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Restless | [William Boyd]

Restless

It is the summer of 1976 in Oxfordshire, England, and someone is trying to kill Sally Gilmartin. The only person she can trust is her daughter, Ruth, a young single mother struggling with her own demons. Now Sally must tell her daughter the truth: She is actually Eva Delectorskaya, a Russian émigré recruited for the British Secret Service in 1939.
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Audible Editor Reviews

Why we think it's Essential: William Boyd has crafted an espionage thriller that's as good as anything by John Le Carré. Even better, it's narrated by Rosamund Pike, whose careful, measured, and precise performances as the novel's two main characters held me spellbound. Not surprisingly, this production was a multiple Audie Award nominee and winner. –Corey Thrasher

Publisher's Summary

It is the summer of 1976 in Oxfordshire, England, and someone is trying to kill Sally Gilmartin. The only person she can trust is her daughter, Ruth, a young single mother struggling with her own demons. Now Sally must tell her daughter the truth: she is actually Eva Delectorskaya, a Russian émigré recruited for the British Secret Service in 1939. Sally has buried many secrets along with the name Eva Delectorskaya, including her work manipulating the press in order to shift public sentiment toward U.S. involvement in the Second World War and her dangerous love affair with another spy. As the truth comes out, Ruth is drawn deeper and deeper into the astonishing events of her mother's past. Restless is a tour de force from William Boyd. Full of tension and drama, and based on a remarkable chapter of Anglo-American history, this is storytelling at its finest.

©2006 William Boyd; (P)2006 Audio Renaissance, a divison of Holtzbrinck Publishers, LLC

What the Critics Say

  • Audie Award Finalist, Fiction, Unabridged, 2007

"This fascinating story is well told." (Publishers Weekly)
"[An] espionage thriller and domestic drama by one of the very best prose stylists and storytellers in the English language." (Atlantic Monthly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (1110 )
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4.1 (278 )
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4.2 (285 )
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3 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Susianna Wisconsin 12-27-07
    Susianna Wisconsin 12-27-07 Member Since 2006

    Susianna

    HELPFUL VOTES
    225
    ratings
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    23
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    Overall
    "Favorite Book of 2007"

    Restless has it all: richly drawn characters with depth, humanity and wit who find themselves drawn into a believable intrigue that captures you from the first sentence. Boyd's writing elegantly and effortlessly provokes thought on the issues of secrecy, intimacy, loyalty, and love. His grasp of the everyday routine of living adds grace notes of humor and warmth to a first rate story. The narrator is perfect - her intelligent and wry delivery brilliantly delivers Boyd's fascinating story. The combination of excellent writing, two interesting protagonists (one of whom would have made Le Carre's Smiley tip his hat in admiration after a successful dead letter drop) make this my favorite book of 2007!

    18 of 19 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard Cologny, GenevaSwitzerland 11-14-06
    Richard Cologny, GenevaSwitzerland 11-14-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
    41
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    3
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    "More by this author, please"

    Please, Audible, let us have more books by this author. This superb story of British secret agent activity in the US during WWII was one of the best boooks I have read in years. Its gripping tale held my attention from cover to cover. It was finely constructed and brilliantly written.

    12 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    F. Webster 10-15-06
    F. Webster 10-15-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
    66
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    12
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    "Wonderful!"

    A compelling and beautifully written novel about a fascinating time in world history. I listened to it straight through in one weekend. Buy the unabridged version — you won’t want to miss a minute of Boyd’s amazing prose.

    10 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Austin, TX, United States 07-26-09
    John Austin, TX, United States 07-26-09 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Terrific Read"

    I'm not a big fan of spy novels, but this is almost in a class by itself. I was completely caught up in the story. Boyd does the details and the plot of the spy thriller very convincingly. And he's superb on local color as the action switches from England to Europe to the U.S. The reader does a magnificent job.

    9 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sheila San Francisco, CA, USA 01-24-08
    Sheila San Francisco, CA, USA 01-24-08 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
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    6
    2
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    "Excellent writer;excellent reader"

    I enjoy many Audible selections and am a mystery as well as a novel fan. This book is one of the best listening experiences I have had thus far! The writing is especially fine. The characters are complex and deeply interesting. Haunting and modern. The reader did a wonderful job of portraying them.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew mORRINSVILLENew Zealand 06-20-07
    Andrew mORRINSVILLENew Zealand 06-20-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
    345
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    Overall
    "They don't get much better than this."

    What secrets do we hold in our hearts? What bitterness and anger do we nurse, anticipating if not revenge, then at least resolution?
    When Eva reveals her past as a British spy to her incredulous daughter Ruth, a door is opened into the lives of two formidable women. This novel is three stories, Eva’s story as wartime spy, Ruth’s story as a single mother in 1970’s Britain and finally the story of both woman united by the secret that has kept them apart.
    Genre transcending, this story takes us on an absorbing journey through the early years of WW2, from Europe to Britain to the U.S.A to Canada and back to London. It is an exploration of the art of spy-craft, manipulation and deceit. It is insightful study of two young woman, both strong and intelligent, struggling to make a place for themselves in a world from which they are both slightly dislocated.
    There is action, intrigue, romance; a clich? free plot and finally an unexpected and satisfying resolution for all concerned. The narration is outstanding, the story is well constructed, the plot ripples and the characters are deeply absorbing. A very worthwhile and highly recommended audio experience.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C. Kuschel-Toerber Frankfurt, Hessen 12-15-06
    C. Kuschel-Toerber Frankfurt, Hessen 12-15-06 Member Since 2006

    Christian Kuschel

    HELPFUL VOTES
    62
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    22
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    5
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    "Shadow and Light"

    This could have been a really great book, I think. If only the author wouldn´t have left so many interwoven story lines unsolved. During the course of the narration (which needs a bit of concentration, as the chapters constantly switch between the 1940´s and 1976) you get to meet quite a lot of fellows with a history of their own (potential left-wing and Arab terrorists, for example) that just happen to fade out completety, forgotten threats that are annoying in the end when you come to realize how much more could have been spent on the fascinating story central to this novel.

    Thumbs up for Rosamund Pike who delivers a marvelous performance, including an autehntic variety of accents and languages!

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rowan Mangan 09-18-11 Listener Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Best audiobook I've ever heard"

    I haven't read this book on paper, though I've listened to it about half a dozen times, so I really don't know how much of my love affair with the story is about William Boyd, and how much to Rosalind Pike's narration.

    She is just insanely good -- her reading of the book is intelligent, which can't be underestimated in narration, since its absence is always so cringey. Pike understands the characters and portrays them with sensitivity and respect, and her accents etc are pitch-perfect.

    Huge kudos to Boyd as well, of course. The story is a ripsnorter -- war, espionage, betrayal, intrigue... gave me real insight into two historical contexts that he made fascinating and rich.

    I listen to audiobooks constantly and have for years. I've listened to hundreds, and this is hands down the best in terms of narration and story. Do yourself a favour.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott Roseville, CA, United States 12-20-08
    Scott Roseville, CA, United States 12-20-08 Member Since 2006

    Don't you just love a great story well told?

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "What it is like to live as a spy"

    There is an almost haunting quality to the narration and tone of the book that indicate the level of emotional detachment required to be ready to kill or do things or do seemingly innocuous things that could get her killed. Well, read, well written, and the tone / theme of the books sticks with me months later.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    09-28-08
    09-28-08 Member Since 2004
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    "Compelling!"

    From beginning to the end it keeps you gripped and thinking “where is this going”? If you like intrigue, espionage and drama, you will enjoy Restless. Also, the narration by Rosemund Pike was well done; better than most. You should know that the novel starts well, slows and then meanders towards one of the best conclusions I’ve ever encountered. It kept me interested throughout. With the author titling this book Restless doesn’t do anything to the reader until the very end. Then everything becomes clear.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 90 results PREVIOUS129NEXT
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  • Joan
    WatfordUnited Kingdom
    2/3/07
    Overall
    "Unmissable!"

    Absolutely terrific. The story is complex, but always makes complete sense, and is totally believable. It's a tale of espionage in the Second World War and is both gripping and fascinating as we learn of the life of a young woman spy. Interwoven with that is the story of the same spy a generation later and her relationship with her adult daughter.

    This audiobook is wonderfully well read by Rosamund Pike and is hugely enjoyable and satisfying.

    29 of 29 people found this review helpful
  • Coleen
    LondonUnited Kingdom
    3/8/07
    Overall
    "throughly enjoyable"

    This book is well paced, utterly intriguing, and a thoroughly enjoyable, easy read.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • chris
    London, United Kingdom
    4/30/07
    Overall
    "Great suspense"

    Terrific WW2 spy story interwoven with 70's intrigue in Oxford, with international influences from Germany (Bader Meinhof) and Iranian revolution. Compelling story, told with great vocabulary and well narrated. Have had my ear phones in at every available opportunity.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Clare
    RichmondUnited Kingdom
    8/9/07
    Overall
    "Un-put-downable!"

    This really has to be my favourite audiobook so far. I was totally engrossed in Restless and found myself listening at every opportunity. Rosamund Pike (she played Frost in 007?s Die Another Day) does a fantastic job of bringing the characters to life and I couldn?t imagine reading it without all the different accents she manages to do so well. I think she really makes this a fabulous listen and I was quite lost when it ended. Not my usual type of book but I really feel like I have been given a true insight into espionage in the second world war and this has left me wanting more of the same.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Alan
    Northwich, Cheshire, United Kingdom
    7/17/07
    Overall
    "Excellent trip into the world of WWII Spies!"

    A definite 5 star book despite 2 chapters being recorded in the wrong order. Don't worry, this won't spoil the book in any way, it just makes you think, 'hang on, have I missed something?'. It quickly sorts itself out and the chapters in question are very short.

    The trip into the world of espionage is fascinating as is the tie back to present day (well, 1976). I won't say anymore apart from - go buy!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • David
    Uttoxeter, United Kingdom
    7/15/07
    Overall
    "Overrated"

    Considering the prestige etc. of this book the actual read was dissapointing. Not overly long the book would have been better being around 25% shorter. The story itself is good; although quite why the heroine sahould 'run off' at the part she does in the story seems odd. Other side stories are dull and uninteresting and add little or no value.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-6 of 6 results

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