Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award 2014
Melanie is a very special girl. Dr Caldwell calls her 'our little genius'.
Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don't like her. She jokes that she won't bite, but they don't laugh.
Melanie loves school. She loves learning about spelling and sums and the world outside the classroom and the children's cells. She tells her favourite teacher all the things she'll do when she grows up.
Melanie doesn't know why this makes Miss Justineau look sad.
©2014 M. R. Carey (P)2014 Hachette Audio
"A great read that takes hold of you and doesn´t let go." (John Ajvide Lindqvist, author of Let The Right One In)
"Brilliant... Gripping right to the end." (Sunday Times best-selling author Carole Matthews)
Having listened to hundreds of audiobooks, this is the first review that I've written … and I'm doing so only because my opinion is so at odds with the two-and-a-half stars that this book has been awarded so far.
I found this a thoroughly gripping and thought-provoking tale; a highly original take on, to be honest, a somewhat hackneyed genre. (I won't mention the genre, as the part of the joy is the gradual unfolding of the protagonist's identity.)
The characters are satisfyingly rounded and the plot both engaging and pacey. From the outset through to the final few minutes, I had no idea of the book's conclusion and, when it finally came, I was far from disappointed.
Mention must also go to Finty Williams for some beautiful characterisation and a warm and textured performance.
So, if I’m waxing so lyrical about this production, why has it been so poorly received elsewhere? Well, I have to admit that it's not the book I had anticipated; and this is due to the necessarily vague publisher’s description. (As I mentioned earlier, giving too much away at the beginning would leach the joy from the first section of the book). So, like me, perhaps other listeners didn’t end up with the book they’d anticipated but, unlike me, found themselves in too much of an unfamiliar setting to enjoy their surroundings.
So, without giving too much away, what you get in the box is, ostensibly, a somewhat bleak post-apocalyptic drama, laced with plenty of warmth to balance the grit and revolving around an intriguingly textured central character. I hope that you find the surprises as pleasing as I did.
I get bored quickly so take ages choosing my books. Preferred authors are Sanderson, Rothfuss, Abercrombie, tho' C Harris makes me laugh too
I really struggle sometimes to find a book that hits the spot. Having been spoiled with Sanderson and Rothfuss, whose epic fantasies tick every box, it's regularly hard to find a viable alternative. This book was it. Not a true fantasy by my standards, rather it's of the apocalyptic variety.
Enough new stuff to keep me interested - and keep me thinking. Well written too. One of those books that will stay with me for many years, I'm sure.
It has a slight shock factor - probably hits different people at different stages. Well narrated.
Certainly worth a credit - even if not your normal genre.
I run a Gallery in the Lake District with my husband. This gives me a lot of opportunity to listen to audio books.
time to think
My house has never been so clean, I made up jobs to carry on listening, The whole concept of what we could become
I have not stopped thinking about the play of characters since I finished this. I forgot time and place and lost myself in this book.
I loved everything about this book. The story was gripping from start to finish, the characterisation pulled me in from the beginning and Carey rapidly built a world I wanted to know more about. The genre was familiar but this was such a different take that it never felt clichéd, and the very British nature of the story also made it more haunting for me. And the ending - perfect.
I had never heard this narrator before but she captured the voices and the tone perfectly and really added to the novel.
I admit that I was sad that there was no new Felix Castor but if this is an example of what we can expect from Carey in the future then I'm very happy indeed.
Yes, definitely. You immediately get drawn into the main characters and I finished the book in 24 hrs
Actually the teacher. I found her to be both likeable and naive.
The pace of the narration was perfect as was the pitch. I was extremely content to listen for hours on end.
Yes. I cried at the end. Not giving anything away but it was a satisfactory ending.
Not my normal sort of read but this was a class act and I am so glad I followed the recommendation. My only complaint and it shows how picky I am, was the use of the word "Hungries" it just jagged a bit. The hard hitting story being told with the child view to the front makes the whole much more sinister and disturbing.
The end is to die for, loads of pun intended. I had not seen that coming.
Not sure if there could ever be a sequel or prequel. I can but hope.
Slight surprise was to find out the author was a man. I had assumed it was a female author all the way through. Now I need to find out who M R Carey really is.
Basically this a great read and I would recommend to anyone, provided they are OK with a bit of horror and gore.
Nice one M R
I was a skeptic of audible books, but I've been won over! I listen to my books everywhere, even while cooking. Audible is a perfect escape!
Top 3, definitely!!
Miss Justanou because she identified, accepted and sought to protect the childlike innocence of Melanie despite the danger of Melanie's nature.
Yes, definitely yes!! She almost had a distinct voice for each character and through the appropriate voice she reflected their intended character extremely well!!
I don't know.
If I had realised what this story was about I would NOT have chosen it....
It was only once I was into the story that I slowly started to realise that Melanie wasn't normal, nor was her environment. Something made me continue to listen and I became more and more engrossed!
I ended up listening avidly to the whole book and eagerly returning for more.
I really enjoyed it and, as I said at the begining, I would not have chosen it or anything of this ilk....very pleasantly surprised!
An unexpected story, I wouldn't normally listen to a book where the main character is a child, but this was a real surprise as a fast moving story with an original theme
Well worth a read !
I listen to a lot of audiobooks, in lots of different genres, and every now and then you come across one that is extra good. And I have to say 'The Girl with Al the Gifts' is really quite wonderful.
It's really well written, and the narration is perfect. I loved everything about it!
"Incredibly touching and chilling all at once"
A different type of zombie novel that I would recommend to friends who wouldn't normally read sci-fi or horror. The Girl with All the Gifts is a clever, emotional and surprising story. The characters with their clashing ideas and backgrounds take the reader through a rollercoaster of feelings and prove that nothing is ever as clear cut as it first seems.
I haven't read the print version, but I thoroughly enjoyed the audio. There were some fantastic quotables that I would have liked to underline or at least page back to, but otherwise I'm quite satisfied.
No, but I enjoyed this performance.
Carey writes so touchingly about Melanie that my heart wants to break. I adore how she gets the reader closer and closer to her characters. The characters are also fallible, and sometimes downright unlikeable, but generally not stereotypically so. They seem human. Sometimes Dr Caldwell seemed a bit like the Mad Scientist stereotype, though...
"Fabulous, just fabulous"
The Girl with all the Gifts was absolutely teriffic. I enjoyed both the story and the narration immensely. No spoiler but dispite the implication of the end it still seemed 'right' ... completely logical.
"Strong start, ultimately disappointing finish"
A good performance by the narrator and fairly well written - but the story fell flat in the end as a lot of the theory didn't stack up.
I dont know how to explain it without giving away the whole story - but the girl, who is the one with 'all the gifts' is a product of a particular event...and the whole crux of the story is completely undermined by the final scenes. So while you're meant to be shaken by the dramatic ending, to me it didn't add up at all. Meh.
"An excellent listen"
I was really surprised, the book grabs your curiosity right for the start and takes some quite harsh turns which really gripped me and kept me excited throughout. One of the best books I've listened to in some time with a rich story of quite well developed characters and a very unique take on the whole zombie apocalypse. Top marks
"Well written post apocalyptic novel"
Interesting introduction of a popular end apocalyptic scenario. A twist in the usual telling. Was hoping for a different ending but still an enjoyable read.
"fascinating story and perspective"
Great perspective on zombi genre. I really enjoyed this story. main character was fascinating and in many ways easy to love.
This book is the proof that it doesn't matter what the subject is, what's important is the writing. If you have to choose one book to read this year, this should be it.
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