It is the late 14th century, a dangerous time beset by war and plague. Nicholas Barber, a young and wayward cleric, stumbles across a group of travelling players and compounds his sins by joining them. Yet the town where they perform reveals another drama: a young woman is to be hanged for the murder of a 12-year-old boy. What better way to increase their takings than to make a new play, to enact the murder of Thomas Wells?
But as the actors rehearse, they discover that the truth about the boy's death has yet to be revealed.
©1995 Barry Unsworth (P)2012 AudioGO Ltd
A really terrific short book. Engaging reader performing a wide variety of accents and characters. Loved thinking about the development of the dramatic form, and the many different types of language required.
Dually addicted bookie. Read and listen to most books together. If I don't like reader of audible I dump it and move on.
Yes...this was third time reading and first listening. Great story...a novella...and fresh every time.
The breathless narrative by a first person storyteller.
The opening scene. Story told in first person brings you right into the forest watching the other characters in medieval England. Economically told. Cinematic.
A short novel that manages to have you engaged with several characters as they dance on the edge of danger's cliff while unraveling a mystery.
"Very good historical crime fiction"
Yes. Even though you know the outcome I feel that re listening you would find nuances you missed the first time around as the story sweeps you along at a fast pace the further you go through the story. I couldn't put it down. I needed to find out what happened and was listening until midnight on one occasion.
I enjoyed the well written, well rounded characters and the interaction between them. I enjoyed the descriptions of the formulation of the play, and the way in which the body language of the characters was construed so that the reader could follow their meaning.
for me Michael Maloney truly embodied the character of Nicholas Baker as well as the voices of all the other characters.
The second performance of the play where they had gathered more information about what really happened . Where the action in the play and characters they were performing took them over and the actors became the people they were playing without the need for rehearsal.
The time in which the book is set is stated within the synopsis of the book but is never made clear in the narrative itself.
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