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Publisher's Summary

France 1789: a time of terror; a charismatic boy, Yann, who must find out who he is; the daring rescue of Sido, an aristocrat's daughter: these are the elements in this tremendous adventure by a consummate storyteller, a marvellous tale of the first days of the French Revolution.
©2007 Sally Gardner; (P)2007 Orion Publishing Group Ltd

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • 'Nathan
  • Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
  • 09-01-14

Good overall, but not engrossing

I listened to this coming and going from work, but unlike most audiobooks it took me almost four months.

So here's the thing about this book - I did enjoy it. I did. But the pacing didn't particularly lend itself to pulling me forward through the narrative. I would listen to it for a half hour or so, and then decide to listen to some music or a different book for a while. It's not that I didn't want to know what happened, it's that I felt no urgency about it.

Obviously, the audio performance by Tom Hiddleston was lovely - with one very grating exception. The voice he chose to perform the dwarf with was so scratchy and annoying that a lot of dialog with that character would often be the impetus to swap out for music for a while.

The story itself, which involves gypsy magic, revolutionary France, murder, secrets, betrayal, the theatre, and the plight of a young man and woman who might be fated for each other was well woven. I liked the setting, and it was obvious that Gardner did an excellent job with her research.

All in all, I'm glad I read the Red Necklace. I liked where the tale ended enough that I'm not sure I need to keep going with the series, however. I might physically read the second book, rather than listening, however.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Andrea
  • London, United Kingdom
  • 11-11-13

Absolutely superb!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

yes I will and I have

Who was your favorite character and why?

ooo thats hard I fell in love with so many of the characters good and bad.

Which scene was your favorite?

That's a hard question. I cant really pick one as there where so many that were so moving and others that were genius and funny. The ones that moved me the most was Topolain's last stand, the bravery gave me shivers. Another one was Sido's scene when she pulled her self together and walked with her head high to face her judgement.

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

Yes definitely. It took me 2 days to listen to it. I listened to it everywhere, even in the shower and fell asleep to it at night. I will most defiantly listen to it again.

Any additional comments?

The performance was superb! I connected with all of the characters could not have imagined that it was read by only one person.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Good book for younger audience

Overall, the book would be a great read for a younger audience or an audience who knows little about the French Revolution. As someone who has done their homework on the subject I did find several inaccuracies but that wasn't enough to ruin it for me because the devil was only in the details.
Unfortunately, there are way too many British common phrases and expressions used by the characters which periodically pulls me out of the French setting. I know that some would argue that it is the dramatization which may do that but I am not bothered by Tom Hiddleston's impressive array of accents. I am used to watching many shows set in France played by British actors with British accents and take no issue with them. The dramatization was wonderful and engaging, albeit the voice of the dwarf does sound like Dobby the House Elf from the "Harry Potter" movies.

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Fantastic story!

The story is wonderful, and read with amazing character voices by Tom Hiddleston. Looking forward to reading more of Sally's books, and hearing more of Tom's narrations.

  • Overall
  • nevina
  • CT, United States
  • 09-11-08

Brilliant!

I never listen to abridgements on principal. When I listened to this I didn't realise it was abridged. It was only when I noticed "The Red Necklace" listed as a new addition and for 2 credits that I realised what I had done. I may have to revise by "rule" regarding abridgements. This is an astounding, historical fiction novel written primarily for the Young adult market. Don't let that put you off. You will love this tale of adventure , suspense, magic and friendship. I bought it because my son (9) is interested in the time period and there is a dearth of material on this subject for children. Because of the subject matter I previewed it and decided very quickly that it was a little mature for a 9 year old boy, but much to my son's annoyance I did not stop listening. This is one of the best audio download decisions I have made. I have not heard the narrator of the full unabridged 2 CREDIT version, so I can't compare but Tom Hiddleston does a brilliant job with this book. I just cant imagine anyone performing this story better than he did. I am going to listen to it again very soon. I very rarely do that. Definitely credit worthy.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Nicola
  • 08-23-12

Step into history...

This is wonderful!! I'll be honest I bought this purely based upon the fact that the audio version is read by the delectable Tom Hiddleston and boy does he make it entertaining! His wonderful and varied accents breathe such life into the characters.
The story itself is beautifully written, not knowing a great deal about the French revolution myself, Sally Gardner lets you almost taste history with her wonderful descriptions and colourful cast of characters.
I have such fondness for Yann and Sido and their respective path in and out of each other’s lives. Tetu is the kind of guardian you could almost wish for and both the marquis and dastardly Kalliovski are interesting and scary in different ways.
Perfection!!!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Kerie
  • 09-20-10

Luscious narration ...

Tom Hiddleston has the most wonderful voice for audio (and the talent / looks for so many other things) - I long to hear he's recorded more than just this rather good tale of the Revolution. Much, much appreciated ..!!

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Hannah
  • 06-29-12

Truly seductive narrator

I really enjoyed this book, it was well written and kept me in suspense but the credit is largly down to Mr Hidleston's voice. I was hooked from the moment he read the title and like the reviewer before said it is a shame there is not more on her read by him.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Batwench
  • 04-08-13

Enjoyable

I will admit that the reason I bought this book was to have Tom Hiddleston whispering in my ear. However, saying that I have listend to this version of the book twice as I actually got really into the characters and the story. There are times when you can tell this this is an abridged version as the story seems to 'jump' and the flow is lost. Characters are well thought out and from what I know about this location and period in history the author has done some good research to place the characters and story in the correct context. I have added the unabridged version of this book and book 2 to my wish list so I can find out what happens next, even if the velvet tones of Mr Hiddleston are not caressing my ears.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Fiona
  • 04-23-13

Surprisingly Gripping

I have to confess that I bought this solely for the pleasure of Tom Hiddleston's dulcet tones alleviating the tedium of this years lambing.

It took me a few attempts to get into and the magic is a little far fetched but I found myself hooked and wanting to know what happens in Book 2.

In the hands of a less able narrator however, it would probably not have been so enjoyable. Mr H gets full marks.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-05-17

TETUS VOICE IS HURTING MY EARS

My ears are in a lot but f pain rn coz Tetu (the dwarfs) voice was killing my ears
Please change his voice so no one has to go through the pain I went through


Thank you bro

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  • Chris_Hull
  • 02-03-17

a great listen

I thoroughly enjoyed this title, the story was entrapping and Tom's narration stunning, hope there is more to come in the series

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  • Nell
  • 03-31-16

Tom Hiddleston

Is there anything you would change about this book?

I hadn't realised this was the abridged version (which I would not usually buy) but I bought it because it was narrated by Tom Hiddleston. I wish he had narrated the unabridged version and that he would narrate more books.

Would you recommend The Red Necklace to your friends? Why or why not?

I thought this was just historical fiction and am prepared to support any good YA or kids' historical fiction because it tends to be better than that written for adults (with a few notable exceptions) but this has elements of fantasy in it. The fantasy detracted from the story in my opinion.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

Anything read by Tom Hiddleston is worth listening to.

Do you think The Red Necklace needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

There is a follow-up book narrated very well by Janet Suzman -- she just isn't Tom Hiddleston.

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  • sam b
  • 02-20-16

Enchanting

A well written and enchanting tale. I was drawn to the synopsis of this book but have to say it far exceeded my expectations. Listening on audible to the wonderful tones of Tom H and all the voices he gave the character really bought this book to life. I dreaded the book ending - it was almost like my wind down grown up fairy tale.
Plenty of lovable characters and pace to boot.

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  • Martha
  • 11-03-15

Tom Hiddleston - can't get any better than that

Beautifully read, got lost in his voice and the way he pronounced every single word with so much passion

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  • Skye
  • 05-18-15

Pure listening pleasure

While I will admit that I bought this title purely because it was read by Tom Hiddleston and had no expectation as to the content, I found this book thoroughly enjoyable. The story is well written and the characters well developed. Hiddleston's reading was nothing short of superb, the way he slipped from narrator to character, giving each character a different voice and, in some cases accent, brought the book to life. I highly recommend this title.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Dannielle
  • 10-13-16

Beautiful story, Beautiful performance

This brilliant story is definitely a highlight of my audible library and I have no doubt that I will listen to it time again!

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  • Emily Parker
  • 03-02-16

Fantastic

Beautifully written and incredibly well read. Hiddleston brings a unique voice to every character and pulls you into the narrative.