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A Plague on Both Your Houses Audiobook

A Plague on Both Your Houses: The First Chronicle of Matthew Bartholomew

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Publisher's Summary

Matthew Bartholomew, unorthodox but effective physician to Michaelhouse college in medieval Cambridge, is as worried as anyone about the pestilence that is ravaging Europe and seems to be approaching England. But he is distracted by the sudden and inexplicable death of the Master of Michaelhouse - a death the University authorities do not want investigated.

But Matt is determined to get to the truth, leading him into a tangle of lies and intrigue that cause him to question the innocence of his closest friends - and even his family - just as the Black Death finally arrives.

A Plague on Both Your Houses is the book that introduced Matthew Bartholomew to the world.

©1996 Susanna Gregory (P)2017 Little Brown Book Group

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (5 )
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4.2 (5 )
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Story
4.4 (5 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Derk 04-26-17
    Derk 04-26-17 Member Since 2017
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    5
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "review"

    Nice introduction to Bartholomew series. good story but at the end a bit too much plotting for my liking

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • DeeJay
    Cheshire
    3/27/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Couldn't Finish This Book. Don't waste your money!"
    Would you try another book written by Susanna Gregory or narrated by David Thorpe?

    Susanna Gregory - Possibly<br/>David Thorpe - No


    Has A Plague on Both Your Houses put you off other books in this genre?

    I couldn't finish this book so difficult to comment, but the genre is one I usually enjoy, so probably not. I thought having read numerous positive reviews on this series of books that I would enjoy it but it was ruined by the atrocious narration.


    Would you be willing to try another one of David Thorpe’s performances?

    Definitely Not. It wasn't read as smooth prose as books should, but as a list of separate sentences with long pauses between them. It therefore did not keep my interest & I was unable to get past the first few chapters. I tried a number of times to get into the story but couldn't. Going to request a credit refund.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from A Plague on Both Your Houses?

    Can't comment - didn't listen to enough of the story


    Any additional comments?

    Doesn't Audible have a quality check in place to prevent books being ruined by the narrator.? An author invests time & effort into writing interesting books but then their work is totally spoilt by a rubbish narrator. Good narration is vital when listening to a book so I am surprised that this is allowed to happen.

    10 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • Louis Hall
    6/5/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "If I could give 3.5 I would. Entertaining enough"
    What three words best describe David Thorpe’s voice?

    A little on the irritating side when acting the character voices.


    Was A Plague on Both Your Houses worth the listening time?

    Yes


    Any additional comments?

    No Shardlake but good enough

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Lee
    Aberdeenshire
    6/6/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Loved the hardbacks but..."
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    Just couldn't get into it. I've read the whole series and I wish I'd not listened to this. The characters just weren't as I imagined them. The narrator didn't do them justice. Brother Michael was just lost..really disappointing ..<br/>


    Would you be willing to try another book from Susanna Gregory? Why or why not?

    I've read them all so far but I've returned the ones I had lined up to listen to. Just couldn't get into the first one. Maybe another narrator and I might try again.


    What three words best describe David Thorpe’s performance?

    Poor, unrealistic, monotonous. Sadly not my cup of tea. First time I've heard him and he just doesn't do the book justice. Didn't hold my attention.


    If this book were a film would you go see it?

    i would probably as I really liked the hardbacks.


    Any additional comments?

    Don't be put off by my comments about the book as I did enjoy it when I read it just couldn't get into it with this narrator. Mathew Bartholomew will grow on you .... Give it a go :)

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Anonymous
    8/15/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The name is ?"

    A great but complicated story. It was my first audible book and I became hooked. However, at first I found it very difficult to sort out all the characters - when reading I can constantly flip back to check - not so easy when listening hands free. But just how many thousands of times does the name Bartholomew occur?!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • sara weeden
    8/4/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Too many characters"

    Perhaps because I am listening to the story rather than reading it, but I lost track of who is who and after a while I gave up caring

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Heather
    Forneth, Perthshire
    7/31/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Cardboard characters &amp; a dull whodunnit"

    I was desperate to finish some weeding in the garden, so persisted longer with this book than I might've otherwise. Had I been driving, I would have slept, so a safety warning here!

    Some whodunnits are just plain dull and formulaic. Despite the historical setting, the use of disgusting period detail and the nature of the college rule books at the time, this is one of those. Part of the problem is the cardboard characters. They don't live and this is one of those dreary potboiler books in an endless series. Trouble is, the first book in such a series has to hook the reader to keep them reading. This fails, but at least I won't waste any more dosh on the rest of them!

    The narrator does his best and gives a creditable performance of this dismal material.

    If you want a truly ripping yarn set in the time of the Black Death and full of excellent characters and atmospheric historical detail, I suggest Connie Willis' novel 'The Doomesday Book'. Dunno whether her stuff is on Audible yet, but it should be!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • shirley
    7/8/17
    Overall
    "Excellent"

    Gripping story and beautifully read. Another success for Susanna Gregory. I have listened to nearly all of them now.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Hathor
    Leeds, Yorkshire, UK
    6/25/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not a great listen- the later books are better"
    If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

    I like Susanna Gregory's writing but the first couple of Mathew Bartholomew book suffer from weak characterisation and a poor narrator and the combination of the two is unfortunate. The good news is that the later books do improve and the narrater becomes slightly more bearable and are worth a credit but this, alas, isn't and I will be returning it.


    What was most disappointing about Susanna Gregory’s story?

    Having read all of Gregory's books the earlier books are definitely the weakest in the series, with poorly sketched characters, unrealistic dialogues and although the historical detail is interesting it isn't enough to keep the reader/listener engaged. As I have said above, the later books do get a lot better but this one, particularly with the terrible narration, is one to avoid.


    Would you be willing to try another one of David Thorpe’s performances?

    Unfortunately Thorpe is the assigned reader for the Bartholomew books so I can only hope he, or the publisher, take notice of listeners comments and change/adapt his narration because, honestly, I can't bear to hear some of his interpretations of the monks and in particular Michael. In answer to the questionable, seeing Thorpe's name on an audio book would put me off.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from A Plague on Both Your Houses?

    Not really applicable - it was the first book written a long time ago and Gregory's writing has got better with time, so just take this as an early attempt, not really worth a credit unless you are want to hear how it all started or you are prepared to return it if you don't like it.


    Any additional comments?

    A different narrator would have made all the difference but we have what we have and it is good that the whole back catalogue is been made available.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Samima
    6/22/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "An easy listen and hugely enjoyable"

    The highly improbable plot was most enjoyable and kept me guessing. I liked the characters. Yes, Matt was a bit too good to be true, never once able to accept money, but that's ok, it's fiction and like settling into a cosy comfort blanket.

    Excellent narrator. Voices well differentiated. I did enjoy it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • K
    UK
    6/13/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fairly Ridiculous"

    Imagine a bad James Bond, Moonraker or Diamonds Are Forever, say, take it back 500ish years and you'll get a reasonable idea of the quality of this book. The characters are not exactly endearing and the plot seems to blunder about in the guise of being thrilling but actually only manages to be somewhat annoying. Each 'twist' seems to be mere happenstance rather than part of a carefully wrought storyline. When the protagonist's theories or deductions have unravelled - yet again - we are provided with a lengthy exposition as to what contributed to his mis-conception. I was expecting a white-clad, face-less monk, pew bound and stroking a moggy to materialise at many points throughout this tale.

    The historical features seem accurate and certainly interested me - I think this is what kept me listening. Although, I am always annoyed by the assumption that because women lived in a fiercely patriarchal society they were ninnies and/or easily duped by men and are portrayed as such in historical novels.

    The narrator was fine and gave distinctive features to each of his characters and made this relatively engaging to listen to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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