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The Secret Chord Audiobook

The Secret Chord: A Novel

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Publisher's Summary

A rich and utterly absorbing novel about the life of King David, from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of People of the Book and March.

With more than two million copies of her novels sold, New York Times best-selling author Geraldine Brooks has achieved both popular and critical acclaim. Now, Brooks takes on one of literature's richest and most enigmatic figures: a man who shimmers between history and legend. Peeling away the myth to bring David to life in Second Iron Age Israel, Brooks traces the arc of his journey from obscurity to fame, from shepherd to soldier, from hero to traitor, from beloved king to murderous despot and into his remorseful and diminished dotage.

The Secret Chord provides new context for some of the best-known episodes of David's life while also focusing on others, even more remarkable and emotionally intense, that have been neglected. We see David through the eyes of those who love him or fear him - from the prophet Natan, voice of his conscience; to his wives, Mikal, Avigail, and Batsheva; and finally to Solomon, the late-born son who redeems his Lear-like old age. Brooks has an uncanny ability to hear and transform characters from history, and this beautifully written, unvarnished saga of faith, desire, family, ambition, betrayal, and power will enthrall her many fans.

©2015 Geraldine Brooks (P)2015 Penguin Audio

What the Critics Say

"Narrator Paul Boehmer delivers a superb performance of Geraldine Brooks's reimagining of the life of King David. Boehmer's characters live through his vocal magic." (AudioFile)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (355 )
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3.9 (326 )
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4.2 (320 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Nearleft Pittsburgh, PA USA 11-26-15
    Nearleft Pittsburgh, PA USA 11-26-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Disappointing"

    I have always found David a fascinating character, so I was looking forward to this book. Listening to it makes me wish I had the King James Bible instead. The performance is terribly over done, so perhaps the novel would be better in print. But I don't feel I've learned anything from it, and writing sometimes reminds me of fan fiction.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
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    Pamela Dolan 12-14-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Exquisite fiction"

    I've never read a better work of fiction based on the Bible. Brooks is a gifted storyteller who respects her source material and her audience while still boldly imagining and reimagining many iconic characters and stories. Breathtaking.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
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    Kindle Customer Buffalo Center, IA USA 02-13-16
    Kindle Customer Buffalo Center, IA USA 02-13-16 Member Since 2015

    Clergyman - Husband and dad -Clock lover, and story cherisher - especially if its real, its inspiring and allows me to feel what I feel!

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    "Flawed Perfection"

    Rare is the book that can take an historic personage and incarnate it with realistic flesh and blood. Brooks is a master of this art. As a clergyman I thought I knew the biblical David even with his ever so public flaws. Brooks has introduced a very human David...a man who can and does still inspire because he truly is a biblical 'Everyman'.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Uncle Richard 05-31-16

    Richard

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    "Mispronunciations: a fingernail on a blackboard"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    This review is to focus on one aspect of the reading, In general Mr. Boehmer is excellent but he and we are put at a huge disadvantage. I have contacted Audible about this in the past regarding other books and they say it is a publishers problem. No help there either. There must be actors and professional readers who can pronounce Hebrew natively or can be coached. An otherwise pleasant reading of an otherwise ok book (in my estimation) is quite ruined by the sometimes sad efforts at foreign pronunciation. Further, if you want a book that dwells quite heavily on the currently fashionable supposed homosexual relationship between David and Jonathan, this is a book for you.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Geraldine Brooks? Why or why not?

    I would like to try other Geraldine Brooks works. She is after all an award winning author and my issue with mispronunciation of Hebrew words would probably not apply to those other works.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    I wish the narrator had been given serious coaching in Hebrew pronunciation. I'm certain he would have been up the task and would have been much prouder of his work. It probably would enhance his resume as well.


    Was The Secret Chord worth the listening time?

    I'm willing to give time to a book that people are talking about even, perhaps especially, when I don't agree with the good reviews. It makes for interesting conversation.


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kim 12-01-15
    Kim 12-01-15 Member Since 2015
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    "loved it"

    good read mostly true to scripture , followed Davids life very well and added alot of emotion to the Bible narrative . I understand it's hard to stay100% true to scripture in a novel as there's alot of blanks to fill in .Hence it's fiction .

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brenda Bond Hawes Lafayette,LouisianaUSA 05-30-16
    Brenda Bond Hawes Lafayette,LouisianaUSA 05-30-16 Member Since 2014
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    "Brooks at her best"

    Loved this book. Am a history buff and very interested in Biblical characters especially David. It is told by Nathan, David,s prophet. I know it is partially fiction but Brooks has a remarkable gift of filling in the blanks l.e.the thoughts and feelings of the characters and what could so logically could have happened. The narrator is fabulous. He uses the Hebrew pronunciation of all the names which can be confusing I went to 1&2 Samuel when I couldn't figure out the character I have a different attitude toward David now that I have read Brooks' insightful story.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Grandma Wulf IA USA 05-07-16
    Grandma Wulf IA USA 05-07-16 Member Since 2014
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    "Game of Thrones wannabe"

    For all the potential of the material, the author abandoned the plot device of the prophet interviewing significant characters in the life of David, and kept to very superficial descriptions and covered decades in pages. Lots of blood, gore, and sex, but not much substance.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
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    Tanya Dohoney 03-27-16 Member Since 2012
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    "Another excellent novel"

    While March remains my favorite by this author, she never disappoints in the way she writes or knits a story together.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
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    School Nurse Cindy WV 12-08-15 Member Since 2016

    I've been listening to audio books for years and have been an audible subscriber for ? 10 years maybe? A long time anyway.

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    "Love the authors works but not this one."

    I just could not get into this story. I'll give it another try soon, but don't see myself completing it.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
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    Joan 11-24-15
    Joan 11-24-15 Member Since 2016

    I love a good story. Audible allows me to be outside, hiking and walking and keeping up on great literature.

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    "It took took too get good"

    I really struggled to get through this, and almost gave up several times. I love her books, but this was not as engaging. I did like the last third, so in the end, it was good. It was a challenging topic to bring to life, and considering that, it was fine.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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