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Dissolution Audiobook

Dissolution: Shardlake, Book 1

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Publisher's Summary

Dissolution: the first book in the best-selling Shardlake series. It is 1537, a time of revolution that sees the greatest changes in England since 1066.

Henry VIII has proclaimed himself Supreme Head of the Church. The country is waking up to savage new laws, rigged trials and the greatest network of informers ever seen. And under the orders of Thomas Cromwell, a team of commissioners is sent throughout the country to investigate the monasteries.

There can only be one outcome: dissolution. But on the Sussex coast, at the monastery of Scarnsea, events have spiralled out of control. Cromwell's Commissioner, Robin Singleton, has been found dead, his head severed from his body. His horrific murder is accompanied by equally sinister acts of sacrilege.

Matthew Shardlake, lawyer and long-time supporter of Reform, has been sent by Cromwell to uncover the truth behind the dark happenings at Scarnsea. But investigation soon forces Shardlake to question everything that he hears, and everything that he intrinsically believes....

©2003 C. J. Sansom (P)2014 Pan Macmillan Publishers Ltd.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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Performance
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  •  
    Hannah Manchester 01/12/2014
    Hannah Manchester 01/12/2014 Member Since 2016

    Read the classics, write your own rules

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Time Travellers Beware....."
    What made the experience of listening to Dissolution the most enjoyable?

    This novel is so well written that you are immediately sucked into the turbulent world of Tudor England and the dissolution of the monasteries. Prior to this I had not read much historical fiction set within this period - preferring true history to fiction - however through the use of Shardlake's role as lawyer and his outsider status derived from his hunch back Sansom is able to present the whole scale of Tudor society rather than focusing solely on the highest classes. Real insight is therefore given into the lives of ordinary people and new perspectives on the upper classes than those shown in the non-fiction I have read.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Shardlake himself I think - despite a tendency to appraise all women as either 'pretty' or 'not-pretty' he is a very human character. His sympathies may sometimes seem a little out of sync with the historical time in which he lives but, by suspending ones disbelief, this only serves to make his character more endearing.


    Which character – as performed by Steven Crossley – was your favourite?

    Although yet to appear until later in the series; Barrack (not sure that's spelt correctly - one problem with audio reading) was performed so well by Steven Crossley. Although, speaking of the entire series, I did notice that the narrator changes his style completely by book 4 - so much so I was convinced the novels were no longer being performed by Steven Crossley. I cannot understand why this was done as it interrupted the flow of the series somewhat while I tried to get used to the new character voices.


    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rev Peter Weatherby Stoke-on-Trent 21/02/2015
    Rev Peter Weatherby Stoke-on-Trent 21/02/2015 Member Since 2011

    Avid reader of murder and crime mysteries, and legal thrillers too. I also enjoy humorous, observational writing.

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    "Excellent historical & mystery drama"

    I enjoyed this immensely. The historical background is well drawn and the issues and ideas at stake are dealt with clearly and with suitable accuracy. The writing has just enough idiom from the time to make the narrative convincing, and the performance exploits this to the full. I am no a great fan of Shardlake!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carolyn 21/07/2015
    Carolyn 21/07/2015 Member Since 2015
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    "A compelling story"
    What did you like most about Dissolution?

    I enjoyed the balance of period writing and whodunnit story. The historical elements add interest but never take over the story.


    What about Steven Crossley’s performance did you like?

    He really brought to life the character of Matthew Shardlake and provided distinctive voices for the other characters, too. He provides a menacing voice for Thomas Cromwell which helps to evoke the fear that pervaded that period.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kate Southwood 06/01/2017
    Kate Southwood 06/01/2017 Member Since 2016
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    "Dissolution a version of truth"

    Enjoyed the story very much but disagree with the portrayal of Cromwell. It is only my opinion but I feel William Cromwell has been blacken in the way Richard 111 has been. This does not distract from the book in any way.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MAW 02/01/2017
    MAW 02/01/2017 Member Since 2015
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    "Fantastic Rendition"

    Really enjoyed listening to this story. well delivered and very entertaining. would highly reccommend it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Simon Zohhadi 21/12/2016
    Simon Zohhadi 21/12/2016 Member Since 2016
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    "The Spirit of Thomas More"

    Dissolution is a fine novel. It is Umberto Eco's The Name Of The Rose in an English setting during the Reformation. As an English Catholic, the Reformation was a disappointing time in history albeit it a fascinating one. If you have read The Name Of The Rose (the benchmark for medieval murder mysteries) then it may detract a little from this entertaining piece of fiction. Moreover, it's not quite as good as the author's last novel Lamentation which is one of my favourite novels of all-time. Despite the above two reasons, I still rate it 5/5. Recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    BJD 07/11/2016
    BJD 07/11/2016 Member Since 2016
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    "History comes alive"

    An excellent story set within known historical events. Excellently narrated by Crossley really brings the book and the characters alive!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MandyM Wilts 21/08/2016
    MandyM Wilts 21/08/2016 Member Since 2015

    iammitch626

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    "Murder and mayhem"

    Enjoyed the book, it's the third Shardlake one I've read, and as per usual it shows an unbiased treatment of historical figures with the argument for dissolution and Cromwell's character both being well represented (if you believe him to be the mix between philanthropist and self interested reformist he is so often presented as).
    it would be nice to see Shardlake have a bit of luck on the he relationship front occasionally though.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ian 06/08/2016
    Ian 06/08/2016 Member Since 2015
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    "Dissolution."

    Great story telling framed with historical accuracy, one is left without doubt that hard and brutal times were endured by most people.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Philip 01/06/2016
    Philip 01/06/2016 Member Since 2016
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    "Shardlake rules!"

    An intriguing and frightening vision of Tudor England!!! Shardlake is an excellent character and the plotting is superb. I was completely immersed. If you've never read C.J.Sansom, start with this. Steven Crossley's narration is absolutely spot on.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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