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The Porpoise

Narrated by: Tim McInnerny
Length: 10 hrs and 50 mins
4 out of 5 stars (31 ratings)

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Summary

Random House presents the audiobook edition of The Porpoise, written by Mark Haddon. 

‘I really am so very, very sorry about this,’ he says, in an oddly formal voice.... They strike the side of a grain silo. They are travelling at 70 miles per hour.

A newborn baby is the sole survivor of a terrifying plane crash.

She is raised in wealthy isolation by an overprotective father. She knows nothing of the rumours about a beautiful young woman, hidden from the world.

When a suitor visits, he understands far more than he should. Forced to run for his life, he escapes aboard The Porpoise, an assassin on his tail.... 

So begins a wild adventure of a novel, damp with salt spray, blood and tears. A novel that leaps from the modern era to ancient times; a novel that soars, and sails, and burns long and bright; a novel that almost drowns in grief yet swims ashore; in which pirates rampage, a princess wins a wrestler’s hand, and ghost women with lampreys’ teeth drag a man to hell - and in which the members of a shattered family, adrift in a violent world, journey towards a place called home.

©2019 Mark Haddon (P)2019 Random House Audiobooks

What members say

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A Stunning Novel

The Porpoise is truly immersive. It's a transporting novel which demands your full attention... time slips and folds in an often dream-like way, but you're never left comfortable for long... episodes of action and violence punctuate the flow. By the close of the novel (and it's an unexpectedly emotional one) you're utterly engrossed, wishing it didn't have to end. This novel is a departure for Haddon, highly recommended & extremely powerful.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Thrilling imaginative adventure with a lot to say

I got recommended this book by a friend and we were talking about the myth and the play before I read it. That said by the end, the jumps between timelines are such an integral part of this specific story that I cannot imagine it being told in any other way.
The storytelling is very adventurous and keeps the reader tightly watching all that happens never revealing too much, even leaving the main characters nameless for a while if the atmosphere demands it. It also uses images and symbolism and makes them real in the sense that what the characters feel is as much reality as anything else, even if the reader is aware they are in a delusional state.
There is a lot of mirroring of realitionship and family ties, strengthened with said symbolism of a sea, a porpoise, a coffin, a deer, a storm.
My favourite parts are the ones that suddenly but completely soundly delve into very difficult themes of abuse and trauma by showing the characters figuring out their personal journey in the world. It's all very cleverly done, read the book. I listened to it three times in a row.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Amazing

A very cleverly written book. Enjoyed every minute. Mark Haddon. Is a genius. I’ve just finished The Pier Falls and would recommend that too.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Compelling

This is a compelling listen, taking you to different places and building over time. Loved it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • AWH
  • London
  • 06-06-19

Depressing and turgid

I’ve read and really enjoyed all of Mark Haddon’s books but this was awful. It starts really well and then for some unknown reason the characters from the present day appear to transform into Pericles and his companions and we’re subjected to the most dull and depressing, plodding and turgid tale imaginable. The monotonous reading doesn’t help either. Awful.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Not what I hoped

I really wish that the story had stuck with Angelica’s tale rather than sailing off with Pericles.
The beginning is a brilliant contemporary reworking of the tale but it falls apart when things warp and shift aboard The Porpoise.
Such a shame. It just turns into a straight narration of Pericles’ tale for the majority of the book (yawn) with some curious interludes featuring Shakespeare.
More contemporary storytelling and more magical realism please.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Mark joyce
  • 08-07-19

Fabulous!

Wonderful!
Really got into it.
Beautifullly written.

Highly recommend it to all who like a good drama.