Nick Clegg lords it over Leo Tolstoy and James Joyce (and Craig Oliver)

Written by David Singleton on 27 November 2017 in Diary

People have been powering through the audio version of the ex-Lib Dem leader's memoir.

Nick Clegg may have lost his seat to a man who was subsequently suspended by the Labour party over claims of sexist and homophobic remarks.

But the former Liberal Democrat leader can comfort himself with the knowledge that his memoir, Politics: Between the Extremes, has outperformed famous works by Leo Tolstoy and James Joyce.

Or at least the audio version has.

According to, a healthy 67.5 per cent of people who downloaded the Clegg book went on to finish it. War and Peace had a 22 per cent completion rate, while Ulysses was only completed by 7.5 per cent of purchasers.

Clegg’s audiobook success could have something to do with the fact that he narrates the audio version of the book himself. But it is more likely explained by the fact that Ulysses requires over 31 hours of listening and War and Peace goes on for almost 61 hours. provided completion rates for books listened to through apps and online. Other politicians performing well were Boris Johnson (for The Churchill Factor) and Alan Johnson (for This Boy). Both recorded completion rates higher than 50 per cent.

At the other end of the table was Sir Craig Oliver’s book Unleashing Demons. "To read this book is to suffer a form of intellectual claustrophobia, trapped in Oliver’s narrow world," said James Kirkup in a scathing review in October. The figures suggest that many audiobook readers agreed - with just 21.4 per cent getting to the end.




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