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A Plague on Both Your Houses Audiobook

A Plague on Both Your Houses: The First Chronicle of Matthew Bartholomew

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Publisher's Summary

Matthew Bartholomew, unorthodox but effective physician to Michaelhouse college in medieval Cambridge, is as worried as anyone about the pestilence that is ravaging Europe and seems to be approaching England. But he is distracted by the sudden and inexplicable death of the Master of Michaelhouse - a death the University authorities do not want investigated.

But Matt is determined to get to the truth, leading him into a tangle of lies and intrigue that cause him to question the innocence of his closest friends - and even his family - just as the Black Death finally arrives.

A Plague on Both Your Houses is the book that introduced Matthew Bartholomew to the world.

©1996 Susanna Gregory (P)2017 Little Brown Book Group

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (142 )
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3.9 (127 )
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Story
4.1 (126 )
5 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Louis Hall 05/06/2017
    Louis Hall 05/06/2017 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "If I could give 3.5 I would. Entertaining enough"
    What three words best describe David Thorpe’s voice?

    A little on the irritating side when acting the character voices.


    Was A Plague on Both Your Houses worth the listening time?

    Yes


    Any additional comments?

    No Shardlake but good enough

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    DeeJay 27/03/2017
    DeeJay 27/03/2017
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    "Couldn't Finish This Book. Don't waste your money!"
    Would you try another book written by Susanna Gregory or narrated by David Thorpe?

    Susanna Gregory - Possibly
    David Thorpe - No


    Has A Plague on Both Your Houses put you off other books in this genre?

    I couldn't finish this book so difficult to comment, but the genre is one I usually enjoy, so probably not. I thought having read numerous positive reviews on this series of books that I would enjoy it but it was ruined by the atrocious narration.


    Would you be willing to try another one of David Thorpe’s performances?

    Definitely Not. It wasn't read as smooth prose as books should, but as a list of separate sentences with long pauses between them. It therefore did not keep my interest & I was unable to get past the first few chapters. I tried a number of times to get into the story but couldn't. Going to request a credit refund.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from A Plague on Both Your Houses?

    Can't comment - didn't listen to enough of the story


    Any additional comments?

    Doesn't Audible have a quality check in place to prevent books being ruined by the narrator.? An author invests time & effort into writing interesting books but then their work is totally spoilt by a rubbish narrator. Good narration is vital when listening to a book so I am surprised that this is allowed to happen.

    12 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anonymous 15/08/2017
    15/08/2017 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The name is ?"

    A great but complicated story. It was my first audible book and I became hooked. However, at first I found it very difficult to sort out all the characters - when reading I can constantly flip back to check - not so easy when listening hands free. But just how many thousands of times does the name Bartholomew occur?!!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    sara weeden 04/08/2017
    sara weeden 04/08/2017 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Too many characters"

    Perhaps because I am listening to the story rather than reading it, but I lost track of who is who and after a while I gave up caring

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Heather Forneth, Perthshire 31/07/2017
    Heather Forneth, Perthshire 31/07/2017 Member Since 2008
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    "Cardboard characters & a dull whodunnit"

    I was desperate to finish some weeding in the garden, so persisted longer with this book than I might've otherwise. Had I been driving, I would have slept, so a safety warning here!

    Some whodunnits are just plain dull and formulaic. Despite the historical setting, the use of disgusting period detail and the nature of the college rule books at the time, this is one of those. Part of the problem is the cardboard characters. They don't live and this is one of those dreary potboiler books in an endless series. Trouble is, the first book in such a series has to hook the reader to keep them reading. This fails, but at least I won't waste any more dosh on the rest of them!

    The narrator does his best and gives a creditable performance of this dismal material.

    If you want a truly ripping yarn set in the time of the Black Death and full of excellent characters and atmospheric historical detail, I suggest Connie Willis' novel 'The Doomesday Book'. Dunno whether her stuff is on Audible yet, but it should be!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Hathor 25/06/2017
    Hathor 25/06/2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not a great listen- the later books are better"
    If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

    I like Susanna Gregory's writing but the first couple of Mathew Bartholomew book suffer from weak characterisation and a poor narrator and the combination of the two is unfortunate. The good news is that the later books do improve and the narrater becomes slightly more bearable and are worth a credit but this, alas, isn't and I will be returning it.


    What was most disappointing about Susanna Gregory’s story?

    Having read all of Gregory's books the earlier books are definitely the weakest in the series, with poorly sketched characters, unrealistic dialogues and although the historical detail is interesting it isn't enough to keep the reader/listener engaged. As I have said above, the later books do get a lot better but this one, particularly with the terrible narration, is one to avoid.


    Would you be willing to try another one of David Thorpe’s performances?

    Unfortunately Thorpe is the assigned reader for the Bartholomew books so I can only hope he, or the publisher, take notice of listeners comments and change/adapt his narration because, honestly, I can't bear to hear some of his interpretations of the monks and in particular Michael. In answer to the questionable, seeing Thorpe's name on an audio book would put me off.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from A Plague on Both Your Houses?

    Not really applicable - it was the first book written a long time ago and Gregory's writing has got better with time, so just take this as an early attempt, not really worth a credit unless you are want to hear how it all started or you are prepared to return it if you don't like it.


    Any additional comments?

    A different narrator would have made all the difference but we have what we have and it is good that the whole back catalogue is been made available.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lee Aberdeenshire 06/06/2017
    Lee Aberdeenshire 06/06/2017 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Loved the hardbacks but..."
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    Just couldn't get into it. I've read the whole series and I wish I'd not listened to this. The characters just weren't as I imagined them. The narrator didn't do them justice. Brother Michael was just lost..really disappointing ..


    Would you be willing to try another book from Susanna Gregory? Why or why not?

    I've read them all so far but I've returned the ones I had lined up to listen to. Just couldn't get into the first one. Maybe another narrator and I might try again.


    What three words best describe David Thorpe’s performance?

    Poor, unrealistic, monotonous. Sadly not my cup of tea. First time I've heard him and he just doesn't do the book justice. Didn't hold my attention.


    If this book were a film would you go see it?

    i would probably as I really liked the hardbacks.


    Any additional comments?

    Don't be put off by my comments about the book as I did enjoy it when I read it just couldn't get into it with this narrator. Mathew Bartholomew will grow on you .... Give it a go :)

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M.Martin Surrey 18/10/2017
    M.Martin Surrey 18/10/2017 Member Since 2016
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    "Weird, but I loved it"

    The plot of the story plods along, but I really enjoyed it anyway. The characters are well voiced and I could picture them in my head.

    The plot twists and turns enough to keep it enjoyable and the right length not to get bored.

    Enjoyed it so much I have now downloaded the other books in the series - hope they are as good!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    shirley 08/07/2017
    shirley 08/07/2017 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    "Excellent"

    Gripping story and beautifully read. Another success for Susanna Gregory. I have listened to nearly all of them now.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Samima 22/06/2017
    Samima 22/06/2017 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
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    "An easy listen and hugely enjoyable"

    The highly improbable plot was most enjoyable and kept me guessing. I liked the characters. Yes, Matt was a bit too good to be true, never once able to accept money, but that's ok, it's fiction and like settling into a cosy comfort blanket.

    Excellent narrator. Voices well differentiated. I did enjoy it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Derk
    26/04/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "review"

    Nice introduction to Bartholomew series. good story but at the end a bit too much plotting for my liking

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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