We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access .
Painting the Darkness Audiobook

Painting the Darkness

Regular Price:$28.97
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Publisher's Summary

On a mild autumn afternoon in 1882, William Trenchard sits smoking his pipe in the garden of his comfortable family home. When the creak of the garden gate heralds the arrival of an unexpected stranger, he is puzzled but not alarmed. He cannot know the destruction this man will wreak on all he holds most dear.

©1989 Robert and Vaunda Goddard (P)2012 Audible Ltd

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (233 )
5 star
 (89)
4 star
 (76)
3 star
 (44)
2 star
 (16)
1 star
 (8)
Overall
3.9 (197 )
5 star
 (78)
4 star
 (59)
3 star
 (40)
2 star
 (9)
1 star
 (11)
Story
4.3 (196 )
5 star
 (112)
4 star
 (49)
3 star
 (25)
2 star
 (6)
1 star
 (4)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Linda 02-17-14
    Linda 02-17-14

    Cozy mysteries: MC Beaton, Agatha Christie, Rhys Bowen, more.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    20
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    56
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Poor sound, can't even rate it fairly."

    This looked like a great story, and I like the reader's voice. However, the sound comes across as mumbled even with a headset, and I'm going to return it if possible.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lorriee 11-25-13
    Lorriee 11-25-13

    Tell us about yourself! Attorney/Rancher - eclectic taste in books in both fiction and non-fiction. Preference for British authors in mysteries, love well written dialogue and hate historical fiction.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    172
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    54
    46
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    3
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Unable to stop listening."

    I am often easily bored with novels, but this one was not only well written, but it's plot was so intriguing that I found myself neglecting everything I needed to do, to keep listening to try to find out, if I would be able to dismiss this, with a "Oh, I know where this is going," and put it down, so I could go about my business.

    Fascinating characters which are well drawn.

    I would highly recommend this book to those who are jaundiced with formulae plots, and want to be kept guessing.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Katherine New Hartford, CT, United States 11-21-13
    Katherine New Hartford, CT, United States 11-21-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    217
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    99
    29
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    16
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Irresistible and Marvelous Fun"

    This book is so beautifully plotted and the characters so finely wrought, it was very hard to take the ear buds out over the course of the last three days! The mysteries that draw us in are irresistible, and the truths that lie in wait glisten just out of sight for much of this book. Pure pleasure, truly a great escape. Beautifully read by Kitchen - I could listen to him read the phone book, and will seek both author and narrator out for sure!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bookmarque 10-23-13
    Bookmarque 10-23-13 Member Since 2007

    ksx2

    HELPFUL VOTES
    106
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    538
    47
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    4
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Rewarding, but requires patience"

    Once you read one Goddard, you start to hunger for more. This is my 4th. Or maybe my 5th. If you don’t like long, involved and convoluted plots with lots of characters (many not what they seem), shenanigans and the unexpected, don’t read him. If you do like all those things along with a dash of the historical, I’m sure you’ll become an addict like me once you read one.

    As usual, one of the main characters is drawn into the plot indirectly and it is quite a while before we know precisely why. Ostensibly it’s for one reason, but Goddard is never so straightforward and I was just waiting for the truth. He’s taken for one hell of a ride. Mostly, he’s a pawn and is used and abused pretty much the whole time.

    Then there’s James Norton and his bid to get back into his family’s good graces and claim his inheritance. I knew better than to become emotionally connected to him or his cause. His family didn’t help me though; what a bunch of spiteful, entitled jerks. Only Constance got any sympathy from me, but I had a feeling she was going to suffer in the end, too. I can’t give anything more away, but if you like sordid family dramas, check this out. It's not quite as tight and addictive as some of his other books; it meanders quite a bit and lacks some of the physical danger and relentless pacing, but it is good and rewards the effort.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    E. Simond 07-24-13
    E. Simond 07-24-13 Member Since 2014

    ellykat

    HELPFUL VOTES
    115
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    134
    34
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    4
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A never ending mystery!"

    This is the second of Goddard's books and I couldn't take out my ear buds. The mystery deepens as the story evolves and it never seems to end. Michael Kitchen's narration made the book even better.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alice 04-07-13
    Alice 04-07-13 Member Since 2008

    Another Audible Addict

    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    98
    44
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A Must Have Classic"

    Really well done! Great performance and imaginative story, done in the style of Sherlock Holmes.
    It will keep you guessing all the way, and even though it is a period piece the feelings, desires, actions of the charactures could all apply in a current day situation just as well. This book really makes you take a look at human emotions and what they can cause us to believe, and do. It keeps you on your toes, because whom is the protaganist, or antagonist is not always so black and white throughout the story. This goes in the Best of Audible list for me
    .

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    christine Sydney, Australia 12-18-12
    christine Sydney, Australia 12-18-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "As usual Robert Goddard delivers"
    What made the experience of listening to Painting the Darkness the most enjoyable?

    lots of intrigue


    What other book might you compare Painting the Darkness to and why?

    I have enjoyed every Robert Goddard book either audio or paperback


    Have you listened to any of Michael Kitchen’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    no


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    only part way through


    Any additional comments?

    So far the story is gripping and mysterious - unlike a paperback I cannot easily skip to the last pages and cheat!

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sandy 12-17-12
    Sandy 12-17-12

    Love having someone read me a story. Fires in the hearth, rain on the roof, sunny days and surf. Good friends, good food and J S Bach.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    583
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1599
    237
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    30
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "excellent narration from Michael Kitchen"

    Good story from Robert Goddard, though not my favourite.
    That is simply my personal preference.

    An audio book I expect to listen to again, as I have done with all Goddard's novels so far..
    Michael Kitchen adds greatly to any book I have heard him read, and is a joy to hear as he has such an expressive voice.
    The story does give rise to wondering about morality when it comes to sexual relationships and the nature of a personal guilt for the deeds of others. While women do feature in this story they seem to have little to say.Yet what they do have to say seems to show a way through a seeming man made impasse.

    The story is a little like the untangling of tangled fishing line or skeins of wool.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathi 05-08-14
    Kathi 05-08-14 Member Since 2010

    Love books! Classics and lighter fiction, mysteries (not too violent please :-). And selective non-fiction--whatever takes my fancy.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2698
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    804
    338
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    438
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "If you like really complicated stories..."

    This book revolves around the story of a man (James Davenall) who is believed to have committed suicide 11 years prior to the telling, and left his bride at the alter at the same time. Now he (or an impersonator) is returned, calling himself James Norton, and he would like to claim the inheritance that would have been his (if indeed, he is the true James Davenall) and especially to have Constance, the woman he failed to marry when he disappeared.

    The story is complicated--the Davenall family would prefer not to acknowledge him as their brother/son whom they believe to be dead, because the baronetcy has now passed to the younger brother, upon the death of their father. They decide to enlist the assistance of Constance's husband in proving that the stranger is not their son/brother (as they would all have reason not to want his return). He is initially agreeable, because he doesn't want to lose his wife. It all eventually winds up in court, but even then, the whole thing continues. William Trenchard, Constance's husband, has the most agonizing position in the book.

    This book is very long, convoluted and requires close listening. It is a good mystery, but you have to be willing to attend rather closely because the story has many twists and turns. Character development is good. Michael Kitchen was not my favorite person to narrate this book, though it was okay (and he is generally a good narrator). I would have preferred someone who had more verbal energy, more inflection because the book is so hard to follow that that would have helped a little bit. Don't turn away from this book--but don't plan to tackle it unless you have dedicated time for listening.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    RavidReader Detroit, MI, United States 12-02-13
    RavidReader Detroit, MI, United States 12-02-13 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    89
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    267
    32
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    8
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Suspensful, but too lengthy!"
    Which character – as performed by Michael Kitchen – was your favorite?

    Michael Kitchen is great! He is the only reason I was able to tolerate the complete 20+ hour book.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Very disappointed! I wish I had stopped listening when I realized I didn't care what happened! I only wanted it to end!


    Any additional comments?

    The story took many twists and turns which, initially, held my interest. The story started with interest, but grew quite tiresome, quite quickly.My interest was quickly lost with unlikable characters that I didn't care about..While listening I realized, I didn't care what happened; I wasn't invested and my goal was to finish the book, only. In the future, before I spend 20+ hours of precious listening time on one book, I will be more cautious in my selections and quit listening when the story doesn't have characters of interest to me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Dr. Laurence G. Measey
    Portsmouth, UK
    3/29/13
    Overall
    "Rather tedious"

    I am not at all sure why I put this book on my wish list. I finished it with a cheer as it was so obvious a plot, the characters so predictable, and the writing so turgid. Oh yes, I remember why I chose t a for it is narrated by Michael Kitchen. He is a great actor but even he cannot bring much to like in this work

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Seacadence
    2/21/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Brilliant and captivating. "

    A brilliant, captivating and well written book and an amazing narrator. A definite must read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Bernd
    Kassel, Germany
    7/9/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Boring novel, good speaker."
    Would you try another book written by Robert Goddard or narrated by Michael Kitchen?

    Robert Goddard; Never! 20 hour with minimal activeness is 19 hours to long. After 4 hours I could not longer stand it and give it up.<br/>But the speaker is very good to listen to. I recommend him-


    What will your next listen be?

    A book from the series "The modern scholar".


    Have you listened to any of Michael Kitchen’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    No.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Painting the Darkness?

    Most szens are awful boring. There are no interesting characters in the novel.


    Any additional comments?

    Mayby for hard Robert-Goddard-friends to read or to hear. But my complete vedict is: Don`t buy it. There are a lot more interesting novels by audible.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Susan
    Clacton on Sea, United Kingdom
    4/2/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "brain teasing"
    Where does Painting the Darkness rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Among the top5


    Which character – as performed by Michael Kitchen – was your favourite?

    Sir James davenall


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Deluded?


    Any additional comments?

    Although a bit slow to start, once I had got past the first chapter, this story had me lurching from believing that the main character was who he claimed to be to disbelieving, then back to believing and so on all the way through. The inevitable twists in Goddard work were so brilliant in this tale.....I was continually trying to work out the ending which was of course completely un-envisagable and the only way to conclude such a drama. Michael Kitchens narration is also extremely well done.....I would recommend this book as an excellent read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Roderic
    Victoria Park, Australia
    1/23/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Reasonable but not spectacular"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Yes. It ranks as my lighter reading in that it is more about the plot than the ultimate quality of the writing.


    Any additional comments?

    I thought the ending a little clumsy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • katea
    9/25/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Loved this book!!!"

    This book had so many twists and turns and I could never seem to make up my mind if I loved the main characters or really disliked them. The plot was brilliant and the writing sublime. The reader, Michael Kitchen, was exceptional.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • janice
    STOKE ON TRENT, United Kingdom
    8/6/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A page turner"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Painting the Darkness to be better than the print version?

    Narrator does drunken toffs brilliantly.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Painting the Darkness?

    The closing chapter describing how the "hero" feels about himself and his background.


    Have you listened to any of Michael Kitchen’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    I haven't listened to Michael Kitchen's readings previously - will certainly keep an eye out for other readings.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Can't say too much here without giving the story away. Robert Goddard's description of the hero's view of himself is poignant.


    Any additional comments?

    I think Robert Goddard stories can be a bit hit and miss. This one though was thoroughly enjoyable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • christy
    4/23/13
    Overall
    "slow and monotonous"

    The narraters voice was the same for almost all of the characters,so it was hard to know who was speaking,I found it very hard to follow and got fed up half way through

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.