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The Hangman's Daughter Audiobook

The Hangman's Daughter

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Publisher's Summary

Germany, 1659: When a dying boy is pulled from the river with a mark crudely tattooed on his shoulder, hangman Jakob Kuisl is called upon to investigate whether witchcraft is at play in his small Bavarian town. Whispers and dark memories of witch trials and the women burned at the stake just 70 years earlier still haunt the streets of Schongau. When more children disappear and an orphan boy is found dead - marked by the same tattoo - the mounting hysteria threatens to erupt into chaos.

Before the unrest forces him to torture and execute the very woman who aided in the birth of his children, Jakob must unravel the truth. With the help of his clever daughter, Magdelena, and Simon, the university-educated son of the town’s physician, Jakob discovers that a devil is indeed loose in Schongau. But it may be too late to prevent bloodshed.

©2011 Oliver Pötzsch, Lee Chadeayne (translation) (P)2011 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (3313 )
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  •  
    Janet Allen, TX, United States 03-26-13
    Janet Allen, TX, United States 03-26-13 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Why not call it "The Hangman?""

    A pretty good "who done it" for any generation, but made far more interesting through the lens of 17th century witch fears and a picture of the real role of the hangmen of the period. Who knew they had families and lived regular lives? Although not gratuitous or overly gruesome, the violence is a bit shocking, but apparently accurate for the era. Recommended for lovers of historic fiction and mysteries.

    18 of 21 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Aimee K Henderson Cleveland, MS, US 02-19-13
    Aimee K Henderson Cleveland, MS, US 02-19-13
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    "Thrilling tale"

    The story constantly kept me engaged. At several points, I thought I knew what would happen but I was completely wrong. I found this to be a very enjoyable listen. The narrator helped give the story life. He was excellent.I enjoyed hearing the names pronounced. I am not proficient in Polish pronunciation so it was extremely helpful! If you have listened to many books, you know the narrator can make or break the experience.

    18 of 21 people found this review helpful
  •  
    george Bathurst, Australia 06-13-13
    george Bathurst, Australia 06-13-13 Member Since 2016
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    "Extraordinary tale from long ago."

    I discovered this Author by chance and bought the title as a special. Within a few chapters I was hooked and found it hard to put down. (I will add that Grover Gardner is a favourite of mine also.)

    The language , plot and characters are wonderfully woven and describe a period in European life that is long forgotten.

    I think the emphasis on ordinary people , their lives , their joys and fears endears me to the Author and his story.

    I have already purchased and read the second title - The Dark Monk.

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Katie Roe Seattle, WA USA 04-10-15
    Katie Roe Seattle, WA USA 04-10-15 Member Since 2013
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    "Wonderfully researched series!"

    Oliver has done a fantastic job with his research. It is easy to tell that this series close to his heart. I lived near where the books take place for several years, so for me it was even more interesting. I hope he continues to write in this series.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kelly Howard Oregon 08-28-14
    Kelly Howard Oregon 08-28-14 Member Since 2016
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    "not even Grover can save this turkey"

    i seem to be in the minority here, but I thought this book was so stupid I couldn't stand to finish it, despite the fact that Grover Gardner is one of my all-time fave readers (& he did his usual outstanding job).

    Perhaps some of the problem is from translation; I cannot 'stay in' a book set in the 1600s where a character uses "Whatever" in the sense that modern-day teens use it --as in, indicating indifference to anther's statement, for example. There were a few other examples of modern idiom, and a lot of just really hideous dialogue.

    Another problem, not translational: the enormous contrast between the anachronistically enlightened/aware hangman & the other superstitious/ignorant villagers was just ridiculous; the hangman not only recognizes that need for cleaning wounds several centuries before anyone else, he realizes all this witch (& much other) stuff is mere ignorant superstition, & to round it out he beats Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock by centuries in his sleuthing. He's way too over the top brilliant & aware.

    btw, for those who have trouble reconciling how the kindly healer can also be hangman & torturer, we see in the very first paragraph that the protagonist is himself 'tortured' by what he has to do; we see him getting drunk & generally having a nervous breakdown when it comes time for him to do his thing, especially when he thinks the torturee/executionee is undeserving...he also slips the innocent really groovy drugs before going to work on 'em, so they hardly feel a thing. (that's another thing; I could only wish my current medications were 1/10th as effective as some of his herbal remedies...they just ain't that good).

    In contrast to the uber-genius hangman, other characters do such incredibly moronic things that I found myself hoping they'd get killed off before they got a chance to breed (or annoy me further). Things like (this is not a spoiler, it's not something that actually happens, but exactly parallel things do). Stuff like:

    --characters X & Y are being chased by others, down a box canyon at night. X & Y are sneaking along, then stop in bushes to listen for sounds of pursuit. Suddenly X stands up & yells "HELLOOO!" Y grabs X & hisses "What are you doing?!" X answers, "I wanted to see if the echo works at night."

    --X & Y are being pursued another time (still night). X comes up behind Y, puts hand over Y's mouth so Y doesn't scream, whispers in Y's ear "Shh, it's me, don't scream." Y nods. X lets go. Y shouts "Don't put your hand over my mouth, I hate that!!

    Like that. Too dumb to live. I got so annoyed by things that that, & by how over-the-top stupid many characters were all around that I managed to stick with the book about 3/4 of the way through, at which time I decided I'd only bother finishing if I thought every character was going to die a horrible death. But since there are further books in the series, clearly some live on. Needless to say, the hangman, his daughter, & the rest of the gang are going to have to do it without me.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alison Brinston, ONTARIO, Canada 05-26-13
    Alison Brinston, ONTARIO, Canada 05-26-13 Member Since 2013
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    "holy plot holes batman!"

    In general I love historical fiction and this book seemed like it would have lots going for it. But it failed in every aspect of it. The characters were flat, boring and cliche. The plot moved extremely slowly and 'clues' were gone over again and again and again and then again a few chapters later, in case you forgot. The whole book could have been half the length without losing anything. The translation was stilted, especially with idioms and phrases. For those who might be faint of heart, the descriptions of torture and killing is not extremely graphic but presented in a very matter-of-fact way. Probably not for everyone.

    My biggest problem with the book was continuity errors and plot holes. The editor of this book needs to be fired. Sometimes it's little things, like the main characters get covered in clay dust which they can't get off, and an hour later when one goes to town to get help, no one asks why they're all covered in dirt. When you find out who did it, I invite you to go back and read the initial descriptions of this character's physical characteristics and then read the big confrontation scene again. See the problem? Appalling.

    In the middle of the book, I thought I'd be giving this book maybe 3 stars and say that it was kind of ok for listening to in the car, but the completely frustrating plot hole at the end was the final turn of the thumb-screw for me. I confess: I hated this book. Would not recommend, will not buy the sequel.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JanBreesmom MIRA LOMA, CA, United States 08-08-12
    JanBreesmom MIRA LOMA, CA, United States 08-08-12 Member Since 2012
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    "A Strong, Historical Mystery"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Hangman's Daughter to be better than the print version?

    I have not read the print version but did like the audio version.


    What did you like best about this story?

    At the very end, the author spoke of researching his family ancestry and finding much of the material, the people, he used in this book. The story was fiction but he used enough of the reality of the time to write an interesting and intriguing mystery.


    Which character – as performed by Grover Gardner – was your favorite?

    The Hangman and his daughter.


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

    It's the mid-1500's; will the town's hangman solve the mystery before he is require to do his job?


    Any additional comments?

    No.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ted Lancaster, PA, United States 03-11-16
    Ted Lancaster, PA, United States 03-11-16 Member Since 2010
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    "Flat"

    One dimensional characters aswirl in the currents of an odd culture. You know the old joke about the guy who asks his fish, "How's the water?" And they think, "Water?" We're unaware of how our culture acts like currents against our spontaneity. There are things we just won't do, won't even think of doing. Cultural coding acts like an internal corset.

    This 1500s Germanic setting uses culture to dramatically channel the plot... even frustratingly to our present permissions and constraints. That's the interesting part of Oliver Potzsch's tale. The rest is ordinary and the character's are predictable. I listened to it all. Will forget the plot and its inhabitants quickly, but I'll remember the setting.

    Grover Gardner's talents are wasted here.

    8 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brittany 03-14-17
    Brittany 03-14-17
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Much Better Than Anticipated!"

    This was an awesome story and much better than I expected. I loved how this story takes the character of a hangman, and reinvents him into not only a likable character but one who is gruff, but also has a caring side. While he has to do his job to ensure the "witch" confesses, he's also secretly trying to prove her innocence along with this daughter, and her friend. Great story!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    The Dark Side 10-09-16 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great Medieval Tale !"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Hangman's Daughter to be better than the print version?

    Yes , Grover Gardner always adds a bit of humor to the characters. I found the print version uniteresting .



    What did you like best about this story?

    The star-crossed lovers. A "witch" is not suitable and a hangmans daughter at that. Also the fact of hangmen being a family business. The historical details were quite alarming .


    Which character – as performed by Grover Gardner – was your favorite?

    The Hangman. Grover Gardner represented him as a 3 dimensional character. Despair, guilt, and devotion were the main aspects I was inpressed by .


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

    Anytime the medicinal herbs were more effective than the old medical "beliefs" . I felt proud of nature vs science.


    Any additional comments?

    One of those books I so enjoyed, I devoted a whole day to. Loved it .

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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