The #1 Amazon and Audible best seller, shortlisted for Audible UK's Audiobook of the Year Award 2015
Nobody knew where it came from.
Nobody knew why it came.
When an eight-foot-tall man made of stone appears in the middle of a busy city center one July afternoon, two-bit (and antisocial) reporter Andy Pointer assumes it's just a publicity stunt.
Indeed, so does everyone else...until the Stone Man begins to walk, heading silently through the wall of the nearest building, flattening it, and killing several people inside as a result.
As efforts by the local police - and soon the government - to halt the Stone Man's inexorable progress prove futile, only three questions are on the watching world's lips:
Where has it come from, where is it going, and what does it want?
Andy is determined to be the first person to answer those questions; after all, he was there when it arrived. Surely the headaches and visions he's experiencing are proof of a mental connection to the Stone Man. Clearly his dreams of champagne and notoriety are all about to be fulfilled once he uncovers the truth...and the scoop of a lifetime.
In a pursuit that carries him the length of the country and the breadth of the Atlantic, Andy uncovers the jagged pieces of an increasingly terrifying puzzle. As the number of lives lost in the wake of the Stone Man reaches grim figures, the terrible results of Andy's blind determination force him to confront the savagery of human nature.
When irresistible forces aren't met by immovable objects, how far is too far? Andy must discover the answer - and find out who he really is - in the shadow of the Stone Man.
©2012 Luke Smitherd (P)2015 Luke Smitherd
"The Stone Man is a novel that intrigues, enthralls, horrifies, thrills, and hits the reader with an emotional resonance as only the best stories can." (Ain't It Cool News)
It seems most people start out reading Luke Smitherd's books with "The Stone Man". For some reason, I read all the other ones first and only just finished this. I just have to ask myself, "What took you so long, idiot?" I think I was putting off reading it because I wanted one last book to look forward to. This seems to be the most popular of this author's books, and I guess I just had to be different.
This is one of the best books I have ever read.
It's one of those books where your hands are shaking as you read it and sometimes you notice you haven't taken a breath in a while. Make sure you start listening to it with plenty of time to spare because you will not want to stop once you start. It is nearly impossible to believe this was the first book written by this author because it is SO good, SO well-written, and just perfect. Now I'm gushing and must stop.
The basic outline of the story is that a stone man (or creature or object) appears in England and wreaks havoc throughout the country. It can't be stopped by any means known to humans and its purpose for being there is not known. As you get further into the book and some of the implications of the stone man being there do become evident, it becomes more real and scary. That's all I'm going to say about it. You just have to read it to appreciate it.
The characters are very well-developed. The two main characters are not perfect. They do heroic things, they do selfish things, they drink (a lot), and they don't even get along some of the time, but I was completely invested in them and felt a loss when I finished the book--like I had just left behind two people I really cared about.
I loved this book. It covers the gamut of emotions from sadness to happiness, from cowardice to bravery, from tragedy to hopefulness, and everything else in between. It can also scare the crap out of you.
Download this book and listen to it. You will not be disappointed.
The narrator is British, but I had no problem with the accent or those strange words that we use differently even though we're both speaking English.
One final thing. I saw another review that said, "... overly lengthy descriptions of break-ins and old men getting up from chairs." That really hit me when I read it because the scene referred to is one of the best in the book, in my humble opinion, and shows the dignity and courage few people possess.
Elizabeth E King
Luke Smitherd- you are a funny guy. I loved the afterward and lo- your pleading worked - I offer this review-
This is an interesting book - the narration was very good.
I was immediately grabbed by the story - after all a giant stone man marching across England is bound to catch your attention.
The characters were fine and I enjoyed the concepts at the end- but I felt it was missing something - I don't know exactly what - either more delving inward or expanding outward. Perhaps more humor? Readers who want a definite ending and answers will resent the ending - I recommend it .
This is an engaging book. The author really knows how to write compelling Science Fiction.
The narration is excellent.
Because of adult language this is not a book I would give to children.
I love Science Fiction, Mysteries, Thrillers & Werewolves & Vampires. I devour audiobooks. Driving, cleaning house & anytime.
Really got caught up in this book. Characters were great. Narration is very good. Overall this great to listen to and I listened to whole book in 2 days!
This is a relentless thriller. Sometimes I just want the main character to tell us the next part of the story and drop all the commentary about why he is telling it. Narrators do get off track. However he is lovable, imperfect hero and I would have lunch with him for sure. (But I would not let my wife have lunch with him.)
The plot is excellent and keeps you engaged. Yes they are actually Stone Men, real ones.
The prose is fine, and the British english fun for a yank, bangers and mash and so on.
I listened to this on my commute and found it perfect for passing the time. I recommend this book.
Most definitely the performance by Matt Addis. Wow! He rocks this character driven story. The plot does stumble at times, but the characters are so alive courtesy of Mr. Addis that it more than compensates for weaknesses.
After listening to this offering, definitely. The resolution will leave some listeners disappointed ( count me as one, mildly to be sure ) but overall a solid , interesting offering. To call this a horror story is abit of a stretch with a couple of exceptions, but definitely full of suspense, drama and it does leave the listener wondering...what if....
Everything. Every word, every accent, every character. Goodness this is a tour de force with no exception. I do understand that some listeners may have troubles with his authentic Midlands accents, but hey folks, it comes with the territory.This reader is a force to be respected and attention needs to be paid!
I almost did! 3 days or so. A quick listen to a wonderful telling.
Given the highly entertaining afterword, this may well prove to one of those great combinations of writers and performers that come along once in a while. The characters that Smitherd has visualized and formed the dialogue for literally come to life in the capable hands of Addis. A wonderfully entertaining, thoughtful offering that comes HIGHLY recommended!
I listened to this book with intensity and my interest in the story and characters grew every minute. The relentless pursuit of the Stone Man raised the anxiety notch by notch. While it's hard to find fault with the book, the ending left me hanging. Perhaps there simply was no ending that could satisfy every reader, so the author chose something vague... maybe room for a sequel with more answers? We can hope so! only the ending kept me from giving this 5 stars. A great listen.
If you are not a fan of Sci-Fi, you can still appreciate this book. The story and characters are the strength of this work and the narration adds the right punch of life.
I had already read the kindle version of this story but was very excited to get a chance to listen to it. Matt Addis provided so much additional character and emotion to an already wonderful story. Luke Smitherd is one of my favorite authors and it was so fun to hear him voice the afterword similar to the ones he writes after each book. Looking forward to the next, as always :)
"Original British SF...absolutely loved it!!"
I haven't read the paper copy but always prefer audio if the narration is good...and Matt Addis was perfect.
The mystery...I was hooked within the first 5 minutes and then couldn't stop listening to it. I wanted to make it last but ended up ripping through it in 2 days. If I was listening to it whilst driving I'd take the longer way home so I could 'just finish this chapter'. Now I'm annoyed that I've finished it too fast...but this is one that I will listen to many more times in the future. I also loved the fact that it's written by a British author and is set mostly in England and Scotland...I even found myself looking on googlemaps to see whether the transport museum exists and how far Coventry is from Sheffield!
This was the first Matt Addis audio I've listened to and I thought he did a brilliant job...I couldn't fault it. I loved his portrayal of the main characters, and he even did a decent female voice. He also sounded like he actually enjoyed reading the book which seems to be missing from a lot of the narrators I've come across on audible. After finishing The Stone Man I immediately looked for other audio titles by Luke Smitherd and on finding none I then went searching through everything Matt Addis has narrated to see what else I could listen to.
yes... but I won't spoil the story by revealing them here, other than to say that I laughed in some places and was genuinely moved by some passages. I was also surprised in places when something happened that I really didn't expect...at one point I actually clapped my hand to my mouth and said 'oh s**t!'. So yes, I'd say that was an emotional reaction.
Make sure you listen to Luke's afterword at the end of the book and write a review. I've never written a review before because I always think nobody is going to be interested in my opinion but Luke's afterword made me realise how important ratings and reviews are, especially for self-published authors. I hope we see his other works available on audible soon.
"Deeply moving and utterly fascinating"
An author who's not afraid to label his work as science fiction, which it is but it's so much more. it's a really human piece about how each if us relates to the inevitable, how we face our personal stone man.
Luke, this is the first one of your books I have listened to. I'm usually a B.V. Larson and Patrick Lee kinda guy. But, this book was very addictive. I always know when I book feels right, when I come across a huge tail back on the M25 and just don't care... because a good audible book is with me. Well Luke, I had many a happy hour sitting there! Thank you for helping me with it. John.
"echoes of wyndham"
Overall I really enjoyed the book but found the change in narrative style at the end to detract more than it added. Living in the Midlands I really liked the centres of action being ordinary places rather than defaulting to London etc I am a huge fan of John Wyndham and this is the closest I've come in a recent novel to his first person narrative account of ordinary people caught up in amazing and horrible things. Having a journalist at the heart of it increased the similarity to Wyndham. Very well read.
I loved this book. Different and refreshing. I would like to see a sequel but understand if there is not one. Very well read!
"Gripping story, original idea, well paced"
Yes, Matt Addis brings real depth to the characters. He also appears to be an adept Sean Bean impersonator if we ever need a spare.
I'd love to say Patrick, but really it has to be Paul or the brigadier. Henry choked me up a little
I was hooked, but I appreciate that is not necessarily an emotional reaction. I did genuinely get choked up by Henry and the respect shown to him.
I got this on a whim and I am really pleased I did, I don't usually go in for this genre but its location and original idea enticed me to give it a go. Luke is a great story-teller I am now keen to discover more of his work.
"John Wyndham watch out..."
I dont listen to books twice
classic sci-fi, triffids, death of grass etc....
Matt is the best narrator I have heard in a long time, when Strauwb spoke , in my memory I hear a woman, when Paul spoke he was a northern male....amazing stuff, I was gripped every day for two weeks in the car
Brilliant story, excellent discovery of real people in crisis. He does not gloss ove the real humanity of his characters, these people are very real
"Fantastic book !!"
This is one of the most original books I've ever read, and now listened too. Fantastic fast paced story and a haunting ending that really stays with you. Well done Luke !!!!!
"I Hate Luke Smitherd!"
Okay so I once again followed my normal process with a Luke Smitherd novel. It goes like this: Read the premise. Think to myself “there is no way he can make a compelling story out of that, at least I can finally write a bad review on him this time”. Then pontificate about this for some time and spectacularly fail to imagine how it could possibly be any good. Eventually read it anyway, struggle to put it down. Love it!
All I can say is that it really is a good thing for all of us that the grey matter between Mr Smitherd’s ears works rather better than the obviously second rate gloop that occupies the space between my personal wax deposits!
In my defence . . . that premise is . . . some bloke made of stone just up and appears in the middle of Coventry and starts walking in a straight line smashing stuff up. I mean, come on! Even as a five year old if good old Bernard Cribbins had started an episode of Jackanory like that I would have switched the TV off in disgust at being taken for such a fool. It’s just not acceptable for authors to ambush me with an excellent book when the blurb just sounds so flaming daft! Despite all the other positive reviews I still felt sure that I’d got him this time.
Of course that’s the problem with our Luke. You can’t trust him as far as you can bloody well throw him! Somehow, some way this is the best of his books that I have read yet. The sheer ordinariness of the setting, the basic humanity of the characters and the slowly revealed plot blew me away. This is an author that doesn’t need grand scenery, outlandish rogues for characters or to lay waste to one of the world’s best known capital cities to grab your attention. He does it with the sheer quality of his story-telling.
The narration by Matt Addis is first class. He conveys emotion and the tension of the situation in compelling tones and does almost sound like he’s going to crack up himself at some points. It is a very convincing performance. The book’s highlight for me was when our two main protagonists meet the Sargent, I don’t do spoilers so won’t go into more detail. However, the beautiful story-telling of the author and the fine performance of the narrator make this one of the most powerful scenes I have ever listened to.
So, Mr Smitherd, I am going to find a book of yours that I can read, feel able to criticise and write a bad review of it kills me.
This, quite simply, was never going to be it though. It just should have been given that awful premise, stone men rising up in Coventry . . . mutter, mutter, Bernard would never have done that to me. He cared for my sanity!
Compelling, exciting, brilliant
Different to, but as good as, anything I've read by Neil Gaiman
I LOVED it! What a treat: clever, intriguing, beautifully written
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