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Publisher's Summary

Having published 45 books, Ruth Rendell is an internationally popular mystery writer. She has won four Gold Dagger and three Edgar awards. She has been presented with the Commander of the British Empire honor, and named Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America. In A Sight For Sore Eyes, Ruth Rendell’s exceptional literary talent shines from each word. Teddy Brex is a handsome young man. Raised by parents who never loved him, he has grown to put his trust in objects. Things rarely disappoint him the way people do. Francine Hill is a lovely sight. And, like Teddy, she carries deep psychological scars. What brings these two young people together, however, isn’t beauty. It is death. As Ruth Rendell probes the dark forces childhood has created in Teddy’s and Francine’s lives, an emotionally gripping story unfolds. Narrator Jenny Sterlin voices all the subtle layers of suspense that are the hallmark of Rendell’s incomparable work.

©1998 Kingsmarkham Enterprises (P)1999 Recorded Books, LLC

What listeners say about A Sight for Sore Eyes

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

one of Rendell's best

Ruth Rendell in her prime. Gripping, beautifully and slowly unfolded story and characters you cannot forget. The narrator captures many of the cringe-inducing aspects of this novel/mystery. A terrific experience.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Can't guess the ending til the end

Only Rendell can make a reader understand, empathize, and even and root for a homocidal sociopath.

3 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Reader emits noises that are distracting

It's unkind, but whether it's a result of a dry mouth or popping sinuses, there are noises associated with the reader's voice that are terribly distracting. These noises combined with her strange interpretation of many characters' voices make it difficult to listen to this recording. This is a very enjoyable R. Rendell book, but the reader definitely detracts.

6 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Gets you hooked right off

I was so interested and drawn into Teddy's pschy. Being an artist I am sympathetic to his dislike for ugliness. It is chilling when the sympathy and understanding turns into pity and then disgust. It is a very good writer/performer that can make you feel so in tune like that. All in all, it seemed pretty believable to me the way ones enviroment can shape their future self.
I agree with one of the other reviewers about the ending, I liked it, but it was somewhat off...maybe just cut short a bit? Somehow It was a tad lazy or lacking, after the build up to it. If not for that, this could be a 5 start book, for me.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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Full circle

Is there anything you would change about this book?

I wish Teddy had had just an ounce of humanity in him. But he was a pure psycho.

What was most disappointing about Ruth Rendell’s story?

The depravity of Teddy. And the ending was unsatisfying. I usually adore Ruth Rendell's books, but this one, not so much. The whole story just made me feel very sick and sad inside.

What about Jenny Sterlin’s performance did you like?

She was actually very good.

Was A Sight for Sore Eyes worth the listening time?

I wish I hadn't read it. It was so disturbing to me.

Any additional comments?

I loved Francine. If there was anyone who could've been Teddy's polar opposite, it was she.

3 people found this helpful

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Amazing labyrinth

Intricate tale that gets creepier as it unfolds. Terrific narrator adds to the atmosphere in an understated manner. Good character development envoked my empathy in unimagined ways.

2 people found this helpful

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Creepy

Ms Rendell is a master at creating characters that are creepy yet strangely compelling. The protagonist of the story is completely unlikable and yet I kept wanting to read on to see what he would do. This story is loosely tied in with a later Wexford mystery-The Vault.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Intriguing and multi layered story

This was intriguing from the beginning to the end of the story, and I kept wanting to listen to more. I realized after I started this book and that I had read it before, but it had been a while. Everything seems normal and mundane in the beginning, like Teddy is just a normal person, a bit quiet. And the characters in the story, with their brilliant introduction by Rendell like only she could do. Chapter after chapter, I was intrigued by the narrator and her way of acting out the story. Along with the simple yet complex layering of the story and it's characters. You could understand each character and it was like you were inside their heads, understanding their thoughts and personalities. It's almost like seeing karma take it's effect on different characters. I don't want to give away too much of the ending but it's almost like you knew that was what should've happened. Like when you know someone is evil and you get to see them get back what they did to other people with something very similar happening to them.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

psychological thriller. not easy to listen too.

story makes your stomach churn. story is really slow at first . ending resolves itself but could have been better.

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    4 out of 5 stars

My first Ruth Rendell

What a complicated, chilling an wonderfully well written book. Thrilled, though she has now, sadly passed, she left a trove of writing. On to my second.