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The Devil You Know

Felix Castor, Book 1
Narrated by: Michael Kramer
Series: Felix Castor, Book 1
Length: 13 hrs and 48 mins
4 out of 5 stars (42 ratings)

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Summary

Felix Castor is a freelance exorcist, and London is his stamping ground. At a time when the supernatural world is in upheaval and spilling over into the mundane reality of the living, his skills have never been more in demand. A good exorcist can charge what he likes - and enjoy a hell of a lifestyle - but there's a risk: sooner or later he's going to take on a spirit that's too strong for him. 

After a year spent in 'retirement', Castor is reluctantly drawn back to the life he rejected and accepts a seemingly simple exorcism case - just to pay the bills, you understand. Trouble is, the more he discovers about the ghost haunting the archive, the more things don't add up. What should have been a perfectly straightforward exorcism is rapidly turning into the Who Can Kill Castor First Show, with demons, were-beings and ghosts all keen to claim the big prize. 

But that's okay; Castor knows how to deal with the dead. It's the living who piss him off....

©2007 Mike Carey (P)2018 Little, Brown Book Group

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

great story, wrong voiceover artist?

the pulpy occultism is well-realised and the many characters are nicely played, however the choice of an American voice constantly having to adopt regional UK accents and colloquialisms regularly trips up; Castor comes across as sardonic and sleazy but the long 'a' in British English is repeatedly and annoyingly misused in words like passenger, which took me out of the plot immersion

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great book, but ask Finty to read it!

Another excellent book from Mr Carey, but I found Kramer's pseudo-English accent annoying. It seems to wander between Boston and Adelaide, stopping only briefly near London to admire the view...

1 person found this helpful

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

Enjoyable story, but narrator not my cuppa

I enjoyed the story, although a little linear for me. The book is based in London, but there are lots of Americanisms in the phrasing & the narrator, while having a pleasant voice, is just too American to play an English character.

if you can forgive the messy geography in vocal vs setting, then it's a good easy listening book.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

That narrator...

This narrator was all wrong.
For starters it's obvious that he's not actually English, he keeps slipping off-accent.
Secondly, the voice doesn't match my mental image of Castor, at all.
He doesn't sound like a 30-something Londoner, he sounds like some 60-year-old BBC-newsreader-wannabe.
Really struggling to get into it, and I LOVED this book in print.

I vote for re-recording it with someone like Kobna Holdbrook-Smith.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Rating first three Felix Castor books together

I am still conflicted about this book (and series). After reading "The devil you know" I proceeded to read the next two books in series. I didn´t have a problem with the narrator (as many people do) - but I am not a native speaker, so I am not really sensitive to accents and all that stuff.
After the first book, I liked the author´s style. The detective plotline was intriguing, I liked the setting and it kinda reminded me of my beloved Dresden Files.
But the more books I read, the more disappointed I became.
1) The characters fail to get any real depth, I found it really hard to connect with them or even like them. They do not evolve, they do not change, they do not have any real...well character.
2) Felix Castor NEVER goes to the hospital when he is hurt or reports anything to the police. Why the hell? He is not even a private detective. And he is just a human (who is nearly dying sometimes)! This simply doesn´t make sense.
3) The books feel like action pumped scenes put together - there is no time to slow down, observe the emotions or thoughts of the characters. It is just bam-bam-bam. Action, action, small talk, action. It almost feels as if the author wrote the scenes apart and then arranged them somehow in order - not managing to reflect in them the mindset or physical health of characters, as it changes during the course of events.
4) Felix is almost never wrong, always gets all the slightest nudges, knows when someone is lying, etc even though we as readers have no idea how he came to this revelation. I found that frustrating.

I loved many of the authors' ideas. I am still curious how the world will evolve in the next books.
But I´ve simply had enough.
I´m not saying the books are bad. They just didn't work for me.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Not my cup of tea.

I managed to get about 2/3 through before I called it. It wasn't gripping me, but I didn't particularly dislike it either.
The story was somewhat interesting and that served to counteract the main characters witty (read edgy) commentary.
Until we reached the encounter with the woman in the bar... I just couldn't bear to listen any more. It was, perhaps, the cringiest thing I've encountered in an audiobook so far.
Maybe if I'd been more engaged I'd have stuck it out but it was too much for me.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Intriguing and a grower

I wasn't convinced when first starting this but after some perseverance it developed into a really good listen. So much so I will continue the series. Good listening.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

The devil indeed

I was looking for a new series having finished the Dresden files and although this isn’t Harry Dresden it’s a very close second. The narration takes a bit of getting used to however it suits the story of Felix Castor and chums, and I found be warming to the combination.
Don’t let the thought of him being an exosist put you off as there are flashes of humour and the story’s zoom along at a fantastic pace. Which I found me lurching from book to book. Highly recommended

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

A refreshing slice of London Noir

I’m surprised I’ve not come across these books before but glad that I’ve finally found them.

The main character (Felix Castor) has a slight touch of the John Constantine’s but generally more polished and less sleazy. If you are a fan of the Hellblazer comics or Peter McLean’s Burned Man books you will love this.

As a Londoner I did find the narrators accent a little eccentric but it did not detract from they story or the overall performance.