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 always expect quality from Reginald Hill, and have loved every book he's ever written.
The Woodcutter surpassed even my high expectations with an engaging story, great characters and a study in justice that leaves a lasting impression. To me, Hill's greatest talent is to remain completely invisible as the story unfolds. Too often I read stories that, while interesting and thought-provoking, feel like a message from a writer on his soapbox. The Woodcutter is filled with moral ambiguity, and leaves the reader with much to contemplate, but, at least for me, my reaction was to events and aspects of Hill's characters. Not once during the entire book did I feel the presence of Hill's hand as the story progresses through bad acts committed by good people and surprising kindness from some "bad guys." There is suspense throughout, but it didn't feel dark ... occasional humor and never forcing the pace of action keeps the tragic elements of the story from overwhelming the reader. Highly recommended!
Even if you read all of the "Best Sellers", the Man Bookers, the Edgars, the Hugos, the Pulitzers, Staff Favs, and the readers suggestions in your constant pursuit of good and/or entertaining reading material, this award winner's latest book may have sneaked by you--and what an epic MISS. Thanks to consistently high marks by Audible reviewers, I was schooled, and spent 16 engaging hours hanging on to a rollicking, smart, psychological thriller where the big bad wolf is the heroic axe-wielding woodsman, and sets out to prove that unconventional fact. It took me a couple of chapters to get used to the breakneck pace, and I would've been thoroughly satisfied with a nicely tied up ending at about the 12 hour point, but neither little personal gripe diminishes the experience. My first Reginald Hill--and from what I've heard from other readers, one of his best. A great choice...Thanks-previous reviewers.
How can the characters in this year's True Detective be worse? Ferrill is asexual, drunk, corrupt, a child abuser and worse!
As I listened to this tale it became obvious how much I love revenge stories. The most thorough and satisfying tale of revenge would be The Count of Monte Cristo. The best modern tale, in my opinion, is the Dragon Tattoo series. Of course, Monte Cristo and the Dragon Tattoo are both biblical in length. But this is what makes them so brilliant, the authors spent as much time completing the satisfying and justified revenge as they did on the (unjust) destruction of the heroes.
Which brings me to The Woodcutter. As the story develops we are introduced to a gruff, unsophisticated, powerful man who's humility immediately attracts the reader. He is betrayed and destroyed to the point that any part of what made him great in his world could never be redeemed. The conspiracy against him is every bit as sophisticated and developed as Larrson's trilogy. (If you haven't listened to the The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo trilogy, stop here and buy it now.)
What disappoints me here is the lack of depth and completeness in the revenge itself. There, I've said it. I listened to every minute of this book with relish. It is entertaining and clever. The mystery revealed is remarkable. However, its lack of detail and brevity left me disappointed.
Still, its a great book, well worth your time!
I wasn't sure about this book at first. I listened to the sample audio and decided to take a chance. It was well worth it. Kind of like the Count of Monte Cristo as told by a great-grandson of Charles Dickens. A compelling and intelligent thriller with humor and heart.
Actor/director/teacher. Split my time between Beijing and Seattle now. Listen to Audible on the subway and while driving or riding my bike.
Some reviewers have suggested that the book gets stronger as it goes along. I actually felt just the opposite. I had not read any Reginald Hill before, but after only a few minutes of listening it was obvious that I was in the hands of a master storyteller. His unobtrusively artful use of language, the subtle brush strokes he used to paint his characters and the effortless way in which he moved through the exposition allowed me to relax and settle in to enjoy what was obviously going to be a fascinating and exciting ride. This impression was only reinforced by Jonathan Keeble's extraordinarily fine vocal rendering of both the characters and the narrative.
Nor did I, like some other reviewers, feel the book went on for too long. It continued to keep me fully engaged all the way to the last word. My only complaint is that it did begin to feel somewhat more contrived and "slick" as the plot wound to its conclusion. Sometimes even a little obvious. And the literally "bodice ripping" climax (no pun intended here) could have come straight out of the pages of a modern Gothic romance. No question that it was powerful and shocking, but it was also jarring and incongruous in a book which had been so seamless and convincing up to that point.
That said, Hill was such a fine writer and this was such a ripping good tale for most of its length that I could forgive much. I had a great time listening and I think most others will as well.
I listen to audiobooks when I drive and when I hike.
I listen to audiobooks when I'm driving and when I'm hiking. With some books, I drift away from the story and have to rewind but not with this one. This audiobook kept my attention the whole way through and I was really sad to get to the end of it because I wanted more.
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!
Typical cat lady: lazy, sings off-key, craves spicy bloody marys.
Exquisite writing and excellent narration make The Woodcutter a must-listen for those of us who love a mystery fraught with human foibles.
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.
"Loved this book"
I downloaded this book around 6 months ago and have listened to it 3 times. Given it's a hefty tome, that shows how much I enjoyed listening and re-listening - each time picking up something different from the story.
The imagery of Wilf's surroundings added great colour to the story.
A dish best served cold
Each of the lead characters are well formed and written with a sense of humour and fondness by the author. I'd be interested in hearing what Wilf and Snek got up to next.
"Not what I was expecting. Quite Boring"
No and No. Wolf's accent really made it hard to enjoy the narration. Sorry!
The northern accent was horrible and made it even harder to enjoy or get into the audiobook.
I though the story was going to have more fantasy elements, not be so normal and boring. Had a few interesting moments, but on a whole, wouldn't recommend.
Wasn't sure of this book- read the reviews, & decided to give it a chance. So glad that I did - thoroughly enjoyed the story & the narrator was excellent.
"Absolutely wonderful narration, a must listen"
I haven't read it, but I am sure it won't evoke the vivid imagery that Mr. Keeble brings about through his consistent rendering of the story's characters and the cumbrian surroundings.
The count of monte cristo. It is based on it.
The one where Alva first reads Wilf's account of his childhood and how he came to meet Imagine.
Yes, once it got gripping, it was difficult to stop listening. I usually listened on the bus to work which takes a good one hour in each direction and therefore affords the time and the privacy for uninterrupted listening.
Looking forward to more work from Mr. Keeble.
"Excellent from Mr Hill"
Yes, the narrator really added volumes to the story.
The main character. He is honourable and loyal.
Personality and emotion.
Def worth listening.
"Well written, slightly predictable in parts"
Enjoyable story with several twists. Keeps one entertained. Some stereotypes of british upper classes, but very capable narrator with good voices
"brilliant story excellently narrated"
This is the first , but can honestly say think it going to take some beating,so by default the tops.
Admitting to crimes to get out and get his revenge
Oh yes, that would've been nice.
It is one of those books that makes you want to get back to as soon as you can to see what unfolds. At the begining I didn't think I would enjoy it as much I did - worth sticking with.
I couldn't wait to read each chapter. One of the most memorable books that I have read. It makes a pleasant change from "whodunnits".
"An excellent listen!"
This is very different from Hill's detective novels, but excellent too. The plot twists maintain interest throughout and the performance is superb.
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