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Summary

The obituaries for Gerald Candless were respectful. He had been, after all, an admired and popular writer, and his sudden death at his home in Devon was a loss to literature as well as to his family and friends.

The trouble was, as his daughter Sarah soon discovered, that it seemed that her father had taken on a different identity that he wasn't Gerald Candless at all. But if he wasn't Gerald Candless, who was he?

©1998 Kingsmarkham Enterprises Ltd (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about The Chimney Sweeper's Boy

Average customer ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Lost the plot at the end but a great listen

My previous listen was marred by the reader having a strong regional accent which was at odds with the characters, so having Francis Barber read this was a breath of fresh air. The plot was certainly not superficial and this tale of a family dealing with trying to find out who was really the person who had dominated their family for so long was intriguing through many twists and turns. Fantastic characterisation made each character so realistic through all their failings and successes. OK, I need to hear the end again to finally work out the final twist but would really recommend.

22 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

WONDERFUL!

This is one of the best books I've listened to recently - and I listen to a lot! Frances Barber is a brilliant narrator, and the plot is very clever - keeps you guessing until the end. The characters are believable and interesting. The title is explained eventually - intriguing. One of those books you don't want to put down. Highly recommended.

15 people 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

Beautifully brought to life by Frances Barber

Like all of the other Barbara Vine novels I have already read them all at least twice before. This tale of the strange and hidden early life of recently deceased novelist Gerald Candless was beautifully narrated by the smooth vocal talents of actress Frances Barber. The regional Suffolk accents and London dialects were fantastic too and juxtaposed well with the more measured tones of the three Candless women.

In conclusion: an excellent tale, compelling and very moreish.

11 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Kept me listening

This is the story of a man's relationship with his two daughters, and with his wife. He's a great writer, but a very flawed human being. The book explores how this has affected his family, and what effect his death has upon them - and the very final part explores the events that made him into the person he became. It's a slightly unconventional format, but it certainly kept my interest. Not a thriller, not even a who-dun-it, but a thoughtful and engrossing story, with the advantage of an excellent narrator.

5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Slow to start and then takes off

Unusually for a Barbara Vine/Ruth Rendell novel I found the early chapters unengaging and thought I might give up, however after six chapters the story took off and became riveting. Her hallmark of exploring the psychology of unhealthy, unhappy and damaging relationships pervades the book. There are few wholly sympathetic characters but I was carried along by the intriguing mystery the resolution of which is only revealed in the last few chapters.

Francss Barber energized the story with her ability to create different voices.

9 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Brilliant

Can't recommend this enough.

Listened to this several times great book brilliant author read well

3 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

What twist or mystery?

It is outlined in the prologue why this Man changed his name, what follows is 8 hours of the family trying to find out his real name and why he changed it (even though we all know,)
The epilogue further outlines what we suspected and confirms it. Apparently that's a further 'twist'
Nope, the only thing we aren't sure of is where it happened
None of the characters were in anyway likeable, but spoilt, stroppy, awful to each other

2 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

What was it all about?

I couldn't see anything I this book. I found it boring. No idea how it got such good reviews.
Glad it was free but that's 6 hrs of listening I won't get back.
I tried to finish it but couldn't.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

This family deserve everything they get

What a tedious story. The main character ( or so I thought she was meant to be, in the blurb it made it sound like it was Sarah) is snooty and arrogant and privileged, and I don't care one jot for her. We sometimes go off with her on a night out, well I'm sorry, but leave me out, I'd prefer to stay at home and not join you (and if you don't want to join the main character, you've lost the reader). Her sister is a nothing person, who just keeps weeping all the time, and that's all I can say about her. And the Mother is a pathetic down trodden wife, who you have no sympathy for, and can't understand why she put up with her husband for so long (who thankfully dies very early on).

But ultimately, I have no interest in their family secrets, just couldn't care less, you've lost me.

Ironically, the husband is a famous author, and he tells his daughter one time, that if your first few chapters don't engage your audience, you need to start again. Hello, maybe you need to take your own advice.

I should have known it was really by Ruth Rendell. I tried one of her other stories, and kept falling asleep. That'll learn me.

2 people 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

A very good read

I enjoyed this book, the plot was interesting, it was well read and the pace of the book was comfortable. It is a story that I will probably listen to again in the future.

2 people found this helpful