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The Way of All Flesh

Narrated by: Bryan Dick, Louise Brealey
Length: 11 hrs and 45 mins
4.4 out of 5 stars (270 ratings)

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Summary

Edinburgh, 1847. City of Medicine, Money, Murder.

Young women are being discovered dead across the Old Town, all having suffered similarly gruesome ends. In the New Town, medical student Will Raven is about to start his apprenticeship with the brilliant and renowned Dr Simpson.

Simpson's patients range from the richest to the poorest of this divided city. His house is like no other, full of visiting luminaries and daring experiments in the new medical frontier of anaesthesia. It is here that Raven meets housemaid Sarah Fisher, who recognises trouble when she sees it and takes an immediate dislike to him. She has all of his intelligence but none of his privileges, in particular his medical education.

With each having their own motive to look deeper into these deaths, Raven and Sarah find themselves propelled headlong into the darkest shadows of Edinburgh's underworld, where they will have to overcome their differences if they are to make it out alive.

©2018 Ambrose Parry (P)2018 Canongate Books Ltd

Critic reviews

"Parry's Victorian Edinburgh comes vividly alive - and it's a world of pain." (Val McDermid)
"Menacing, witty and ingeniously plotted, Ambrose Parry’s debut draws you into the dark heart of nineteenth-century Edinburgh and won’t let you go until the final page." (S.J. Parris)
"Utterly compelling, this tale of Old Edinburgh is so full of characters and startling incident that I never wanted it to end." (Denise Mina)

What listeners say about The Way of All Flesh

Average customer ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Great historical background

To begin it takes some time to get into . I was wondering where it is going. I like the historical back ground of Dr Simpson and Ye olde Edinburgh. I guess this ending could lead to a sequel. Is this Chris B writing under a pseudonym?

7 people found this helpful

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  • El
  • 27-11-18

Fabulous book

I loved this mix of historical fiction, detective and history of medicine within the vivid setting of Edinburgh. I listened to this after a friend recommended it and will be keen to read much more from this duo! I only wish it had been much longer, I didn’t want it to end.

5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Excellent story, well told but female narrator was poor

The story of a male midwife who with a housemaid follow the trail of a murderer was well plotted, the characters well developed and very easy to become absorbed by. The male narrator was superb in his delivery, I looked forward to the chapters where he took-over the story telling however the female narrator had an awkwardness and nasal tone to her delivery that sounded like she was reading the book for the first time. Overall this was one of the best books I have listened to on audible in terms of story and delivery - much like ‘The Blood’ which I would highly recommend to anyone who also enjoyed this book.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Historical more than Crime

The historical value is excellent, as I know Edinburgh like the back of my hand and of it's past. The history of midwifery attaining to Professor Simpson was interesting, however, this covered most of the story line and the crime element was quite sparse. The listening of this book was spoiled for me by having two narrators, it would have been better left to Bryan Dick to tell the whole tale.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Victorian melodrama

An enjoyable romp through Victorian Edinburgh via a murderous path. A cross between Hammer Horror and Conan Doyle, with a touch of penny dreadfuls. Unconvincing way that 21st century sensibilities were brought to bear on mid -19th century awareness in places, eg messages about women's rights were far from subtle and could have been more adept. This lacked the sharpness and insight of some of Brookmyre's other novels, but was an entertaining read set against an jnteresting backdrop showing the historical development of anaesthesia.

1 person found this helpful

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Superb historical fiction

Incredibly interesting & well researched historical crime novel. Great narrators. Really looking forward to the next in the series.

1 person found this helpful

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Average

Really 2.5 stars. A decent listen to pass a few hours but rather too predictable for my taste.

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Decent

This is a decent tale of 1840’s Edinburgh and early surgical and midwifery practice, with a little nefariousness thrown in for good measure. I look forward to more in the series. On the downside, there is the female narrator. Her voice has a terrible nasal quality and the affected Scottish accent consistently jars with odd vowels. She also garbles too many long sentences, apparently having run out of breath. Those chapters are really quite uncomfortable to listen to, and lie in stark contrast to the excellent narration by the male reader.

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Splendid

I really enjoyed this book and the scottish accents brought the characters to life in my opinion

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1st ever audio book

My first audio book and I really enjoyed it. Chris and Marissa signed a copy for me at 2019s 'Bloody Scotland' so I was loathe to read it and this was a great alternative. Readers voices were excellent. 5*

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  • Shoppermom
  • 21-08-19

Every moment a pleasure

I'm guilty of that much-maligned sin: I listen to audiobooks at an increased speed. But this book was an exception. The story was complex, the characters intriguingly presented and revealed, and the atmosphere was totally engrossing. So I applied the brakes and savored every perfectly narrated word at the recorded speed. And I was so sorry to reach the end! The mystery is solved (there is no cliffhanger), but I was overjoyed to learn that the husband and wife writing team have another volume coming out next year with further adventures/misadventures of physician-in-training Raven and his friend and erstwhile accomplice, Sarah. A return to mid-19th century Edinburgh sounds like the perfect way to start a new year. I can't wait!

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • LC
  • 24-03-19

5 Stars

I rarely give a 5 star review. But this book deserves it. The story was great and the performance was as well. I highly recommend this audiobook. And hope to see more from this author soon.

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  • Web_mistress
  • 09-10-18

Not to be listened before (or at) mealtime :)

Enjoyable though too much gloomy midwifery and other scary medical practices irrelevant to the plot

1 person found this helpful