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Summary

The odd couple of detection, the brilliant but cranky Arthur Bryant and John May of London's Peculiar Crimes Unit, return in a tense, atmospheric new thriller that keeps you guessing right to the end. This time the detectives are up against a series of bizarre murders that defy human understanding, and a killer no human hand may be able to stop. A mysterious stranger in outlandish Edwardian garb defaces a painting in the National Gallery. Then a guest at the exclusive Savoy Hotel is fatally bitten by what appears to be a marshland snake. An outbreak of increasingly bizarre crimes has hit London, and, fittingly, come to the attention of the Peculiar Crimes Unit.
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©2005 Christopher Fowler, Defiant Films (P)2006 W. F. Howes Ltd.

Critic reviews

"A twisty thriller, full of action and plot surprises." ( Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average customer ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    232
  • 4 Stars
    114
  • 3 Stars
    53
  • 2 Stars
    16
  • 1 Stars
    10

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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  • 4 Stars
    51
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    15
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    3
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Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

I am loving this book

I have never read anything by this author but I am totaly gripped by this book. I am just about finished the first part and am looking forward to more.

I will be sad when it comes to the conclusion.

14 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Ian
  • LondonUnited Kingdom
  • 21-04-07

Enjoably Eccentric

Enjoyable and quirky, with a plot to match. This is not gripping police-procedural stuff, but more tongue-in-cheek light hearted entertainment with a central puzzle which is reminiscent of Jules Verne style sci-fi. Well narrated, though I did find some of the characterisations jarring at times.

14 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Love them/hate them

You are going to fall in one category or the other, so don't say I didn't warn you. Personally I think the Bryant and May series is inspired. Christopher Fowler writes novels and short story collections which defy categorisation, but tend toward dark satire in the guise if horror and fantasy. His Bryant and May books probably will appeal to a wider audience, being "crime" (Bryant and May do appear in other books, notably Darkest Day, now out of print, of which Seventy-Seven Clocks is a superior re-write...in my opinion).
These books are eccentric, seemingly quite bonkers, but actually beautifully written. They are both exciting and funny, and brilliantly structured. I fear they stand up to detailed scrutiny and will, no doubt, one day become the focus of a PhD. Probably the most important "character" is London, and the books of full of fascinating insights under the skin of the city and its history. This particular book also has a neat historical/political stance being set under Edward Heath's government in the days running up to the Three Day Week.
I was hooked when I read the first book in the series, Full Dark House, which oddly isn't on audible. I then read The Water Room, but as I had already read Darkest Day I thought I'd give Seventy-Seven Clocks a listen. I'm reluctant to start listening to books that I have already read, as I have the voices are in my head, but for me Tim Goodman is a perfect reader, catching the narration and characters so well. I am now going to switch and listen to the rest of the series (but buy the books as well because I love them and the covers are beautiful).
Whatever you think of these books, there really isn't anything quite like them.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Unbelievable but enjoyable

This book is in the spirit of Conon Doyle's most convoluted and unbelievable stories. Though set in the 1970s against the back-drop of strikes and power-cuts, the style is far removed from realistic crime detection novels. It's a complicated story with all sorts of threads and clues: Gilbert and Sullivan's operas and the Savoy Theatre; the Goldsmiths' Guild and Indian trade are all woven together in the lives of a wealthy family who are being killed off in bizarre ways and chosen for death by a mysterious system, the preposterous methodology of which is only revealed near the end of the book. Suffice to say the title gives you a clue.
If you enjoy Conon Doyle or Agatha Christie's style of murder mystery I think you'll like this book.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Merril
  • Chelmsford, Essex, United Kingdom
  • 13-08-11

Bryant and May do it again!

Audible at its finest.... AGAIN! Chris Fowler spins another wonderfully absorbing if somewhat unlikely yarn interlaced with laugh out loud humour, main characters who work at the CPU but feel like your personal friends and all interwoven with historical facts about London whilst a weaving a delicious layer of mystery and intrigue as the plot unfolds. Now add to the mix the talented, fluent, beautifully crafted and totally awesome narration of Tim Goodman whose range of 'voices' is equal to an entire theatre company and whose pace and delivery of plot and conversation makes the whole 'audible experience' totally perfect! But don't just take my word for it ..... find out for yourself as the plot unfolds and you are entered into the totally absorbing world of Bryant and May.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • L. Cox
  • Cambridgeshire
  • 14-06-18

Not for me

I ploughed on listening to this book but it really wasn't for me. There was (I think) a comedy element to this book. I read the blurb and some reviews but it wasn't until too late that I realised that I' d made a mistake, sadly I bought three of the same series at the beginning. I intended to give the other two a try but having listened to about ten minutes of the second one I decided life's too short.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Not the usual standard

I love Bryant and May, I have listened to nearly all of them. This is the first that didn't delight me. The story line is mangled and disconnected, not convincing at all, Bryant and May are far less present, overtaken by a sort of "Famour Five" amateur detective who is thoroughly childish, and even the reading didn't come up to the standard of later books. Disappointed.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Thoroughly enjoyable!

I'd never read anything by this author before - but I will now. The plot was wonderfully weird and extremely well put together. I was still guessing with an hour to go. The reader really brought the different characters to life, consistently and enjoyable. I'd recommend this book and wish that the others in the series would be available on audible.

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

cracking story.

Having read all the print versions its great to hear them come to life. I can't wait to hear them all.

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

I love these books

Is there anything you would change about this book?

The reader. His pronunciation on certain words irritated me and spoilt the story. His voices weren't brilliant either.

What did you like best about this story?

I love Bryant and May. The characters are briliant and the stories always very intricate.

Would you be willing to try another one of Tim Goodman’s performances?

Not really.

Was Seventy-Seven Clocks worth the listening time?

For the story - yes always (I have to say I own the books as well but this is nice for the car) If a different reader could be found that I can listen to then I would have them all.

Any additional comments?

If the reader doesn't trouble you then these are excellent books and a series well worth getting into.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Ilinca
  • 27-02-13

always a pleasure.

Wonderful reader, and Bryant & May are always a pleasure - and never disappoint. I love their quirks and how Fowler knows not to make them too predictable, and the stories hold together so well. What a treat, always.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Michael Caines
  • 19-09-06

a grand read

Well, I'm in the midst of this one & really loving it. It's quite witty & I find the mystery compelling. The characters are engaging & the reader does an excellent job of shifitng his accent and intonation for each one. One of my favorite books from audible so far.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Sarah
  • 19-12-15

Steampunk conclusion

The frame for this novel is a current day Bryant telling the story of a famous case from the team's past. It fits oddly in the continuing Bryant & May narrative but is a wonderful story.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Brian
  • 14-09-06

Science Fiction?

All the titles I purchase from Audible are meant for listening while commuting to work morning and evening. Thus, I recently purchased the title “77 Clocks” even though it was unrated, because the publisher’s blurb caught my interest and I decided to order it anyway. However, I must say I was quite disappointed, and had to force myself to continue listening, as I had no other titles available at that time. While some of the characters descriptions were ok, the supposed reasons for the happenings in the book were not very credible from my point of view. Perhaps this title should be placed under Sci Fi & Fantasy rather than Mystery and Thriller!

0 of 3 people found this review helpful