Getting Rid of Bradley by Jennifer Crusie

Narrated by Elenna Stauffer

There is an alchemy which happens when a book and reader join together for a journey and with audiobooks, an added element into the mix is the narrator.  Sometimes, the planets align and the right book, with the right narrator at the right time ends up in the queue and – voila! Success!

So it was with Getting Rid of Bradley. This Harlequin category was released in 2001 and the audiobook in 2010 so it is not in any way a new release. I read the category some time ago and gave the book 3 stars.  But, for some reason – possibly the timing or the narrator or both – when I started listening on my iPod, it was a total success for me.

It’s a romantic comedy/farce, with mistaken identity, many dogs (including a dog joke which isn’t really funny but made me laugh anyway), a cop hero who made me think of Anthony LaPaglia in So I Married An Axed Murderer (although their characters aren’t that similar so I don’t know why that is) and a heroine who packs a punch with a handbag or a baseball bat. Throw in a psychotic cat, a nosy neighbor, a rich sister who doesn’t like men very much, and a match-making cop partner and you have Getting Rid of Bradley.

Elenna Stauffer is a new-to-me narrator. Her male voices weren’t so much deeper in pitch as huskier. On another day it’s possible I may have thought her voice for Zach, the hero, was too squeaky but as she captured the humor of the story and the snap and zing of the dialogue and, as it was the right day (as it turns out), I didn’t.

Lucy, our heroine, is a smart, newly divorced physics teacher who decides it is time to become spontaneous and independent. Her sister, the more streetwise Tina, is always taking care of her. As Lucy points out, Tina’s advice is often spot on, so taking it all the time doesn’t seem like a bad thing until Lucy realizes she’s not making her own decisions. I pictured Tina as Kit, the gum snapping best friend of Vivian from Pretty Woman and the voice Ms. Stauffer gave her matched that image exactly.

The story is old so some aspects of it were a bit dated – more in the absence of things than in the presence of anything too weird. There were no email or texts or even cell phones. The only thing I noted in passing was the reference to the phone with the cord – but I suppose some people have such phones even now and it suited Lucy’s eclectic, vintage personality. There was a typewriter with the old-fashioned carriage return handle but as it was the punch line of a joke which made me laugh, I didn’t mind it.

For me, this was a feel good romp, with two main characters I was happy to see end up together. Now that I’ve finally listened to it, I suspect it will be one I return to from time to time. I guess I’ll see then how much of the magic was the timing.


Narration:  A-

Book Content:  A

Steam Factor:  Glad I had my earbuds in

Violence: Minimal

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Brilliance Audio

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  1. Carrie

    Where possible I’ve listened to all of Crusie’s backlist, and while I like her books in print, I love them on audio. Interestingly, the only Crusie book that hasn’t worked for me, in print or audio, is the perennial favorite, Welcome to Temptation.

    Great review. It makes me want to pick this one up again.

    1. Lea

      So many laughs in Crusie audios!

      I had to comment on your mention of Welcome To Temptation. It has to be in my top ten favorite contemporary romances in PRINT but it does not work for me in audio. A number of my audio pals have argued with me about my stance as they love Aasne Vigesaa. She’s one narrator who doesn’t work for me.

      1. Carrie

        Actually, I liked the narrator! I’m pretty sure she does Faking It, as well and I thought that was one of the funniest books I’ve listened to. In WTT, (which i did finally finish in print) the problem is I didn’t like any of the characters except the guy’s daughter. I thought the “hero” was a total jerk, his mom was pcycho, the lead female was a doormat, and the rest of her family were manipulators. I didn’t even care for Davie in WTT, although I liked him in Faking It.

        Ah, well, differences make the world go ’round!

        1. Lea Hensley

          HA! Funny how we listeners can like the same books much of the time and then be so opposed completely on others!

  2. Brenda Lee

    Great review Kaetrin, I loved Getting Rid of Bradley when it first came out (and wasn’t dated yet :D) and liked it in audio even better.

    I’m like Carrie in having enjoyed all of Cruise’s works in audio for the most part but I have never made it through Welcome to Temptation though I’ve attempted it three times. :)

    And yes Lea – I too thoroughly enjoyed WTT in print.

    1. Lea Hensley

      Not to create sides or anything…

      But I’m happy to see I’m not alone in my wish for some other narrator for WTT! I wonder if it is one of those times when it was such a big favorite in print that I would have been picky about any narrator. But after THREE listens, I can’t talk myself into liking it. Not like I did Linda Howard’s To Die For – a total success of giving a narrator another chance.

  3. Kaetrin

    I loved Aasne Vigesaa’s narration of WTT! I liked the audio better than the book but I reallyl liked the book too. So there. :D

    1. Lea Hensley

      You are the one I recall most clearly telling me in a Speaking of Audiobooks discussion that you loved the WTT audio. And others joined in! So this was kinda fun to post on your review! I figured I’d get a reaction. :)

    2. Melinda

      Hey – Kaetrin, you are not the only WTT fan. I love it! both print and audio – I even like to recommend it to those who aren’t Romance readers because it’s so “out there” and funny and not at all what one would expect from Romance!

      1. Lea

        Sounds like official gal dueling territory…

        1. Kaetrin

          Well, clearly Melinda and I are right!! :D

  4. Brenda

    Not having finished the listen with WTT I’ll have to leave it up to you gals to do the dueling – have fun. ;)

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