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Publisher's Summary

What happens to a man who has his ear pressed to the lives of others but not much life of his own?

When Stephen Donaldson joins The Institute, he anticipates excitement, romance and new status. This becomes a reality when he is assigned a new case: Phoenix, in which he becomes mesmerized by the voice of the target's wife.

Dangerously in love and very lonely, Stephen sets himself up for a vertiginous fall that will forever change his life.

©2016 Francesca Kay (P)2016 W.F. Howes Ltd

Critic Reviews

"The Long Room seems like the sort of novel that might have won the Booker around 1981. It says much about the author's...sensitivity to...human behaviour that it wouldn't look out of place in 2016." (Independent)
"Kay's atmospheric novel is partly a portrait of damage, and her unworldly protagonist a painfully vulnerable figure - which, as he becomes increasingly reckless, makes for some sweaty-palmed reading.... This skillfully calibrated thriller will keep you guessing." (Daily Mail)

What members say

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • MS RUTH SHAW
  • 09-25-16

Smiley fans

look no further.. the loneliness the dingy rooms... the awfulness of Thatcher Britain are all here.. the lioner caught between social classes... it's elegiac and moving.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Stan d'Up
  • 06-23-17

All got a bit pointless at the end

An uninteresting yarn about a socially inept and gullible young man.
A real disappointment in truth

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Ms Julia A. Holmes
  • 02-28-17

Overwritten and pretentious

If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

Someone who enjoys cliches.

Has The Long Room put you off other books in this genre?

Not in this genre, but by this author.

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

Narration was fine.

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

Boredom

Any additional comments?

I found this book irritatingly overwritten - the constant trite quotations from Christmas carols and poetry (even though I understand they were part of the character of Stephen) made me annoyed and bored. The story was underwhelming as well - no exciting denouement or confrontation between Stephen and the object of his obsession, Helen. Too long and disappointing.

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  • ELIZABETH
  • 02-13-17

Uninvolving

Would you try another book written by Francesca Kay or narrated by Finlay Robertson?

Narrator yes, author maybe not

What could Francesca Kay have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Made it less predictable

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

Not to my knowledge

What character would you cut from The Long Room?

Most of them are unappealing but Stephen's mother is the most dreary

Any additional comments?

Liked the narrator and the interview at the end between the author and narrator. Kay's description of the genesis of the book and of her understanding of Stephen's character and motivation were more interesting than the book itself.