Pont Neuf

By: Max Byrd
Narrated by: Natasha Soudek
Length: 6 hrs and 25 mins
Categories: Fiction, Historical
4 out of 5 stars (5,590 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Can a young war correspondent find herself and follow her heart? In this work of historical fiction, 20-something Annabella “Annie” March arrives in France in 1944 intending to write about the war. Soon, however, Annie begins to distance herself from her sometimes-mentor, sometimes-rival - the great Martha Gellhorn - and Gellhorn’s larger-than-life husband, the novelist Ernest Hemingway. She turns to photography in the hopes of making her own name and, to her delight, discovers that images come more easily than words.

At a party one night, Gellhorn introduces Annie to a pair of American GIs: the intense, blue-eyed John Michael Shaw, from illustrious New England stock, and the handsome, good-natured Bennett Templeton Adams, a Midwestern boy-next-door. A love triangle between Annie and the two soldiers begins to simmer. As the war against the Axis Powers rages on, Shaw and Adams are called to duty. Shaw is a legend in the trenches, Adams a brilliant tactician, and neither can get Annie March out of his head.

Unbeknownst to Shaw and Adams, Annie has made up her mind - until a snap decision in the face of evil threatens to change everything for all three of them. Told with gripping emotional force and enthralling historical detail, Pont Neuf is an unforgettable story of desire and danger and a harrowing reminder of the uncertainty of war.

Creator Max Byrd, master of the historical novel, and award-winning narrator Natasha Soudek combine forces to deliver a thoroughly engaging and entertaining listen. 

©2019 Max Byrd (P)2019 Audible Originals, LLC

Our favorite moments from Pont Neuf

The enigmatic Martha Gellhorn
"Just like a man. Just like a Harvard man."
A bridge connecting two worlds

  • Pont Neuf
  • The enigmatic Martha Gellhorn
  • Pont Neuf
  • "Just like a man. Just like a Harvard man."
  • Pont Neuf
  • A bridge connecting two worlds
Max Byrd

About the Creator

Max Byrd was educated at Harvard. He is the author of scholarly books about 18-century English literature, hard-boiled detective novels, and seven historical novels. Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Joseph Ellis has said, "In American historical fiction, Max Byrd is the reigning champion." He writes often for The New York Times Book Review. He lives in northern California with his wife.

Natasha Soudek

About the Performer

Natasha Soudek is an award-winning narrator and TV actress who has been featured in more than 150 audiobooks and television commercials. Star Trek fans may recognize her as the first blond Vulcan in Trekkie history, Lt. Soudek, from the movie Star Trek New Voyages: Phase 2, and as an excited Vulcan fan with Leonard Nimoy in an Aleve Super Bowl commercial that was seen by more than 130 million people worldwide. Born in Houston, Texas, and raised by German/Austrian immigrants, Natasha is a native German speaker who specializes in Russian accents, historical fiction, sci-fi, and thrillers.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

good story, lousy narration

The story was pretty well written, a fascinating blend of history, romance, and the gritty realities of war. However the narrator constantly mispronounced words in both English and French, she also often misread the text. For example she would say Calvary instead of cavalry. Her voice was grinding and unpleasant, especially when she tried to sound like a male character.

47 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Horrible Narration

I listened to about 20 minutes of this book. I couldn't tolerate the narrator's rhythm or tone. I can't even tell you what those twenty minutes consisted of, a cigarette, somebody's ass, no semblance of a story could be followed by the way she spoke. Literally, I could not follow even a complete sentence. I definitely would not recommend this as an audiobook.

11 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Lack of Development

I found this exceptionally boring. The characters, plot, and setting are interesting to start, but they are not developed at all. Story is disorganized. I didn’t bother finishing the last hour.

10 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Really? Don't waste your time

I rarely write reviews (if ever, actually) but this production was so bad I feel I have to say something. There was no story to be found, certainly not anything about WWII beyond some bare and well known facts. The characters were undeveloped and the name dropping of Hemingway and Martha Gellhorn served only to highlight the shallowness of the narrative. And then there was the narration . . . The narrator had such poor phrasing it was hard to decipher what story she was telling, leaving me wondering if she had any reading comprehension. Her dreadful pronunciations of French words (who doesn't know how to say "monsieur"?) and then everyday English words, such as interrogatories (really?), eventually made the experience laughable. I was left scratching my head as to where the director and producer were. Napping? In my experience, Audible free productions are often questionable but this one really takes the cake.

8 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Love triangle

It starts off kinda slow as you get to know the main characters, but turns into a gripping love story. It’s the kind of novel where you know it can’t end well but you’re still hoping for Annie March to make the right decision. Great depictions of war. Really fell in love with the characters by the end, as tragic as they are.

72 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Book was free but still cost my time...

With apologies to those who found this interesting, this may have been the most boring listen I stayed with until the end. I just could not get in to any of the characters or story in general. Made more difficult by a very monotone performance. Also surprised that a period piece had so much vulgar language. Sorry, but just not my thing...

27 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Condescending

Bad reader’s accent, and somehow she conveys even more of the snarky attitude than the writing does - difficult to be sure, but maybe she’s intoning the real spirit of the piece, in which case she deserves kudos. The prose is gratingly condescending, clearly written in haste, with little reflection afterward or even initial care. Grass ‘shivering’ under newly fallen snow? Seems it would be rather dormant. The author apparently wants to celebrate his unique insider’s knowledge of Paris that we readers, he must assume, would have no such privilege and could only marvel at. Audible should have at least found someone who can pronounce French words and who might have a sense of what guns sound like, for a story that in parts takes place in wartime France.

6 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Boring, Dull, Underdeveloped

I generally like the WWII setting for a book, which is why I picked this one. I listened to the whole thing just waiting for it to get better.

The narrator is terrible. Her voice is droning and dull. Awkward pauses and emphasizes.

The characters and scenes are under developed and there is nothing to draw you into this book. So many times I was going to stop listening but kept going, 6+ hours I’ll never get back.

5 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Skip this one.

Narrator sounds like a robot. Story rambles on forever. Couldn't finish. Don't waste your time.

5 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Couldn't get past intro because of narrator

I only listened to the first bit of this book. Since the introductory material was purely descriptive, I expected the narrator to use a neutral, descriptive voice.
However, the narrator's tone made me uncomfortable. I'm not sure how to describe it, but it wasn't neutral. Maybe she was getting into a role. If so she was playing a character I didn't want to spend a lot of time with. Her French pronunciation was also poor.

10 people found this helpful