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The Man with the Golden Torc: Secret Histories, Book 1 | [Simon R. Green]

The Man with the Golden Torc: Secret Histories, Book 1

Meet Shaman Bond, aka Eddie Drood, scion of the ancient Drood family. He is devoted to protecting humanity from the forces of darkness. Protected by the secret weapon received at birth by all members of the Drood family - a magical gold torc (i.e., a neck ring) that turns into a suit of nearly impervious golden armor - Eddie faces arcane dangers with healthy doses of wry self-confidence and sarcasm. Then the family matriarch sends him on a mission that turns out to be a deadly setup.
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Publisher's Summary

Meet Shaman Bond, aka Eddie Drood, scion of the ancient Drood family. He is devoted to protecting humanity from the forces of darkness. Protected by the secret weapon received at birth by all members of the Drood family - a magical gold torc (i.e., a neck ring) that turns into a suit of nearly impervious golden armor - Eddie faces arcane dangers with healthy doses of wry self-confidence and sarcasm. Then the family matriarch sends him on a mission that turns out to be a deadly setup. Declared a rogue, Eddie teams up with short-tempered witch Molly Metcalf to find out why he's been betrayed.

©2007 by Simon R. Green (P)2008 Audible, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"This spy yarn is packed with enough humor, action and plot twists to satisfy fans who prefer their adventure shaken, not stirred." (Publishers Weekly)
"Green sustains a good spy thriller's breakneck action with lots of magic, strange creatures, and even some character growth and romance." (Booklist)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (633 )
5 star
 (206)
4 star
 (215)
3 star
 (126)
2 star
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1 star
 (35)
Overall
3.8 (388 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
3.8 (385 )
5 star
 (150)
4 star
 (110)
3 star
 (70)
2 star
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1 star
 (29)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Loren Wichita Falls, TX, United States 04-30-08
    Loren Wichita Falls, TX, United States 04-30-08 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    16
    ratings
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    4
    2
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    "entertaining"

    A funny and amusing satire of James Bond and The Avengers, etc. to include special gadgets; the matriarch (mother); Q; fancy sports cars; and imaginative villains. The narrator has a slightly bored, ho-hum quality that perfectly fits the "been there and done that attitude" of Eddie when he describes his fantastic exploits, family, and abilities. To anyone else it would be fantastic - but to Eddie it is just life as usual and nothing out of the ordinary. During the action sequences the narrator picks up the pace and sounds excited, alarmed, surprised, etc. The women's voices are not perfection, but I was never in doubt as to who was speaking and I did not find it irritating.

    The book was a great "listen" and I enjoyed it very much. It would be great to have a sequel and find out how Eddie handles the family. If you are looking for a fun book that will make you laugh and feel good when evil is outsmarted, this would be the one.

    12 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brian W. Chicago, IL 07-22-13
    Brian W. Chicago, IL 07-22-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
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    12
    6
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    Performance
    Story
    "Little more than decent"
    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    The concept behind the story was interesting and I wanted to like it, but it just didn't grab me.The episodic nature of the chapters wasn't for my tastes. Something would come up at the beginning of a chapter (usually a dangerous person or weapon who had never been mentioned before), it would be built up to be this huge obstacle that would be impossible to overcome, and by the end of the chapter it had been defeated with hardly any trouble. There was no real sense of danger because it became formulaic to the point of being humorous, an issue that could have been solved if any of those dangerous people/things had been mentioned at all before the chapter in which they were defeated.

    It also had a very boring & predictable view of good & evil. There were too many characters who started to appear like they might have some depth, only to suddenly turn around with a "Nope, sorry, here's something cliche and SUPER evil!" The love story also felt much more juvenile than the rest of the story


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Stuart Blinder?

    Just about anyone. The author's voice didn't match Edwin's attitude at all, and many of his voices were painful (the majority of his female voices in particular were downright awful.) He also had very harsh "s" sounds that made half the characters sound like snakes. I think Alexis Denisof would have had a much better voice for this character.


    Was The Man with the Golden Torc worth the listening time?

    I would say no. If someone was interested, I'd recommend the book first.


    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    iMo Philly 06-05-08
    iMo Philly 06-05-08 Member Since 2008

    Ian M

    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
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    35
    2
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    "Good Exciting Book"

    I was a little hesitant when I first started listening because it drops you right in the middle of what's going on but it turned out to be a great scifi/fantasy book with the revenge aspect that everyone loves. I like it so much that I just got the follow-up book Daemons Are Forever which picks up at the end of this one.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kimberly Ypsilanti, MI, United States 03-15-12
    Kimberly Ypsilanti, MI, United States 03-15-12 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    215
    ratings
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    220
    53
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    34
    3
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    Performance
    Story
    "Great Fun"

    great for fantasy & 007 fans. The narrator is ok, but his female voices and southern accent are appalling. Thankfully he only narrates the 1st two books. Really looking forward to the rest of the series.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cliff madison, MS, United States 10-09-13
    Cliff madison, MS, United States 10-09-13 Member Since 2009

    I like scifi and urban fantasy. I don't like romance novels. If you are the same my reviews should help.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    610
    ratings
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    235
    180
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    57
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    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Urban fantasy James Bond"
    What made the experience of listening to The Man with the Golden Torc the most enjoyable?

    The author has an incredible way with coming up with fascinating concepts for his characters. They are all unique and interesting if not fully developed.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The action was great and the characters are extremely memorable.


    What three words best describe Stuart Blinder’s performance?

    Over-the-top. His standard voice is fine, but his other voices are so over the top to the point of being cartoonish. Also, it can be hard to differentiate between certain characters.


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

    Not in this book


    Any additional comments?

    The one thing that kept it from being 5 stars is what I call Green syndrome (for the author). If you've read his oyther books you know he writes great but tends to drone on and on about how awesome things or characters are over and over again ad nauseum. It can really get annoying, if you can look past that it is a great book, but be warned it gets pretty thick.

    Also, the narrator does an acceptable job but nothing to write home about.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James M. Seetoo Carlsbad, CA USA 10-27-11
    James M. Seetoo Carlsbad, CA USA 10-27-11 Member Since 2007

    jayman

    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
    ratings
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    7
    2
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    "One of the worst readers I've ever heard"

    This is a great story - funny, entertaining and biting. Unfortunately Stuart Blinder has no ability to do any female voices. All the female voices young and old tend to sound either like they're "ghost" voices or Dan Akroyd imitating Julia Child. Compared with the reader for the Nightside series who is great Stuart suffers even more by comparison. I enjoyed reading it more than listening to Blinder.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shari Salem, OR, United States 08-04-08
    Shari Salem, OR, United States 08-04-08 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
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    4
    2
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    0
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    Overall
    "Great fun!"

    A little Harry Potter, a little Artemis Fowle, mixed with some Stephen King and entirely original! I really enjoyed this book and the sequel. It's fantasy and sci-fi for adults and great fun. I liked the reader very much. I loved his rendition of Eddie Drood, and all the characters' voices were unique. I admit, I'm a sucker for this genre. Nevertheless, I found it funny, exciting, and extremely well written. I was hooked from beginning to end.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Dallas, TX, United States 12-24-11
    Michael Dallas, TX, United States 12-24-11 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    6
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    Story
    "Good story, really poor naration"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    I listen to audiobooks primarily while driving in my car, so I would say it was time decently spent. Had I listened on my leisure time, I might not have thought so.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    He tended to FREQUENTLY emphasis syllables at odd places. He enters pauses at strange places as well. He seems to have an australian accent, which is odd for a british-based book. His attempt at the Scottish accent is more atrocious than mine.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    I would NOT watch this book if it were put on the big screen. It's far too fantastical for my tastes. I don't mind reading about it, but it would be too much to watch.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tizroc Eugene, OR 04-23-08
    Tizroc Eugene, OR 04-23-08 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    210
    ratings
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    70
    27
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    6
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    Overall
    "Great story, Poor Narrator"

    This story and title are obviously Ian Flemming tongue in cheek Bond stories. The story was entertaining but the person who voiced the characters had poor inflection and a horrible character repertoire. His female character voices absolutely turned my stomach and at times I was close to putting the book down. His sultry voice sounded like someone gargling rocks (The female voices) and the men came off very static and boring. I am not one to typically write ill of people, but the Narrator did a major dis-service to this book.

    The book on it's own merit would have earned a 4 star rating. Please listen to the sample before buying.

    9 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laura Dean Miller Long Beach, CA, US 07-14-14
    Laura Dean Miller Long Beach, CA, US 07-14-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    14
    1
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    "The narrator's misplacement is painful..."
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    The narrator - He not only sounds like he'd be better placed reading childrens books, but the result is painful - by the end of the introduction the protagonist ends up sounding like a sexual predator and creeper (especially with the repetition that Green is known for). His cadence is nasaly and his tempo and rythm make any action scenes obnoxious. The character voices he slips into for peripheral characters are misplaced and don't seem to match descriptions.


    Would you recommend The Man with the Golden Torc to your friends? Why or why not?

    Perhaps with excessive warning of the narrator, but most likely not. It killed the book for me - I couldn't get past a few chapters in.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Stuart Blinder’s performances?

    It would have to be a very particular kind of book for me to even consider it.


    Did The Man with the Golden Torc inspire you to do anything?

    Write this review to provide warning and I don't usually do that... It was that off putting.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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