Regular price: $20.65

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free.
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price.
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love.
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel.
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month.
OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

Last Bus to Woodstock is the novel that began Colin Dexter's phenomenally successful Inspector Morse series.

'Do you think I'm wasting your time, Lewis?'

Lewis was nobody's fool and was a man of some honesty and integrity.

'Yes, sir.'

An engaging smile crept across Morse's mouth. He thought they could get on well together....

The death of Sylvia Kaye figured dramatically in Thursday afternoon's edition of the Oxford Mail.

By Friday evening Inspector Morse had informed the nation that the police were looking for a dangerous man - facing charges of willful murder, sexual assault and rape.

But as the obvious leads fade into twilight and darkness, Morse becomes more and more convinced that passion holds the key....

©2017 Colin Dexter (P)2017 Macmillan Digital Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    8
  • 4 Stars
    1
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Performance

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    9
  • 4 Stars
    0
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    7
  • 4 Stars
    1
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    1
Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • William
  • LOURMARIN, France
  • 02-22-18

A restorative

Where does Last Bus to Woodstock rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

quite high

Who was your favorite character and why?

Morse; always.

What about Samuel West’s performance did you like?

The pace, the punctuation, the absence of the usual English exaggerated dramatization. Just outstanding.

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

Look up the Tv series, enough.

Any additional comments?

An enormous restorative to the original series; brilliant narration

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Matt St P
  • 01-12-18

Very good indeed.

I have put off the works of Collin Dexter for some time, as TV's Morse is such an iconic character, I was worried the books would pale in comparison.

I am pleased to report that this book was both excellent and different.
Morse appears to be younger, bitterer (sorry Morse) and quite a bit madder than John Thaw's portrayal. Fortunately I do not imagine that they sound, look, or act the same. The page Morse is a very different beast to the screen Morse.

I thought it was well written with fully formed characters. It kept me entertained right up until the end.
I must confess I did feel a little bewildered in the last few chapters and may have to revisit these. All the threads seem to get tied up, and the conclusion didn't feel contrived.

The problem I have with many mystery novels is that they often rely on a confession from the murder, this one more than produced on that front, and the double mystery was working out why each character was confessing. I would like some good hard evidence to back up the confession, bit I suppose it would not be much of a mystery if the killer had been forensically identified in chapter three.
That said, it is set some 40 years ago, and I can well believe forensic capabilities were less developed then.

I have seen a few reviews commenting on the appalling attitudes of the main characters towards women particularly rape. I think it is an accurate depiction of the attitudes of the 1970's. It should be seen as a period piece, and it is good when read as such. It is not possible to attach today's values to yesterday's (fictitious) events and still come away with a feeling of authenticity. I don't agree with the opinions expressed by Morse , but in context I do not think it detracts from the book too badly.

The narrator did a very good job. The voices are his own and expertly delivered. At times I found myself thinking how TV's Morse and Lewis might sound and act, but there is never a hint of an impression of either, which is good because impressions of TV characters would have been very off putting.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Simon
  • 10-06-17

No Case for Re-Morse

It almost feels like some kind of confession to reveal that I have never previously read any of the Inspector Morse books and neither have I ever watched a full episode of the TV series. Thanks to the books coming out on Audible (quite a number of them were just released) I have now remedied that. What I found was a thoroughly enjoyable mystery and more than adequate police procedural novel. The beginnings of the chemistry between Morse and Lewis is enjoyable. Morse isn't an easy character, bit of an opera snob and he does sometimes treat Lewis rather poorly.

The book though is of course over four decades old. In some ways it's a little quaint as Morse talks about the wonders that his forensic boys can perform in the days before DNA, ANPR and mobile phone records. There's also a charming naivete about one of the methods that Morse uses to track down a suspect - though I guess it could work with a bit of luck thrown in as the author admits. The narration strikes just the right tone for a book of the period, it's clear, precise and never overly demonstrative.

This was of course the 70s though, a time of very different attitudes and sensibilities. The continuous series of high profile court cases and news stories harking back to that time give very apt testament to how those attitudes could manifest themselves. So there is here the kind of casual sexism that could offend. I took a look at other reviews on Goodreads and other sites and there are a fair few people who felt this spoiled the book for them including one that suggested the books should be re-written to remove that aspect from the characters. I can't subscribe to that, this is a product of its time and taken in context it's authentic. To retrofit it to today's standard would be plain wrong. It's not particularly excessive though I have to confess that even to me a chat up line used by Morse early in the book sounded supremely cringe worthy! Overall it's not hugely bad but it is there and it's clearly enough to spoil it for some which I can understand.

So, you're getting a book written over four decades ago with all that entails. I enjoyed it and I suspect I'll return for more of the books that have just been released. The quality of the writing and the iconic characters are reason enough for me.

17 of 18 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • K
  • 10-24-17

Overwrought

I mean overwrought in the emotional sense. This book presents characters who are overly dramatic and there are too many touches of a 'Brief Encounter' angst for my taste.

Despite my great love for the TV series - especially the brilliant casting of Morse and Lewis, I always did find Morse's awkward penchant for dashing himself at women more annoying than endearing and the same goes for this book.

In addition, though not as bad as the Frost books, is the rather dated and casual misogyny which I find rather tedious now - yes, it is of its period but does act as a reminder about the ridiculous expectations women were expected align themselves with.

Samuel West, with his crisp consonants, is a perfect match for the tone and period of the setting. He captures Morse's ennui perfectly.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Hazeladams
  • 10-12-17

wonderful

i read the book years ago but Samuel West did brilliant job of making me enjoy it all over again. Going to buy next one!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • deborah
  • 07-15-18

Superb. Story, plot, characters...everything

This is a superb story, with great character development and an introduction to Morse that makes you want more... great plot too

Samuel West is excellent and such a beautiful voice to make Morse and Lewis real

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • hettyc
  • 05-03-18

Disappointed

I love Morse and was looking forward to listening to this book but i was disappointed. I found the story line a bit long winded. I think having seen the TV series meant I had preconceived ideas of what to expect. I did find the ending had a good twist.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Painter
  • 04-12-18

Surprisingly fresh

The unabridged Dexter featuring the authentic Morse - and equally real Lewis - delivered by the beautifully sensitive voice of Samuel West.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Mary Carnegie
  • 03-12-18

Two classic detectives make their debut

Samuel West does a great job in portraying diverse characters and accents intelligently and naturally. He is becoming one of my favourite narrators (like the late lamented Bill Wallis, a genius with voices).
Morse and Lewis are not yet fully formed but the foundations are in place. Lewis is much put upon, a hardworking, decent family man (Welsh, which is nice, and distinguishes him from the Lewis of the TV adaptations), exploited unmercifully by Morse, already. Morse is arrogant, irascible, pedantic, egocentric, incapable of sustained intimate relationships and prone to unsuitable attractions to younger women. The Morse of the novels is not physically attractive (he has a comb-over! horror of horrors!!)
I do remember that world of the 70s, interestingly, I recall the casual sexism more clearly than the primitive technology - it’s a surprise to be reminded that there were typewriters, no mobiles, not even phones in every household, driving after drinking was not regarded as particularly sinful, there were such garments as “slacks”, stockings and suspenders (not just as fetish apparel), and unreliable cars.
Forensics were amazingly underdeveloped (though having studied them in 1974, I didn’t know it at the time).
Morse is of the same era as Gene Hunt, of “Life on Mars” and “Ashes to Ashes”, but the irony intrinsic to that more recent view of 1970s policing is understandably absent.
Nonetheless he is far preferable to the obnoxious Peter Wimsey, also with Oxford connections.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ellie S.
  • 02-20-18

A good listen

It’s dated but well narrated, the characters beginning g to form. No doubt the tv series add to the inner vision. I’m looking forward to working my way through the series.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Rosina Rowantree
  • 10-31-17

Not aged well

I am a great admirer of Samuel West as narrator, and of the TV Morse. But the book itself hasn't aged well. Morse comes across as a priapic dinosaur, nor redeemed by any indication that his views are not those of the author. I will try another, but will probably go back to watching Morse rather than reading/listening to the books.