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Publisher's Summary

"This is the smart summer thriller you've been waiting for." (NPR's All Things Considered)

Named a Best Book of the Year by NPR in 2015, Black Chalk finally makes its American audiobook debut. A breathless psychological thriller set in New York and at Oxford University in which a group of six students play an elaborate game of dares and consequences with tragic results.

It was only ever meant to be a game played by six best friends in their first year at Oxford University - a game of consequences, silly forfeits, and childish dares. But then the game changed: The stakes grew higher and the dares more personal and more humiliating, finally evolving into a vicious struggle with unpredictable and tragic results. Now, 14 years later, the remaining players must meet again for the final round. Who knows better than your best friends what would break you?

A gripping psychological thriller partly inspired by the author's own time at Oxford University, Black Chalk is perfect for fans of the high tension and expert pacing. Christopher J. Yates' background in puzzle writing and setting is clearly felt in the plotting of this clever, tricky audiobook that will keep listeners guessing till the very last track.

This program includes a bonus chapter from Christopher J. Yates' upcoming book, Grist Mill Road, set to publish in 2018.

©2013 Christopher J. Yates (P)2017 Macmillan Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Compellingly true-to-life.

I found this story to be a masterfully accurate reflection of the world that we live in. The deep flaws that the author has imparted to each of the characters, as well as the psychological transformations that they undergo throughout the story, combine to make this story a highly relatable and astonishingly true-to-life experience. To top it off, the narration is probably the best I’ve ever heard. Peter Brooke somehow manages to voice each and every character with a distinct portrayal of each personality. He switches accents and emotions flawlessly, and he even plays the female characters convincingly. Other audiobook narrators that attempt to do this usually come off as cheesy to me, but Brooke has mastered the art of playing an entire cast of characters at once and it is amazing.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Great story with underdeveloped characters

I really liked the overall story in this book and it definitely held my attention. I went out of my way to listen to it because I'd been told it had similarities with The Secret History (one of my favorites). I appreciated the way the author subtly provided clues along the way and I found the present day/past day story approach fun to follow.

What was a bit hard to swallow was the behavior of the main characters. Two of the main characters' behaviors seems to point to some sort of personality disorders, but the reader isn't given enough background or understanding to determine if their behaviors/choices really make sense or are believable. This issue didn't take away from my enjoyment of the story, but I think to really make the story believable, the author needs to provide better character development.

Overall, I would recommend this to someone who enjoys a suspense with many twists.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

bizarre, but i coyldnt stop listening

It had the promise of a big payoff at the end, but I was disappointed.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Wow!!

I wasted 13 hours of my life!! This story is way too slow and hard to follow.

8 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Kept checking to see if it was over yet

Just don't. Don't waste your credit/money. Don't waste your time. This is a book that I kept hoping was going to go somewhere, and yet, it just circled in it's own muck.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Clever, however completely heartless and cruel

I am not a sentimental human being at all, nor am I a goody two shoes. However, after reading his book I felt somewhat tainted. Very clever book, but utterly clinical and cruel. Read at you own peril.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

last 2 chapters were incomplete, would not play

Story was ok but the last 2 minutes of the second to last chapter stopped playing and the whole book just shut off

0 of 1 people found this review helpful