I was not sure at one point if I was going to continue with this book. I stayed with it and in the end was very happy that I did. The fact that this story is influence by the "Counte of Monty Cristo" is not hidden in the story, and the trials of the main character are monumental. The story unfolds in layers and soon the reader is hooked wondering where this tale is going to go. I would recommend this book but would caution that it takes a commitment from the reader to work through the character and story development phase, once accomplished the story takes off and moves very well, with great tension building for the exciting ending.
I like to listen to audiobooks on my iPod as I walk. This story was so good and so well read that I almost had to walk the whole 16 hours in one go!
I loved this book. It keeps you guessing and waiting to see what's gonna happen next. One of the best books I've listened to in a while.
People who are already familiar with Reginald Hill won't need to be told what they already know: that he is a master storyteller, mixing a suspense story with deep insights into the human psyche and a powerful ability to make the landscapes come alive. The Woodcutter is thoroughly enjoyable, and at a lenght of 15+ hours it really draws you into the cleverly plotted story. Enjoy!
List of favorite books: Woodcutter - Reginald Hill, Consent to Kill, First Deadly Sin - Lawrence Sanders, Sniper Elite - Scott McEwen
Great story. Great narration. I enjoyed it so much the first time and rarely get a book this good, I had to listen to it again.
A man's got to do what a man's got to do..
I was not familiar with the author, but a ravish review from a listener i am following - thanks Mindusk.-;) - triggered my curiosity and i finally decided to go for it. I am glad i did it : i spent 16 hours of pure enjoyment . The plot sounds trivial : the fairytale life of a successful businessman and adored husband comes abruptly to an end in 24 hours : betrayed by the people he loved and trusted, he is financially ruined, physically handicapped after barely surviving a car crash and jailed. From then onwards it is only a matter of survival and revenge . Sounds familiar ? It is , but this book is much more than a new take of the Montecristo count or similar stories. It is engaging, exceptional and complex and very well written. A pure enjoyment !
Revenge stories aren't usually my thing, but I found this one was really more about the people than the incident or the revenge, and that's why I liked it so much, I think. Interesting characters and subplots, with enough action to make the story make sense without the action of taking revenge being the main focus of the book - though we know Wolf wants and will get revenge, how he gets it isn't nearly as important to the plot as when and why. Some may find that different focus bothersome, but I found it was a big reason about why I enjoyed the book.
Hill has created a fascinating character in Wolf and Jonathan Keeble does a wonderful job in portraying him. The story, pacing, and well fleshed-out supporting cast make this book a winner. I'd love to see Wolf in another adventure.
Sadly, Reginald Hill died recently and it's hard to believe there will be no more of his wonderful writing to enjoy. I'd always read every title in his Dalziel/Pascoe police procedural series as it was published. But I wasn't as thorough in my reading of his non-series books. I decided that I should turn to The Woodcutter, his last book, to say goodbye to Hill----and I'm so glad I did.
Wolf Hadda is the son of a woodsman who falls in love with Imogen, the daughter of the local lord. Just as in mythology, she agrees to accept him if he performs three impossible tasks. He leaves and returns a few years later, rich and accomplished, and wins his bride. Sound like a fairy tale? Well, it is, at first. But it all comes crashing down when Wolf is accused and convicted of appalling personal and professional crimes.
Abandoned by his wife, friends and business colleagues, Wolf has nothing to do but spend his long years in prison plotting how to get out, find out who engineered his downfall, and exact a fitting revenge. As with a good fairy tale, there is more to the story than the superficial story line.
This is a melange of epic myth, mystery, thriller, love story and just flat-out virtuoso storytelling. Reginald Hill has always had a way with characterization; of drawing a full-fledged person with just a few words. His Wolf Hadda is a larger-than-life personality and it's a joy to read about his dealings with those in his life, from his prison psychiatrist, Alva Ozigbo, to his cockney lawyer, to his second-in-command at his company, and so many more.
A completely engrossing tale by a masterful storyteller, whose like we won't be seeing again.
Jonathan Keeble's narration is terrific. It requires him to voice both men and women and accents from Cumbrian to received pronunciation to Cockney. He does it all quite well, especially Wolf Hadda's gravelly Cumbrian.