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Sacred Hunger

Narrated by: David Rintoul
Length: 22 hrs and 16 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (85 ratings)
Regular price: $20.97
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Publisher's Summary

Man Booker Prize Winner, 1992

Sacred Hunger is a stunning and engrossing exploration of power, domination, and greed. Filled with the "sacred hunger" to expand its empire and its profits, England entered fully into the slave trade and spread the trade throughout its colonies. 

In this Booker Prize-winning work, Barry Unsworth follows the failing fortunes of William Kemp, a merchant pinning his last chance to a slave ship; his son, who needs a fortune because he is in love with an upper-class woman; and his nephew, who sails on the ship as its doctor because he has lost all he has loved. The voyage meets its demise when disease spreads among the slaves and the captain's drastic response provokes a mutiny. Joining together, the sailors and the slaves set up a secret, utopian society in the wilderness of Florida, only to await the vengeance of the single-minded young Kemp. 

©1992 Barry Unsworth (P)2012 AudioGO Ltd.

What members say

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Beautifully written and Masterfully narrated.

This is, quite simply,a modern masterpiece. It is everything that great literature should be - eloquent, profound, entertaining, and accessible. The topic of slavery is terribly difficult to read about, but so important to acknowledge and be well informed upon. Unsworth's amazing novel approaches the subject from a unique perspective that is both emotionally affecting and intellectually stimulating without sacrificing good old story telling.
David Rintoul's performance is nothing short of brilliant. His many accents, his understanding of the text, and his perfect pacing all added greatly to the overall experience. This one is definitely worth a credit.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Wise, Perceptive, Heart-breaking

What made the experience of listening to Sacred Hunger the most enjoyable?

I can't remember the last time a novel impressed me so much. Any modern individual looking at the history of the Atlantic slave trade has to marvel that such a horror took place. What, we ask ourselves today, possessed European slavers to abduct, torment, and then finally sell perfect strangers who had done them no wrong? You can read the histories, some dry and some vivid. But if you want to hear how the slavers justified themselves in their own voices, this is the book for you. Thru fiction, Unsworth relates what the impoverished UK underclass saw in slavery, what the profiteers saw, what a man of the Enlightenment might have seen. In telling this tale of the Atlantic slave trade, Unsworth ignores all temptations to cheap and empty moralizing. Humans aren't born with much of a moral sense, Unsworth seems to be saying, but change does happen and in that we can take some comfort.

What about David Rintoul’s performance did you like?

Fortunately, the author's powers of prose and story-telling are matched by the talents of the narrator, David Rintoul. Not only does he nail the many regional accents of Britain (and Ireland), he nails them even when he has those characters speaking pidgin! And Rintoul is an utter master of tone and inflection to distinguish characters who would otherwise sound too much alike.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

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A great adventure of hope and moral

This is a well written, compelling, and entertaining historic novel. It has some memorable characters and an important underlying moral. The Audible performance is excellent by David Rintuol. I have heard him narrate other books and he has performed them in the same professional and dramatic way that makes the work come to life, contributing to an enhanced appreciation of the work. Nothing about this novel or this performance disappointed me.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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excellent!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

yes! great reader! interesting story! excellent writing!

What was one of the most memorable moments of Sacred Hunger?

the last moments between Erasmus and Mathew Paris after such a long colorful story leading up to that monent

Have you listened to any of David Rintoul’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

no

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

no

Any additional comments?

fantastic book. very well written. great descriptions!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars

the ending was a bit abrupt but a good story

I wigh the end hadn't been so rushed. other parts of the book dragged. why not draw the kast hour or two out a bit more?

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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floundering a bit

The two characters that kept me going was Billy Blair and Michael Sullivan. the story would peak my interest then flounder. the ending was unsatisfactory.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful