©2008 Robert Goddard;
"Written in clear, resonant prose, Goddard's first novel, nominated for the Booker prize, is a poised telling of a complex tale....In one sense a historical thriller, and in another a romantic novel of a love affair gone disastrously wrong, this is, in any case, a wonderful read." (Publishers Weekly)
"Psychological drama and intricate plot will entice readers." (Library Journal)
Love a good mystery or thriller.
It was a complex story but had so many twists and turns you just had to keep listening.
I don't think I have heard or read a book quite like this one.
This master story teller is a master at accents and different voices.
My favourite character was the narator, despite his flawed character and bad past.
Mom, married, website designer, portfolio manager in self-imposed exile (yeah Greg Smith!!), former California native, Episcopalian.
This is the third Goddard book I've listened to and I found it to be quite engrossing. The plot has plenty of good twists, some which can be foreseen. However, even when a revelation was expected, I still was eager to see how Goddard would present it. The narrator was excellent. I particularly enjoyed his Churchill. It has been lots of fun and I'm sorry to find I'm in the last hour of listening.
After this paragraph, spoilers abound, but right now you’re safe. If you’ve never read a Goddard novel, do it. His stories are long, complex and wholly satisfying if not entirely original. I read a lot of thrillers and mysteries, so quite often I can predict how a plot point is going to turn. The thing of it is, Goddard binds his readers to the story with this knowledge not by astounding you every five minutes with some fantastical twist. He doesn’t need smoke and mirrors to keep a reader going. He does it by knowing how to set tension, creating interesting characters that still have surprises up their sleeves and by helping you get ahead of the story and urging the protagonist to catch up. I’ve read his first novel (this one) and his latest (Long Time Coming) and both are equally good; quality, long-arc thrillers spiced with historical detail and real-life characters. I will definitely read more.
Spoilers set to kill.
While only my second Goddard novel, I’m not surprised at how he weaves his tales. This one is long and complex with lots of players, but I loved every minute of it. Edwin’s memoir is so tantalizing as a device and for itself and so was the search for the post-script. As soon as its existence was revealed I knew where it had to be hidden and silently urged Martin to think and could hardly bear his fumbling when I knew where it was all along! It takes a deft hand to tie a reader to the story so completely. The current trend seems to want to only do this with unknowable and unforeseeable twists in the story, but Goddard does it with knowledge, binding you to his protagonists through mutual desire for success.
From Martin’s dissipated self-interest to Eve’s two-faced game playing and Edwin’s ineffectual victimhood the story never felt slack or stale even though I could guess a lot of it. What else but a secret marriage would be Edwin’s undoing? What else could have been Martin’s undoing? Of course Eve was not as she seemed. Alex was on shaky ground to begin with. And of course Elizabeth would always be the long-suffering innocent. The only thing that threw me was Leo’s ultimate purpose. It seemed really strange to me that he’d take out his vitriol and long-distilled hatred on an innocent old woman who had nothing to do with his circumstances. Strange, but the way he morphed from kindly patron to vicious criminal mastermind was very well done. Sure he was a bit of a cliché and the whole gun incident set up the penultimate ending, with Martin’s reward at the end being the capper. Satisfying if not wholly original. I’ll definitely read more of Goddard in future.
Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada
It would have made a good read at three-quarters it's length.
Oh yes, this is first Robert Goddard that has disappointed me.
Adequate. Rather 1960's BBC news voice.
No. Took all my energy to get to the end!
It turned out to be a very good book. Not my usual--started out rather slow and I was afraid it would be a dull read because of the lack of action. I was wrong--not a lot of action but certainly not dull.
This is one of those rare books that will make you wish you haven't read / listened to it just so the pleasure of it would still be in your future. Goddard's prose is highly eloquent. His use of language is simply stunning. The characters have the right amount of depth and complexity while still being possible to relate to them. The story is not very high octane, but it is very gripping. A nearly perfect book in many respects.
Top 5 books both for story and narration
The author gives you enough hints to figure out what is going before the protagonist does BUT you never really know what is going to happen next.
I liked the fact that Paul Shelley wasn't "performing" but just reading the story in a captivating but calm voice that let the story and all the characters shine through. The novel was the star, not Paul Shelley, and that is the mark of a great narrator for me.
Elizabeth, Edwin, and Martin. They were the key characters that made the story real and compelling.
I loved this book. Aside from Dying To Tell, it is my favorite Robert Goddard novel. Paul Shelley is a great reader too! Please give him more narration work! I would listen to a book for his narration.
It could have been a lot shorter. The central mystery is presented several times from different viewpoints. I'm not that good at guessing in mysteries but here it was pretty obvious where things were going. I also thought some of the characters weren't very realistic.
Maybe a shorter one to see if it was more tightly written. I did like the combination of history, politics and mystery.
The narration was quite good, it definitely helped keep me interested.
Not all of it. I am a fast reader on paper so I think that would have been a better format where I could have skimmed through parts.
You have to suspend disbelief that someone would write a memoir with long conversations reproduced verbatim.
Past Caring is a good book with an interesting plot and well woven characters. I enjoyed it !
One of the best moments in Audiobook listening is trying out a new author and feeling you've struck gold, that you'll want to 'mine' their other books before you're done. Robert Goddard was completely new to me and I don't remember how I chose to put this book in my wishlist. But he's a terrific writer and I will definitely read more. I would call his writing style 'leisurely', but it never drags. The plot twists are amazing, but they are consistent with what we know of the characters and life in general. The plot twists are startling, yet plausible at the same time, making it a very good story. It's the kind of book you want to keep listening to for hours, ignoring everything else, including sleep. The narrator was top notch and I would choose him again.
"I will never tire of listening to the book"
Goddard is a genius. Iv read everything, listened to everything over and over again. The stories become homely after a while - such that I will continue to listen and read.
5 star in every way. Guessing until the end. Will also check out other books read by Paul Shelley, very easy listening
"I could not stop listening!"
I really could not stop listening to this book and found myself sat in the carpark running late for a meeting as I was so enthralled!
It has everything, believable characters, engrossing plot, detailed and life-like descriptions of scenery and surrounds, and fabulous narration - ear candy if there ever was such a thing!
I find myself at a loss now its come to an end - in mourning at the loss if a dear friend, I shall miss you Edwin Strafford sorely as much as if I'd known you....
A good plot and unusual story with likeable characters and enough pace to keep you listening. The narrator was excellent, a fine tone & good enunciation.
"Beguiling Intrigue at every turn"
It is an entrancing novel that holds the readers attention and leaves a lasting impression. When the memory has faded a re-read is more than a possibility.
This is classic Robert Goddard and that is a high recommendation.
There were many memorable scenes and the plotting of the novel linked them beautifully
The best of people and the worst of people unmasked.
Take the time to read this book. You will not be disappointed.
"Kept me reading"
Twist and turning plot line, took a bit too long to get to the denouement, plot with girl interest a bit too far fetched. I kept listening to the end though and satisfactorily finished up. Not sure I would read another of his. Guy reading the story was good, I think it was his voice more than anything that kept me listening, brought the characters to life.
"Past Caring by Robert Goddard"
Excellent in every way. Slightly slow building up the story, but once established held attention with many surprising developments. Politics, intrigue, deceit, betrayal and love lasting a lifetime woven together in the search for truth. Many twists along the way. Narration perfect for the story. Seemed to go quickly and was disappointed when it ended.
Wonderfully gripping story, well-rounded characters and immaculately read by Paul Shelley. Perfection! I would recommend anyone to read this.
"A book to be read"
The plot in this mystery is good and the story is fast moving but the reading dulls the experience. The reader seems to have one voice with a slight odd accent which goes for all the characters, I do with they would pay for multiple readers to read the different roles.
What an interesting book. I could not stop listening the whole day.
I thought my hubby was going to drown my I-pod!
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