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The Girl with All the Gifts Audiobook

The Girl with All the Gifts

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Audible Editor Reviews

Editors Select, June 2014 - All I knew going into M.R. Carey's The Girl with All the Gifts was that it is a zombie novel centered around a special, enigmatic little girl named Melanie. Now that I've finished, I have a dilemma — I want to convince everyone I know to listen to it, but I don't want to give a single thing away. What I will say is this: The Girl with All the Gifts is one of the most imaginative, original, and deeply human takes on the zombie genre I have ever encountered in any form. It's definitely a thriller in the true sense of the word: every time I thought I knew where the story was going, Carey completely changed the game, and there were plenty of those harrowing, suspenseful scenes that make the genre so irresistible. But what made this story truly unique were the characters — multidimensional, believable, and sympathetic personalities that stayed with me long after the story was over. If you like zombie fiction, or just great, smart thrillers, make this your next listen. And don't dare let anyone spoil the ending for you. —Sam, Audible Editor

Publisher's Summary

Melanie is a very special girl. Dr Caldwell calls her "our little genius".

Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don't like her. She jokes that she won't bite, but they don't laugh.

Melanie loves school. She loves learning about spelling and sums and the world outside the classroom and the children's cells. She tells her favorite teacher all the things she'll do when she grows up. Melanie doesn't know why this makes Miss Justineau look sad.

The Girl with All the Gifts is a sensational thriller, perfect for fans of Stephen King, Justin Cronin, and Neil Gaiman.

©2014 M.R. Carrey (P)2014 Hachette Audio

What the Critics Say

"A great read that takes hold of you and doesn't let go.""If you only read one novel this year, make sure it's this one, it's amazing.""The story of Melanie and the people around her is so thoughtfully crafted, so heartfelt, remorseless and painfully human, that it takes the potentially tired trope of the zombie apocalypse and makes it as fresh as it is terrifying. The story spirals towards a conclusion so surprising, so warm and yet so chilling, that it takes a moment to realize it's been earned since the first page, and even before. It left me sighing with envious joy, like I'd been simultaneously offered flowers and beaten at chess. A jewel."

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (25967 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Gretchen SLP Sacramento, California 07-10-15
    Gretchen SLP Sacramento, California 07-10-15 Member Since 2014

    I listen to something educational on my way to work to wake myself up, and listen to a page-turner on my way home to stay alert on the road!

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    "Best match of book and narrator. Ever."

    This was a flawlessly written page-turner start to finish. If it wasn't for listeners I follow, I'd never have heard about it! So glad I did. I will be thinking about this one forever. I had only gotten a few chapters in when I ordered a hard copy for myself and began sending paperback copies to friends. Most of my friends and relatives are already finished the book--and my sister-in-law zipped through it in one day!!

    Narrator was excellent. Even my husband sat riveted. I only wish she narrated more books for adults; would love to listen to every book she has recorded.

    Buy this book. You won't be sorry. It will be the best book you listen to all year.

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    AudioAddict 06-06-15
    AudioAddict 06-06-15

    I can find a book to love in any genre -- a beautifully written classic, an interesting mystery or sci-fi, a trashy romance. Bring it!

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    "Okay, but Audie Winner for Best Paranormal???????"

    STORY (paranormal fantasy) - The Girl with All the Gifts is set in England sometime in the future after a strange infection has turned people into "Hungries." Not zombies, but very similar in that they eat humans, and there are very few humans left on earth. I'm not a zombie fan, but I was drawn to this book by the awards and the fact that it is supposedly written with a different slant on the genre. That is true to some extent. Don't want to give too much away, but one of the main characters is a Hungry, which gives a different perspective, and there's more interesting science in this book than in the usual zombie story. (But then I've only listened to two or three.)

    I like the first and last of the book the best, the first because you don't really know what's going on, and the last because -- well, let's just say it's chilling and somewhat unexpected! There are some parts in between that are exciting and parts that are sweet, but for the most part it's just the usual zombie cr@p. Excuse me, they're called "Hungries" in this book.

    PERFORMANCE - Miss Williams has a lovely voice and a British accent. She does a very good job.

    OVERALL - I suppose men would like this book, but I think it might have a little too much girly stuff in it for some guys (like my husband). It's an easy listen, as there are only a few main characters to keep straight. Lots of zombie killing and gore and quite a bit of bad language as well. Very mild sexual references.

    24 of 34 people found this review helpful
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    FanB14 07-24-15
    FanB14 07-24-15

    Short, Simple, No Spoilers

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    "Saturated Market, Good Book on Sale"

    Zombie fatigue? I love The Walking Dead (at least the first 3 seasons); respect the simple genius of Night of the Living Dead; and enjoyed a few others out there currently. When this title was hyped in Entertainment Weekly, I rolled my eyes and flipped the page. However, when it popped up on sale and with the recommendation of an Audible editor, clicked 2X and began listening. The POV of 3 females: scientist, teacher, 10 year old girl make for a different take on the genre. The explanation of how the virus affects different generations at the end is a nice surprise. There were some slow and predictable parts, but on sale, it's worth a listen.

    35 of 51 people found this review helpful
  •  
    wbc California 12-13-16
    wbc California 12-13-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Great book!!"
    What made the experience of listening to The Girl with All the Gifts the most enjoyable?

    This is not the type of book I would normally choose but I loved this one and have shared it with many friends. It was scary, intelligent and not just another zombie type story. Every site and situation was so well done without being bogged own with useless details. It flowed well and it was hard to put down.


    What about Finty Williams’s performance did you like?

    Incredible! She was perfect and I cannot say enough good things about her delivery style. Even her male characters sounded real though her voice is clearly female. I will be looking other books read by her.


    Any additional comments?

    Reading this book led me to read M R Carey's Fellside and now I'm waiting for whatever he does next hoping Flinty Williams will be the narrator.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    T 06-17-15
    T 06-17-15 Member Since 2008
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    "Fun story that falters half way in"

    The lack of internal dialogue with the main character after the half way point to presumably give us a surprise at the conclusion left me feeling apathetic toward her and the story.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    cristina Somerville, MA, United States 06-16-14
    cristina Somerville, MA, United States 06-16-14 Member Since 2017
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    "Excellent"

    To call this is one of the best 'zombie' books I have ever read (I do like zombie books) would be to make it much smaller than it is. Sure, there are zombies, but this book is about human interactions--about humanity. Without giving any of the great turns and twists away, I have to say that the character development is absolutely brilliant. I can't recall a single instance in the book where a character went off-course in an unexpected way--those who changed (and many did) changed because they were reacting to something outside themselves (and the changes were powerful and moving); those who didn't change didn't change because nothing could have made them do so. You come to know each one of them well, especially Madeleine--the little girl at the center of the story. And what a story it is! M.R. Carey has crafted a tightly knit plot that will keep you at the edge or your seat (or wherever you happen to be while you listen) from start to finish. This was one of those audiobooks that I couldn't wait to get back to. Finty Williams is PERFECT for the narrator. Her rendition of little Madeleine's voice is particularly great (conveying innocence without ever being saccharine). Loved it! Can't wait for this author's next novel.

    33 of 49 people found this review helpful
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    T. Menefee Alexandria, Va 06-18-14
    T. Menefee Alexandria, Va 06-18-14 Member Since 2017
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    "Interesting take on a saturated genre"

    If you like zombie books give this one a shot (if you are tired of the genre, I would still recommend this one as the premise behind how the zombie's are created and behave is interesting).

    I thought that this had great character development (I felt more sorry for the zombies then the regular humans), but it was a little graphic in some spots which might be a bit much for some.

    27 of 42 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Walnut Creek, CA, United States 12-15-16
    Michael Walnut Creek, CA, United States 12-15-16 Member Since 2017

    I focus on fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, science, history, politics and read a lot. I try to review everything I read.

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    "Intensely Great"

    Parts of this book may be too gross, violent, or intense for some readers, but if you can take some gore and intensity, I highly recommend this listen.

    It was wonderful! I will read it again. The writing is superior with interesting imagery and references and the prose are well crafted. The characters and story are unusually full, natural, beautiful, and touching while being quite unusual and intense. The ending is intensely good. I really looked forward to returning to this listen, and I watched the ever decreasing time remaining with mild sorrow. This is one of the rare books (one to two each year) that I force my family to read immediately so I can discuss it without spoiling it.

    The narration is near perfect with clear and strong characters and subtle emotional tones expressing each character's internal states. The pacing is also delicately varied, enhancing the text.

    5 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ryan Somerville, MA, United States 12-27-15
    Ryan Somerville, MA, United States 12-27-15 Member Since 2005

    Gen-Xer, software engineer, and lifelong avid reader. Soft spots for sci-fi, fantasy, and history, but I'll read anything good.

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    "Zombie story slightly off beaten path"

    The zombie apocalypse has happened in Britain (and elsewhere), thanks to a fungal infection that takes over the brain and other organs. The few survivors either live on military bases, or in feral gangs of "junkers". The "hungries" (such a good choice of nickname, I wonder why no one's used it before) make formerly inhabited areas dangerous to visit.

    This particular story revolves around a young girl named Melanie, who lives on one of the military bases and demonstrates her exceptional intelligence in the classroom. However, she and her classmates aren't quite ordinary kids. They're chained to to their desks, are treated warily and coldly by the soldiers, and are sometimes the subjects of terrible medical experiments. It's not much of a spoiler to say that Melanie has the zombie infection and the same desire as other Hungries to eat the flesh of ordinary humans who aren't wearing a special scent blocker. Yet, unlike the generally mindless mainline Hungry, she retains ordinary human emotions and the full abilities of her intellect.

    The people in her life are a predictable cast of secondary characters, for this type of novel. There's a hard-nosed scientist, who's determined to understand and cure the zombie infection at any cost. There's an empathetic teacher, with whom "at any cost" doesn't sit so well. There's a hardened, pragmatic soldier, whose views fall somewhere in the middle.

    Things happen, and these characters all find themselves on the run outside the safety of the base, coping with both external dangers and those endemic to their own group. It wasn't a story I found as gripping as, say, Season One of The Walking Dead, but it was good enough as a time-passer to listen to while I was doing other things. Aside from Melanie herself, none of the other characters really deviate from "type", though I enjoyed seeing her come to grips with herself.

    Though the finale wasn't anything mind-blowing, I was pleased that the novel ended conclusively, leaving open the possibility of a sequel, but not dropping a "to be continued" on the reader. I wish more authors would do that.

    There are better books/movies/games in the zombie apocalypse genre, but there are a lot of worse ones, too. Worth the audible sale price I got it for.

    7 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew 03-06-15
    Andrew 03-06-15

    Andy

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    "Not enough story there"

    There were a couple of good ideas but not well plotted out and needed more. The characters also were not that interesting or real to the listener except for the girl herself but the author should have told the whole story from her point of view and instead of ending so abruptly, she should have developed the ending more dramatically and with more actin and direction as to where the world was headed next. The book kind of just ended abruptly as though the of author got tired and just wanted to end it. All in all, disappointing.

    8 of 14 people found this review helpful

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