Eccentric Jarvis lives in a crumbling schoolhouse overlooking the tube line, compiling his obsessive history of the Underground. A group of misfits are also drawn towards his strange house: Alice, who has run away from her husband and baby; Tom, the busker who rescues her; truant Jasper, who finds his terrifying thrills on the tube; and enigmatic Axel, whose deadly secret casts a shadow over all their lives. Damaged, dispossessed, outcasts, they are brought together in violent and unforeseen ways by London's dark and dangerous underground system.
What made the experience of listening to King Solomon's Carpet the most enjoyable?
I think Michael Pennington did a brilliant job. I would listen to him again.
What did you like best about this story?
I read the book years ago and loved it. The way the characters are drawn is so real and true to life, albeit they are a motley lot and you can't imagine it could actually happen. They are all flawed and you don't really feel much sympathy for any of them, they are not likeable, but somehow that makes the whole thing work. A very different story from your everyday read but very well written and read. Even though I remembered most of the story, I couldn't stop listening and found the audio version gave me more than I got from reading the book the first time, although I will probably read it again in the future and I will certainly listen again.
What does Michael Pennington bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?
He brought the characters to life in a way that you don't necessary get from reading the book. He makes them believable.
Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
When the young man falls from the tube, the occasions when Alice thinks about her baby, when Jed thinks he will have to have his pet hawk put to sleep and when Cecelia died with her friend by her side.
Any additional comments?
A gripping book whether you read or listen with unsympathetic characters but that works for all that. Quite dark so don't read or listen if you want something uplifting! One of the best books/audios I've ever read/listened to. Brilliant and thoroughly recommended.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
I have read the book at least twice before and really enjoyed it, so hearing the audio book version was a real treat. The novel's many characters are brought to life during Pennington's narration and the interwoven plots were beautifully described to convey a sense of dread throughout.
Absolutely first class: I'll now seek out more Barbara Vine books to enjoy via Audible.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Bit of a departure from her normal stories so I didn't enjoy it as much
0 of 1 people found this review helpful
Thoroughly enjoyed listening to King Solomon's Carpet. I had read the book many years ago when staying in London and found the background information about the London Underground fascinating. As usual Barbara Vine portrays a variety of characters and intermingles them in her storyline. They are all fallible and as the story evolves around the Undeground, their fallibilities lead to their undoing.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Ruth Rendell -aka Barbara Vine- really did know how to weave together seemingly disparate, believably eccentric characters with just enough suspense to keep you "turning the pages" so to speak. An enjoyable listen.
Fine writing as always, but nothing but gratuitous nastiness. Everyone you like is hit with coincidental disaster. No reason for it. People of no account undo all those of account. And no retribution. Everyone gets wiped out. Why such meanness, Barbara?