Peter Ackroyd's Hawksmoor was first published in 1985. Alternating between the eighteenth century, when Nicholas Dyer, assistant to Christopher Wren, builds seven London churches that house a terrible secret, and the 1980s, when London detective Nicholas Hawksmoor is investigating a series of gruesome murders on the sight of certain old churches, Hawksmoor is a brilliant tale of darkness and shadow.
©2002 Peter Ackroyd; ©2014 Audible, Inc.
Peter Ackroyd - perhaps and perhaps not.
Derek Jacobi - Definitely
I really didn't like this book.
The plot was fascinating and the premise was even better.
Peter Ackroyd wrote the novel well.
The characters were simply unlikable. I loved the architectural details and the ascent of the 18th century protagonist but he was so unabashedly evil! I found it rather hard to identify with him. His modern counterpart was also rather unlikeable as he was just so depressed at his own mediocrity.
I wished the novel could have gone in a different direction. Perhaps this is a book that would do well in a book group or read by a few people at the same time. I would have liked to discuss much of this book as I was reading it.
Derek's voice is perfect. He is one of my all time favorite actors. I have much respect for him.
The book was well written. The plot path was woven quite intricately and in an interesting way. I found it quite easy to discern the two paths of the story, present and past. Derek Jacobi's performance aided this distinction quite a bit.
I loved everything about this book except the characters. Perhaps I need to read / listen to this novel again.
I LOVE Peter Akroyd's work. The book description made the story just my cup of tea. However, once I got into it, the shifting of timeframes, which I usually enjoy, just became unusually muddy. That said, I bet some film maker could make this a very intriguing move.
"Convoluted and confusing"
Whilst considered to be an excellent book, it doesn't make the translation across to audio very well. The story covers an set of events played out around the London churches of an architect, with recurring themes of murder, time and death. The complexity comes from the story following several characters in two different time periods who echo each other's actions. This makes for a highly involved story and the audio media does not encourage ease of understanding. Derek Jacobi's narration, whist energetic and rounded sometimes does not help to increase the clarity. Probably one to read in print if possible.
"awful it only has one star because I had to"
nothing could make this blather better
boring to screaming point
Derek Jacobi performance was as usual great
Anger that I actually paid for this
Just don't buy it if you want to be interested and amuse by a book and not bored out of your brain
One of the strangest and yet most compelling books I've listened to. About 45 minutes into this, I thought I would have to abandon it because the story seemed to be going nowhere. It was only the love of Sir Derek Jacobi's voice which kept me listening. And then I "got it". Well, sort of got it!. If you are expecting a conventional murder mystery, this is not it. The beauty of the book lays in the manipulation of words and images far more than it does the plot. I do not think I could read the print version of this, for me it only works because of Jacobi, I truly think he is the only actor who could narrate this. The speed, clarity and dexterity of his delivery is awesome. I shall listen to this one again, not for the story but for the comforting feeling of listening to well-written English prose read by one of the best actors ever.
"Disconnected, unengaging, directionless"
I love his historical stuff, so gave the fiction a go. Didn't work for me at all. Unpleasant characters who didn't seem to have any particularly comprehensible motives. Difficult to follow the narrative shifts on audio too.
"Didn't work for me as an audio book"
I really tried to get into this book but I just couldn't 'get it'. It probably works better as a traditional book. This could have helped me follow the different threads and find a meaning to the plot. The narration (although I love Derek Jacobi's voice) didn't help; distinguishing between characters and centuries was difficult and trying to keep track of which century we were in just interrupted my mental 'flow.
Sceptical of buying another audio book by him
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