Audie Award Nominee, Best Solo Narration, 2013
It is September 1919: Twenty-one-year-old Tristan Sadler takes a train from London to Norwich to deliver a package of letters to the sister of Will Bancroft, the man he fought alongside during the Great War. But the letters are not the real reason for Tristan's visit. He can no longer keep a secret and has finally found the courage to unburden himself of it. As Tristan recounts the horrific details of what to him became a senseless war, he also speaks of his friendship with Will - from their first meeting on the training grounds at Aldershot to their farewell in the trenches of northern France. The intensity of their bond brought Tristan happiness and self-discovery as well as confusion and unbearable pain.
The Absolutist is a masterful tale of passion, jealousy, heroism, and betrayal set in one of the most gruesome trenches of France during World War I. This novel will keep listeners on the edge of their seats until its most extraordinary and unexpected conclusion, and it will stay with them long after they've finished.
©2011 John Boyne (P)2012 Tantor
Wasn't expecting to be so moved by this book, but I was. Very sweet, tender and sad.
Yes, even knowing the ultimate outcome, this is nuanced and powerful story, and the narration was fabulous.
The narrator was really exceptional. I was absolutely drawn into the story, and the question of what constitutes courage.
The first performance that I've listened to. Loved his reading of the story.
A very emotional story...I was so involved that there were times I felt like speaking directly to the characters. There is a sense of sadness that haunts the story.
Lord, what a traumatic read this is. John Boyne's understated writing expertly evokes the hell that was a soldiers life in the trenches of world war 1.
Tristan, returned from the war, goes to visit the sister of his fallen friend, Will Bancroft. Ostensibly to return some letters to her but really to tell her the story of her brothers war. I was engaged and invested from the first line. I could see it all, the insanity of war, the awful conditions and events, senseless loss of life, and the terrible grief and shame of those left behind. Slowly a story more horrific than the living conditions of the men involved could ever be was revealed. I was absolutely stunned by the way things turned out for Will. Jaw droppingly stunned. If ever there was a book that brilliantly portrays how war makes monsters of men then this is it.
The narrator, Michael Maloney was excellent. I noticed, and appreciated his voice but it never became bigger than the story he was telling.
John Boyne, yes; Michael Maloney--never.
Impossible to follow. Reader read both quickly and softly, without much intonation. Impossible to listen to.
i like to read. i like to listen.
this novel was seriously disturbing, but really good.
it's extremely emotional. an intimate portrayal of a soldier and all the mistakes he makes in relationships, in war, in love. it's truly moving and tragic and very powerful.
the narrator brought tristan to life in a really wonderful way...making him just sympathetic enough for you to want to read on (listen), but also bringing the ringing truth about his decisions into plain sight.
it's a book that will stick with you a while.
I found myself in the mind of each character and evaluating the acts thoughts and morality on a series of parallel scales seeking the justice in the outcomes. Boyne writes with such sincere emotion it draws the reader into his books Nd challenges you to take sides and discuss issues. This is a great book.
The narration of this book was extremely frustrating and blocked me from enjoying it. Maloney melodramatically whispers the majority of the book, so that I found myself constantly tuning the volume instead of taking in the book. After whispering the voice of the main character for an extended period of time, he would suddenly switch to the booming voice of a supporting character, causing me to hurry to re-adjust the volume again. He differentiates the voices well, but he needs to speak up. The whispering melodrama does not benefit this audio in the least.
I strongly suggest reading this book rather than listening to Maloney's narration.
This was such an intriquing novel. I was quite surprised by the ending but it led to understanding of the lead character's demeanor through the book. Many thanks for this excellent read.
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