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Summary

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.

©1991 Kingsmarkham Enterprises Ltd (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about King Solomon's Carpet

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So different and absolutely gripping

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.

5 people found this helpful

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King Solomon's Carpet

This novel, which I honestly believe that I have read/listened to at least five years is truly excellent. It tells the story and lives of a group of disparate people living in a converted school in West Hampstead.

3 people found this helpful

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Truly excellent, gripping Barbara Vine

Fascinating story, interesting and believable characters. Narration was superb too. Enjoyed this as much as 'A Fatal Inversion' and 'Asta's Book'.

1 person found this helpful

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tedious

I gave up on this one - having enjoyed many Ruth Rendell stories. the story is drawn out, with frustrating concentration on the miscellanea of life. depressing storyline, with a narration to match. be prepared to lose all hope....

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I knew this book well already

But on audible it was a deeply impressive presentation perfectly narrated bu Michael Pennington. It was pure listening pleasure- a multi stranded story with as always plenty to learn and enjoy along the journey.

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A lot about the London Underground!

The history and running of the London Underground system is like a character in novel as its presence is central to the story and joins the human characters lives together. As usual for this author the humans are odd characters living on the edge of mainstream society engaged in unusual pursuits. The narrative switches among the different characters and their interactions and despite not much happening most of the time but manages to keep ones attention.
The narrator is good.

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Okay

Bit of a departure from her normal stories so I didn't enjoy it as much

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  • Pat
  • 04-04-11

Fascinating

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.

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  • Therese Van Arsdale
  • 29-05-21

Long Time Fave

I read this book when it was first available and reading it this time, I was in love with it again. The London of the story is a sharp reminder of a city that works instead of one that exists a bit out of our reach, the way current London does. The mystery of all the Barbara Vine is hidden among a tale.The one that Mrs Rendell, Vine*s usual name,, does is to introduce the characters slowly, allowing the readers to know the characters intimately. This allows us to see them clearly and we know what that means. I love this book.

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  • Needles
  • 30-07-17

Classic Vine

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.

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  • Joyce
  • 12-02-14

Hated it.

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?