• Oscar Wilde and a Death of No Importance

  • By: Gyles Brandreth
  • Narrated by: Bill Wallis
  • Length: 10 hrs and 25 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (223 ratings)

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Oscar Wilde and a Death of No Importance

By: Gyles Brandreth
Narrated by: Bill Wallis
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Publisher's Summary

London, 1889. Oscar Wilde, celebrated poet, wit, playwright, and raconteur is the literary sensation of his age. All Europe lies at his feet. Yet when he chances across the naked corpse of sixteen-year-old Billy Wood, posed by candlelight in a dark stifling attic room, he cannot ignore the brutal murder. With the help of fellow author Arthur Conan Doyle he sets out to solve the crime - but it is Wilde's unparalleled access to all degrees of late Victorian life, from society drawing rooms to the underclass, that will prove the decisive factor in their investigation of what turns out to be a series of brutal killings. Oscar Wilde anda Death of No Importance is a classic murder mystery in the tradition of Dorothy L. Sayers and Arthur Conan Doyle!

©2007 Gyles Brandreth. All rights reserved. (P)2011 AudioGo

What listeners say about Oscar Wilde and a Death of No Importance

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

needs glue

I started listening with great expectations, based on the novel's inventive premise; this often sets me up to under-evaluate a book. I expected a clever mystery. It seems to be a clever recreation of a clever Oscar Wilde half-heartedly involved in a mystery that touched his historical life.

Although It's an imaginative portrait of Wilde and his London and Paris, it's a so-so mystery - And although the mystery is not the main point of this novel, Wilde playing Sherlock Holmes grated on me. The retrospective narration (of the story, not the audiobook) didn't mesh well with the mystery which in turn didn't mesh well with the excellent settings. It needed some literary glue to make strands work together.

Even Bill Wallis didn't make the listen lively.

I think some might love this series-- perhaps if I were more familliar with Wilde, I'd delight in his witticisms quoted in the context of a novel- however, I couldn't get engaged in the listen. I wouldn't download another installment, but I would download a bio of Wilde by this author.

7 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Delicious Story of a Decadent Hedonist

In this delicious mystery, the flamboyant author Oscar Wilde and his friends (including the creator of Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle) explore 1890s London in search of a murderer. Wilde's powers of observation hint that he is clearly the inspiration for Sherlock Holmes, and is perspicacity and wit pepper the book.

The story is littered with the quirky peculiarities of the 1890s culture, and stuffed with the gluttony of Wilde's endless train of Champagne, Pouilly Fuisse, Claret and oysters. When he's not solving the mystery, Wilde is having a good time or eating another course.

The narrator sounds a little too old and stuffy to make this book sing in audio format, unfortunately. Alan Cumming would have been perfect.

5 people found this helpful

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Perfect twist!

I liked the characters and the plot. I would recommend this book to all lovers of English literature.

2 people found this helpful

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Enjoyed it Well

I just loved this book! I liked the way Wilde’s one line zingers were placed in context and they made me laugh more than ever. The narrator did a great job and brought the characters to life. Of course, this book propelled me to read more about OW, whose beautiful but tragic life still resonates today.

1 person found this helpful

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Wilde's words, beautifully used in a mystery

narrator has a very engaging way of lightly touching Scottish and Irish accents in a lovely and subtle way. intriguing story, it's a little frustrating that the narrator is so obtuse.

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tell me how

it can't be easy to make Oscar Wilde can Arthur Conan Doyle Donnell but this author.. I was so ashamed for him that I could not even finish. I suggest you don't even try

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Thoroughly enjoyable

An excellent mystery! Beautifully written and informative entertaining. Bill Wallis is a really fantastic narrator.

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I'm enchanted and left wanting

This story reads like a 1990s action melodrama. We go on a delightful ramble through the real lives and behind the scenes of Oscar Wilde and his very good friend. after listening to this book I now have a brand new image of many of these famous individuals. And now I am extremely interested in more information about the lives of these individuals. thank you everyone who contributed to this book, especially a very good friend.

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Wilde

From the beginning, it is nothing but Wilde quotes in a thin plot. I kept hoping it would develop, but it continued to be tedious.

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Absolutely Engaging from start to finish!

I would recommend this if you're a fan of the great Oscar Wilde, Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes, history, London during the Victorian Age, murder, poetry, suspense, love, and a fantastic murder case that will keep the wheels if your mind rolling to the end. The story is told most engagingly with characters full of life. Like you know them and sit right there with them as the story is told and unfolds. There's not a boring moment throughout the book and when it ends you want more, and luckily for us readers and fans this is only the first of several books in which the ever so brilliant man Oscar Wilde becomes engaged in a series of mysterious stories of mystery, and as the great Sherlock Holmes says; The game is afoot. Not a word! Into your clothes and come!'