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The Snakes

Narrated by: Abigail Thaw
Length: 11 hrs and 25 mins
3.5 out of 5 stars (113 ratings)

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Summary

Brought to you by Penguin. 

Family secrets can be deadly....

Newlyweds Dan and Bea decide to escape London. Driving through France in their beaten-up car they anticipate a long lazy summer, worlds away from their ordinary lives.

But their idyll cannot last. Stopping off to see Bea’s brother at his crumbling hotel, the trio are joined unexpectedly by Bea’s ultra-wealthy parents. Dan has never understood Bea’s deep discomfort around them but living together in such close proximity he begins to sense something is very wrong.

Just as tensions reach breaking point, brutal tragedy strikes, exposing decades of secrets and silence that threaten to destroy them all.

©2019 Sadie Jones (P)2019 Random House Audiobooks

Critic reviews

"Superbly written, each sentence punctuated by a drumbeat of menace.... A thrillingly good read." (Elizabeth Day)

"A twisty delight of a novel, a cracking page-turner that has much to say about modern life and our attempts to find a way to navigate it, no matter where we come from." (Cathy Rentzenbrink)

What listeners say about The Snakes

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

Quite a nasty little tale!



I enjoyed reading Sadie Jones’s ‘The outcast’ (2008) some 10 years ago, and noted that today it was the only other novel of hers that Waterstones of Piccadilly had on the shelf.

The milieu of London, of death, the need to be credible and the compromises made or not; family pressures, urban regeneration, slum landlords - all these factors reminded me of my recent reading of Tessa Hadley’s latest novel ‘Late in the day’, and I note that Abigail Thaw also narrates the audible version of Hadley’s book.

Thaw’s reading is right on the money - and her characterization of the father Griff is particularly good.

So no plot spoilers but the slowish start winds into quite a nasty little tale - all very nicely done!

3 people found this helpful

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A very good listen

Kept my interest throughout but if I were to be picky I thought the first 2/3 were very realistic and natural while the ending seemed
contrived and rushed. But well worth a listen.

3 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Read something else!

Pointless! I stuck with this book as it was recommended by Richard & Judy's Spring Book Club 2020, having read 4 others from the collection I had high hopes. This one failed in comparison. A real shame!
The book falls flat about a quarter of the way in and I couldn't make up my mind whether to stick or let go, letting go would have been the best thing to do.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Captivating

This book was very well written and the psychology behind the characters was spot on. It held me throughout until the very end. I think it’s one of the best narrators I’ve heard and the story is strong. I can’t recommend it enough.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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irritating

Started off great. Got to the point where the author tries to vilify political views she disagrees with in an inane way and went straight off it. Either engage with politics in an interesting and substantial way in fiction, or just stick to writing an interesting story.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Spoilt by ending

What a pity - this is a case of a book of two halves. It’s like two separate books have been put together. The first two thirds are really special, interesting, fascinating and suddenly the plot doesn’t fit. So disappointing . The editor should be shot. The performance and writing are good, it just doesn’t make a single book.

1 person found this helpful

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Wow

What an ending!!!! Not much sleep that night! Addictive, intensely moving. More please! A well told - perfectly spoken to heighten the emotion. A must listen to.

1 person found this helpful

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Not great

Really had high hopes as it was on Richard and Judy's list of reads... It didn't really have that much of a gripping storyline. Good writing but the plot I found boring. Expecting a twist that didn't come...

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Pointless waste of time

This started well and the narrator was good, but unfortunately it's plot never seemed to know where it wanted to go or how to pull everything together and so the final part seemed hurried and weak

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Excellent :)

Loved the book, a great author who is new to me, will be listening to more of her books. This is the story of a young woman from a very wealthy family who prefers to live an ordinary life, marries an ordinary man and doesn't want any money from her filthy rich father. This book is a psychological thriller and it certainly lives up to that. So well written with incredible detail, fabulous style. This is a book to enjoy again and again.