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Summary

Rodney Williams's disappearance seems typical to Chief Inspector Wexford - a simple case of a man running off with a woman other than his wife. But when another woman reports that her husband is missing, the case turns unpleasantly complex.
©1985 Kingsmarkham Enterprises, LLC. (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about An Unkindness of Ravens

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Ruth Rendell, Unkindness of Ravens

This 1985 literary detective novel was written at lye height of radical feminism, except here we encounter a schoolgirl interpretation of this tendency in feminism. It first seems to be the backdrop to Chief Inspector and Inspector Burden investigate a murder, only to find themselves threatened by the multiple styles of womanhood, from conventional eye-blinking feminine (Wendy Williams), to the liberal feminism of Sheila Wexford, to the radical approach of the young women's empowerment group ARRIA. What induces two young daughters of the same man to murder him? That matter is what still the novel horribly unputdownable. It's theme is one Rendell tackled in an early novel, A Guilty Thing Surprised, but tackles it here with the horror and force of the poet Shelley's play, The Cenci.

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Dated and ridiculously misogynistic

First third was excellent, then it gets bogged down in weird, dated and confused misogyny. Endless wittering about a caricatured group of young feminists. Ridiculous, creepy and offensive comments about rape and incestuous rape.

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  • Marilyn
  • 02-06-09

Brilliantly written and very entertaining

All the Inspector Wexford novels are a joy to read, and Michael Bryant is the perfect reader. All the characters are clearly and realistically differentiated, and every twist and turn in the plot held me enthralled.

5 people found this helpful

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  • L
  • 11-05-13

Classic Wexford

This is one of my favorite Inspector Wexford books. While the book was written in the mid-80s, the story holds up very well today.
One of the beauties of Rendell's work is that while her characters grow and develop, you don't have to read the books in order. There are no spoilers between books.
The narrator is well suited to the story and to the character of Wexford. (I don't like all the narrators for the series; I wish Michael Bryant was available for more.)
Note: the narration on the actual file sounds better than the preview.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Cheryl
  • 09-06-09

Great plot

This is an excellent summer listen.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Kelly Garland
  • 21-05-14

Awful, dismal, dated and contrived. So contrived.

What disappointed you about An Unkindness of Ravens?

The murder just does not make sense. There is no meat in it, nothing to serve as catharsis, or even reward, for trudging through the mid-1970s hippie trappings (as imagined, clearly, by someone not of the tribe. And the talked singing passages--cringe. More importantly, the victim, introduced immediately, is summarily abandoned, remaining a nonentity for the balance of this loose tale. By the time (finally) the murderer is revealed and the scene described, I had ceased really to care. And the misinformed use of marijuana as psychotic motivator just seems so silly. Bad trip all the way.

How could the performance have been better?

Michael Bryant: Thank you for NOT singing; you did your best with the talk-sing. Still; ugh.

2 people found this helpful

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  • D
  • 01-03-16

Rendell keeps you interested by her characters

Always detailed characters how intertwined they are. You can relate to them they mirror some of the people in your own life and she gives you a way to relate.