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95 Reviews
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58 of 61 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wexford - and Rendell - back on form!
I came to this new Wexford title with some trepidation. I'd thought the last, Not in the Flesh, was pretty poor, with its shaky storyline and cringe-making subplot about female circumcision (cringe-making because of the quite condescending descriptions of the Somalian girl, not because of the procedure!).

However, I'm delighted to say that The Monster in the...
Published on 28 Sep 2009 by Daniel Sellers

versus
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
The idea for the book of Wexford solving a murder which happened in the past was a good one. However Miss Rendall should have stuck to the point and not go wandering off with reminiscing and getting involved in possible forced marriages.

This is a deary story, the only bit of light was the lion.
Published on 9 Aug 2010 by Zebedee


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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars plan to find time to listen to the last CD again, 14 Nov 2009
By 
Chris Hoare "Chris" (UK) - See all my reviews
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As a passionate reader of detective stories, also listening to them on the radio and watching these stories on television I have enjoyed listening to the unabridged audio CD's of Ruth Rendell's latest novel.I have read many of her books and have enjoyed them all.

I found the discs brought me and and required concentration so I couldn't multi task to listen to the Cds as I would when listening to the radio. You needed to listen carefully not to miss the plot... plots. So I had 8 CD's and almost 9 hours of listening and a partner who hates detective stories.

It became a mission to find space to sit quietly to listen to the CD's. I couldn't drive and listen! Nigel Anthony beautifully reads the story. He gives life to the characters with different accents and pitches of voice. He is easy to listen to and did not detract in any way to my enjoyment of the audio book.

There are 3 main story lines and the main characters of Chief Inspector Wexford and Inspector Mike Burdon return to this at times intriguing story. One has the opportunity to learn about Wexford's youth, his relationships leading to his marriage and his perceptions of a changing world, There is the unsolved mystery of a mass murderer who Wexford believes to be a man named Eric Largo and threaded through the story the Rahman family, a Pakistani family who plan an arranged marriage for their daughter. As with all Ruth Rendell's book it is more complex than that and an exploration of an immigrant family living in modern Britain. It would spoil the plots to give too much away. The end? You will have to read the book or listen to this CD collection.

I plan to find time to listen to the last CD again and then listen to it all again to make sure I did not miss anything!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellently-read version of unusual Wexford story, 23 Oct 2009
By 
Alan Pavelin (Chislehurst, UK) - See all my reviews
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Reviewing an audio book is, of course, different from reviewing a printed book, and in this instance, whereas I would have awarded 3 or 4 stars to the printed book, I can stretch it to 5 stars for the excellent reading by Nigel Anthony. He needs to master several different accents, and to distinguish at least 2 characters for some of these accents, and to my ear he is faultless. His Sussex-accented Wexford sounds identical to the actor who portrays him on TV, and I had no difficulty at all in distinguishing every word (unlike, for example, some of the chit-chat which often passes for conversation on BBC Radio 4 programmes).
As for the story, it is unusual in that it stretches back to around 1960, at the start of Wexford's career. There must be at least 100 occasions in the book when Wexford reveals his age, or should one say his attitude to the modern, in "grumpy old man" observations about how words or social mores have changed. There is a lot of psychology in it, not just Wexford's way of thinking but also the character of the mysterious Targo, who could well have stepped out of a Patricia Highsmith novel.
At nearly 9 hours in length, spread over 8 CDs, it is highly recommended if you like this sort of thing.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Easy Listening at first......., 21 Oct 2009
By 
shaz17 (England) - See all my reviews
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There are 8 CD's in the set. I loved the reader, he was very nice to listen too, some can irate the life out of me, but Nigel Anthony didn't.

I found the story very good, but have read better and I had never read or listened to this one before so it was a must for me. Yes its one for the fans but even non-fans would enjoy this too. It didn't really grab me until about the 14th Chapter, but it was an easy listen up till then and then it was all systems go for me, very exciting stuff. I do like surprises and believe me you will get a few when you listen to this one.

Through flashbacks to when Wexford was younger and a killer who has haunted him since he was a young police officer, he knows that Eric Targo is back and he knows he is a killer is and is determined to prove it and bring Eric Targo to justice. Wexford has a keen mind and accurate eye for details that makes him the good truth digger he is.

Well worth the money and a book I will listen to again in a few weeks.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 30 July 2014
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Superb
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2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not for a long car journey, 5 Nov 2009
By 
Dave M (Hampshire, England) - See all my reviews
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I had this thinking that it would be ideal for some long drives that I needed to do over the last month. I cannot recommend it for this use.

Although the story is classic Ruth Rendell with some classical twists, turns and suprises, it is just too slow moving and the delivery too sleep inducing to be safe when driving mile after mile along the M4. Even taking to my hotel room in the evening to `finish it off' (it is, after all almost nine hours long), I had to play the last disk twice and the last chapter three times before I heard the ending; such was the sleep inducing effect of this production.

I suppose that if, for some reason, you are unable to read the full book yourself and want it read to you, then this might be worthwhile, but I can't really recommend for anyone else.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars monster in the box, 21 Sep 2010
this book is a must for anyone who loves the inspecter wexford serries typycal suspense with a twist great
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars an enjoyable listen - fills a few boring hours of driving!, 28 Oct 2009
By 
E. Heckingbottom "elaineheck143" (U.K.) - See all my reviews
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I received this set of CDs a few days ago and immediately put them straight into the car - after all, I spend the best part of 2 hours a week driving, and something like this is great to listen to on a longish journey.

I am now well into the fourth disc and am enjoying the story greatly - in fact, I find I am sitting in the car for several extra minutes most days in order to complete the chapter or section that I am enjoying. It is lovely to hear it read to me, introduing nuances that I may not have spotted - although at times I find myself criticising his interpretation of the punctuation marks!

The plot is intriguing - although at times it seems to drag a little as we are pulled into Wexford's reminiscences; however, the reactions and emotions of the key characters are intriguing - and we get an insight into how Wexford and Dora first met - which gives a greater insight into their characters.

Well worth a listen - or a read - particularly if you have enjoyed the other Wexford books and want to know a bit more about his past!
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars damaged, 16 Aug 2010
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This review is from: The Monster in the Box (Paperback)
although the book was advertised as good condition, some of the pages fluttered out when i opened the parcel-however, on contacting the seller they were generous and understanding and offered me a free book to compensate-i accepted their offer and received another book...the original is now safely sellotaped up-3 stars for the book but 5 stars for understanding and helpful staff
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Monster in the Box, 3 April 2010
By 
Mr. J. Rice (Shropshire, England, UK) - See all my reviews
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This book was posted promptly, received promptly and promptly read. It is in good condition as described.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars of the early life of reg and dora wexford, 15 Nov 2009
By 
David Spanswick (Brighton United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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Rather than review the new novel by Ruth Rendell I intend to review the CD audiobook that I was sent to listen to.

The novel The Monster in the Box has been written about extensively here on this page; it is the work of a writer past her prime who, very like the later novels of Agatha Christie, is of a nostalgic nature and revels in a nostalgia where life appears to have been both simpler, more moral and yet much less examined and was filled with an unquestioned bigotry, prejudice and snobbery (still exercised by Inspector Burden who appears to be frozen in time).

The story is written in at least two time zones and mostly in the mind of Reg Wexford who, surely must be due for retirement.

In the Amazon listing for this item Christopher Ravenscroft is wrongly named as the reader who is in fact Nigel Anthony.

Anthony is easy on the ear and takes on the raspy West country accent of George Baker as Wexford and also the sibilant snobbery of Ravenscroft's Burden. These two actors have become so synonymous with Rendell's characters that it is impossible to separate the actor from the role. Indeed Wexford has even taken on the portly form (and subsequent needs for dieting) of George Baker.

The CDs are recorded with a great consideration for the listener and ends sides to coincide the ends of chapters etc.

Stamina is definitely required to take on both the recording and the listening of the whole 8 hours of the audiobook. Becoming so used to television and film it has become more problematic for a modern audience to listen to stories as it is choosing the radio over tv.

Having said that listening to a whole book is defintely a different experience to reading it. A new mobility is given to the listener and popping my walkman in my back pocket I was able to do many household chores while still listening to the story, an impossibility with a book, as well as shopping, cooking and even finishing off this review.

I can whole heartedly endorse this literary experience. The book will surely be translated into a tv film in the future, though who a new Reg Wexford will be only time will tell.

The joy of listening to the CDs is that the reader is allowed full rein of imagination to visualise the story, which uses many creative abilities that I fear we may well be losing. Visualisation is becoming a lost art.
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The Monster in the Box: (A Wexford Case)
The Monster in the Box: (A Wexford Case) by Ruth Rendell (Paperback - 5 Aug 2010)
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