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The Thread [Audiobook, CD, Unabridged] [Audio CD]

Victoria Hislop
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (717 customer reviews)

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Book Description

27 Oct 2011

Thessaloniki, 1917. As Dimitri Komninos is born, a fire sweeps through the thriving multicultural city, where Christians, Jews and Moslems live side by side. It is the first of many catastrophic events that will change for ever this city, as war, fear and persecution begin to divide its people. Five years later, young Katerina escapes to Greece when her home in Asia Minor is destroyed by the Turkish army. Losing her mother in the chaos, she finds herself on a boat to an unknown destination. From that day the lives of Dimitri and Katerina become entwined, with each other and with the story of the city itself.

Thessaloniki, 2007. A young Anglo-Greek hears the life story of his grandparents for the first time and realises he has a decision to make. For many decades, they have looked after the memories and treasures of people who have been forcibly driven from their beloved city. Should he become their new custodian? Should he stay or should he go?

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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Headline Review; Unabridged edition (27 Oct 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0755382242
  • ISBN-13: 978-0755382248
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 13.2 x 3.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (717 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 473,855 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Victoria Hislop is a writer and journalist. Her first novel, The Island, held the number one slot in the Sunday Times paperback chart for eight consecutive weeks and has sold one million copies. Her second novel, The Return, debuted at number one in the Sunday Times paperback chart.
She was named Newcomer of the Year at the Galaxy British Book Awards 2007.
Victoria lives in Kent with her husband and two children.

Product Description


'At last - a beach book with heart' (Observer)

'Powerful stuff' (Daily Mail)

Book Description

'The queen of the intelligent beach read' Sunday Express

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
280 of 285 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moving portrait of a relationship 27 Oct 2011
This is the first book I have read by Victoria Hislop and I shall definitely be reading her others. Young Dimitri visits his grandparents in Thessaloniki in 2007. He would really like them to come and live with other members of the family now they are old and frail but they tell him they are happy where they are.

Most of the book is taken up with the story of their lives. Grandfather Dimitri and his wife Katerina first met as children when Katerina arrives in Thessaloniki as an exile and ends up living next door to Dimitri and his mother in a rundown area while their mansion is rebuilt following a fire which destroyed much of the city.

What follows is a joyful and at times harrowing and poignant story of their lives from the World War I to the latter half of the twentieth century. Katerina has a gift for sewing and embroidery and as she grows up finds it easy to get work. Dimitri is not on good terms with his wealthy father and frequently disagrees with him on politics and his future career to the extent that he is estranged from his family and has to visit his mother, Olga, in secret for much of her life. The chapters which cover World War II show how inhumane people can be but it also shows how compassion and humanity can be found in the most unexpected places.

I found the book enjoyable and well written in a low key style which lets the events of the story speak for themselves. The backdrop of the volatile politics in Greece over the whole of the twentieth century is never obtrusive though the main characters are clearly rooted in their time. I liked Katerina, in particular, as a character and she comes over to the reader as a very strong and down to earth individual.
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307 of 313 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Story 30 Oct 2011
The Thread is set in Greece's second city Thessaloniki with a prologue set in the present day. A young Anglo-Greek hears for the first time the story of his Grandparents and this story starts in 1917. A fire rages out of control and most of the citizens are left homeless. A baby boy is born that night and The Thread follows the story of that child - Dimitri Komninos. As a small boy Dimitri plays on the street with Katerina who is a refugee from Asia Minor, she fled when the Turks invaded her homeland.

This is a story of long-lasting, enduring love. It is also the story of a nation and particularly a city. Following the turbulent events of the twentieth century. Fires, wars, invastions, dictatorship and earthquakes this country and it's people went through so much. There are heartbreaking scenes within the story - the brutality and violence that happened during the German occupation - the fierce civil war and fighting between the Government and the rebel communists

At times this is a complex read and The Thread is an apt title - not only because of the links to the textile industry but also the clever way that Hislop has linked her characters, regardless of their race or status within the city.
Ultimately a love story, this is also a story of survival and of bravery, of passion and at times of brutality and such great sadness.

As in her previous novels, the modern day prologue and epilogue tie up the historical story. It's a neat way of letting the reader know how history influenced the present for the characters.

I was bewitched from page one, and The Thread is most certainly going to be one of my Top Five reads of 2011.
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51 of 54 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Thread 5 Jan 2012
I was so looking forward to reading this, because so many of the reviews had whetted my appetite for a really meaty historical novel that would entertain as well as help me learn something. But my final verdict is that it didn't really work, either as a book about Greece or as a family saga. The problem might be to do with the characterisation. We don't really get to care too much about Katerina or Dimitri. Neither of them seems to change, we don't really know them any better at the end than at the start. So many 'why' questions are unanswered. Why is Komninos so cold? Why does Olga have agoraphobia? Why does Katerina marry that monster? I could go on, but to do so would give the story away completely. And yet, I did find myslef wanting to know what happens next, so it is a real page-turner. The tourist board of Thessaloniki must be thanking their lucky stars.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars More Hislop Histories 13 Sep 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Well, anyone with the gift of keeping thousands upon thousands of readers, and all the marketing fizz that goes with it, has to be good at something.

You don't buy a book like this because it's great literature (puzzling the Spectator review....)but because it's a good story and for the first half, this races along and engages us with a family in extraordinary circumstances. It's got everything you want for a beach read : settings and history and jobs that are written in an easy and often captivating way.

You'll learn something about Greek history and for once, won't regret a penny spent on this novel. How often can you say that?

Hmmm....but all those creative writing courses and publisher blogs who teach the craft of writing really ought to shut up shop because this book shows you don't need any of it to be a best seller. Nope. Nada. Squat. In fact, perhaps what Hislop proves is that if publishers just put books out there that aren't over crafted they might sell more.

The characters are engaging but they don't develop. There is tell and show all the way through with history given to you in chunks as if it is an essay and not weaved in as part of the plot. Poor people struggle but are NICE. Rich people are UNHAPPY. And the plot device used in all Hislop novels : that photo or letter that links it all up.

And then the end - within five pages we jump from 1961 to 1978 and cram in a quick earthquake to boot. From the depth of the first half we rush into a one hell of an end.

But Hislop's doing something right.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very interesting book love all the books by Victoria Hislop I have read so far
Published 4 days ago by Betty Lancaster
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Really enjoyed this. Well written, excellent story.
Published 4 days ago by fmb
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved finding out about war time in the Med and ...
Unlike some other reviewers i really got into the story. I loved finding out about war time in the Med and found the characters touching
Published 5 days ago by Knitting Frog
4.0 out of 5 stars The best and worst of human nature in Thessaloniki in the 20th...
Strong narrative within credible and authentic historical setting. VH succeeds in raising some important ideas about diversity, friendship and character within the specific time... Read more
Published 5 days ago by Porphyro
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book.
Well written book. Very interesting.
Published 7 days ago by John McGurty
5.0 out of 5 stars The Thread - Victoria Hislop
Lovely book to read. Would recommend it for a holiday read.
Published 9 days ago by k9
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Beautifully written story
Published 9 days ago by mouressi
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Captivating book, I just couldn't put it down, you can imagine what she describes
Published 9 days ago by Tracey Gardiner
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
as ever - love VH's books :0
Published 13 days ago by Jill Dian
5.0 out of 5 stars sensitively and beautifully written.
A thoroughly enjoyable read, sensitively and beautifully written.
Published 16 days ago by Nicola Millward
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