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The Moon-Spinners

Narrated by: Daphne Kouma
Length: 9 hrs and 12 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (38 ratings)

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Summary

The pioneer of romantic suspense Mary Stewart transports listeners to the idyllic hills of midcentury Crete in this tale of peril and intrigue that will keep fans of Agatha Christie and Barbara Pym on the edges of their seats.   

While on a walking holiday through the beautiful, deserted hills of Crete, Nicola Ferris stumbles across a critically injured Englishman, guarded by a fierce Greek. Nicola cannot abandon them and so sets off on a perilous search for their lost companion - all the while being pursued by someone who wants to make sure none of them leave the island.... 

When the big white bird flew suddenly up among the glossy leaves and the lemon flowers, and wheeled into the mountain, I followed it.

©1962 Mary Stewart (P)2019 Hodder & Stoughton Limited

Critic reviews

"Mary Stewart is magic." (New York Times)

"One of the great British storytellers of the 20th century." (Independent)

"A comfortable chair and a Mary Stewart: total heaven. I'd rather read her than most other authors." (Harriet Evans)

What listeners say about The Moon-Spinners

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An old and well loved friend

Those of us who are Mary Stewart aficionados have been so pleased over these past few months to find all of her books have been, or are about to be, recorded unabridged (thanks Audible). The balance, mainly her later, shorter, titles are due to follow in November.
Language evolves, we all know that, and it's been interesting to hear how this, one of her earliest and best loved novels from the 1960s, (Hayley Mills was young when they filmed it) would sound in the hands of a young 21C female actor. I'm assuming that as this seems to be her first narration for Audible? Some words do defeat her, which is a shame as someone could have guided her: for instance for Psyche we got sickie all the way through
The answer is, not that bad. I was a bit worried at first as Daphne Kouma seemed to be attacking the first narrative sections so fast she was almost breathlessly gabbling, probably out of nervousness, but it did settle down. It's of its time, as all Mary Stewart books are, The Boy meets Girl is from a more innocent age, but the murder and general nastiness is not.
Kouma's characterisation is not bad at all, giving us the very believable light touch of the rather lovely (despite everything) Tony and the sadness and worry of Sophia - and as with all Stewart's practical heroes, Max sounds good. OK, her Colin age 15 sometimes sounds like a rather childish 12 year old by today's standards, but on the whole it's all right.
Now onto My Brother Michael, The Ivy Tree and The Gabriel Hounds, all also released yesterday. For Mary Stewart readers, Christmas has come early. Shame in some ways that the narrators are such a scatter gun mixture, rather than a single voice, but just glad they are all recorded.
As to Daphne Kouma, not a bad first attempt. Hope she goes on to record more.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

The moon spinners.

Great book and great narrator who makes the story come alive. Mary Stewart's description of countryside can make you imagine you are there..

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  • em
  • 25-05-20

A Greek adventure from your armchair

First read this amazing book a long time ago returning to repeat my journey in the beautiful Cretan landscapes. With Mary Stewart's love of strong women we follow the heroine through adventure and strife handled with daring do. On the whole a great adventure that leaves you begging for more. The audio narrative overpowered the book in some places too modern in inflection.

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Pretty good but of its time

This is an enjoyable escape murder/romance set on the beautiful island of Crete. A little dated, but I’m not going to slate the story for references that are ‘of their time’.

What spoilt it for me was the poor pronunciation of ‘caique’ (which should sound like ‘cake’ but ended up sounding like ‘caikee’) and the younger boy with an estuary accent that was not remotely like his elder brother in those rather proper times.

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  • Teacher Lady (Deanna Nech)
  • 19-08-19

Frustrating volume variations

Disclaimer: I have hearing loss, but with well-fitting earbuds I usually do fairly well. This book is frustrating in that I was constantly fiddling with the volume as the narrator's voice dropped away into a whisper and then increased again to near-shouting. I think she does a wonderful job of dramatizing the story, and the character voices were all good, but the volume thing drove me crazy. There are some small problems with pronunciation. I don't know how caique should be pronounced, but the narrator uses at least three different ones throughout the story.

I am a long-time fan of Mary Stewart's romantic mysteries, and I was so thrilled to see them published on Kindle and then on Audible. The quality of the narration and recording has been disappointingly uneven, unfortunately.

18 people found this helpful

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  • VirginiaMom
  • 04-09-19

Classic thriller, but wish narrator was literate

Don't have to say much about Mary Stewart; everything she wrote is tightly plotted, brilliantly characterized, beautifully evocative. Her work and its popularity speaks for itself. I was motivated to leave a review only because the narrator, who does a fairly good job otherwise, pronounced the word "Levite" as "levity." A little cultural literacy goes a long way. Please, Audible, either select educated narrators or educated editors who will catch such errors. Make your products attractive to people who actually read (but are now losing their near vision!).

15 people found this helpful

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  • Robin Winning
  • 26-12-19

If You Like Mary Stewart, You Will Like This Book

This is a classic Mary Stewart work, with all the elements we fans have come to expect: stunning location, beautifully described; a plucky heroine capable of much more than the men around her believe; and a well-plotted suspenseful story with an exciting ending. The narration is fine -- once you realize it needs to be set at 75% speed, not 100%. I think there was a production error and it was simply released at the wrong speed.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Gary & Jay
  • 05-10-19

Classic!

First read this when I was a kid, after seeing the Hayley Mills movie. I enjoyed the book lots more.

The subtle differences in attitudes about women, the simplicity of an "unspoiled" rural population and other notions don't really bark out at you, and the rapidly moving plot is well put together.

I've always enjoyed a good Mary Stewart. My favorite is Airs Above the Ground, which could have been written for the horse-obsessed young girl that I was.

Thanks for the memories!

By the way, I didn't find a single thing to criticise in Daphne Kouma's reading.

Jay Thomas

3 people found this helpful

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  • BJO
  • 27-08-19

Great story. Narration a problem.

The story is great. One of my favorites. The narrator has potential; however, the constant change in volume is a problem. I would get the volume to a level where I could hear her and then she would raise her voice for a character and it would become way too loud. If she only did it occasionally, I would not comment, but it is through the entire book. Obviously, the narrator needs to work on this. She has a great voice and good characterization, so it is a shame.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 19-08-19

terrible narration!

really??? you pick a narrator that slurs her speech and mumbles and talks to fast?? for one of Mary Stewarts best novels??? i am returning it. very disappointed.

15 people found this helpful

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  • Nancysue Rose
  • 22-03-20

Great story, not so great narrator.

One of my favorite gothic romance authors. The narrator talks so fast, had to listen in .75 time to understand words. She talked very loud, then so soft I couldn’t hear at all. When she whispered sentences, couldn’t hear what she was saying. It was a pain to have to rewind many times, increasing volume so I knew what was going on. Then she would practically yell, and had to grab device to quickly lower volume so it wouldn’t hurt my ears. I recommend this be recorded by different reader.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Eileen
  • 25-08-19

Fast moving and exciting

I love Mary Stewart and this is one of her best. Not a dull moment.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 10-01-20

Daphne Kouma is the best!

Have e hoyed Mary Stewart for many many years and Moon Spinners has always been one of my favorites. Daphne Kouma did a fabulous job. She's a wondefful story teller, NOT just a narrator.

1 person found this helpful

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  • JULIA
  • 28-10-19

A good listen!

Another Mary Stewart favorite. It's terrific that I can listen to it, because I can then do chores at the same time; can't do it with a book in my hands! :-)
Good job in the reading and recording. Thanks!

1 person found this helpful