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Speaks the Nightbird Audiobook

Speaks the Nightbird

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Publisher's Summary

Audie Award Nominee, Fiction, 2013

Judgment of the Witch

The Carolinas, 1699: The citizens of Fount Royal believe a witch has cursed their town with inexplicable tragedies - and they demand that beautiful widow Rachel Howarth be tried and executed for witchcraft. Presiding over the trial is traveling magistrate Issac Woodward, aided by his astute young clerk, Matthew Corbett. Believing in Rachel's innocence, Matthew will soon confront the true evil at work in Fount Royal....

Evil Unveiled

After hearing damning testimony, magistrate Woodward sentences the accused witch to death by burning. Desperate to exonerate the woman he has come to love, Matthew begins his own investigation among the townspeople. Piecing together the truth, he has no choice but to vanquish a force more malevolent than witchcraft in order to save his beloved Rachel - and free Fount Royal from the menace claiming innocent lives.

©2002 Robert McCammon (P)2012 Audible, Inc.

What the Critics Say

“Edoardo Ballerini performs this story of accusation and fear flawlessly. He effortlessly switches his pitch, accents, and timbre to suit the unfortunate Rachel Howarth, the endless curious Corbett, and the various determined characters, good and evil.” (AudioFile)

"a compelling story that should find a wide readership. Highly recommended for popular fiction collections." (Library Journal)

"An excellent story, full of tension and suspense.” (Stephen King)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (4879 )
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4.2 (4382 )
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4.5 (4399 )
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Amazon Customer Des Moines, IA United States 07-28-14
    Amazon Customer Des Moines, IA United States 07-28-14 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
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    "Delightful to the last sentence"

    I have so often been thoroughly engrossed in the beginning of a novel, investing high hopes in its potential, only to be let down by the author who seemed to lose any idea of where he or she is going (Night Film comes to mind). I hoped that this book would not break my heart this way, as I really loved it from the start. I was so happy that this book was true to the story right up to the very end. In fact, the final sentence wrapped up the final loose thread of the novel, and everything made sense. I loved this book, and was transported to a time and place in a rare way. The narrator is a marvel...I often think when I listen to a new Audible book "...now this is the best narrator I have ever heard", and then someone like Edoardo Ballerini comes along to make me forget the rest. He is spectacular. I really did not want to read a series, but I finished this book last night and will buy the next book today. It was that good. Just a great book, folks.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stefanie Jurassic 07-21-14
    Stefanie Jurassic 07-21-14 Member Since 2014

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
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    "Engrossing but grim"

    Overall, it was an interesting story and kept my attention. At times though, it really felt like it was dragging; therefore, I highly recommend listening to it on 1.25x speed because it's very long and also, the narration is painfully slow. Another issue is that the writer seems to have an inordinate fixation on male genitalia, and at times, uses language that almost certainly would never have been spoken by folks in 1699. This sort of breaks the illusion of the storytelling.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sherry Pitcock 07-15-14 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    128
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    Story
    "Interesting look at another time"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would recommend it. It was nice to see such devotion to the truth in the face of social self-righteousness.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The young clerk Matthew. He had a fairly modern take on things in a very dark time. People really believed in witchcraft. So many were killed as witches to assuage the fears of fools.


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

    Even though it was set in a long gone world, the persecution of women by a whole town of ignorant and fearful people who overwhelming believe in their fear-based religion rather than take a look at something reality-based. I guess I felt a resonance in today's world.


    Any additional comments?

    Interesting story. Set in a long ago era, it was full of fairly contemporary people. the money-grabbing baron, the truth seeker, the victim of abuse, the law, the chorus of "true believers"

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    tropikatz 06-29-14
    tropikatz 06-29-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    0
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    4
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    "New reader to this author"
    Where does Speaks the Nightbird rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I love this book series and the writing style of the author. I had never heard of him before but will continue through the series and then start on some of his other titles.


    What other book might you compare Speaks the Nightbird to and why?

    Perhaps a Charles Dickens book with the complex stories, multiple characters and interesting names.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Weston, MA, United States 06-20-14
    Michael Weston, MA, United States 06-20-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
    ratings
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    367
    19
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    "Good but long."

    Fascinating historical detail, good characters many of whom I'd like to see again, very talented narrator who can do many distinct voices well. My only complaint is that the author tends to go on too long, repeating or extending his prose when I wanted the plot to move along. Others might feel differently about that, I'll certainly try something else in the series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nathan SPRINGVILLE, UT, United States 06-16-14
    Nathan SPRINGVILLE, UT, United States 06-16-14 Member Since 2013

    Love my family...along with guitars, road bikes, cameras, and a good book!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    154
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    286
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    "One of the best books I've read"

    I can't even begin to describe how much I loved this book. 30+ hours was not enough, and seemed to fly by. The language and mannerisms of the characters was perfect, to my mind and imagination, for the time period of the end of the 17th century. The author drew me into the story so quickly, and I didn't catch my breath throughout the process one time! I was kept guessing until the very end, and that is rare for me. So eloquent, and elegant in the prose and pacing of this novel. It was truly a breath of fresh air in a sea of mediocre books and stories. Will listen again soon!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    InsideADog 06-02-14
    InsideADog 06-02-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
    ratings
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    158
    36
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    1
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    "Good Story but Too Long"

    This was a fresh take on a "who done it". I enjoyed the entire story line and characters. The reader is one of the very best out there and I was not disappointed by his perforamnce of this. As is so often the case with mysteries, everything seems to go along making sense, until it is time to pull it all together and people start doing things way out of character or that they just wouldn't do. This is the case with Nightbird. I kept my rating low because the book was so long. Who cares what color pants every guy in the room is wearing? Not me.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    missgrundy San Francisco, CA 05-21-14
    missgrundy San Francisco, CA 05-21-14 Member Since 2010

    Fine art photographer, retired English professor, dog mom to an adorable Maltese mix, long-time Californian, genealogist, what else?

    HELPFUL VOTES
    60
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    "Slow starter, but . . ."

    It actually took me three tries to get going on this book. It starts off slowly, you have no idea of who the people are, and twice I put it aside to read something else. But finally came a time when I had nothing on my iPad I hadn't read but Speaks the Nightbird, so I sighed and turned it on again.

    Wow. It certainly picked up, and turned into one of those books that you feel obsessed about -- looking for reasons to drive the car, sitting in the driveway listening long after you're home, and so on. There are so many plot twists and turns, it's guaranteed to keep your attention and keep you guessing.

    And the narrator is wonderful. He does the voices beautifully, including the women, which I can't say for all narrators. Others have given you information about the subject matter and details, so I'll just say, Read It. Now.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    barry Yountville, US, Canada 05-21-14
    barry Yountville, US, Canada 05-21-14 Member Since 2010

    barryology

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    95
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Delicious Guilty Pleasure Tale of the First Order"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Speaks the Nightbird to be better than the print version?

    N/A


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    Wonderful characters, wicked and heroic, sympathetic and pathetic; great setting--time/place, outlandishly detailed and delightfully grisly adventures, an against all odds kind of derring do that wins the day, and so on.


    Which character – as performed by Edoardo Ballerini – was your favorite?

    Well for pure over the top, hard to beat Exodus Jerusalem, the fire breathing evangelical charlatan, a character out of Dickens for pure disgust and villainy.


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

    Certainly Corbett's scenes with his mentor and the woman he falls in love with and sets out to save from the massive injustice facing her.


    Any additional comments?

    I have read the whole series up to now. Books 2-4 are all good, but I do not know if I would have picked them up without reading the first one, which predated the author's success with this character. Many found the length of it not to their liking, but it was precisely the length and loving detail that for me makes this book far and away the best of the series (each new installment has been progressively shorter, and suffers as a result), a book that really does stand on its own, a great, long, rollicking delight of an adventure, whether or not the author would have pursued this character (HBO--this would be a natural for you guys) with new episodes in his life.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Ocala, Fl USA 05-02-14
    Amazon Customer Ocala, Fl USA 05-02-14 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    132
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    383
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    7
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    "Great writing"

    This book captivated me from the start. When I recognize great writing and a great story I feel like I am using my spare time to good purpose. Set in 1699 this is an historic novel with graphic realism. Not knowing the author I did now know how the ending would work out. I now have the sequel ready to download.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • J. PERROTT
    Surrey
    7/7/12
    Overall
    "A beautifully read, chilling tale."

    I have always liked stories about the 17th Century, but good ones are few and far between. This is one of the good ones.

    I often find that novels which are so long struggle to remain gripping throughout, so I approached this one with some trepidation. I don't like to waste my monthly credit! I should not have worried.

    Ballerini's narration is superb and he has a great way of changing his voice for every single character so you know just who they are. This, coupled with McGammon's detailed and, sometimes, startling revelations which are revealed steadily throughout the novel make for an fascinating audiobook which thrills and entertains in equal measure. The thirty-odd hours have all but skipped by and, with only another four to go, I can't wait to find out what happens. I'm about to download the next novel in the series - I'm assuming this is the first in the 'Matthew Corbett' novels (Come on, Audible, make your labelling more helpful! This is not the only series poorly labelled. How about some more specific, advanced genre labels?) - because I'm looking forward to seeing in 1800 with Matthew in the colonies.

    A top quality read, highly recommended.

    12 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • Jackie
    basildon, United Kingdom
    4/13/13
    Overall
    "speaks the nightbird"

    This was a very long book and took most of a month to listen to it! but was well worth it in the end. It took it's time in drawing you in and you felt you knew the characters personally. Robert McCammon has a unique insight into the way people lived and their intolerance of anything or anyone different while they were building their America. Also how religion and superstition held sway over their lives .Edouardo Ballerini., as narrator was excellent his voice leading you on and very charismatic. An excellent book. I would recommend it to anyone who has the time to listen and enjoy.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Sparks
    elham, United Kingdom
    6/18/12
    Overall
    "intriguing read"

    After the first couple of hours of listening I decided I was not enjoying this book, but as soon as I stopped listening to it, I needed to know what happened. I then found it compelling listening, with no hitting the fast forward button.
    This is a very descriptive book, with characters I could admire, empathise with and detest, a good storyline.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Sarah
    LISS, United Kingdom
    1/21/13
    Overall
    "A good listen and value for money...but very long!"

    I would say that this is an enjoyable listen and I didn't guess the ending at all so it did keep you guessing throughout, however I feel it was slightly too long and drawn out for me. I found myself forcing myself to listen to it during the end of the the 2nd and the 3rd sections as the pace had really slowed. Having said that the narration was fantastic and I'm glad that I stuck with it. A good story....but not necessarily a great one!

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Mrs
    Norwich., United Kingdom
    11/21/12
    Overall
    "Good story"

    I downloaded this after reading other reviews and was not disappointed. The story is a little slow to get going, but it soon sweeps you up and has many twists and turns to keep you guessing. I shall look out for others by this author.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Garethman
    9/4/12
    Overall
    "Great stuff from south of Salem."

    An interesting take on the idea of the Crucible moulded into a detective novel. It's a great listen with one or two minor irritations( why the hell does our hero never tell anyone of what he has found out until the end?) However it's a well crafted novel and well appreciated.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Mrs
    Aylesbury, United Kingdom
    8/2/12
    Overall
    "Utterly gripping"

    From the very first chapter McCammon's detailed and skilled narrative transports the listener into the mud, humidity and brutal reality of life in 17th century Carolina. With witch trial hysteria, intrigue and deception thrown into the mix this is a superb novel which twists and turns it's way through to a satisfying conclusion. I can't wait to listen to the next in the series.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Yvonne
    BrightonUnited Kingdom
    5/10/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Very, Very Clever"

    This story is not generally my kind of subject matter, but both the author and narrator have gripped me with a very, very clever story, that is as factual and historic as it is murder, mystery.
    I only really downloaded this because I was absolutely blown away by Swan Song which after 34 hours of listening, I was left wishing there were another 34 hours remaining, I was that enthralled.
    I have already downloaded the next 2 instalments in the Matthew Corbett series and I cannot wait. Summed up in 1 sentence ' Robert McCammon doesn't just write, he paints images that immerse you into the very fabric of the story'.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Kindle Customer
    France
    7/13/12
    Overall
    "Speaks the Nightbird"

    I really enjoyed this book. It set the stage from the beginning and kept me enthralled throughout. I felt I was right there the whole time.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • S. E. North
    Oxfordshire, UK
    4/13/13
    Overall
    "Wonderful historical, mystery, thriller"

    This slowly developing, detailed and descriptive novel brings alive an historical period while weaving a web of mystery. Drawing pen portraits of a collection of frontiers people, all with an unusual history, McCammon introduces the reader to witchcraft and ignorance, murders and an underlying sense of threat. But striding through this grim and frightening landscape is the determined and morally sound Matthew Corbett, judge's clerk. The reader sees the characters and the new town through Matthew's eyes, shadowing his perseverance as he investigates the crimes being blamed on Rachel's witchcraft. Beautifully read too. I will be looking out for the other books in this series!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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