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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great listening experience...
Ten-year-old Simon feels he needs a lawyer, because he believes that fifteen years ago, he murdered someone - in fact, more than one person - in a previous life, and now he wants to tell the police. The boy is suffering from a terminal brain tumour, so when his nurse Carina contacts her old boyfriend, lawyer Robert Stern, he believes at first that Simon must be...
Published 6 months ago by FictionFan

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad
Not as good as I hoped, partly because of some sub-standard accents and poor performances, which grate when all you have is the audio. However, Simon was played brilliantly and I'm sure as a normal book this story would rise above the somewhat annoying inflexions and mannerisms of some of the cast.
I'm a big fan of these audible Dramas though - Ender's Game Alive was...
Published 5 months ago by Debbie Flint


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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great listening experience..., 7 Aug. 2014
By 
FictionFan (Kirkintilloch, Scotland) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Child. An Audible Drama (Audio Download)
Ten-year-old Simon feels he needs a lawyer, because he believes that fifteen years ago, he murdered someone - in fact, more than one person - in a previous life, and now he wants to tell the police. The boy is suffering from a terminal brain tumour, so when his nurse Carina contacts her old boyfriend, lawyer Robert Stern, he believes at first that Simon must be hallucinating. But when Simon leads him to discover the body of a man, killed by an axe just as Simon said, Stern suddenly finds himself sucked in to a strange and dangerous investigation...

Very unusually the book is being issued in audio form first, in the UK - quite often audiobooks still come a long time after the printed word. Also the audio presentation of the book takes a new approach - half narration, half-dramatisation. Normally audiobooks are entirely narrated, with just one or occasionally two voices throughout, or they are abridged and adapted for dramatisation. This one is completely unabridged, with a running time of just under 7 hours. All sections where there is dialogue have been dramatised, and the bits in between are superbly narrated by Robert Glenister. The cast list for the dramatised pieces is amazing, with some of the top UK actors in the big roles - Rupert Penry-Jones (Spooks, Whitechapel) as Stern, Emilia Fox (Silent Witness) as Carina, Stephen Marcus (Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels) as Stern's sidekick and Andy Serkis (aka Gollum) as the police officer. Jack Boulter gives a great performance as young Simon, and there are loads of good minor performances from the cast of 20.

Not only is the acting of an extremely high quality throughout, the whole sound throughout the production is great and, in my experience, innovative for audiobooks. They have recorded actual Berlin street sounds for the background which give a real feeling of being out and about with the characters as the plot gathers speed. The incidental music, used to separate the chapters is incredibly spooky and really adds to the atmosphere. And the distorted voice of the baddie is so well done that when he first appeared in Chapter 3 my hair quite literally began to stand on end! I started out listening on my beloved Kindle Fire but soon moved on to better speakers to get the full benefit of the sound quality.

As you can tell, I found this a great listening experience and for three-quarters of the book it was well on its way to 5 stars. The book started with a bang and by the third chapter I was completely hooked, listening in huge chunks (which isn't usual for me with audio) and desperate to know what happened. It's ambiguous for much of the story as to whether there's a supernatural aspect to it, and I found some bits really creepy and atmospheric, enhanced by the music and sound. The plot is complicated but not too much so, and the three main characters, Stern, Carina and Simon, are all well-drawn and likeable. Stern's personal demons, caused by the sudden death of his own baby son ten years earlier, are handled well - important to the story without overwhelming it. Unfortunately, and I'm really sad to say this, the story collapses completely in the last quarter. It's as if Fitzek had written himself into a corner and couldn't quite see how to get out. So suddenly we get well over an hour of explanation where characters just tell each other what's been going on. All tension is lost along with a good deal of the credibility that had been so effectively built up in the rest of the book.

It's so disappointing, because the whole thing had been just great up till that point and the acting and sound went on being great to the end. If I were just rating the book, it would get a maximum 3 stars, but the performances and production still make it well worth a listen in my opinion, so it gets 4. I really hope that Audible will continue to make audiobooks in this style though - it's a real step forward in my opinion, and I can think of so many books that would be perfect for this treatment, especially crime and thrillers.

NB This audiobook was provided for review by the publisher, Audible Studios.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fantastic cast brought the book to life and dealt with ..., 7 Aug. 2014
This review is from: The Child. An Audible Drama (Audio Download)
Thrilling edge of your seat audio drama . A Fantastic cast brought the book to life and dealt with some dark themes in an intelligent and compassionate way . Special mention for Jack Boulter who voiced Simon so maturely .
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5.0 out of 5 stars great listen to., 3 Nov. 2014
This review is from: The Child. An Audible Drama (Audio Download)
I loved it, hearing different voices made it extra special
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An intense and intellectually-moreish thriller, 29 Oct. 2014
This review is from: The Child. An Audible Drama (Audio Download)
The Child is Audible Studios' first full cast audio dramatisation, based on the novel of the same name by Sebastian Fitzek.

The dramatisation begins with Berlin lawyer, Robert Stern (Rupert Penry-Jones, Spooks) summoned by old love interest, Carina (Emilia Fox, Silent Witness) to meet a new client. That client is terminally ill ten-year-old boy, Simon (Jack Boulter). Simon immediately announces to Stern that he was a serial killer in a previous life, and even leads him to the grotesque, rotten corpse of one of his former victims. The discovery, as well as an eerily anonymous third party, draws Stern into a sinister plot reaching into the very heart of Berlin's child abuse network. It should be noted that there are some dark themes in this production, as well as some disturbing concepts/scenes.

The cast (at over twenty actors strong) brings Fitzek's story to life in a slick manner, with murder investigator, Engler (Andy Serkis, The Lord of the Rings) a particular highlight. Serkis so often excels in eccentric and unconventional roles (think Golem and King Kong) and his performance in The Child is no exception to that trend. The sound design is also outstanding, with SFX used in such a way that it only ever compliments Robert Glenister's superb narration (he was equally as good in JK Rowling's The Silkworm), and never overpowers it. Use of distance from the microphone is employed effectively, and the urban sounds of Berlin are recreated and laid behind the dialogue nicely.

There is, however, the occasional oddly constructed sentence (The Child was originally a German novel), but these uneasy translations are few and far between. What is far more remarkable is the production's fascinating exploration of the idea of reincarnation, and of those who study and believe/refute it. The Child's ending is almost unbearably clever, and a satisfying explanation of the complex events which proceeded it.

Jack Croxall, author of Tethers (The Tethers Trilogy Book 1)
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad, 2 Oct. 2014
This review is from: The Child. An Audible Drama (Audio Download)
Not as good as I hoped, partly because of some sub-standard accents and poor performances, which grate when all you have is the audio. However, Simon was played brilliantly and I'm sure as a normal book this story would rise above the somewhat annoying inflexions and mannerisms of some of the cast.
I'm a big fan of these audible Dramas though - Ender's Game Alive was amazing. Brings the whole story alive. But if you have a great narrator - like Robert Glenister usually is - that happens naturally anyway.
Some gritty themes in this plot too - be sure and read the product description thoroughly so you know what to expect. I must admit I hoped it was more about reincarnation than child abuse but it wasn't. Well done overall though. I would look out for more from this author.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Too long by half, 22 Oct. 2014
By 
Geraint Davies "sad old git" (marches) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Child. An Audible Drama (Audio Download)
In serious need of editing, drones on and on and on without purpose . 4 hours of audio should have been 2 hours maximum .
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dreary, 18 Nov. 2014
This review is from: The Child. An Audible Drama (Audio Download)
Dreary
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