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Three Hours

Narrated by: Gemma Whelan
Length: 10 hrs and 1 min
4.5 out of 5 stars (125 ratings)

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Summary

Brought to you by Penguin. 

Three hours to save the people you love.

A Top 10 Sunday Times best seller. 

Three hours is 180 minutes or 10,800 seconds.

It is a morning's lessons, a dress rehearsal of Macbeth, a snowy trek through the woods.

It is an eternity waiting for news. Or a countdown to something terrible.

It is 180 minutes to discover who you will die for and what men will kill for.

In rural Somerset, in the middle of a blizzard, the unthinkable happens: a school is under siege. From the wounded headmaster in the library, unable to help his trapped pupils and staff, to teenage Hannah in love for the first time, to the parents gathering, desperate for news, to the 16 year old Syrian refugee trying to rescue his little brother, to the police psychologist who must identify the gunmen, to the students taking refuge in the school theatre, all experience the most intense hours of their lives, where evil and terror are met by courage, love and redemption.

©2020 Rosamund Lupton (P)2020 Penguin Audio

Critic reviews

"A brilliant literary thriller...moving, masterly, flawlessly orchestrated." (Sunday Times)

"Three Hours intersperses scenes of breath-sucking tension with stirring meditations on human nature.... The message Lupton's novel delivers is that only love can save us." (Sara Collins, Guardian)

"This could so easily be a story which spotlights evil and terror. Instead, it deftly weaves a message of courage, love and redemption, and Whelan's performance is absolutely electrifying." (Stylist)

What members say

Average customer ratings

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Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

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

Gut wrenching, heartbreaking, wonderful.

An astonishing book, beautiful, elegant, terrifying and uplifting. Read in two sittings interrupted only by the need to sleep. The story moves through three incredible hours in the lives of teachers and children, police officers and parents as a terrorist incident unfolds in their school. I remember exactly where I was the moment I heard about the shootings at Dunblane school a few miles from my home, giving the story a terrible resonance... but this is also a story about love and courage and it’s not to be missed. I heartily recommend this amazing piece of writing and the narrator who brings, pace, conviction and compassion to a story I wanted to be over. Yet I feared the end and inevitable tragedy likely hurtling towards the fragile lives in this very contemporary dilemma.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Very good story spoilt by narration

This was a tense story from many angles. The title was apt as one felt the urgency and push of the tale. Strangely from Part 2 I noticed a change in the style of the narration. I had assumed the robotic quality of the narrator was to portray the police reporting but it carried on. However, the story was so good that I tried to ignore this and carried on. I am glad I did.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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masterpiece

edge of your seat, totally gripping. plenty of good twists and turns what you think you know upside down.brilliant

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Spoilt by stilted narration

At times this felt more like an exercise in showing off the extent of the authors research than a story I could engage with, however I think this was due to the extremely stilted and often too dispassionate narration. Lovely, if implausible, pulling together of themes in the last third, which was genuinely moving.

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amazing

wonderful Story full of humanity and tension . The best audio book I've listen to

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    5 out of 5 stars

Binge listened to this book.

Captivated from beginning to end. Really of the time... even including Trumps tweets! Would listen to this author again.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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What a superb book!

I listened to this book in almost one sitting and am now reflecting on the incredible imagination and depth of research required to write something so gripping. Brilliantly written and superbly narrated.
(‘Hope the author is already working on her next book....)

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Powerful

A thought provoking, powerful message.
As a teacher, it raises a number of questions on protecting students.. Brilliantly written.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Dr
  • 07-02-20

Thought Provoking

I really enjoyed this book although I was initially concerned about fictionalising a school shooting. To be honest I wasn't convinced by the story but it doesn't actually wallow in violence so that was a real plus for me. The tension is created by menacing waiting rather than graphic violence. As far as I am concerned the important thing about this book is its meditations on the modern evil of terrorism from a human perspective - the impact on victims and family as well as the role of psychopathy, mental illness and social media.

If I had a criticism of the approach it would be that there is no real attempt to understand what has driven at least one of the terrorists to this point but it is a novel and so needs a demon to work.

Overall though, I would recommend this book.

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    5 out of 5 stars

Gripping shocking yet totally uplifting

Far from being the snowflake generation, a gripping story of young people's endurance, courage and optimism.