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Fludd

A Novel
Narrated by: Gordon Griffin
Length: 6 hrs and 40 mins
Categories: Fiction, Historical
4 out of 5 stars (73 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

One dark and stormy night in 1956, a stranger named Fludd mysteriously turns up in the dismal village of Fetherhoughton. He is the curate sent by the bishop to assist Father Angwin - or is he? In the most unlikely of places, a superstitious town that understands little of romance or sentimentality, where bad blood between neighbors is ancient and impenetrable, miracles begin to bloom. No matter how copiously Father Angwin drinks while he confesses his broken faith, the level of the bottle does not drop. Although Fludd does not appear to be eating, the food on his plate disappears. Fludd becomes lover, gravedigger, and savior, transforming his dull office into a golden regency of decision, unashamed sensation, and unprecedented action.

Knitting together the miraculous and the mundane, the dreadful and the ludicrous, Fludd is a tale of alchemy and transformation told with astonishing art, insight, humor, and wit.

©1989 Hilary Mantel (P)2011 W.F. Howes

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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

Small, tight irreverant novel that wryly inverts

“Not a word, not a word of love, Perhaps, she thought, he does not love in the ordinary way. God loves us, after all, He manifests it in cancer, cholera, Siamese twins. Not all forms of love are comprehensible, and some forms of love destroy what they touch.”

After devouring 'Wolf Hall' and 'Bring Up the Bodies', I was ready for another Mantel. 'Fludd' is a small, tight irreverant novel about God, belief, love, faith, innocence and knowledge. There were segments of this novel where the threads of the narrative disengaged so much I was almost ready to drop the whole novel, but then Mantel would use that loose line to wrap the prose of the next couple pages around my head and choke me.

The novel was filled with amazing characters: a parish priest who no longer believes in God, but still believes in the Devil; a eczema stigmatitized nun attracted to her guardian angel (or devil?), a gang of bitchy, spiteful nuns, and the title character who might be an alchemist, an angel or a devil or all of the above. With 'Fludd', Mantel explores the silent and understated boundaries between faith and modernity, between innocence and knowledge, between good and evil.

While, for me, this didn't hit as hard as her last two novels, it was worth the read to see her early efforts at historical and literary inversion. Mantel is brilliant when she is crafting an uneasy story that flips your assumptions about history, morality, good and evil.

21 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Devil or angel?

Hilary Mantel's cosmos is filled with both, and we are never sure with exactly whom we are dealing.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A satisfying listen on many levels

This is a delightfully sly story. The descriptions are so vivid you feel you are watching a movie. The characters are interesting and you care about their struggles. Having been pinched, poked and prodded by many a nun, I have full faith and confidence in the accuracy of the portrayals of convent life. I never met a priest as lovable as Father Angwin, except as portrayed in Hollywood movies, but then I never met a priest who had lost his faith. The title character of Fludd is a bit enigmatic, but his namesake was a medieval doctor and scholar as well as an astrologer and alchemist. He works a bit of human alchemy with kindness, wit and charm.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Reminds me of the classic film ‘The Bishop’s Wife’

An angel comes in answers to, unasked prayers,,and what an angel,,,😌 A holiday treat,, Thanks Audible..Gwen S.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Odd....but intriguing.

Is there anything you would change about this book?

I would like it to be longer, and more detailed.

Which character – as performed by Gordon Griffin – was your favorite?

The old priest is the character around which the story turns.

Any additional comments?

This is an odd story, but beautifully written and well read. It is pleasant, and the story is fun and purposely ambiguous. You make your own decisions about Fludd, because though suggestive, nothing is conclusive.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Better to Fade Away Than Burn Out

This book is a follow-up to Wolf Hall. It’s not as educational or entertaining. The overall series is excellent in every manner. Liking a story or not is, to my mind, is subjective. The word smithing was excellent. But, I could only finish the book because of the narrator - Gordon Griffin. What is most important, though, is that Hilary Mantel has a job to do in relating the historical events of the time with a character or new twist that is engaging and ‘readable’. She does this well to my way of thinking.

1 person found this helpful