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The Resurrectionist [Audio CD]

James Bradley
2.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (102 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Whole Story Audiobooks; Unabridged Audiobook edition (1 Jan 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1407429728
  • ISBN-13: 978-1407429724
  • Average Customer Review: 2.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (102 customer reviews)

More About the Author

James Bradley was born in 1967. He has twice been named as one of the Sydney Morning Herald's Best Young Australian Novelists and has won the Fellowship of Australian Writers Literature Award, the Kathleen Mitchell Literary Award and has been shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Literary Award. He is the author of a collection of poetry called Paper Nautilus and the novels Wrack, The Deep Field and The Resurrectionist. In 2008 The Resurrectionist was chosen as a Richard and Judy Summer Read, becoming a massive bestseller. James lives in Sydney

Product Description

London, 1826. Leaving behind his father's tragic failures, Gabriel Swift arrives to study with Edwin Poll, the greatest of the city's anatomists. It is his chance to find advancement by making a name for himself. But instead he finds himself drawn to his master's nemesis, Lucan, the most powerful of the city's resurrectionists and ruler of its trade in stolen bodies. Dismissed by Mr Poll, Gabriel descends into the violence and corruption of London's underworld, a place where everything and everyone is for sale, and where - as Gabriel discovers - the taking of a life is easier than it might seem.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
104 of 111 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Gothic chiller?? 16 July 2008
By Spartan
Although getting off to a reasonable start this book soon becomes more than a little frustrating. Having read a number of other reviews on this site I am left a little mystified and anyone expecting a cross between Lovecraft and Dickens will be mightily disappointed.

The story, as has been written elsewhere, takes us through the protagonists decline from anatomists assistant to drug addicted bodysnatcher but forgets to create a deep enough back story for the reader to actually care. All the characters in the book are made largely uninteresting owing to a lack of depth and it is a little bit of a cheat to say that just because the books subject is a little macabre that this is a spine tingling page turner. Buyer beware because it is not. It's not that the novel is badly written, it's actually the opposite, but no time is given to plot or character development and there is no feeling that the main characters fall from grace is at any point anything other than a trite and rather linear progression. One minute Gabriel Swift is a gentleman entering London society, an anatomists apprentice at the dawn of the age of discovery; the next he's a murdering opium addict. Lucan, Mr Poll, Charles, etc etc. There are charcters here somewhere. "If only" would sum up this novel nicely.

It is hard not to suspect that either it has been over-edited or the author was only allowed to write a novel of a certain length for some reason. Either way both story and characters are thin and sickly creatures and it is a shame that a writer who clearly has some talent ultimately has produced a work that leaves this reader wishing for more.

The second part of the story, mentioned in a few reviews is also a little odd and when reading the book, the jump from one story to another is at first confusing. It seems almost as if part 2 were written because someone somewhere asked for a happier ending.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars pointless 5 Sep 2008
This was so disappointing. It is very well-written, very descriptive and creates a dark and chilling atmosphere. However, there is very little plot and the characters are just not interesting. I constantly had to backtrack to refresh my memory on who was who as they all seemed so bland and similar. I didn't get the last bit of the book. Other than explaining why it was titled the resurrectionist it seems as if it was cobbled on to the end from a different novel altogether.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Such a shame 18 Aug 2008
I approached this book with high hopes - it was a R&J recommendation plus I liked the synopsis. Initially I thought the book would fulfill its promise; the writing was stylish and evocative, and there was a sense of danger and malignity pervading the narrative. I soon realised, however, that I wasn't interested in the characters as they hadn't been fleshed out properly, and whilst I don't expect things to be spelt out for me, there was too much left unexplained and the narrative more and more disjointed and obscure. I didn't bother to finish it in the end, which is sad as I believe the author shows promise. I think an earlier review has hit the nail on the head - it should have been twice the length and has probably been butchered by the editor.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Why was I so quick to buy? 30 Aug 2008
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Bought too early to read previous reviews and saved for holiday. Such a disappointment and for once agree with most other reviewers. Incomprehensible and implausible plot, characters appearing with no introduction and all lacking in depth. Like to use my imagination but this was ridiculous and very frustrating - were we supposed to be mind readers? Where was the promised atmosphere. Second section even worse - how, what, who etc. Did not give up but was so tempted. Expect to see lines of this book on charity shop shelves.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't live up to expectations 4 Oct 2008
By lilysmum VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I loved the first page of this book and it would be fair to say it is well written. For two pages I thought I had fallen upon a gem of a novel but it just fades away. The characters were too quickly introduced and too many had confusingly similar names for me to be able to keep up with the pacy plot which dipped and dived from place to place and day to day. I know I am tired when I read at the end of the day but this book could not sustain my interest and I am sad to say I have given up half way through. The main character is Gabriel Swift, who wishes to train as a pathologist, and he sees the bodies brought by the body snatchers. There are some interesting musings on the nature of life and death but they were a smoke screen for a plot with little clear sense of direction. Bradley could be a great writer; he has style, but this isn't the one.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Messy but good enough 23 May 2009
In my opinion, many of the other reviews of this book that have been posted here seem surprisingly harsh. Whilst not being the fascinatingly insightful read I had hoped for upon picking it up, this novel is not quite entirely awful. But it is not a truly amazing work either.

As so many have posted the details and the plot of synopsis, I'll simply skip forward to what I think of the book. Whilst it's short, fractured style makes it initially a difficult book to get into, it rewards patience, and by the halfway mark I was excitedly looking for any opportunity to pick the book up and find out what happens next. The murky setting and grim subject matter, highlighted by instances of gratuitous and morbid violence, do not detract from the novel, but rather aid in creating a dark, visceral atmosphere, something which is also a result of filling a novel with such unlikeable characters.

However, the style of the novel makes it difficult to get a handle on who the characters truly are, and I found myself wishing at many points that greater pains had been taken in developing those who populate the story. The story and overall mood, whilst eventually enveloping, is strangely flat and oppressive, with nary a light note to punctuate the slow, gradual slide into darkness that the sparse, broken narrative provides. The ending is also a problem - though it may be unpredictable, the sudden jump from grimy London to the harsh Outback is too quick, and is so jarring that the novel suffers as a whole, although once the tone settles, it becomes as eery and disconcerting as what came before.

In conclusion, this is merely a good novel, missing many of the elements that could have made it great, but not entirely bereft of redeeming features. Also, for anyone with a light constitution who is drawn in by the Richard and Judy endorsement, be warned, for the material is often quite graphic.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Nice writing but its all "fur coat no knickers"
Half way through the book you are given a flash back to Gabriel Swifts childhood which shows a side of him which you cannot relate to the personality the author has drawn for us. Read more
Published 1 day ago by J. Belasco
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting descriptions of Georgian London failed to hold my interest
The Australian writer, James Bradley, looks back to early 19th century London for the setting for his third novel published in the UK in 2007. Read more
Published 22 days ago by Dr R
1.0 out of 5 stars Grim, tedious, depressing
I nearly gave up on this book but I persevered to the bitter end in the expectation that something would happen, there would be some twist or some ending that would make the whole... Read more
Published 1 month ago by FaffingAbout
5.0 out of 5 stars still memorable after 2 years
I don't normally write reveiws, but felt I wanted to stick up for this book after going online to buy it for someone else and seeing all the bad write-ups it has had. Read more
Published 2 months ago by LJR
3.0 out of 5 stars A dark tale of Georgian London
Gabriel Swift is a student of anatomy in London during the 1820s, dependent on the goodwill of his guardian. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Petra Bryce
4.0 out of 5 stars A Book Group Choice - not chosen personally but glad to have read it.
Very well written but such a harrowing subject. Do realise that dead bodies had to be obtained for progress in operations and knowing how the body works, but when they began to... Read more
Published 21 months ago by Anne Hindle
5.0 out of 5 stars How can this have such bad reviews?
I have just seen that this book has a very low rating and bad reviews and although I don't normally review books, decided it was time to start. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Hela
1.0 out of 5 stars Tedious
I read this because it was our book group choice. Otherwise I wouldn't have persevered with it.

The grisly details of dead bodies and what could happen to them in 19th... Read more
Published 23 months ago by gowitheflow
3.0 out of 5 stars aussie rules
starts as interesting in london but then gets boring and strange and finally confusing with the chapter in Australia until you read that the author used an australian fellowship to... Read more
Published on 25 Aug 2012 by M. French
1.0 out of 5 stars Boringly dull and disappointing.
The Resurrectionist

I came to this novel with high expectations that were very quickly dashed. Read more
Published on 28 Feb 2012 by Bibliophile
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