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Publisher's Summary

Explorer Sir Richard Francis Burton and poet Algernon Swinburne return in a new series of wildly imaginative steampunk adventures.

Spring Heeled Jack is jumping back!

It's 9 p.m. on February 15, 1860, and Charles Babbage, the British Empire's most brilliant scientist, performs an experiment. Within moments, bloodred snow falls from the sky and Spring Heeled Jack pops out of thin air in London's Leicester Square. Though utterly disoriented and apparently insane, the strange creature is intent on one thing: hunting Sir Richard Francis Burton!

Spring Heeled Jack isn't alone in his mental confusion. Burton can hardly function; he's experiencing one hallucination after another - visions of parallel realities and future history. Someone, or something, is trying to tell him about...what?

When the revelation comes, it sends Burton and his companions on an expedition even the great explorer could never have imagined - a voyage through time itself into a twisted future where steam technology has made a resurgence and a despotic intelligence rules over the British Empire!

©2014 Mark Hodder (P)2014 Audible Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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Performance

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weak start , strong finish

The plot of the book is a little confusing at the start. at the start no clear time or event to demarcate each of Burton's changes realities, Once The time traveling section of the book start the plot becomes stronger, the characters stronger and the pace quickens,
The performance by Mr. Doyle is excellent and well paced ,
Even with its flaws, it is still a good read.
if you are a fan of the Burton & Swinburne series., Then The Return of the Discontinued Man".s well worth your time.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Andrea
  • Houston, TX, USA
  • 07-19-14

More Fun Than a Barrel of Time Suits

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

I would recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of time travel, steampunk or sci-fi especially if they like Sherlock Holmes or Victoriana. Lots and lots of all these genres.

What did you like best about this story?

You never know where it's going to go, which sometimes made it hard to follow especially when listening to a little bit at a time.

What does Gerard Doyle bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Miss Miller! I don't think I could picture the personalities of the characters as well without Gerard Doyle. He brings them all to life.

Any additional comments?

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • carmen
  • OFallon, MO, United States
  • 10-05-14

The adventures of Burton and Swinburne continues

Of course I love this series it is Steampunk in its purest form. Unlike the 4th in the series this book does not stand alone. You will want to listen to the first three or you might not understand what is happening. They are trying to save the life of Edward Oxford and/or correct o riff in the time continuum. The usual suspects and the heirs are on hand for the adventures. I love this series every book goes through all ranges of emotions. This particular book, however, gets a little muddled. The time travel is a little camp and I don't expect that from this series. The timelines change so much it is hard to keep track of what is happening and what did/did not happen as a result. This story is of course fate vs free will and still has not been answered. But I guess we can see why the federation had to have a prime directive lol. Anyway it was not my favorite of the series,which continues to be The Expeditions to The Mountains of the Moon, But It still is a good listen and although it is 15 hours it goes by really fast and leaves you wanting more.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Excellently Imaginative with 5 Star Narration

In this fifth installment of the Burton and Swinburne series, strange creatures resembling Spring Heeled Jack are manifesting all over London searching for Sir Richard. Meanwhile, Burton finds himself slipping sideways in time, experiencing his life in other timelines. All this leads to Burton and his friends going on a new expedition--through time.

Once again, Hodder takes multiple plot lines, unrelated events, and some amazing fantasy and works them all together into a fantastic tale. His imagination seems to know no bounds as he creates world after world for this volume. As always, his prose is good, his storytelling great, and his inventions excellent. This penultimate volume leaves the reader guessing till the very end, and anxious to start the final book of the series.

As for the audio book: Gerard Doyle is a superb narrator!

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Not as good as the first 3 but still a good yarn.

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Discontinued Man is not as good as the first three books in the serious but it is still a good story. I think it is a little more sci-fi than steam punk in this one. The story seems to meander a little bit and the ending was a little disappointing, but over all still good enough to listen to.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

The ending was a little disappointing for me. I thought it was kind of a cop out for the author to end the book the way he did.

What about Gerard Doyle’s performance did you like?

Doyle did a great job even using a singing voice for the Brunnel voice. All the characters had a distinct voice.

Did The Return of the Discontinued Man inspire you to do anything?

Not really, I will be interested to see where Hodder goes next with this story.

Any additional comments?

So, what will the future be like now after this story? How will we know?

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This series is by far superior!

Without a doubt, this entire series, from The Strange Affairs of Spring-Heeled Jack to this book, The Return of the Discontinued Man, is the greatest steam punk fiction in existence! I would argue that it is not even steam punk, but rather it's own extraordinary genre! I have read many books and I am yet to find another author with the incredible story, sophistication, history, and excitement of Mark Hodder! A MUST READ!

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This wasn't my favorite but it's still steampunk!

I really like this series overall. This book was a little far out there for me but it was still pretty good. The performance is terrific but I'm not a big fan of the Brunnell voice which is prolific in this book and really got annoying after awhile.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • C. Douglass
  • 11-09-14

A flight through time tying up loose ends... maybe

If you could sum up The Return of the Discontinued Man in three words, what would they be?

moving, dark, glorious

What other book might you compare The Return of the Discontinued Man to, and why?

Doctor Who's dream journal where he jots down his wierdest nightmares (if such a book exists then the adventures of Burton and Swinburne were surely dreamt up during a night of fever dreams after too much brandy and cheese).

Have you listened to any of Gerard Doyle’s other performances? How does this one compare?

As ever, superb. My only niggle is that Wells and Swinburne's voices are too similar, other than that he has a fantastic range and really brings the story to life. Every character from the previous books seems to pop up at some point as a cameo and so he certainly had his work cut out giving them all a voice!

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

The King's agent of paradox

Any additional comments?

A remarkable achievement of a book which reprises lots of characters that had almost been forgotten from previous books and takes Burton on a trip through his own timeline with his faithful companions. As with the other books in the series the possibilities and ramifications of each action and outcome keep you thinking and guessing and how all these disparate strands tie together is a real feat of writing.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • shaun hawes
  • 04-26-17

entertaining plot idea

a great addition to a great series of books our unusual two heoes beat time again