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The Half-Life of Marie Curie

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  1,420 ratings  ·  216 reviews
In 1912, scientist Marie Curie spent two months on the British seaside at the home of Hertha Ayrton, an accomplished mathematician, inventor, and suffragette. At the time, Curie was in the throes of a scandal in France over her affair with Paul Langevin, which threatened to overshadow the accomplishment of her second Nobel Prize.

Performed by Kate Mulgrew and Francesca
Audible Audio
Published December 5th 2019 by Audible
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Sonja Arlow
3.5 stars

Mari Curie was not only famous for her Nobel prizes but also her scandalous affair with a married man. The story focuses on her getting to grips with how she was shunned and vilified after the story broke and how she picked the pieces of her life with the help of her dear (and similarly accomplished) friend Hertha Ayrton.

The second part of the book focused on both women’s lives after that summer and boy what interesting lives they lived.

The way the story was told in the 2nd half was
Lis Carey
Dec 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Marie Curie was a scientist of tremendous accomplishments at a time when it was much harder than now for women to have careers in science at all. She was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, and the person, and one of only two to this point, to win two Nobels in different scientific fields. Her 1903 Nobel, with her husband Pierre, and Henri Becquerel, was in physics. Pierre Curie died in a road accident in 1906, and Marie Curie continued her research alone. In 1911, she won a second Nobel, in ...more
Jenny Baker
Dec 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
I got this free as one of my monthly Audible Originals. Two women perform the reenactment and they do a great job. It's short, but enjoyable.
Alan Teder
Reposting after the deletion of 12 Audible Originals Dec. 17-18, 2019.
Goodreads purged about 12 (that I could identify) Audible Original audiobooks at the end of the year 2019 as they apparently did not meet guidelines. Those audiobooks that have been converted from podcasts are apparently the main issue. Others that are short novellas, memoirs or audio productions of theatrical plays do not seem justified, but appeals may have no success. This current edition of The Half-Life of Marie Curie is
Nathan Burgoine
Jan 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audiobooks
Wow. That was fantastic. I know Audible is basically a branch of Evil-Inc., but those two incredible women performing as those two incredible women... Anyway. Wow. (Coherent thoughts another day, when I'm not trying to warm up after a long walk with the husky).
Ciprian Dobre-Trifan
Dec 18, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: literature
The narration was absolutely amazing, but the story was way too childish for my taste.
I picked this up solely because I adore Kate Mulgrew, so I wasn't disappointed at all on that front because she is such an emotional performer that I figured she could stir a rock to feel empathetic toward her character. I was unfamiliar with Francesca Faridany's work prior to this Audible Original, but I feel she held her own playing opposite Mulgrew.

This is production is called "The Half-Life of Marie Curie," but it seems to be it was as much about Hertha Aryton as Curie, and focuses more on
Nancy Holte
For me a two-star review means it’s not the worst book I’ve ever read but it didn’t thrill me. Again, just might not be for me right now.

The main problem I had with this story was the language. It's only 1 hour and 19 minutes long and in that brief time I heard so much profanity that I almost turned it off. The thing that kept me going though was the depiction of the friendship between Marie Curie and Hertha Ayrton. Hertha was there for Marie when her life started to unravel. She encouraged
Rob Ramos
Dec 19, 2019 rated it liked it
This was a decent play. I'm not sure if the feminist viewpoints expressed were so heavy handed because the characters who held them were extremely outspoken or if it's because the playwright was trying to get a point across. Regardless, it's the story of Marie Curie and Hertha Ayerton and their friendship as Marie's life begins to unravel in the public eye. They are good friends and the play brings this out clearly, but the story never goes very deep. There are some melodramatic moments, ...more
Dec 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
For the short production that it was, this was a joy to listen to. It was slickly written and wonderfully performed and packed an emotional wallop.

Francesca Faridany was terrific while Kate Mulgrew was an absolute force of nature, kind of like an old English suffragette Captain Janeway. This was a truly wonderful, if brief, encapsulation of a friendship between two brilliant women facing the eternal struggle together.

Since it was so short, I'm glad it was free. I would not have used up an
Dec 24, 2019 rated it liked it
The Good: Inspiring story of friendship between scientists Curie and Ayrton
The Bad: Focuses on their personal lives more than their professional accomplishments
The Literary: Superb audio performances, with foley and stage sounds

During the time she received her second Nobel Prize, Marie Curie escaped France to the south of England after her affair with Paul Langevin threatened her entire career. (She was widowed; Langevin was separated from his wife at the time). Curie’s close friend Hertha
Jan 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio, play
This was one of the free Audible Originals I chose in December 2019. I admire Marie Curie - quite a feat for a woman to be awarded two Nobel prizes in two different hard sciences. This play provides a peak into her personal life. It tells about her friendship with Hertha Ayrton, another female scientist about whom I knew nothing but definitely sounds like I should. I enjoyed the play and thought the women playing Curie and Ayrton did a good job. I would now like to see the play.
Jack Hansen
I am transported back in time to the days of radio when it is the only medium for entertainment besides the stage. I absolutely love this performance. The short story about Marie Curie, her accomplishments, and her scandalous affair, pointed out by her dear British friend as a double standard, brings me to tears and laughter during poignant professional portrayals by Francesca Faridany and Kate Mulgrew. Its production is a work of art with sounds of life in the background and dialogue delivery ...more
Lynn Reynolds
Dec 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobooks, 2019
I loved this! I’d never heard of Hertha Ayrton, but she sounds freakin’ awesome. My next job will be to find a decent biography of her life.

This short audio play takes Curie’s notorious affair with a younger, married scientist as its inciting incident and uses that to examine the unreal expectations placed on all women, especially accomplished, talented women. Both Hertha and Marie suffer the same struggles as many women today - the fight to be taken seriously in their careers, the challenge of
Christina Catron
Jan 03, 2020 rated it liked it
I liked this so much more than I expected. I can't wait to learn more about Marie Curie and her amazing life.
Dec 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
The goings on in the minds of women are a mystery to us men. This is a woman's story, written by a woman, performed by women about women and the things women struggle with. Please don't misunderstand, I do not mean it is for women, only that is gives insight into those strange creatures we men share our lives with and find completely baffling.

The story (fictionalized but based on true events I gather) takes places as two major events happen in the life of Marie Curie, first, it is exposed that
Joshua Rigsby
Jan 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Surprisingly good. I learned a lot.
Dec 18, 2019 rated it liked it
I enjoyed this Audible original but I am glad it did not go any longer than it did. We follow the lives of two extraordinary women as they intersect one summer but I was disappointed that the focus of the story was primarily on the aftermath of Marie Curie’s affair and not her work. The listener should come in with prior knowledge of her accomplishments in order to understand the subject of her illness and the radium she carries around with her. The voice acting was good but there was so little ...more
Chris Esposo
Dec 30, 2019 rated it it was ok
Though not my cup of tea, this is an excellently produced "radio drama" on Marie Curie, the second freebie produced by Audible in this year. Her 100th birth date was 2017, so not sure what the significance (if any) is there for 2019, to merit two productions, or perhaps it's just coincidence.
Whereas the previous one dealt with the early life of Curie just prior her winning her first Nobel Prize, this one takes place a decade later as she is about to win her second. Though, the story is more on
Dec 31, 2019 rated it liked it
An interesting recorded performance of the two-woman play by Lauren Gunderson from Audible's Emerging Playwrights Fund. Both of the performances were quite good, with Kate Mulgrew and Francesca Faridany in the roles of little-known (to me) Hertha Ayrton and Marie. Ayrton was quite accomplished in her own right with significant improvements to the new electric arc light, and mathematical understanding of particle waves.

I guess for me the program fell down was ultimately due to the lack of overall
Jan 05, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: audio-book
It was interesting to listen to, but I didn't really understand why the book/play had to be framed as part of the scandal of Marie Curie with a married man. I mean they did talk about the things that she and Hertha Ayrton did - and contributed and invented, but why isn't that enough to get people interested in the story - why does it have to be about the scandal (which in all honesty I didn't know anything about. ) but overall it was enjoyable to listen to and I learned a bit of new things.
Jan 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Who knew this just-under two hour listen would be the best way to start 2020. Still in 2020, 100 years after we won the fight that secured our right to vote, women have it hard. 100 years ago, women had it harder. Even brilliant, Nobel prize winning women. It makes you wonder how much more the brilliant women in this short could have accomplished if the government, men, media, and the system hadn’t thrown obstacles in their paths. The fight continues, and this is a sobering yet motivational ...more
Jan 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was a quick listen on Audible. It was free. Only an hour and fifteen minutes. Narrators: Kate Mulgrew and Francesca Faridany made you feel you were watching a movie. I'm not sure if it is all factual from Marie Curie's life but it seemed plausible. I loved the messages for women's rights given life.

If you get the chance it is a good read/listen.
Dec 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
I will readily admit I looked at this Original solely because of Kate Mulgrew. For me she made the audio. I loved her character of Hertha Ayrton, her fire and her love. This is a story of love and friendship and I'm happy I listened to it.
Andy Klein
Dec 18, 2019 rated it it was ok
I feel bad about dinging this free Audible offering, but ding it I am. Although I had no idea that Marie Curie had been ostracized after having a lengthy affair with a married man (after Pierre had died), her angst on that score merited perhaps 10 minutes--not 2.5 hours. I imagine that some will enjoy her interaction with Hertha Ayrton and the snippets of their backstories, but I was bored throughout. I would be keen to read a biography of Ayrton, who seems worthy of an extended treatment. For ...more
Stack Fully Booked
Jan 05, 2020 rated it liked it
This was a sweet story about the relationship between two women scientists when being a female in science was not an easy thing. The story is short and endearing. The epilogue of their lives after their summer together was a nice ending, I appreciated the information it provided.
There were a few quotes I quite liked. I'll have to look up and write down just so to remember fondly.
A great and inspiring story.
Dec 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely delightful. The lives of two brilliant women of science, from the prism of their friendship. The dialogue sparkled and the actors delivered them with wit and emotion.
Marcy Wells
Dec 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I am loving so many of the Audible originals. This one gave me a little historical taste of two amazing women and left me wanting to learn more.
Dec 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wow. Short, so well done. I felt like I was watching a play.
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