We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access .
Finch Audiobook

Finch

Regular Price:$24.95
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Audible Editor Reviews

Jeff VanderMeer, master of the New Weird, has done it again in his latest Ambergris novel. Noir detective story meets eldritch fantasy in Finch, with a cast of crooked cops, a femme fatale, a loyal partner, a mysterious underworld boss, two dead bodies — and sentient fungal life forms.

Audie Award-winning narrator Oliver Wyman deftly carries us into the dark world of John Finch, a man who has survived The Rising, a war between humans and the gray caps, a sentient fungus. Humanity has lost authority to the gray caps. Humans are kept in internment camps, except when they're needed by the gray caps — people like Finch. Finch isn't sure why they need him, but they do. They call him a detective, and so that's what he is. Whether he likes it or not.

Finch is assigned a case: two dead bodies — one human, one gray cap — that appear to have fallen from a great height, into a closed room. The case leads him from a dark world into an even darker underworld, in which no one is who they appear — maybe not even Finch.

To hear Wyman's treatment of Finch, you would think that gritty and noir is simply what he excels at, and that he was cast for that reason — until you hear his dialogue, and the way he voices Finch's love interest, or the Partials, or Finch's spore-infected and disintegrating partner as he's being slowly colonized by fungus. Wyman is a gifted voice actor with a huge range of credits to his name, and he brings VanderMeer's cast to life. Tension and dream sequences are underscored by original music from Murder By Death.

Finch was short-listed for both the Nebula and the World Fantasy Award, and with good reason. While it follows the previous Ambergris novels, it stands alone, and can be recommended as a first-time listener's portal into VanderMeer's world of Ambergris. —Christie Yant

Publisher's Summary

Mysterious underground inhabitants known as the gray caps have reconquered the failed fantasy state Ambergris and put it under martial law. They have disbanded House Hoegbotton and are controlling the human inhabitants with strange addictive drugs, internment in camps, and random acts of terror. The rebel resistance is scattered, and the gray caps are using human labor to build two strange towers.

Against this backdrop, John Finch, who lives alone with a cat and a lizard, must solve an impossible double murder for his gray cap masters while trying to make contact with the rebels. Nothing is as it seems, as Finch and his disintegrating partner Wyte negotiate their way through a landscape of spies, rebels, and deception. Trapped by his job and the city, Finch is about to come face to face with a series of mysteries that will change him and Ambergris forever.

Audible’s production of Finch includes original music, inspired by the book, by the band Murder by Death.

Finch has been nominated for a World Fantasy Award.

©2009 Jeff VanderMeer (P)2010 Audible, Inc.

What the Critics Say

“I can’t ever remember reading a book like Finch. Audacious in technique and extravagant in imagination, it has the rare quality of making the macabre poignant. In the midst of a disturbed and disturbing narrative landscape, Jeff VanderMeer gives us deeply sympathetic characters – especially Finch himself – who inspire us to care about their flawed and tyrannized world. I’m impressed.” (Stephen R. Donaldson)

“Fungal noir. Steampunk delirium. Paranoid spy thriller, quite literally, on ‘shrooms. There’s enough nightmare and grit in Finch to stock any urban fantasy fan’s darkest imaginings for years to come.” (Richard K. Morgan)

"Intriguing and highly original.... VanderMeer writes insightfully about those caught in the middle of war. He makes one think of Baghdad in 2005 or Kabul today.” (Victor LaValle, The Washington Post)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.7 (262 )
5 star
 (74)
4 star
 (86)
3 star
 (63)
2 star
 (19)
1 star
 (20)
Overall
3.9 (144 )
5 star
 (50)
4 star
 (46)
3 star
 (38)
2 star
 (4)
1 star
 (6)
Story
4.2 (146 )
5 star
 (71)
4 star
 (47)
3 star
 (20)
2 star
 (4)
1 star
 (4)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Amazon Customer 01-21-14 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    19
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    127
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "This book tried to kill me."
    What would have made Finch better?

    A more cohesive approach would have improved this book immensely. The jagged, half-formed way of writing has been done to great effect many times, and certainly sometimes in this book, but it spills into being overdone here. Almost all of the narrative is done in fragments, which disconnects the listener from the characters and the story.

    Also, the overlay of music while the narrator is still speaking is an awful stylistic choice.


    What was most disappointing about Jeff VanderMeer’s story?

    I think what was most disappointing is the feeling of uneven pacing. Other reviews have mentioned that once a listener gets to the last 50% of this book, it comes together and the world is truly described and opened up to the reader. The problem with this is that by the time I'd made it to the halfway mark, I was apathetic to the characters. I didn't care about Finch, the war that preceded this story, Wyte (I think that's how his name is spelled, forgive me if I'm mistaken) or the city. I would mentally check out during entire passages, come back and realize that I'd missed out on a few minutes of the reading, and my reaction was to shrug and contemplate speeding up the narration speed. Normally, I'll hit that reqind button to catch up on what I missed.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Oliver Wyman?

    Oliver Wyman is a fantastic narrator. I think he did the best he could with what he had to work with.


    What character would you cut from Finch?

    Sentra (again, sorry if misspelled). I think that of all the characters I didn't connect to, she is the one who was the least likable or interesting. Her mysteriousness was forced, Finch's attachment to her was unrealistic, and her motivations weren't interesting enough to hold my attention.


    Any additional comments?

    This book did indeed try to kill me. I listen to audiobooks during my lengthy commute to and from work, and this book did its best to put me to sleep. I thought it was just me being tired, but in the middle of this book I dropped it, switched to another one I had in my list, and the encroaching sleep wore off.

    This book failed to engage my attention enough to finish it. It may be different for others, but the style of writing, the characters, and the setting itself did not hold my attention.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Zac Knoxville,Tn 12-01-13
    Zac Knoxville,Tn 12-01-13 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    75
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    229
    18
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "One of the best I've heard/read/experienced"
    Where does Finch rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Top 5


    What other book might you compare Finch to and why?

    Really hard to compare it to anything else; detective noir, weird, fantastical, and literarily masterful.


    Which character – as performed by Oliver Wyman – was your favorite?

    Finch and Shriek


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

    Who the hell can listen to 15 hrs of book in one sitting? No, that's ridiculous. I listened to it over several days..........moron.


    Any additional comments?

    Check this out, but read Shriek: an Afterword first, otherwise, a lot won't make sense.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Celia Topanga, CA, United States 06-26-13
    Celia Topanga, CA, United States 06-26-13 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    46
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    115
    37
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    6
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Too vague"

    found it too vague, story not compelling, a bit hard to follow, couldn't get involved in the characters

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ted Lancaster, PA, United States 10-12-10
    Ted Lancaster, PA, United States 10-12-10 Member Since 2010

    Don't know what I want to be when I grow up. Trip's cool though. Use Audible to make gym-training sane... And rip my imagination.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2445
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    471
    391
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    266
    5
    Overall
    "Zzzzzzzzz....."

    Zzzzzzzzzzz... "What? Huh? Oh.... did I nod off listening to Finch? Sorry because I reeeeely do mean to finish... finish.... fin...". Zzzzzzzzzzz......

    "Oh.... Where am I? Oh yeah, listening to Finch and ..... HOLY S&%T!!!! Slime! There's decaying, stinking slime all over my... my... m y...." Zzzzzzz...

    "WHAT? Go away... Go... Um... Ooops sorry... Where was I? Oh yeah, pretension... wanted to say something about pretentious garbled... garbled.... GOOD GOD!!!! Did you smell that? That ooozing stuff that's dripping from the lanced sore in whatever the hell that ... that thing is that.... that.... seems to spell doom to the doped species who... who...I can't seem to care about and.... "

    Zzzzzzzzz.....

    11 of 22 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard Palo Alto, CA, United States 09-30-10
    Richard Palo Alto, CA, United States 09-30-10 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    16
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    36
    14
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Unusual scenario but unsympathetic characters"

    The premise of the story is unusual to put it mildly. The mixture of science fiction and mystery is good, but I find it hard to stay involved. The characters are thin and unsympathetic. The world the detective inhabit seems dark and without hope. Others authors have done this better.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jason Angus, Ontario, Canada 10-06-10
    Jason Angus, Ontario, Canada 10-06-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    20
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    40
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    1
    Overall
    "Not a Review"

    This isn't a review so much as it is a recommendation. Get this book. The production, the narration, the story itself, is all well worth your credit!

    3 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    alex 11-16-10
    alex 11-16-10 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    32
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    2
    Overall
    "not bad, i can see a sequal, i almost put it down."

    Hello, I enjoyed this book only after some time had passed since i finished it. This author takes on a very big story and leaves you filling in some details yourself and dragging others out with fewer answers and more questions. It took a while for the author to get to the "Aha" moment and it was hard to care at that point. The world that Jeff builds is good and I hope to see more.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer TUPELO, MS, United States 10-05-12
    Amazon Customer TUPELO, MS, United States 10-05-12 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    68
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Squishy Icky Mushrooms in My Dreams"
    What did you like best about Finch? What did you like least?

    The best characteristic of Finch is definitely the hero-action/environment-description balance. I could also easily hate the bad guys. My least favorite part was that I could predict the final roles and closing scenes for key players, with a few exceptions. The descriptions of the boats, guns, and the tastes of the edibles in the story made my skin crawl. in both a good and bad way.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    I really got into the way the various story threads ended up winding together. Some parts of the "doors" were left off the hinges. One scene with the main character and a Partial that involved a dream sequence was riveting and unpredictable, which made me want to go back and listen to previous parts to complete the picture of just what the Partials were capable of.


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    The slowly rumbling voices and the placement of music overlays were some of the best elements of the performance. There were moments of change in voice pitch that were not done very well when it was narrative or the main character speaking.


    Could you see Finch being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    I could not see this story made into a movie or TV series, as the CGI budget would have to be enormous.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott Simons Central Ca. 11-14-11
    Scott Simons Central Ca. 11-14-11 Member Since 2008

    Scott S.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    174
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    89
    73
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    22
    8
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Couldn't get into it."

    I downloaded this book looking for something different than what I had been listening to. A futuristic detective novel sounded cool so I downloaded Finch. I never really got into the book and gave up about halfway through. The narrator wasn't bad, but the story just didn't hold me.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    P K Rotterdam, Netherlands 11-24-11
    P K Rotterdam, Netherlands 11-24-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
    17
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    18
    12
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Could not finish it - but a very good book"

    This one was a bit too grim for me and I was afraid all would end in disaster. But it is a well written book and it is very original - so if you can stand the dark suspense you should go ahead an buy it. It is a bit like Perdido Street Station by China Mieville.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.