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Summary

July 1910: The grisly remains of Cora Crippen, music hall singer and wife of Dr. Hawley Crippen, are discovered in the cellar of 39 Hilldrop Crescent, Camden. But the Doctor and his mistress, Ethel Le Neve, have vanished, much to the frustration of Scotland Yard and the outrage of a horrified London.

Across the Channel in Antwerp, the SS Montrose sets sail on its two week voyage to Canada. Amongst its passengers are the overbearing Antonia Drake and her daughter Victoria, who is hell-bent on romance, the enigmatic Mathieu Zela and the modest Martha Hayes. Also on board are the unassuming Mr John Robinson and his seventeen-year-old son Edmund. But all is not as it seems....

©2011 John Boyne (P)2011 Random House AudioGo LTD

What members say

Average customer ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • John
  • Waddesdon, United Kingdom
  • 29-01-12

Gripping

I could not put this book down. The masterly way John Boyne see-sawed between historic and current date lines was expertly brought to life by narrator, and character actor, James Daniel Wilson. This book kept me guessing to the last chapter. A great example of how factual incidents can be turned into exciting fiction. This is a must!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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

John Boyne's subtle narrative ruined by Narrator

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

The book maybe, this audio version not at all. I listened to John Boyne's most recent book and thought it was the best audio book I had heard, the writing had such subtle humour and pathos to it, the narrator just amplified it. So with great enthusiasm I bought this audio book and found that it has been utterly ruined by the narrator's lack of skill. Laboured reading, and caricature voices which are just grating. Such a shame

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

Had to give up.

What didn’t you like about James Daniel Wilson’s performance?

He just read the words of the narrative, no nuance at all. Then the voices of the characters were just caricature like, and totally failed to give Boyne's briliant subtle humour and story telling the depth it requires. So disappointed I gave up.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • C
  • BOSTON, United Kingdom
  • 20-04-12

Excellent reader and intriguing story

John boyne is the excellent story teller . I bought this audio book and finished listen within 2-3 days eventhough I was busy. James daniel wilson is an excellent reader and I now start looking for his narrative audio books.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Very entertaining!

If you could sum up Crippen in three words, what would they be?

It took me a while to not feel like I was chopping and changing direction in this book (not necessarily a criticism) but then I got hugely into it. Another John Boyne masterpiece.

What about James Daniel Wilson’s performance did you like?

I did enjoy James' performance, although I would say if anything, he spoke rather slowly. But definitely enjoyable and a good performance.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

I loved it.

Great story. Gripping. I was captured by Dr Crippen personality. Boyne is an excellent writer. Outstanding narrator.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Terrible narrator

I love John Boyne’s books. This narrator was so appalling I had to stop listening..... pantomime style accents, unexpressive reading in a high pitched voice...... sadly lost all comedic beat of boyne’s writing. Would love to hear this book again...... but with a different narrator.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Awful ..... Tedious....Waste of time

Awful tedious waste of time.....unless perhaps you are a youngster....11 or 12...I'm aware he write children's books...maybe that is his intended audience with this particular book. ...I'm which case I apologise for the negative review....my mistake.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Appalling

I have to admit I gave up. The storyline is thin and unoriginal, stretched well beyond the limit of the reader's interest. The performance is like a bad pantomime featuring a screeching cockney dame and a toff with the time-honoured guffawing delivery. Add the clueless Mr Plod with an intermittent glottal stop and the tart with a heart : "Oooooh, la de da. Get you!"
The speech is embarrassingly wrong for the time. As a lady watches the policeman walk away, she thinks : "What I wouldn't give for a piece of that."
Overall, I cringed throughout and gave up only when I couldn't bear the embarrassment any more.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Fantastic book!

Like lots of other people I knew very little about Crippen, thinking he was a serial killer so was interested to find out about his life. The mixture of fact and fiction made for a brilliant read and I enjoyed the twist in the story. Recently I've returned books because the narrator took away from the story spoiling an otherwise good read, however this narrator read in a way that was sympathetic to the story, adding rather than detracting from the story. I can't recommend this book highly enough. After finishing I immediately looked for other books by John Boyne and am now listening to 'This house is haunted'- another 5* review will be on the way soon. My only problem with his books is that they are so good I'm getting through them too quickly and running out of credits. Thinking of trying The Absolutist next.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Captivating story, well told

This is an intriguing story from the beginning, with a number of timelines and characters interwoven perfectly. Narration was really well done, adding to the enjoyment