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The Mark and the Void

Narrated by: Charlie Anson
Length: 14 hrs and 4 mins
4 out of 5 stars (44 ratings)

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Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.

Winner of the Everyman Wodehouse Prize 2016.

A comic masterpiece about love, art, greed and the banking crisis, from the author of Skippy Dies.

What links the Bank of Torabundo, www.myhotswaitress.com (yes, hots with an s, don't ask), an art heist, a novel called For Love of a Clown, a four-year-old boy named after TV detective Remington Steele, a lonely French banker, a tiny Pacific island, and a pest control business run by an ex-KGB man? You've guessed it....

The Mark and the Void is Paul Murray's madcap new novel of institutional folly, following the success of his wildly original breakout hit, Skippy Dies. While marooned at his banking job in the bewilderingly damp and insular realm known as Ireland, Claude Martingale, is approached by a down-on-his-luck author, Paul, looking for his next great subject. Claude finds that his life gets steadily more exciting under Paul's fictionalizing influence; he even falls in love with a beautiful waitress. But Paul's plan is not what it seems-and neither is Claude's employer, the Bank of Torabundo, which inflates through dodgy takeovers and derivatives-trading until-well, you can probably guess how that shakes out.

The Mark and the Void is a stirring examination of the deceptions carried out in the names of art, love, and commerce - and is also probably the funniest novel ever written about a financial crisis.  

©2015 Paul Murray (P)2015 Penguin Audio

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

Well read - and with patches of brilliance...

...but I was disappointed that this book did not reach the standard of Skippy Dies, which I really loved. I didn't want this book to be the same, but I did want it to be as good. In my opinion, it isn't.

The trademark dark humour is there but only in patches really; and I was not gripped by the story.

The narration was very good.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Gets better and better

I wasn't entirely sure about this book to start with but the more I listened the better it got.
Firstly, the narration. Utterly brilliant. Just how somebody can do so many accents, effortlessly, is beyond me. Remington was such a joy every time he popped up!
The story was very good, well thought out and insanely clever. Paul Murray has a brilliant turn of phrase and and I am in awe of his writing abilities.
My only negative was that I didn't feel it was magical enough to get me hook, line and sinker. Hook and line certainly, but a very small part of me wasn't completely captivated by it as a whole.
Well worth a listen though especially if you fancy a hilarious insight into the world of finance.

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A modern day masterpiece!

Without saying too much, this was one of the most relevant, articulate, inspiring and lucid books I've ever had the pleasure of listening to.

I now know what everyone I know is getting for Christmas this year!

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Intelligent writing that translAtes well to audio

Set in ireland in pre crash banking, various characters play out their different stories. There is a lot of humour and an anti capitalist theme, with touches of nihilism. Interesting points are made about human overpopulation ..yes there are way too many of us . There was a bit too much shouty dialogue in places that i hit forward on ..but overall this is a thought provoking listen as well as a good story that got me laughing a lot.

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My favourite narrator to date!

I thoroughly enjoyed Charles Anson's performance of this book which made it easy to listen to and hard to put down. The story is good with some very funny lines, I recommend!

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  • 19-02-16

Trying too hard? Hilarious - but only in patches

The Mark and the Void is set in Dublin with the country facing the consequences of the financial crash. The characters include loadsamoney bankers and economic migrants all aiming to survive. Not perhaps the most obvious or promising environment for hilarity? But I liked Skippy Dies sufficiently to give it a go.

I got into it quickly and some early sections I found really very funny - read with great pace by a narrator who handles many different accents consistently and well. Some of Murray's observations are not just witty but sometimes so sharply observed that I had to pause the book and listen again to appreciate some genuinely deep observation, delivered with dry humour among some more slapstick scenes.

Unfortunately for me the book lost pace and direction about a quarter of the way through and by half-way I wasn't even sure I would stick with it to the end. I did finish it and am glad because there were more chapters that I enjoyed, but overall it was too patchy for my taste.