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Sarum Audiobook

Sarum: The Novel of England

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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

3.9 (743 )
5 star
 (265)
4 star
 (243)
3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Overall
4.0 (655 )
5 star
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1 star
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Story
4.1 (659 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
 (111)
2 star
 (26)
1 star
 (22)
Performance
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  •  
    Lloyd ambler, PA, USA 08-31-15
    Lloyd ambler, PA, USA 08-31-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Too much"

    First let me say that I'm a big fan of Edward Rutherford. I'm looking forward to other books of his, but with this one he tries to cover way too much time. The brilliance of his work comes from being able to follow one family or one group of families through several generations. You get a great sense of history happening all around. And you care about the characters because you just heard about their grandparents and all the stuff they went through 50 years before, but with Sarum there is really none of that because instead of skipping a generation or two you're skipping hundreds or even thousands of years (they book starts at like 10,000 bc). I still have like 23 hours left of this book and I think I'll get through it, but it will be a chore. I'm just not emotionally involved in this story because I haven't been invested in the families or the characters. Bummer. Try a different one instead- Paris or New York for sure.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MARYELLEN 08-19-15
    MARYELLEN 08-19-15 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    "Interesting Occasionally But Overall Boring"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    I couldn't say.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Edward Rutherfurd again?

    It's unlikely. I wouldn't want to risk wasting another credit.


    What aspect of Wanda McCaddon’s performance would you have changed?

    Character development. Most of the book was really like a series of short stories. After meandering through boring, often speculative historical background, the story would start to become somewhat interesting; then the chapter would end and the story would skip ahead hundreds or even thousands of years, obviously with a completely different cast of characters. The only thing linking the different chapters / time periods is that the new characters were descendants of those in the previous chapters. As lengthy as each chapter was, none of the characters were developed to the point that I cared about them one way or the other. This is probably for the best because the reader is usually left hanging at the end of each time period as though the story is arbitrarily cut off at any point in time.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    For what it was, I suppose the book was fairly well written. It was just so boring I often found myself having to rewind to pick up where I zoned out, only to discover that I really didn't miss anything of interest.


    Any additional comments?

    I usually enjoy long, multigenerational sagas but this one was just too much to endure. I finally gave up.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Evelyn Starr 06-11-15 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Clever book"

    I really liked the author's execution of this book. It was well planned and I loved getting to know so many generations of the same families.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janne 02-02-15
    Janne 02-02-15 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    2
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    Performance
    Story
    "Like watching paint dry"
    Would you try another book from Edward Rutherfurd and/or Wanda McCaddon?

    No - absolutely not.
    The stops and starts in her narration made me think that the story had stopped.


    Has Sarum turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No, I enjoy good historical fiction. This just wasn't one of them.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    There is such a gap from when she stops a sentence to starting another that several times I thought that the book had stopped playing. There are also several times when her voice changes that you can tell that she started recording on another day.
    There was a mention by another reviewer that she narrated in an old fashioned way. Not sure what that means. Her voice was fine.


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

    Absolute boredom - and yes, I did listen to the whole thing. It was completely impossible for me to care about any of the characters.


    Any additional comments?

    Excellent book if you need something to fall asleep to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    RDCaswell Wilton NH 01-30-15
    RDCaswell Wilton NH 01-30-15 Member Since 2008

    Bohemian Yankee

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "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
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    "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
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    6
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    "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 04-30-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    17
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    "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
    8
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    5
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    "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
    175
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    218
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    12
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    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

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