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The Man with the Golden Torc Audiobook

The Man with the Golden Torc: Secret Histories, Book 1

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Publisher's Summary

Meet Shaman Bond, aka Eddie Drood, scion of the ancient Drood family. He is devoted to protecting humanity from the forces of darkness. Protected by the secret weapon received at birth by all members of the Drood family - a magical gold torc (i.e., a neck ring) that turns into a suit of nearly impervious golden armor - Eddie faces arcane dangers with healthy doses of wry self-confidence and sarcasm. Then the family matriarch sends him on a mission that turns out to be a deadly setup. Declared a rogue, Eddie teams up with short-tempered witch Molly Metcalf to find out why he's been betrayed.

©2007 by Simon R. Green (P)2008 Audible, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"This spy yarn is packed with enough humor, action and plot twists to satisfy fans who prefer their adventure shaken, not stirred." (Publishers Weekly)
"Green sustains a good spy thriller's breakneck action with lots of magic, strange creatures, and even some character growth and romance." (Booklist)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (1126 )
5 star
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4.0 (843 )
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Story
4.0 (836 )
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Laura Dean Miller Long Beach, CA, US 07-14-14
    Laura Dean Miller Long Beach, CA, US 07-14-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    14
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    "The narrator's misplacement is painful..."
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    The narrator - He not only sounds like he'd be better placed reading childrens books, but the result is painful - by the end of the introduction the protagonist ends up sounding like a sexual predator and creeper (especially with the repetition that Green is known for). His cadence is nasaly and his tempo and rythm make any action scenes obnoxious. The character voices he slips into for peripheral characters are misplaced and don't seem to match descriptions.


    Would you recommend The Man with the Golden Torc to your friends? Why or why not?

    Perhaps with excessive warning of the narrator, but most likely not. It killed the book for me - I couldn't get past a few chapters in.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Stuart Blinder’s performances?

    It would have to be a very particular kind of book for me to even consider it.


    Did The Man with the Golden Torc inspire you to do anything?

    Write this review to provide warning and I don't usually do that... It was that off putting.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    :J 03-07-11
    :J 03-07-11

    Look for the details, that is what life is about.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    23
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    173
    24
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    "Golden Torc"

    When if at all will the torc become silver...it is a wonderful work of Simon Green. Now I'm ready for the next book in the Torc

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Samantha 06-03-09
    Samantha 06-03-09 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    25
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    "Excellent story, poor narrator"

    This story is very well written with lots of witty dialogue and action. The only downside is the narrator, his character voices are terrible and inflection is a bit annoying. However, if you like this genre as much as I do, the story is certainly worth listening to and I would recommend it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Dallas, TX, United States 12-24-11
    Michael Dallas, TX, United States 12-24-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
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    7
    2
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    0
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    Story
    "Good story, really poor naration"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    I listen to audiobooks primarily while driving in my car, so I would say it was time decently spent. Had I listened on my leisure time, I might not have thought so.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    He tended to FREQUENTLY emphasis syllables at odd places. He enters pauses at strange places as well. He seems to have an australian accent, which is odd for a british-based book. His attempt at the Scottish accent is more atrocious than mine.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    I would NOT watch this book if it were put on the big screen. It's far too fantastical for my tastes. I don't mind reading about it, but it would be too much to watch.


    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew Willson Akron, NY 10-17-08
    Andrew Willson Akron, NY 10-17-08 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
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    "Interesting Ideas but a few too many quirks"

    I saw this book in my recommended titles and figured I'd give it a try. It sounded interesting and it was to an extent. The huge variety of different magics and cultures was quite fascinating but the constant reminders our how powerful and nigh-immortal the main character was got old quickly.
    Its fitting and very human for him to keep reminding himself of the "truths" that being broken down but we the readers already know it and only want to hear it so many times.
    Another issue I had with this book was the extreme usage of the term supernatural. Obviously this book is full of things that are supernatural but I am convinced the author uses it as a catch-all term when he doesn't wish to explain something. As in "supernaturally strong" and "supernaturally fast" and while this isn't bad its used far too much.
    The last thing that I didn't enjoy about this book, sadly, was the reader. His voice was perfect for the main character but I found nearly other characters voice choice to be annoying and distracting.

    The story of the book was quite intruiging meandering between fantasy, sci-fi and politics covering innumerable types of each and giving us a whole slew of cults and characters a few extremely unique and with some jaw-dropping descriptions but these are sadly not the majority.

    I was torn between giving this book a 2 or a 3 it almost seems unfair to rate a book but the person reading it, but since its an Audio book that's a huge part of the presenation and he made it a trying experience. In this case I would recommend just picking up a paper copy so you'll get your own voice.

    8 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kindle Customer 04-19-08 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    7
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    3
    3
    Overall
    "fun sf\spy"

    it is an obvious ripoff of Ian Fleming's masterworks but is fun enough that I personally do not care

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jasmine Wahlberg 07-07-17 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    4
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    "My TropeRadar pegged until it exploded."

    So, for full disclosure: I decided to start listening to this series because the later books (beginning, I believe, with the fourth) are narrated by Gideon Emery. He is by far the most enjoyable audiobook narrator I've come across -- knowing him from his distinguished career of voice acting, and listening to Charles Stross's Laundry Files series. The subject matter of the series seemed right up my alley, too, so I decided it would be best to start from the beginning.

    Spoilers will definitely follow. The tl;dr and spoiler-free version: The narrator reads well for the main character but is hell for anyone else, the story tumbles off the rails in the last few hours like a train accident in a mountain pass, and the trope saturation in the ending would make Ian Fleming himself blush with fremdschämen.

    The story starts off pretty well -- we have a pretty solid footing for what we expect, which is a bit of a send-up of your superspy trope. In deft hands, this can work to great effect. In fact, if the author had gone full ham with it, if he had inverted the trope somehow, made the characters a bit more self-aware, it might have worked. Instead, we get the overpowered superman, literally invincible to everything, who has always been an outsider with his family yet somehow empowered to act on his own, and suddenly he *gasp* is named traitor to everything they stand for! Pretty standard stuff, but I was waiting for the tale to get its legs. I get it. "The first book is the worst book." It's ok. I just settled in.

    Then there was the classic "former blood-enemies become hesitant allies" thing. Then of course the natural following is "place the two former blood-enemies into situations of emotional and sexual tension." Hey, I used to read and write fanfic; I know how it can be. I was waiting for the payoff. I held out for the wry wink and a smile from the author, for the twist, for *something.*

    Yeah, that never came.

    The cart's wheels started to wobble maybe eleven hours in or so. Disposable characters were introduced, one after another -- enough that I have actually forgotten most of their names, and they all have kind of merged with each other. Declarations from the female love interest of, "I didn't knooooowwww!" still echo in my mind. She didn't know they were crazy, or part of the BigBaddie, or what their REAL motivation was. Ok, fine.

    Stuff starts getting thrown in at random at this point. New characters. New powers. New Chekhov's guns. It starts to become completely exhausting. A few hours from the end, all I could think was that all of this was some sort of simulation, a test of Eddie's dedication to "doing the right thing," or even an effect of the "Confusulum--" a ridiculous plot widget wedged in to lampshade the unbreakable defenses of the Drood compound because I think the author was out of other ideas.

    I waited for the moment where the wool was pulled away, and we got a moment of some kind of self-awareness. The scenery was full of teeth marks at this point; the baddies had all explained their evil plots so thoroughly that it was almost insulting. Since all the lines were being read aloud, it was very easy to realize how *long* these people were expounding upon their dastardly plans just to make sure the GoodGuy knew just how he'd been had. There's no time! We're running out of time! I'm dying! But I'll stand here and wait fifteen bloody minutes for the BigBads (tm) to explain...ugh. You get the idea.

    I wanted so very badly to enjoy this book -- and for the first I'd say half of it, I actually did. But I sort of feel that no self-respecting author writes *completely unironically* the line, "Goodbye, [character name], my one true love," especially when literally a day before the two would have killed each other.

    The book ended with everyone chanting the main character's name over the BigBad's corpse, for crying out loud. I don't even know what to say about that.

    All this, of course, before I even really mention the narrator. I thought his voice was actually great for the main character. His female voices, however, were appalling (the FemaleLoveInterest (tm), by the way, changes over the course of the book -- probably because the way the narrator starts her voice indicates that he hadn't read the book before starting and realized once she became central that he couldn't keep up the frankly ridiculous breathy fae drawl he had imbued), and the male voices were all the same "wretch" or "dramatic Ghost of Jacob Marley" types. This poor guy tried waaaaay too hard.

    I wonder if the later books are any better, or I'm just trying to reason my way into listening to them because eventually I'll get to listen to Gideon Emery, who I'm convinced could read me the phone book and make it sound entertaining. I'm just really not sure at this point. The author gets points for thinking of some actually pretty interesting ideas, and making some valiant stabs at what to do with a world that involves people with basically invincible powers. Sadly, I think this book fell far short of what it could have been and ended up a cringe-worthy author self-insertion fanfic that just became a bit of a wankfest in the back third. I truly am sorry I can't leave a completely fond review.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alison Brinston, ONTARIO, Canada 05-12-17
    Alison Brinston, ONTARIO, Canada 05-12-17 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    113
    ratings
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    86
    84
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    3
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    Story
    "invincible guy fights people"

    The problem with this book is that, in the first chapter, we learn that Eddie has a magical suit of golden armor which he can call up with a word, which protects him from magic, weapons, surveillance (actual sight or video), or harm of any kind. So, knowing this, it's a little difficult to get too worked up about whatever dire and hideous threats he supposedly faces. The chapters read a bit like episodes, each one with whatever villain du jour Eddie faces. It's mostly filler, since he spends two thirds of the book just killing time until he decides to actually do what he knows perfectly well needs to be done.

    If you are looking for something fairly entertaining (if you don't think too hard about any plot points and expect only cliche, two-dimensional characters) then I still can't recommend this book, because the narrator is so bad. Many other reviews have pointed this out, I notice. The narrator isn't very good in general and has the absolute worst female voices I've ever heard in any audio book I've listened to. I'm not surprised that he hasn't narrated any further books in the series!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steve Ft Lauderdale, Florida, USA 04-18-17
    Steve Ft Lauderdale, Florida, USA 04-18-17 Member Since 2016
    ratings
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    16
    15
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    Story
    "New fresh urbin fantasy story"

    The book was well written and original. It kept you thinking, and wanting more. The narrator kept the story going and was pretty good at his voices.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 03-06-17
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    115
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Overacted narration and underwhelming writing."

    The plot line is a moden urban fantasy slash secret agent thriller but the narrator seemed to think he was reading Lord of the Rings.

    The voice of his main charcter was modern and well done but his supporting role voices were awful: melodramatic and completely inappropriate for the modern dialogue. The scottish brogue and other accents were inconsistent and the females characters sounded like he was holding his nose. I had to speed it up to 115% to keep from giving up.

    The plot and characters have potential but the dialogue was amature and action scenes were perfunctory. Character relationship development was hamfisted. Characters, particularly bad guys, did the classic "stand around gloating while spouting exposition". The excellent potential of the good guy/bad guy dichotomy was not realized. Thank you for not trying a sex scene.

    At some points the weak dialogue and poor acting achieved critical mass and made me laugh out loud - the scene chewing was hilarious!


    I did listen to the entire book, so I could in good conscience write a thoughtful review.
    IMO this is first draft quality. The writer has good ideas but needs to do some more work to make this what it could be.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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