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Changeling

Six Stories, Book 3
Length: 7 hrs and 4 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (33 ratings)
Regular price: £14.99
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Summary

On Christmas Eve in 1988, seven-year-old Alfie Marsden vanished in the Wentshire Forest Pass when a burst tyre forced his father, Sorrel, to stop the car. Leaving the car to summon the emergency services, Sorrel returned to find his son gone. No trace of the child, nor his remains, have ever been found.

Alfie Marsden was declared officially dead in 1995. Elusive online journalist Scott King, whose Six Stories podcasts have become an internet sensation, investigates the disappearance, interviewing six witnesses, including Sorrel, his son and his ex-partner, to try to find out what really happened that fateful night. He takes a journey through the trees of the Wentshire Forest - a place synonymous with strange sightings and tales of hidden folk who dwell there. He talks to a company that tried and failed to build a development in the forest and a psychic who claims to know where Alfie is...

Intensely dark, deeply chilling and searingly thought provoking, Changeling is an up-to-the-minute, startling thriller, taking you to places you will never, ever forget.

©2018 Matt Wesolowski (P)2018 Audible, Ltd

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Clever Format Doesn't Quite Deliver

These books are very highly rated on Goodreads so I was finally tempted to try one. It's a clever format in which investigative journalist Scott King presents six episode podcasts on individual stories. Each episode is designed to cover the story from a different person or topic's perspective and backed up from what are secret, personal recordings by King himself. In this case he is investigating the disturbing story of a father whose son goes missing in a dark forest.

There is a lot to like here, the cast give a good performances with voices that you will enjoy listening to. The way that the author brings a few strands, including one that seemed a real outlier, together at the end seems pretty clever and I didn't see the big twist at the end coming though maybe I should have done.

The problems for me were twofold. The format forces a level of structure on the author in that there have to be six roughly equal segments so it felt to me like some of the sections stretched longer than necessary and made the pacing uneven.
The second problem is that this is a rather different book in that it's almost all speech with most of it re-enacting the podcast episodes. Having listened to several of the type of podcasts that this book is trying to re-create recently it all felt a little but too staged, the interviewees too fluent and clear-cut. The publishers have gone far enough to put together a strong cast but this is one that I think needs a real soundscape to drive the authenticity. Hearing the narrator run through a poor quality audio recording with passages like Please help me . . . indistinct noise . . . Sorry sir, what did you say? . . . crackling noise . . . is much less effective. It's possible that this book comes across better in the written form with the reader providing the background.

So, in summary, it's a clever book and not without interest but for my tastes it really did not deliver on the blurb's suggestion of taking me to places I wouldn't forget.



8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Slow burner but comes good

It took me some time to get into it but once I did I was hooked. Really enjoyed the performances and the story.

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Pretty Good

The presentation isn’t as good as West Cork but it’s ok. I thought the narration of Wendy was very good and the story is interesting. Worth a listen.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Changeling

I loved the plot of this story , how it’s presented into pod casts but the performances were awful, ( sorry) ! The only authentic accent was King !
Such a good book but those dreadful accents irritated me so much , actors can’t seem to decide where their from and it really spoiled it !
This audio book needed to be less staged to give it the authentic feel the author was deliberately delivering in the written text .

0 of 1 people found this review helpful