been in at least some of the situations she so wittily describes. One thing that struck me this time around is that some of her writing is very poignant and even quite sad in places, such as a the loss of a dog and the poem about all the soldiers who would never come home. These made a marked contrast and displayed a great all-round depth of talent that certainly brought a tear to my eye. I shall certainly be looking out for her future works.

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This is Pam at her best. I loved listening to this audio book. Pam has a soothing satrical voice that makes her poetry come alive in a much better way that just reading the poetry. Pam depicts life in such an easy tp re;ate to manner that you feel that she is talking about you the reader. Read this book and expect to get lots of laughter and annoy others around oyu if they cannot hear what you are laughing at.

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Listening to Pam Ayres read her poetry is a joy and can not help smiling and feeling warm inside like you have had a big hug. It is like returning home. My Mum would always listen to her an chuckle with her honesty and unique view of the world. This audio made me do the same.

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If you are looking for a way to have an amusing few hours, you need to grab this audiobook. I laughed so hard. It was like hearing a live performance (wait, it was) made up of irreverent and amusing poetry.

I had not heard of Pam Ayres, but Nicki, over at Secret Library Book Blog reviewed it and I had to give it a listen. Well, she is hilarious. Not only do we hear her poetry, but the background of why she wrote it (sometimes funnier than the poem itself) and incidents that occured when she read it performed it. This is a relatively short listen, but I know I will listen to it again. A great way to lift the doldrums.

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As a teenager I had a Pam Ayres poster about teeth which made me laugh and clean my teeth! More recently I have caught a bit of Pam on a panel game or being interviewed and she has continued to make me laugh so I was delighted to listen to this collection. No one else could read these poems but Pam - poems are meant to be read out loud, to be given a voice which adds flow, rhythm, meaning and emphasis. Pam understands her poems like no one else, adds subtle dramatic pauses and the odd infectious giggle. I loved the anecdotal introductions to each poem which added to my sense of Pam as a great animal lover, kind and compassionate. The two live performances included provided a real sense of occasion, the rapport between Pam and her audience and the beautiful sound of people laughing alongside you. Pam says at one point that when she is asked where her ideas come from she replies ‘my flaws and frailties’. This is a deeply human collection of poems - Pam frequently pokes fun at herself, at her age and size but so many other wonderful personal qualities are revealed. The poetry covers a wide range of subjects - travel, hats, dogs. The poems are mainly laugh out loud funny, but some are poignant, reflective and sad in the case of the race horse who died on the hottest day of the year, and the poor occupants of the animal shelter awaiting a new home. The collection is very topical (there is one about Covid) very relevant, astutely observed and an absolute joy to listen to.
With thanks to Netgalley and W.F.Howes for a copy of this audiobook.

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If you are around my age, you will remember when Pam Ayres first came on the scene after appearing on the talent show Opportunity Knocks, and enchanting us with such delights as "Oh, I wish I'd looked after me teeth"!

It is a compliment to Pam's delightful way with words, and her ability to draw on the ridiculous elements in life, that she is still going strong and charming audiences, readers and listeners today.

This, her latest audio book, entitled 'Down the Line', is a wonderful mix of the recordings of two of her live concerts, where she reads some of her poems and bits from her autobiography, and a selection of some of her more recent poems read by Pam herself (with added narration)..

I enjoyed the whole, marvelous thing, with lots of chuckling and a few tears shed along the way - her humour and the knack she has of getting to the heart of the matter is just sublime and a timely antidote to the strange days we find ourselves in.

My particular favourite was the poem after which the collection is titled, 'Down the Line', which Pam wrote to commemorate the centenery of the end of WW I, which was so moving that it made me sob.

This is an absolutely cracking collection!

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Such Humorous and (Stealthily) Insightful Poems

I had never heard of Pam Ayres before. But I enjoy humor and a good poem, so I thought this audiobook might be fun. I'm happy to say I enjoyed it very much. Her poems are fun, often silly, but also quite often very insightful into the minutiae of life and human nature. I laughed out loud on several occasions and smiled on many more. I plan to share this with my 81-year-old mother; I think she would get a real hoot out of it. This is an unusual audiobook in that it's not just the straight reading of a physical book. It's divided into three sections. Two are audio recordings of poetry readings she did in front of crowds. She interacts so well with the audience, and I think having people in front of her actually heightens her readings of her poems. The final section is a collection of newer poems and ones she most enjoys. In all these sections, before she gets to a particular poem, she describes the real-life event or musing that inspired it. As someone who works with creatives, I enjoyed these insights into her clever mind. Her narration of the book certainly adds to the enjoyment of it all. If you enjoy humorous poems as I do, even if you haven't heard of her, I highly recommend that you get this audiobook and just sit back and enjoy the laughs and the insights.

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Now before I say how much I loved this, which I did, I do have to start by saying that I think you have to be a fan of Pam Ayres to enjoy it or at least a fan of quirky British humour! Now I've done the warning, I can tell you what I thought. I loved this so much, I enjoyed hearing her voice as she talks. I enjoyed the variety of content and the hilarious poems, I was laughing out loud. V Good.

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I was struggling with a book I was listening to and thought I'd give myself a bit of light relief by swapping to Pam Ayres' collection of poems. I don't even understand poetry normally, but I've heard Pam Ayres since I was a teenager and I knew it was poetry at my level. She is hilarious!

This collection contains two shows that Pam performed and then some newer work at the end. I'm surprised to hear myself saying it, but I was much more involved when listening 'with' others and enjoying their laughter, than when listening to the readings without an audience.

She makes shrewd observations on life about things that affect us all.
She makes us think, she makes us laugh, what more could you ask for?
I'm off to search out more Pam Ayres audiobooks.

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Three hours of rib-tickling, relatable, rude rhymes

Over two live shows and a collection, Pam Ayres recites for us some of her latest poetry. I'm aware of Pam, have read verses of hers here and there, though am not a follower, per se.

But this had me smirking and giggling, anticipating rhymes and feeling as though I would get on very well with the writer, a woman a couple of decades my senior but who clearly observes life and humans with empathy and an eye for the absurd.

Poems range from the bittersweet about saying goodbye to a beloved dog or family home, to the ridiculous problems of missing Lego pieces and insomnia.

I love her talent for smooth rhymes, and the fact that she doesn't shy away from a rude word or ten. And Pam Ayres is a warm and personable reader of her own work. With a regional accent that adds charm to the text, she brings out the timing and subtlety of her words, sometimes there is emotion there that brings a lump to the throat as well. You could listen to her read her poems and even just chat all day.

It's one I'd listen to again, and even try to memorise a few of my favourites. I enjoyed the introductions to poems, as Pam gives us some detail about how some of them were created, their origins, which gives some useful (and often funny) background to many. She does tell a story well.

National Treasure. And a lethal wit.

With thanks to Netgalley for providing a sample audio copy.

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This was an such a delight to listen to, and had me crying with laughter on numerous occasions. In fact I had to stop listening, because my glasses kept fogging up!😂 Needless to say don’t listen to this whilst driving, or you may have an accident!
Pam Ayres is a fantastic poet who I’ve enjoyed listening to on the radio for years. I’ve never seen her perform live, but after listening to this, I would love too!
As synopsis says above, this recording includes two live concerts which were just brilliant. It was lovely to hear the audience laughing along to Pam’s poems and her observations on life, and her performance was fantastic! I started making a list of the poems I enjoyed, but stopped when I realised that my list was probably going to be longer than this review! 😀
If you haven’t come across Pam before where have you been hiding? 😉 Some of the topics for her poems include going up to attic amongst all the forgotten objects, having to buy new varifocals glasses and the horrifying expense that entails, long haul flights, dinner parties, wet suits, snorers, pets, Twitter and so much more.
I definitely recommend this if you’re looking for an audiobook that will make you laugh out loud.

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This is absolutely hilarious, I mean it’s Pamso I had no doubt it would be, but I always forget how much I love her and she makes me hurt with laughter. It’s like having a familiar family member round that makes you laugh listening to this, that’s the familiarity it feels like listening to Pam, her observations and quirks are so relatable, so funny and have you agreeing in between guffaws. Just fabulous and perfect.

Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for a free copy for an honest opinion

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Pam Ayers is like that favourite Aunt you love to have around. I seem to have grown up with her. She writes wonderful witty poetry. What is clever is she can take such an ordinary subject (dog treats in a rustling bag) and have you laughing out loud. Unlike so many comedians these days she doesn’t need smut to get a reaction. Just a wonderful way with words.
I have listened to the audiobook whilst driving. Pam has a very distinct voice. Other travellers were looking on in amusement as I’m laughing my head off listening to Pam description of her first attempt at getting into a wetsuit on a Newquay holiday. Perhaps it’s because I can imagine that’s my mum. Even my daughter was trying not to smile as we drove on.
A very entertaining audiobook.
Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for the arc in return for an honest review.
#PamAyresDowntheLine #NetGalley

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