- Audio Download
- Listening Length: 13 hours and 57 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Brilliance Audio
- Audible.co.uk Release Date: 12 Sept. 2012
- Language: English
- ASIN: B0099S2WL4
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank:
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The Bloodletter's Daughter: A Novel of Old Bohemia Audio Download – Unabridged
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Top Customer Reviews
On the plus side, this is told in a clear and vivid fashion, and the history is smoothed out to be immediately accessible and understandable to readers who might know nothing about seventeenth century Europe.
On the not so positive side, however, there are various flaws in the book: it's too long, for one, and everything unrolls in a very slow fashion. Some of the writing is laughably clichéd: girls are `sweet and defenceless', men are `beasts'; men `roar' when they're angry, villains `snicker' quite a lot. Our heroine, in typical popular historical novel fashion, has modern career ambitions and wants to be a doctor.
My biggest irritation is the familiar use of contemporary Americanisms (`fall' for autumn, the ubiquitous `gotten') which destroy any historical atmosphere; and linguistic anachronisms which jarred me immediately out of the seventeenth century - particularly noticeable are a coarse slang word for semen which doesn't come into use in this sense until 1890, men who are described as `randy' (not in use till 1961), and - my favourite - `she pulled off his pants and folded them'... err, not in 1606 she didn't.
Not everyone will be bothered by things like this, I know, but they served to destroy the atmosphere and illusion of the seventeenth century that the narrative was at pains to build. So a mixed response from me: at heart, there is an entertaining read here, no literary masterpiece but a colourful and interesting story - 3.5 stars.
"The Bloodletter's Daughter" is set in the real village of Cesky Krumlov in 1606. The mad, illegitimate son of the Habsburg emperor Rudolf II - himself considered extremely eccentric - was imprisoned by his father in the castle overlooking the village. Don Julius was considered insane - today maybe he'd be seen as bi-polar - and his manic phases constituted a danger to himself and those around him. Locked away in the castle, he was being treated by his father's doctors and priests, primarily through "bleeding" Julius with leeches. Relieving the humours, they thought, would relieve his manic actions. The bloodletter's daughter, Marketa, was a local beauty who also wanted to learn medicine and was her father's assistant in his practice. Since she was also her her mother's assistant at the family's village bathhouse, she was also quite conversant with anatomy.
Linda Lafferty is quite knowledgeable about the politics of the time.Read more ›
Personally I feel that Amazon have let their author down. A strong development editor could have helped her to develop a more compelling narrative voice (possibly) and could have been stricter with her about the internal logic of the world she was creating. They could also have got her to write down a list of her characters motivations, and then made her stick to them.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A gripping tale set in the reign of Hapsburg Emperor Rudolf II. Fascinating, detailed and intriguing thriller, difficult to put downPublished 6 months ago by Ms. Jackie Patterson
This was a riveting read. It really came to life for me, both the characters and and the surroundings had a very authentic feel. Read morePublished 6 months ago by mrs g a kirby
This book is beyond words it was so good I really did not want it to end I am so glad you managed to get it published thank you.Published 6 months ago by Pen Name
A good story about a place that I know quite well - which made it even better!Published 8 months ago by Rev. Sheila Foreman