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The Child Performance

The Child: An Audible Drama

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Publisher's Summary

Shortlisted for the BBC Audio Drama Awards 2015

My name is Simon. I’m 10 years old. I’m a serial killer. Robert Stern (Rupert Penry-Jones), a successful defense attorney, doesn’t know what lies in store for him when he agrees to meet a new client in a derelict estate on the outskirts of Berlin. Stern is more than surprised, when his old love interest and professional nurse Carina (Emilia Fox) presents him a ten year old boy as his new client: Simon (Jack Boulter), a terminally ill child, who is convinced he has murdered many men in a previous life.

Robert’s surprise turns into horror when he and Carina find human remains in a cellar the boy has led them to. The remains of a man whose head has been split with an axe 15 years ago - just like Simon claimed he had. Things go from bad to worse within hours when Stern discovers more dead bodies, the investigating police officer Engler (Andy Serkis) starts to chase him as a suspect in the murder cases, and his own past comes to haunt him. Stern’s friend and former criminal Andi Borchert (Stephen Marcus) is the only one to believe Stern and Carina. Hunted by the police, and led by Simon’s memories, they start to investigate shady sub cultures of Berlin, and soon discover things that are more gruesome than anything they could have imagined…

Audible Studios London presents a gripping audio dramatisation by Sebastian Fitzek, Germany’s most successful thriller writer, whose books are read around the world in more than 20 different languages. This unabridged dramatisation introduces listeners to a completely new approach to audio entertainment, a full-length dramatised book adaption with an original score and soundscapes from the heart of Berlin. Featuring amazing performances by a cast of over 20 actors in a breathtaking plot, The Child provides a truly immersive listening experience.

Like this and looking for more unabridged multicast drama from Sebastian Fitzek? Then simply type ‘Amok’ in the search box, download and enjoy!

©2014 Audible Studios (P)2014 Audible Studios

What the Critics Say

"The Child is an unmissable milestone for fans and newcomers to audio dramas alike. A compelling, star-studded drama that mixes narration, performance, music and soundscapes into a moving story about a troubled young boy and a shocking series of dark crimes in Berlin. Essential listening," (David Hewson, author of The Killing series, co-author Hamlet, Prince of Denmark: A Novel and Macbeth: A Novel.)

"Fitzek’s thrillers are breathtaking and full of wild twists. The only disappointment : there is, inevitably, an end to the story!" (Harlan Coben)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.7 (1109 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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3.6 (1028 )
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Story
4.0 (1032 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
 (71)
1 star
 (62)
Performance
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  •  
    A User Dodge City, KS, United States 10-12-14
    A User Dodge City, KS, United States 10-12-14 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    14
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    "Wow I didn't see that coming!"

    The twist and turns this book has will keep you on the edge of you seat. Good story.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Knitterati Atherton, CA United States 10-02-14
    Knitterati Atherton, CA United States 10-02-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Sound Editing Subpar"
    Would you try another book from Sebastian Fitzek and/or the narrators?

    No.


    What was most disappointing about Sebastian Fitzek’s story?

    Promising start. Around the middle the wheels came off.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of the narrators?

    The narrators were fine. I like the concept of using a group of narrators. It reminded me of a radio drama, in a good way.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Child?

    The pedophile scene was gratuitous and disturbing. I would have cut pretty much everything from the midpoint and asked for a different ending.


    Any additional comments?

    This recording can be salvaged to some degree by remixing the sound. Often the spoken word was obscured by what was supposed to be the background noise. The opening scene was a prime example--the rain was so disproportionately loud, they may have just as well been standing next to Niagra Falls.

    27 of 30 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rolando 09-30-14
    Rolando 09-30-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Disappointing"

    The story wasn't that great, pretty much unbelievable. I am disappointed at the rave reviews that misled me into thinking that this would be a good experience. The characters were lame, the story was forced and unbelievable, the subject matter is intentionally disturbing. I think that what made this "book" so disappointing is that the producers have such little faith in the audience's imaginations that they decided to take it upon themselves to create the world in their image, and expecting listeners to embrace it. No thank you.

    34 of 39 people found this review helpful
  •  
    @MrBookChief Gorey, Ireland 10-12-14
    @MrBookChief Gorey, Ireland 10-12-14 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "My favourite listening experience to date"
    Where does The Child rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It reminded me very much of HBO's True Detective and was a very different listening experience to other audiobooks. It felt more akin to a good film and I thoroughly enjoyed each listening session that I had with it.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Child?

    The Voice


    Which character – as performed by the narrators – was your favorite?

    Robert Stern


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It opened my eyes to child trafficking


    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ofanoa 09-30-14
    ofanoa 09-30-14 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Performance
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    "Auditorily Noxious"
    Any additional comments?

    The creepy voice and sound effects from screechy tires to phlegmy aspirations were intolerable to me (listening by headset). The acting was canned, harkening back to old-time radio dramas. It was an interesting endeavor for audible so I gave an extra star for that.

    32 of 38 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nancy E. Rivera 03-21-15

    Fifi Star

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Hands down worst Audible title I've ever bought"
    What disappointed you about The Child?

    Where to begin? This was a ridiculous production. Bad story. Bad writing (translation). Overwrought acting. Laughable sound effects. Bizarre production choices. There's probably a reasonable explanation for this, but why all the Cockney rhyming slang in Berlin? Is that a thing now?


    Has The Child turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No, I love all sorts of genres, including, sometimes, these dramatized productions. This was definitely an exception.


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

    Probably. I don't think this was the fault of any of the narrators.


    What character would you cut from The Child?

    All of them. Absolutely all of them.


    Any additional comments?

    Obviously, lots of people like this one, so if you decide to try it out anyway, remember that you can always return books to Audible with no questions asked and get your credit or money back.

    12 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    TW Brown, Author, Editor, and Reviewer Estacada, Oregon 10-03-14 Member Since 2013

    Todd W. Brown

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "European Authors are revamping the crime drama!"

    There is a real art to a good suspenseful crime drama. With stories like "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" and others, a real movement has emerged from the European author circles. These have carried over in the US with stories like "The Killing".

    If you have not yet delved into this genre, this would be an excellent toe in the water. There are twists, turns, and enough drama to have you turning pages or (in audible versions) listening well into the night. The beauty is the grittiness that pulls no punches and is not sanitized to a generic construct.

    The Child is gripping, raw, and compelling. Give it a go.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cynthia 04-03-15
    Cynthia 04-03-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good, but distracting sound effects"

    It was a good book that kept my interest. The performances were also good.

    Although, I found the sound effects very distracting.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kindle Customer 09-24-14

    alwayswalkingmydog

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Bone Chilling Voice Imbedded in a Unique Story"
    What made the experience of listening to The Child the most enjoyable?

    The music, the Voice and the dramatization. Audible, please provide more just like this one! You have a winner here! :-)


    What did you like best about this story?

    The Voice...freaky scary


    Any additional comments?

    This is one of the scariest novels I have listen to, and one of the most enjoyable short audible dramatized books. I cannot count the many times I jumped, startled by the musical score or the voices of the narrators. The premise of the story is simply fascinating, raising questions about reincarnation, regression therapy, insanity, fear and revenge.

    Setting: Berlin, Germany. Characters: Ten year old Simon - termally ill, does not want to die before he knows if he killed people in a former life, Rober Stern - defense attorney, Carina - nurse, Andi Borchart - former criminal, Engler - investigating police officer.

    There are not many books by Sebastian Fitzek available in English translation, nor as e-books, however, being fluent in German in will read everything this fine author has in print in his native language.

    30 of 38 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Astarte70 Auckland, New Zealand 04-12-15
    Astarte70 Auckland, New Zealand 04-12-15 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A good story..."

    A good story. Unfortunately it was difficult to hear much of what was being said at times due to background sound effects. Computerised voice was almost impossible to discern- lacked clarity, resulting in a loss of information and storyline. Would still recommend.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Kellmorris
    9/2/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "highly recommended"
    If you could sum up The Child in three words, what would they be?

    gripping and scary


    What did you like best about this story?

    The story was gripping but some of the content, without giving a spoiler, the pedophile scenes were very uncomfortable. It followed one disaster after another and maybe wasn't entirely believable at times and the end was a bit weak but that didn't stop me enjoying it.


    What does the narrators bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    Robert Glenister as the narrator was excellent. As I really like dramatisations this was an a perfect choice for me, most audible dramas are about an hour long but this was like having a good film in my ears.I can put myself in the situation, the little unobtrusive sounds effects added to the drama.


    Any additional comments?

    More dramatised books please

    13 of 13 people found this review helpful
  • Mrs Gee
    Isle of Man, UK
    8/15/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fantastic - loved it!!"
    What made the experience of listening to The Child the most enjoyable?

    I got totally engrossed in this audio drama. Trying to find something similar now. Having all the different actors made it such a brilliant listening book.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The whole story is brilliant and loved it all. Kept you engrossed all the way.


    Which character – as performed by the narrators – was your favourite?

    Stern by Rupert Penry-Jones was fantastic


    Any additional comments?

    A def must listen to drama - need to bring out more like this!!

    13 of 14 people found this review helpful
  • jo
    Manchester, UK
    8/14/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Like watching a great thriller on TV..."

    This is such an obvious concept, it is surely is only the cost of getting big names and sound effects people involved which makes a fully dramatised book so rare. It really is just like watching a cracking drama on TV, so if you really want straight narration, you'd better steer clear. If you want something which you feel like you've actually seen because it paints a picture so vivid, you'll like it.

    It is in truth not as exciting a plot as some others I've enjoyed such as The Woodcutter, but there was plenty of interest to keep me completely gripped right from the opening scene. Rupert Penry-Jones and Andy Serkis are particularly excellent - they're acting, not narrating. Meanwhile there is a narrator: Robert Glenister, who is fantastic. I wasn't so keen on the child who understandably wasn't up to the standard of the others (he's fine, it's just that he sounds like a child who's acting rather than enabling the belief that he IS the character he is portraying).

    On the whole it's a very enjoyable listen. I listened to it all the same day, which is a first for me.

    12 of 13 people found this review helpful
  • caladohel
    Portugal
    9/8/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A delightful adiobook"
    What did you like most about The Child?

    The narrotors and sound effects


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The lawyer
    I am a mother and his pain for losing his child is every parent pain and fear.


    What does the narrators bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    The brought life and acting to the story


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    yes, the story is very vivid


    Any additional comments?

    My father did radio acting performance in his youth. Sometimes he would tell stories about their acting and sound making.
    This book just brought those stories back and I really enjoyed so much listening to this story. Just like when we listen tv and do dinner at the same time.
    I was so sorry when I finished and just wished I could find more audiobooks like this.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Mikey
    poole, United Kingdom
    9/7/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great drama - Loved it!"
    What did you like most about The Child?

    The narration and the eery music


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Child?

    Hard to say without spoiling for others, but I was hooked throughout!


    Which character – as performed by the narrators – was your favourite?

    "The Voice"


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It was pretty chilling and quite creepy to begin with. Became less so throughout.


    Any additional comments?

    Great story. A bit like watching a drama play out in your head. The only downside to it, which prevented me awarding it a five star rating, was the ending as it was not as gripping or shocking as the story had been form the start. Other than that a great listen, I would do so again!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Ghert Stehn
    8/20/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Brilliant"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Child to be better than the print version?

    Have not read the print version. The audible version was Gripping, fast paced, twists and turns, page turner. You won't be disappointed.


    What about the narrators’s performance did you like?

    Tone of voice


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No, 3 or 4 sittings


    Any additional comments?

    Great to have well known actors performing the story

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Paul
    Melksham, United Kingdom
    8/20/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A must have audio book"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Compulsive, edge of your seat listen


    What did you like best about this story?

    all of it, top performances with great narration


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    So many, it gets very tense


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    film of the year, apart from the new Hobbit


    Any additional comments?

    Get it, its short, but worth every minute

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • S
    8/19/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Couldn't stop listening"
    If you could sum up The Child in three words, what would they be?

    worth listening to


    What did you like best about this story?

    The acting, read like a play, and all actors were believable, it had a beginning, middle and end,


    What about the narrators’s performance did you like?

    I love Robert Glenester reading books, he narrates seamlessly, moving the story along.
    Keeping the interest going


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes


    Any additional comments?

    This is the my first audible which was read as a play, with sound effects etc,I could have been in a theatre.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Ms. A. Lee
    UK
    9/2/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Outstanding, genre-busting thriller. Not for kids."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Unpredictable, engrossing tale with many twists and turns. Cleverly written. The different voices and background effects make the story come alive. My lengthy car journeys flew by. You need to get through the first hour before the story really takes off. Don't be put off by the bad review. You cannot judge a book of this calibre by the first hour, before the plot starts to unfold. Beautiful language offsets the unmistakeable horror.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Stern, the lawyer. A very likeable character, particularly with the voice of smooth-talking Rupert Penry-Jones (also from Silk, I thought I recognised his voice!). His conversations with the child remind me of 'The Little Prince' by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, when a grown up talks to a mysterious child that is wise beyond his years.


    What does the narrators bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    This audiobook considerably enriches the experience because there are several voices and sounds as well as haunting music. It enhances the thriller effect.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I don't want to give away the story.


    Any additional comments?

    One particular voice has undergone heavy technical effects. Unfortunately the sound system in my car made that voice hard to understand and some words became unintelligible, but the rest is so good that I put up with it. That was the only reason why I removed one star.

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Simon
    Waterlooville, UK
    6/7/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Chilling, Difficult in places, but damn good!"

    I'd definitely recommend this. The additional dimensions added by the multiple actors and sound effects make this a very engrossing format. All of the actors were very good in their roles and the narration was top notch.

    The story strays into some difficult areas, there is violence and it descends into the world of the paedophile although it steers clear of going too far. The plot builds well and the very chilling "Voice" works very well.

    I think some people might find the ending just a little weak but I liked it well enough. I will look out for more of these "radio plays" from Audible in the future.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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