Wolf Hadda's life was a fairytale - successful businessman and adored husband. But a knock on the door one morning ends it all. Universally reviled, thrown into prison, Wolf retreats into silence. Seven years later Wolf begins to talk to the prison psychiatrist and receives parole to return home. But there's a mysterious period in Wolf's past when he was known as the Woodcutter. Now the Woodcutter is back, looking for truth and revenge...
©2010 Reginald Hill (P)2010 WF Howes Ltd
I was not sure at one point if I was going to continue with this book. I stayed with it and in the end was very happy that I did. The fact that this story is influence by the "Counte of Monty Cristo" is not hidden in the story, and the trials of the main character are monumental. The story unfolds in layers and soon the reader is hooked wondering where this tale is going to go. I would recommend this book but would caution that it takes a commitment from the reader to work through the character and story development phase, once accomplished the story takes off and moves very well, with great tension building for the exciting ending.
List of favorite books: Woodcutter - Reginald Hill, Consent to Kill, First Deadly Sin - Lawrence Sanders, Sniper Elite - Scott McEwen
Great story. Great narration. I enjoyed it so much the first time and rarely get a book this good, I had to listen to it again.
I like to listen to audiobooks on my iPod as I walk. This story was so good and so well read that I almost had to walk the whole 16 hours in one go!
I loved this book. It keeps you guessing and waiting to see what's gonna happen next. One of the best books I've listened to in a while.
People who are already familiar with Reginald Hill won't need to be told what they already know: that he is a master storyteller, mixing a suspense story with deep insights into the human psyche and a powerful ability to make the landscapes come alive. The Woodcutter is thoroughly enjoyable, and at a lenght of 15+ hours it really draws you into the cleverly plotted story. Enjoy!
A man's got to do what a man's got to do..
I was not familiar with the author, but a ravish review from a listener i am following - thanks Mindusk.-;) - triggered my curiosity and i finally decided to go for it. I am glad i did it : i spent 16 hours of pure enjoyment . The plot sounds trivial : the fairytale life of a successful businessman and adored husband comes abruptly to an end in 24 hours : betrayed by the people he loved and trusted, he is financially ruined, physically handicapped after barely surviving a car crash and jailed. From then onwards it is only a matter of survival and revenge . Sounds familiar ? It is , but this book is much more than a new take of the Montecristo count or similar stories. It is engaging, exceptional and complex and very well written. A pure enjoyment !
Revenge stories aren't usually my thing, but I found this one was really more about the people than the incident or the revenge, and that's why I liked it so much, I think. Interesting characters and subplots, with enough action to make the story make sense without the action of taking revenge being the main focus of the book - though we know Wolf wants and will get revenge, how he gets it isn't nearly as important to the plot as when and why. Some may find that different focus bothersome, but I found it was a big reason about why I enjoyed the book.
Hill has created a fascinating character in Wolf and Jonathan Keeble does a wonderful job in portraying him. The story, pacing, and well fleshed-out supporting cast make this book a winner. I'd love to see Wolf in another adventure.
Sadly, Reginald Hill died recently and it's hard to believe there will be no more of his wonderful writing to enjoy. I'd always read every title in his Dalziel/Pascoe police procedural series as it was published. But I wasn't as thorough in my reading of his non-series books. I decided that I should turn to The Woodcutter, his last book, to say goodbye to Hill----and I'm so glad I did.
Wolf Hadda is the son of a woodsman who falls in love with Imogen, the daughter of the local lord. Just as in mythology, she agrees to accept him if he performs three impossible tasks. He leaves and returns a few years later, rich and accomplished, and wins his bride. Sound like a fairy tale? Well, it is, at first. But it all comes crashing down when Wolf is accused and convicted of appalling personal and professional crimes.
Abandoned by his wife, friends and business colleagues, Wolf has nothing to do but spend his long years in prison plotting how to get out, find out who engineered his downfall, and exact a fitting revenge. As with a good fairy tale, there is more to the story than the superficial story line.
This is a melange of epic myth, mystery, thriller, love story and just flat-out virtuoso storytelling. Reginald Hill has always had a way with characterization; of drawing a full-fledged person with just a few words. His Wolf Hadda is a larger-than-life personality and it's a joy to read about his dealings with those in his life, from his prison psychiatrist, Alva Ozigbo, to his cockney lawyer, to his second-in-command at his company, and so many more.
A completely engrossing tale by a masterful storyteller, whose like we won't be seeing again.
Jonathan Keeble's narration is terrific. It requires him to voice both men and women and accents from Cumbrian to received pronunciation to Cockney. He does it all quite well, especially Wolf Hadda's gravelly Cumbrian.
"Very good, but a little long"
First, I agree with other reviewers that the reader of this book should be applauded. He does an really outstanding job. The story itself is well crafted and is definitely a 'page turner'. In places Mr Hill is outstanding in creating a driving pace during a chase which was excellent. There are some points where the suspense of disbelief is pushed quite alot and some cliches. And it is longer than I think necessary, but overall an excellent adventure that I recommend.
Well paced, original and entertaining
Wolf Hadda is abrasive and devious enough to be an anti-hero and there are moments in the story when it's possible to doubt him; certainly, it's entirely possible to dislike him. However, thanks to the multi-strand structure, in which the adolescent Hadda appears in the shadowy past, the complexity of the character gradually emerges.
Certainly, Keeble's interpretation of Hadda greatly enhances Reginald Hill's creation and I found myself undeniably attracted to the character, as many female listeners probably are! Surly, seductive and downright unpleasant in places, Jonathan Keeble's reading adds colour and depth.
I actually welcomed a couple of sleepless nights which allowed me to complete this addictive book in record time! I felt I cheated myself by not lingering longer, especially over the final phase.
Thoroughly recommended as an intelligent 'read'.
"Just Brilliant - can't recommend enough"
Excellent book, great plot that keeps you riveted - I also postponed doing lots of things because I wanted to listen more. The narrator is one of the best I've heard, with really believable accents and a difference to all the voices he uses so you have no difficulty distinguishing who you are hearing speak. Do listen - its well worth it.
"I bloomin loved this book"
gentle, gripping, exciting
I really like Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman and while this is not the same genre, i was compelled to carry on in the same way. the characters were as engaging and the plot was great.
His voice is great. It is unfair to say but a lot of the old Audiobooks have suffered from a poor speaker and Mr Keeble nails it. he keeps a great pace, does all the voices and has a lovely voice himself
I listened to this book in two sittings. but only because someone started talking to me. once I had disposed of them I was back on the book.
I miss Wolf.
"Go fall in love with a one-eyed man with a limp"
I had a canter through reviews for Susan Hill's the soul of Discretion last week and a lady called Sue said that this was her favourite alongside that one. So I took a whirl and downloaded this one based entirely on that.
Well, thank you Sue, I need to be getting to bed because I've not stopped listening to it.
So much to tell you...The performance, from a single narrator, is like a radio play and the voicing is amongst the best I've listened to. You know how sometimes a man narrator doesn't quite get it with the female voices but you make allowances? Well, this guy does the women so well that you hardly notice. His voicing for the main character is powerful and the accent he chooses for 'Wolf' is perfect.
Wolf (Sir Wilf) is one of those rough diamonds. You will warm to him very quickly. I'd sort of like to meet him now, if you get my drift? There is a dog at his side and I kindof want the dog too.
Anyway, this is a complex tale of an extraordinary young man who was set-up and jailed. Listen carefully to the fist hour because I didn't and I had to go back to re-listen but that's OK too. On his release Wolf re visits his suspicions and lost love. Very clever mirroring of the set-up and the follow up. I don't want to tell you any more because of plot-spoiling but it is not mushy and the lost love is as complex a character as he is so don't reach for any tissues.
No detectives, no sentimentality, just a story but this is worthy of a detective fiction pigeon hole.
Yes, this is well worth a credit and I have been engrossed for the last few days.
"Engrossing and brilliantly read"
Well just finished The Woodcutter and am disappointed to have to say goodbye to Wolf. I will really miss him, loved his character and feel like I know him. Also loved the descriptives of his life and the Lakes, all very wild and engaging. Didn't much like any other characters in the book, except Ava the psychiatrist; everyone else seemed to have sociopathic, psychopathic and narcissistic traits but am guessing that was intended! Clever story that unfolds and unwinds well over a long tale and an all turned out well in the end feel.
Incredible narrating made a great book brilliant here. I could listen to Jonathan Keeble all day and looking up his other books.
Not sure I can add any more to the hundreds of reviews - haven't seen over 2000 ratings on any other book on audible so don't think I've stumbled on an unknown here!
"The best book from Audible so far...."
Yes in a little while. The story line was very good and the narrator was excellent, the best I've ever heard. I even looked him up on line I was that impressed.
No, I haven't got another book I would compare it to.
The main character of course, and because he was the smart thinking hero.
Yes, but I can't say here as it would give a part of the plot away!
This book kept me listening keenly for hours. Both the story line and the narration are excellent and you will not be disappointed by choosing this book.
"I wish I could give this 6 stars"
For me this book has everything. I found it interesting, thrilling, unputdownable, unpredictable, at times disturbing, other times heart-warming. Beautifully read by Jonathan Keeble, who was able to give distinctive voices to all the characters without them being annoying.
This was my first Reginald Hill book and I'm looking forward to listening to many more.
"Really got me gripped"
This was a new author for me and I was gripped from the start, not to mention the great narration. An unusual story line sets the scene for an unconventional thriller. Plenty of twists and turns to keep the interest up and full of excitement right to the end.
"CRACKING PLOT & FABULOUS NARRATOR"
This audio book has everything going for it; intelligent writing, interesting plot, great characterisations all enhanced by probably the best narrator, Jonathan Keeble. Keeble's ability to hit on the right voice for each of the characters added to the fascinating and utterly believable plot which kept me glued to my i-pod. In fact I think I became quite anti-social during the duration and was sorry when it had finished.
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