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Mad Blood Stirring

Narrated by: Rhashan Stone
Length: 12 hrs and 37 mins
Categories: Fiction, Historical
4 out of 5 stars (53 ratings)

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Summary

Random House presents the audiobook edition of Mad Blood Stirring by Simon Mayo, read by Rhashan Stone.

1815: The war is over, but for the inmates at Dartmoor Prison, peace - like home - is still a long way away. 

On the eve of the year 1815, the American sailors of the Eagle finally arrive at Dartmoor prison, bedraggled, exhausted but burning with hope. They’ve had only one thing to sustain them - a snatched whisper overheard along the way. 

The war is over.

Joe Hill thought he’d left the war outside these walls, but it’s quickly clear that there’s a different type of fight to be had within. The seven prison blocks surrounding him have been segregated: six white and one black. As his voice rings out across the courtyard, announcing the peace, the redcoat guards bristle, and the inmates stir. The powder keg was already fixed to blow, and Joe has just lit the fuse. 

Elizabeth Shortland, wife of the Governor, looks down at the swirling crowd from the window of her own personal prison. The peace means the end is near, that she needn’t be here forever. But suddenly she cannot bear the thought of leaving.

Inspired by a true story, Mad Blood Stirring tells of a few frantic months in the suffocating atmosphere of a prison awaiting liberation. It is a story of hope and freedom, of loss and suffering. It is a story about how sometimes, in our darkest hour, it can be the most unlikely of things that see us through.

©2018 Simon Mayo (P)2018 Random House Audiobooks

Critic reviews

"Bursting with energy, written with passion, Mad Blood Stirring is a joy to read." (John Boyne)

"This is a cracking novel." (Sir Kenneth Branagh)

What members say

Average customer ratings

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

A clumsy first effort at a first book for the adult market

A valiant attempt but the poorly-formed characters and dialogue took very much second place to the history.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Great story not much character

I wanted to get inside the heads of the prisoners more, felt the story drag a little but had some good moments. Would make a great film or TV show

1 person found this helpful

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

Excellent Historical Thriller

Historical thrillers are not usually my thing but I was curious to see how effective Simon Mayo is as a writer. He is certainly an excellent broadcaster but that's no guarantee of success in another medium. I am happy to say this novel is a tremendous success and throws new light on a dark period that little is known about, or spoken about. I guess bigger historical events overshadowed it. That said, this is a cracking listen and I'd really recommend it.

1 person found this 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

Dartmoor Prison revealed.

Great story, untold historical event. Very familiar with Dartmoor, its harshness, bleakness, isolation rings so true.

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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A Bit Tedious

Performance is dull and the story hasn't engaged me. Not sure I can be bothered to finish it.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A fantastic way to learn about some extraordinary events in our history that we should all be aware of

An incredible story well delivered, very accessible and compassionately told with great characterisation.
It’s amazing how little of the American war of independence appears in our own taught British history and how important it is to learn about. Thank you for a great book Simon Mayo!

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This would have been better with pictures!

I thought I might learn some history but I was disappointed. This tale is a fairly enjoyable romp through a bog standard story line which has been told many times. It is nicely written and nicely narrated but, for me, it held no interest and I gave up listening about a third of the way through.. It would probably make a very good graphic novel.

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Good book, excellently narrated

I have a total man-crush on Simon Mayo and was really looking forward to this book.
It is a well told story of war, heroism and love.
Well done sir.

The narration, which can make or break an audiobook, was 1st class.