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Publisher's Summary

Otto Laird is outraged . . .The peaceful, if slightly bemused, existence of this elderly, retired architect is rudely interrupted when he learns that his most significant and revolutionary building, Marlowe House, a 1960s tower block council estate in south London is to be demolished.

Determined to do everything in his power to save the building, Otto returns to London for the first time in 25 years. As he explores his past, ponders his present and considers the future - for himself and his building - Otto embarks on a most remarkable journey, one that will change everything he ever thought he knew about himself and those closest to him.

Funny, moving and heart-warming, this is a novel featuring one of the most endearing protagonists you will ever meet, whose story will stay with you long after you hear the final page.

©2014 Nigel Packer (P)2015 Isis Publishing

Critic Reviews

"I raced through this book in one day. The eccentric and engaging character of the ageing Otto had me gripped from the start. Well-written and moving, this is a novel to savour." (Hilary Boyd, author of Thursdays in the Park)
"Emotional, poignant and touching. It's a book we can all relate to, about love, regret and moving on. An amazing read" (Deborah Rodriguez, author of The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul)
"Heartwarming" (Good Reading)
"A funny, warm melange of architecture, human frailties and 20th century European history, tinged with melancholy and magical realism" (Sydney Morning Herald)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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An architect's novel

Effortlessly incorporates the psychology behind British postwar modernism into a very simple human tale- never come across that before.

Preferred the first half as it had a more architectural and historical narrative but the ending is in no way disappointing.

Enjoy Sean Barratt's narration although I had occasional (unpleasant) flashbacks to The Prague Cemetery.

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  • Paula
  • Overland Park, KS USA
  • 01-09-15

Wonderful Melancholy, 20th Century History, More

Otto Laird is a retired architect with many achievements and just as many regrets in his life. This story is of him, about him, told by him which allows the listener to witness significant events and people in his life just as he did.

If you liked "A Man Called Ove," or other well-told stories about older men finding meaning in their life's work, you will like this one too. The story presents much melancholy, a touch of 20th century world history, and most importantly, vignettes of relationships broken and healed.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • AnotherReader
  • 07-26-15

Engaging, elegant and eloquent.

Where does The Restoration of Otto Laird rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Though audiobooks that might be termed 'literary realism' are a relatively new genre for me in terms of audiobooks, 'The restoration of Otto Laird' has convinced me that it is a genre to which I will often return. It is a little hard to judge such things, but this is certainly amongst the most moving audiobooks I have heard.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Restoration of Otto Laird?

A falling snow-flake and its connection to a memory, though it would be too revealing to say more than this.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

The opening was both entertaining and cleverly done, instantly setting up the enigmatic and engaging central character.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I rarely wish to break up well-told stories, so yes, I would have liked to listen in one sitting - though it is perhaps a little long for such things. Further, being episodic and relaxed in pace, it was not spoilt the occasional break.

Any additional comments?

The narration is a thoroughly committed one, a beautifully-judged performance. The pace, intonation, voicings and cadence are considered, compelling, and excellently done.

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  • Jan
  • 02-09-15

Touching and heart felt

Beautifully narrated, the story is emotional and fluid in its journey. Beautiful. A joy to read, completely loved this book

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  • Miss S Barnes
  • 01-22-15

Suprisingly engaging

I didn't think that I was going to like this... But it is moving, insightful, intelligent and engaging. Highly recommend.