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Publisher's Summary

When a petty thief falls though a glass roof in his attempt to escape from the police, what should have been the death of him marks the beginning of a while new life. After his broken body is reconstructed by an ambitious young doctor, he is released from prison, and, with the help of Victorian London's extensive sewer system, he becomes the most elusive burglar in the city. He adopts a dual existence as a respectable, wealthy gentleman named Montmorency, and his degenerate servant Scarper. But Montmorency must always be on guard. The smallest mistake could reveal his secret and ruin both his lives.

Eleanor Updale's writing is witty and wholly original. With a unique perspective and a voice reminiscent of Edgar Allan Poe, Montmorency is a cleverly told, gripping adventure story.

©2003 Eleanor Updale; (P)2004 Random House, Inc. Listening Library, an imprint of the Random House Audio Publishing Group

Critic Reviews

"Montmorency's heart-pounding brushes with discovery add a palpable layer of suspense." (Booklist)
"Readers will find themselves drawn not only to Montmorency's compellingly bizarre biography, but also to his clever and mischievous nature that eventually leads him to both a realization of his past wrongs and a valid career where he can put his "best" skills to good use." (School Library Journal)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings


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  • Overall
  • Adira
  • Torotno, ON, Canada
  • 04-15-05


Stephen Fry is an incredible narrator of this book, making all the characters and descriptions really come alive. He does a fantastic job. Can't wait to hear him as the voice of the book in Hitchiker's movie. The story of Montmorency is fascinating too, especially at the beginning when he is plotting. I loved how all the details of the plan are explained. You really get the sense of someone taking you into their confidence and telling you delicious secrets. Too bad the ending is a considerable let down and just a set up for making this an ongoing series.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Constance
  • New York, NY, United States
  • 08-13-10

Fun, well written escapist fiction

Unlike a lot of other escapist fun reading, Montmorency is very well written. Imaginative, involving plot pulls you right in to the historical era and the moral dilemmas that the protagonist encounters as he uses wit and daring to pull himself out of prison, the gutter, and near-death to the highest society. Loved this "underdog fights back" story with lots of historical color, authentic sounding dialogue and a great ending! Great narration on this audiobook adds to the enjoyment.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Splendid! Can't wait for the next three books!

Montmorency, read by Stephen Fry is simply wonderful. I must get the second book, Montmorency on the Rocks, also read by Stephen Fry. It is carried by the British Audible, but not by (USA) as of yet.
I hope Audible will pay Mr. Fry to read the third and fourth books in the series.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Great story, great storyteller

Montmorency is a great little story that is told by Stephen Fry whose voice add an extra dimension. The story is captivating on its own but Stephen Fry's beautiful voice brings it alive in a way that makes it hard to stop listening. Well worth a listen!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Roman
  • Novosibirsk, Russia
  • 10-03-10

Wonderful book

Great stuff!!! Story is quick paced and picaresque, characters are believable and alive. Stephen Fry as usual does a marvellous job reading, no, rather performing the book. I would love to get further installments of the Montmorency series. My credit was well spent. I would recommend this book to anyone who loved classic adventure literature as a kid.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Robert
  • Clayton, NC, United States
  • 11-17-09


Stephen Fry is a man of extraordinary oratory gifts and they are evident in this reading. Montmorency is not just for kids. In fact, my husband and I just finished it and were surprised that it was tagged as part of a "young readers" series. Suspenseful, witty, fun.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Marina
  • afton, MN, USA
  • 09-21-08

Good story made magical by Stephen Fry

I try to listen to as many Stephen Fry's reading titles as I can find. I only wish Audible would have more!
He makes every story Magical!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

Listening to Stephen Fry makes it worth the listen.

The plot becomes increasingly far fetched, and the character transformation is implausible. But there are enough interesting plot twists and images of Victorian London, all narrated with gusto by Stephen Fry, to make this a fun listen.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Fun listen

A fun tale of a criminal with a good heart. Expertly read by Stephen Fry.

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • DRR
  • Olympia, WA
  • 07-09-14


Would you consider the audio edition of Montmorency to be better than the print version?

OH for sure!

Who was your favorite character and why?

Montmorency/Scarper. He acts so classy but in reality he is a genius thief. He acts as completely different people with different ideals, almost making you wonder about multiple personality disorder!

Which character – as performed by Stephen Fry – was your favorite?


If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Gentleman by day, Crook by night