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Ingenious!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 20-06-19

Short on characterisation, but long on ingenuity. This is an excellent Golden Age mystery. As with other John Rhode books, it's fairly easy to work out whodunnit, but it's worth sticking with the story for the solution.

Ingenious golden age mystery

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 22-05-19

A really ingenious murder mystery from the golden age of detective fiction. Thoroughly enjoyable. I guessed who the culprit had to be well before the end, but that didn't affect my enjoyment at all. I find Gordon Griffin's narration to be a bit colourless sometimes, but he was excellent on this one.

Far-fetched and poorly written

Overall
1 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 25-09-18

I persevered with this for 7 hours hoping that it would improve from the poorly-constructed, cliche-filled, psychologically inconsistent and unbelievable story being presented. It didn't. The main character's behaviour is so idiotic that it's both infuriating and totally incredible. The twist is so obvious and signalled so far in advance that the incredibly slow progress of the story becomes even more painful. A waste of time.

Multi-level mystery

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 26-07-17

I really loved this book but was almost put off buying it by a few reviews saying (correctly) that it was composed of two stories, and that one or other of them was disappointing. Not for me! I thought it was excellent throughout.

There is a classic golden age murder mystery which is then folded in to a delicious modern day murder mystery, with lots of meta-jokes and fun references, as well as some really interesting observations about the modern media fascination with murder. The narration was excellent and this is one of the very few audio books I've bought that I literally couldn't stop listening to. I thoroughly recommend it.

Enjoyable if predictable

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-03-17

Ric Jerrom narrates with gusto, but not one of Marsh's best. I guessed whodunnit pretty early on, but it didn't spoil my enjoyment. Listen out for the sultry temptress Mrs Ross.

Good reading of a middling Vine

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-10-15

Not top-notch Barbara Vine, but Robert Powell's reading brings out its best. You may be quite tired of House of Lords reform by the end (I was), and I would have preferred more of the history and less of the present day, but it's an interesting idea reasonably well carried out. Robert Powell is an excellent reader and I will certainly try another book read by him.

1 person found this helpful

Terrific reading brings the book to life

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-03-15

A great reading of a book I much love. Alex Jennings has a huge repertoire of voices which he deploys to great (and often laugh-out-loud) effect. I thought nothing could equal David Timson's brilliant reading of Our Mutual Friend, which I also recommend very highly, but this is just as good.

A Journeying Boy cover art

Great story let down slightly by the narration

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 15-01-15

What did you like most about A Journeying Boy?

Tremendous story, ingenious and gripping, with genuine suspense and moments of truly surreal black comedy. I have discovered since listening to this book that crime writers in both the US and the UK voted it as one of the 100 best crime novels of all time, an accolade it definitely deserves. Follow the blameless and ultra-rational Mr Thewless as he tries to make sense of his eccentric 15 year old pupil, and gets caught up in all sorts of scrapes. The writing style is very much of its time, but if you like John Buchan you will probably like this.

What was one of the most memorable moments of A Journeying Boy?

There are quite a few, but I loved the nightmare journey on the light railway.

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

Alas, no. This book is written in the high ironic style popular in the mid-20th century and the narrator really didn't catch it at all. He made a reasonable job of it but no more than that. In the first few chapters he sounds at times as if he doesn't understand what he's reading, but I was glad I stuck with it.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

It's not a book that aims to tug your heartstrings, so not really.

Any additional comments?

It would be nice if someone from Audible sorted out the bad spelling mistake/typo on the cover artwork, which may be putting readers off. It is also "the" journeying boy, not "a". But this is a neglected gem.

4 people found this helpful