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Sarum: The Novel of England | [Edward Rutherfurd]

Sarum: The Novel of England

In Sarum, Edward Rutherfurd weaves a compelling saga of five English families whose fates become intertwined over the course of centuries. While each family has its own distinct characteristics, the successive generations reflect the changing character of Britain. We become drawn not only into the fortunes of the individual family members, but also the larger destinies of each family line.
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Publisher's Summary

In Sarum, Edward Rutherfurd weaves a compelling saga of five English families whose fates become intertwined over the course of centuries. While each family has its own distinct characteristics, the successive generations reflect the changing character of Britain. We become drawn not only into the fortunes of the individual family members, but also the larger destinies of each family line.

Meticulously researched and epic in scope, Sarum covers the entire sweep of English civilization: from the early hunters and farmers, the creation of Stonehenge, the dawn of Christianity, and the Black Death; through the Reformation, the wars in America, the Industrial Age, and the Victorian social reforms; up through the World War II invasion of Normandy and the modern-day concerns of a once-preeminent empire.

©1987 Edward Rutherfurd (P)1994 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

“Nadia May is ideal; her British accents fit the locale, and her pacing and characterizations are smooth, unobtrusive and compelling. The ease of her reading leads the listener to forget she is there, the sign of the perfect narrator.” (AudioFile)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (575 )
5 star
 (196)
4 star
 (184)
3 star
 (115)
2 star
 (48)
1 star
 (32)
Overall
3.9 (498 )
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.0 (502 )
5 star
 (200)
4 star
 (172)
3 star
 (87)
2 star
 (24)
1 star
 (19)
Performance
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  •  
    RDCaswell Wilton NH 01-30-15
    RDCaswell Wilton NH 01-30-15 Member Since 2008

    Bohemian Yankee

    HELPFUL VOTES
    22
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    23
    7
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    0
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    Story
    "Long series of stories with no particular plot"

    43 hours of vignettes about people from the same common place with the same group of last names. Yawn.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gail 12-07-14
    Gail 12-07-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    9
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Story
    "Awkward to follow but worth the effort."
    Would you consider the audio edition of Sarum to be better than the print version?

    Loaded! I had some difficulty with this title. It's loaded with details and plots lines. I found myself going back chapters to get my bearings and listen again to plot threads. However, I stilled struggled through it and must say I enjoyed it.

    So much so I moved on to Paris, after having read Sarum I hoped I was familiar with the author's format, character and plot development and might be able to follow things a bit better.

    I say more on that books review.

    Advice, stick with it.


    Would you recommend Sarum to your friends? Why or why not?

    With the explanation that it's a challenge to follow and not an especially easy read but a very good one.


    Have you listened to any of Wanda McCaddon’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    BecSue 11-13-14
    BecSue 11-13-14 Member Since 2013
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Couldn't finish this rambling book"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Anyone who is reading it only for the historical value.


    What could Edward Rutherfurd have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    I love many of his books because they allow you to get involved with the characters. By trying to encompass such a large timeframe, just as I was getting to know the characters, it jumped to the next generation. I was never able to listen and enjoy, because I was always trying to figure out the new characters.


    What three words best describe Wanda McCaddon’s voice?

    Clear, concise and as disinterested as I was.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Restlessness


    Any additional comments?

    I listen to audio books at least 5 hours a day due to my commute time. This is only the second time I've removed one from my Kindle without finishing it. Really wasted my credit on this one!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Billie P. Sessions California 04-30-14
    Billie P. Sessions California 04-30-14 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    14
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    51
    7
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Story
    "Hoping for more . . ."
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    I loved Rutherford's New York: The Novel, so I thought this would be as good. Not so much. I did enjoy the history aspect, but he bit off WAY too much. I only slightly exaggerate, that he started at the 'beginning of time' and worked forward. Obviously, the story had to make jumps, in his effort to leave a thread in the genealogy - but too big o'jumps and keeping track of how a surname would change through eons of time was tough. I applaud his efforts, but unless you LOVE history, which I do - you will not make it through this HUGE book. I did make it - and . . . . glad I did, but . . . wouldn't especially recommend it.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Edward Rutherfurd again?

    Yes - I own Paris and I am hoping it is better. I will take it on after I let a few more books float under my bridge. Need a break from the history and need to get rid of some Sarum cobwebs.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    It was okay. About right I guess. But . . . wow - what a looooooooong recording session. This guy deserves a longevity award!


    Did Sarum inspire you to do anything?

    Ha! It has not taken away my desire for a long trip to Great Britain!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cindy 04-24-14
    Cindy 04-24-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    184
    5
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Story
    "couldn't finish it."

    This book was neither purely historical or purely novel, with neither having enough "umph" to keep me interested. I stuck with it until the middle of part 3, sure that it would get better, but, just more of the same.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joange Rice, VA, United States 04-21-14
    Joange Rice, VA, United States 04-21-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    134
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    166
    63
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    8
    0
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    Performance
    Story
    "Had to quit on the 4th download"

    Why I listened as long as I did is my fault!! I should have thrown in the towel on the first download and saved myself a lot of aggravation. There are so many characters in this book and such a long span of time that it became nearly impossible to keep track of the details. And the details I did retain we meaningless. There little of any emotion in this book - a little misery, a little self-satisfaction but very little else. None of the characters stood out from the others. This is a long, dreary, dull book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Katherine Georgetown, Ontario, Canada 12-19-13
    Katherine Georgetown, Ontario, Canada 12-19-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    156
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    142
    139
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    11
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    Story
    "Best way to learn about history"

    What can I say? It seemed long at times, but I enjoyed thoroughly many of the time periods. Others have spoken of the sounds from the narrator, which could be distracting. There's nothing quite like an Edward Rutherfurd book to give you a window into a different time period.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott Philadelphia, PA, United States 09-24-13
    Scott Philadelphia, PA, United States 09-24-13 Member Since 2009

    Scott P

    HELPFUL VOTES
    119
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    261
    28
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    3
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    "Long and slow in parts but worth the listen..."

    I loved New York by Rutherfurd and this book fell well short of that for me. Perhaps it's because as an American I identified more with New York and had a deeper interest in the history. However, I do think this was a harder "read" in that the story spans such a long time and so many families and characters. It's still a very interesting book that shed light on a lot of England's long and fascinating history for me. You may want to have another book that you listen to, as I did, during this one so that you can step back and take a breather.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rosemarie 06-23-13
    Rosemarie 06-23-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    47
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    0
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    "sterile history book"

    Not recommended reading for entertainment. Not bad if you want a history lesson - 30 hours on the history of one city in England. No charactor developement. McCaddon may do better with some material to work with.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Theresa Toledo, OH, United States 03-25-13
    Theresa Toledo, OH, United States 03-25-13 Member Since 2008
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    388
    2
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    Performance
    Story
    "I really wanted to listen to this story"

    The book, yes. The recording, no. The story skipped backwards and forwards so many times that I simply couldn't keep track of the story line nor the characters. It seemed that as soon as I became comfortable with the story and began to make the connections between the characters and the generations, the recording would jump backwards. After multiple attempts to ride it out and rising frustration, I simply stopped caring.

    I am a voracious Audible listener and this is the first (and hopefully last) time I have encountered these issues.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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