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Smoke Audiobook

Smoke: A Novel

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Publisher's Summary

"The laws of Smoke are complex. Not every lie will trigger it. A fleeting thought of evil may pass unseen; a fib, an excuse, a piece of flattery. Next thing you know, its smell is in your nose. There is no more hateful smell in the world than the smell of Smoke."

England. A century ago, give or take a few years.

An England where people who are wicked in thought or deed are marked by the Smoke that pours forth from their bodies, a sign of their fallen state. The aristocracy do not smoke, proof of their virtue and right to rule, while the lower classes are drenched in sin and soot. An England utterly strange and utterly real.

An elite boarding school where the sons of the wealthy are groomed to take power as their birthright. Teachers with mysterious ties to warring political factions at the highest levels of government. Three young people who learn everything they've been taught is a lie - knowledge that could cost them their lives. A grand estate where secrets lurk in attic rooms and hidden laboratories. A love triangle. A desperate chase. Revolutionaries and secret police. Religious fanatics and coldhearted scientists. Murder. A London filled with danger and wonder. A tortured relationship between a mother and a daughter and a mother and a son. Unexpected villains and unexpected heroes. Cool reason versus passion. Rich versus poor. Right versus wrong, though which is which isn't clear.

This is the world of Smoke, a narrative tour de force, a tale of Dickensian intricacy and ferocious imaginative power, richly atmospheric and intensely suspenseful.

©2016 Dan Vyleta (P)2016 Random House Audio

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.6 (71 )
5 star
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3.5 (60 )
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4.4 (58 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Deb 09-23-16
    Deb 09-23-16 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    "Brilliant"

    I see some people mentioned the book "slows down." All I can imagine is they enjoy a fast paced spy novel. Although this is sometimes described as a mystery, I would describe it as fine literature with themes of good versus evil, social classes, passion versus safety and sterility. Vyleta has crafted a world you can fall into. His language is so rich it subtly coaxes me into one emotion after another. For those that enjoy a thoughtful, brilliant novel, you've found it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Cohoes, NY 07-24-16
    Amazon Customer Cohoes, NY 07-24-16 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    "Interesting concept. Requires your concentration"

    A book that addresses social consciousness and social order. Very interesting concept but requires your concentration. Not an easy, breezy beach summer read. The writing is excellent and the performance is first rate. You have to "tackle" this book but if you do, I think you will agree that it is well worth your time.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    sara gretina 12-02-16 Member Since 2016
    ratings
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    1
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    "Bravo! Bravo!"

    A fantastically crafted novel and a phenomenally designed performance. Couldn't stop listening the whole way through. This was truly a worthwhile read. Do it :)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Original Charlie Only 11-27-16
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Slow and repetitive"
    What would have made Smoke better?

    In this novel, during the Industrial Revolution, people literally emit smoke when they are angry or feeling strong emotions. It must have started as a good idea, but it did not develop in to a story line of any interest. I don't know how this idea could have been developed into an interesting novel, but it is very slow and repetitive.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Yvonne Southfield, mi, United States 09-03-16
    Yvonne Southfield, mi, United States 09-03-16 Member Since 2015

    I live to ride my bike.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Not for me"

    After countless attempts, I still do not have an idea what was the deal with the smoke. Of course I did not finish the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MetaDreaming 08-29-16

    nixie one

    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
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    Story
    "Listened to the end, but..."
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Not really "time well-spent." While I was intrigued at the beginning, the story began to lag seriously about half way through and then got really tedious by the last 25%. It was a chore to listen through to the end which I did because it took until the last 30 minutes to find out what the point had been, or was.


    What could Dan Vyleta have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    It would have been helpful to have had at least some sense of what was going on by the mid point.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    An interesting set of scenes occurs while the three young protagonists are underground in a coal mine. But this location and ancillary characters prove not to be central to the plot and the author deserts them entirely as he moves on.


    Do you think Smoke needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    No! The premise is too farfetched, confusing, and not particularly engaging though the characters are relatively well conceived and fleshed out. In a sense, this book felt like very a interesting group of characters in search of a REAL story...a compelling narrative. I kept thinking what J.K. Rowling could do with them!


    Any additional comments?

    Big time disappointment though the performance was quite good.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sven 08-03-16
    Sven 08-03-16 Member Since 2015
    ratings
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    11
    7
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    Performance
    Story
    "Good start but burns out fast."

    Very intrigued at start, the plot draws you in but it becomes dull and boring. Just kept reading curious of how the story ties up. Disappointed. Great narrator though.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Roxy 07-31-16
    Roxy 07-31-16
    ratings
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    4
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    Overall
    "Helpful"

    This is my first audio book. No issues or concerns. It was helpful to have along with the book. Easy to follow.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elizabeth Decatur, GA, United States 07-28-16
    Elizabeth Decatur, GA, United States 07-28-16 Member Since 2016

    I read speculative fiction, YA, mysteries, entertaining nonfiction, & occasionally, heavier literature. I want it well written & literate.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Incredibly Imagined"

    Incredibly imagined, beautifully written. Defies classification. Sweeping, Dickensian story, of a world where emotions cause people to smoke., but the upper classes, through schooling, discipline, and subterfuge do not. Where there's smoke, there is the smoldering possibility of fire...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark salt lake city, UT, United States 07-01-16
    Mark salt lake city, UT, United States 07-01-16 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fascinating concept and great world building"

    Great writing and an excellent performance makes this one of a handful of books I didn't listen to at a higher speed. It's part mystery, part adventure, part coming of age story all layered against a well executed take on the question: What would the world and society look like if people emitted smoke when they "sinned".

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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