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Stone's Fall | [Iain Pears]

Stone's Fall

This is the story of John Stone, financier and armaments manufacturer, a man so wealthy that in the years before World War One he was able to manipulate markets, industries and indeed whole countries and continents. A panoramic novel with a riveting mystery at its heart, Stone's Fall is a quest to discover how and why John Stone dies, falling out of a window at his London home.
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Publisher's Summary

This is the story of John Stone, financier and armaments manufacturer, a man so wealthy that in the years before World War I he was able to manipulate markets, industries, and indeed whole countries and continents.

A panoramic novel with a riveting mystery at its heart, Stoneï¿¿ï¿¿s Fall is a quest to discover how and why John Stone dies, falling out of a window at his London home.

Chronologically, it goes backwards, and Stone's character deepens as the book progresses. Here is a love story and a murder mystery, set against the backdrop of the evolution of high-stakes international finance, Europe's first great age of espionage, and the start of the 20th century's arms race.

©2009 Iain Pears; (P)2009 Isis Publishing Ltd

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (11 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Brodie Mornington, Australia 12-27-10
    Brodie Mornington, Australia 12-27-10 Member Since 2009

    An unashamed Audiophile who has his own studio and business called iZENEARS which brings Australian travel and history to life for locals and visitor's alike.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    157
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    122
    79
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    FOLLOWING
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    Overall
    "Woven Tapestry"

    This is a very good listen for it explores the plot from a variety of veiwpoints. Complex but not complicated, elegant but not fluffy. Am on my third listen and still it holds the attention.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-1 of 1 results
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  • Roger
    Kenley, Surrey, United Kingdom
    12/13/09
    Overall
    "Excellent in every way....."

    This is a great book and makes an almost perfect audio book. The writing is excellent - don't be put off by the length - and the story is compelling from start to finish. It charts the rise and fall of "Stone", from an obscure begining to his shocking, mysterious and abrupt end. Told from different perspectives the story never flags and is the best audio book I have ever listened to.

    16 of 16 people found this review helpful
  • Philip
    Okehampton, Devon, United Kingdom
    6/22/10
    Overall
    "Do not listen to Book One"

    I persevered through Book One and knowing its story possibly helps one enjoy and understand Books Two and Three. However, if you buy this audio book, I urge you to skip Book One altogether - or read it to your self from the written word. The narration is abysmal. The narrator appears to have read the words without understanding them. He places emphasis on the wrong words and in the wrong parts of sentences. I suspect that he did not practice but simply picked up the book and read. He is unable to provide any sense that the characters are real; so poor is his ability to act. He is utterly unconvincing, and I winced my way through his reading.

    The story is, however, for all that, a decent one and worth the effort. Narrators Two and Three are excellent. Isis, the publishers, would be advised to re-narrate Book One altogether.

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Russell
    London, United Kingdom
    4/8/13
    Overall
    "A thriller about banking...!"

    The slightly dry, analytical prose that served 'Instance of the Fingerpost' so well, feels rather less organic here and there are several passages detailing the way banks operate that outstay their welcome, but Pears is such an artful plotter and his characters so vivid, that the book builds in tension and becomes progressively more enjoyable. The way each of the 3 sections folds in on itself did lead me to guess at least one of the 'surprises' but there is a certain satisfaction in that too. It's a cunning book, not an easy read, but well worth the effort.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Colette Austen
    Ireland
    6/3/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Complex story ruined by poor narration!"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    By re-recording the first section of this book using a narrator who understood what he was reading and when it was appropriate to pause!!


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    Liked the ending!


    Would you be willing to try another one of the narrators’s performances?

    I purchased this audiobook on the basis of previous performances by the narrator of the second section of this book - a favourite of mine. Also enjoyed the performance of Narrator 3 who I had not listened to before. However the performance of Narrator 1 on this book can only be described as truly awful!!!


    What character would you cut from Stone's Fall?

    Disliked the character narrating Book 1 but this may have been due to the dreadful reading by the narrator of this section.


    Any additional comments?

    Re-record the first section of the book read by Narrator 1......the other narrators' professional handling of the text highlighted the deficiencies of the first narrator who didn't seem to have any understanding of what he was reading.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Paul
    Boston, United Kingdom
    5/31/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I cannot stand it any more!"

    I tried to stay with this as long as I could, thinking that it could only get better - it didn't.
    The three narrators' ranges of accents are remarkable - even within a single sentence. A Hungarian/French countess with more than a hint of the valleys and an Italian doctor impersonating a Mexican bandit with Russian overtones!

    The story became very tedious and ultimately failed to enthral or even hold my attention. I loved reading 'An Instance of the Fingerpost' many years ago and so had looked forward to hearing this book by Iain Pears but will not now risk trying another of his.

    I do not aim to spend any more time on the book (being well into part three shows more than willing) or this review.

    I will be asking for a refund.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Philip
    Stockbridge, United Kingdom
    3/19/11
    Overall
    "Worthwhile listen"

    Long enjoyment

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
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