Try an audiobook on us

Love Is Blind

Narrated by: Roy McMillan
Length: 11 hrs and 58 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (404 ratings)
Regular price: £21.99
£7.99/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime

Summary

Penguin presents the audiobook edition of Love Is Blind by William Boyd. 

Love Is Blind is William Boyd's sweeping, heart-stopping new novel. Set at the end of the 19th century, it follows the fortunes of Brodie Moncur, a young Scottish musician, about to embark on the story of his life. 

When Brodie is offered a job in Paris, he seizes the chance to flee Edinburgh and his tyrannical clergyman father, and begin a wildly different new chapter in his life. In Paris, a fateful encounter with a famous pianist irrevocably changes his future - and sparks an obsessive love affair with a beautiful Russian soprano, Lika Blum. Moving from Paris to St Petersburg to Edinburgh and back again, Brodie's love for Lika and its dangerous consequences pursue him around Europe and beyond, during an era of overwhelming change as the 19th century becomes the 20th. 

Love Is Blind is a tale of dizzying passion and brutal revenge; of artistic endeavour and the illusions it creates; of all the possibilities that life can offer, and how cruelly they can be snatched away. At once an intimate portrait of one man's life and an expansive exploration of the beginning of the 20th century, Love Is Blind is a masterly new novel from one of Britain's best loved storytellers.

©2018 William Boyd (P)2018 Penguin Books Ltd

What members say

Average customer ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    274
  • 4 Stars
    96
  • 3 Stars
    27
  • 2 Stars
    5
  • 1 Stars
    2

Performance

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    307
  • 4 Stars
    47
  • 3 Stars
    17
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    1

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    239
  • 4 Stars
    93
  • 3 Stars
    31
  • 2 Stars
    5
  • 1 Stars
    5
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mark
  • Essex
  • 27-09-18

Boyd on Top Form

Any William Boyd novel is a big event for me and I am delighted to say that 'Love is Blind' has been well worth the wait and fully lives up to expectations. The blend of character and plot is excellent with a sweeping narrative that convincingly depicts time and place. The research really pays off. For me, as a listener, the quality of the narrator can make or break a book and whereas, 'Sweet Caress' was (to my ear) unlistenable Roy McMillan has done an impeccable job with 'Love is Blind'. He has all the warmth, depth, empathy and authority required to bring this impressive novel to life. I did not want it to end.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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

Brilliant

William Boyd is a superb writer and Love is Blind ranks in his top three, with Any Human Heart and The new Confessions. Once again he gives us a fascinating, multi-layered work of art that captivates throughout. His characterisation is so sure-footed that it was a pleasure to meet the people he created and to be taken through late nineteenth century Edinburgh and Paris, to Nice and St Petersburg and a far flung corner of the earth was a thrill. Thrilling too was the plot-line, and subtle the references to the arts, music and the life and literature of Chekov.
Roy McMillan narrated very skilfully . His voice is pleasant, well modulated and varied. I frequently find myself irritated by narrators who do not check out the pronunciation of non-English names and phrases and so I was pleased to find that the French and German was well handled.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Beautifully Read

As moving and brilliant a book as one would expect of Willim Boyd, done marvellous service by the talented reading by Roy McMillan.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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

Brilliant book. Excellent narration.

I loved this book. William Boyd is a master at bringing his characters to life and this novel worked on every level, helped in no small way by the superb narration by Roy McMillan.
Reminded me in a way of "Love in the time of Cholera".

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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

Beautifully written and read

This novel has everything: a heart-rending and unusual love story, combined with such a wealth of period detail as to bring life at the beginning of the twentieth century vividly to life in front of your eyes. William Boyd paints wonderful landscapes and cityscapes but doesn’t get bogged down in too much description, so the story moves along at a pace, with never a dull or jarring moment. I can’t praise this book enough!
Add to the mix a superb narrator who gets the tone exactly right and you have a dozen hours or so of unadulterated listening pleasure. His voice manages to capture the loving tenderness of the ill-starred couple and the sheer malevolence of the ‘baddies’ perfectly. At times I was moved to tears, at others frightened out of my life! Highly recommended.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

We see very little when we want to.


This is not my usual taste in books but it was written by William Boyd, and that makes it something I would explore. I was not disappointed.

The story is a beautiful period piece that describes time and places in a beautiful way and develops a plot and characters you naturally care for; Brodie Moncur became real and his travels and period became alive, and his fictitious life was real for a few spackling hours.

A definite yes, if you like good writing and something delicate.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

William Boyd

Great story which was very well narrated by Roy McMillan which made it a very enjoyable listen. I spent too much time listening when I should have been working!

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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

Loved This Beautiful Moving Story

A typical William Boyd moving human story. Beautifully written and completely compelling.
Boyd writes such fascinating characters.

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

Masterpiece

Such an absorbing experience that I just wanted to go straight back to the beginning again and return to the characters, the times and the places inhabited by Brodie Moncur. It’s an accomplished literary novel by every measurement and at the same time ‘unputdownable’. If a lovesick, consumptive son of the worst of Scottish manses and a piano tuner by profession seems like an unlikely hero, think again. His pursuit of and patient wait for the lovely but mediocre opera singer Lika Blum to be free from her previous lovers, virtuoso pianist John Kilbarron and his vengeful brother Malachi is gripping and tender, sometimes comical. Late nineteenth century Edinburgh, Paris, Nice and St Petersburg seem very real backdrops, and even what might otherwise pass as cliches...the consumption, a duel to the death in Russia..are so knowingly handled, maybe with tongue in cheek, that they heighten our worries for this likeable man and will him to find happiness. But it’s elusive. The Audible edition is beautifully read..just the right voice.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Boyd at his best again

I think I’ve read almost everything William Boyd has written and was looking forward to this. I was not disappointed and it did remind me of other favourites like the new confessions and any human heart. Brodie was a great character and I loved some of the others particularly the monstrous Malcy. I found- not for the first time, Boyd’s female characters less convincing. That said I thoroughly enjoyed the book and found myself inventing jobs so I could listen to the audiobook- brilliantly read. Any human heart and new confessions remain my all time favourites from William Boyd possibility because I can recognise the odd character from previous works. Still a top read though.

Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jane Carter
  • 18-02-19

Wonderful

William Boyd is my favourite author and he didn't disappoint. What has compelled me to write a review is the narration..I hope Roy McMillan continues to narrate books he's a genius.