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Publisher's Summary

Proclaimed as “truly spellbinding", a “great fable” that “functions as transporting romance” by The Guardian, the runaway number one international best seller arrives in America.

"A rich, gothic entertainment that explores what books have trapped inside them and reminds us of the power of storytelling. Spellbinding.” (Tracy Chevalier)

Imagine you could erase grief. Imagine you could remove pain. Imagine you could hide the darkest, most horrifying secret. Forever.

Young Emmett Farmer is working in the fields when a strange letter arrives summoning him away from his family. He is to begin an apprenticeship as a bookbinder - a vocation that arouses fear, superstition, and prejudice among their small community, but one neither he nor his parents can afford to refuse.

For as long as he can recall, Emmett has been drawn to books, even though they are strictly forbidden. Bookbinding is a sacred calling, Seredith informs her new apprentice, and he is a binder born. Under the old woman’s watchful eye, Emmett learns to handcraft the elegant leather-bound volumes. Within each one, they will capture something unique and extraordinary: a memory. If there’s something you want to forget, a binder can help. If there’s something you need to erase, they can assist. Within the pages of the books they create, secrets are concealed and the past is locked away. In a vault under his mentor’s workshop, rows upon rows of books are meticulously stored.

But while Seredith is an artisan, there are others of their kind, avaricious and amoral tradesman who use their talents for dark ends - and just as Emmett begins to settle into his new circumstances, he makes an astonishing discovery: One of the books has his name on it. Soon, everything he thought he understood about his life will be dramatically rewritten.

An unforgettable novel of enchantment, mystery, memory, and forbidden love, The Binding is a beautiful homage to the allure and life-changing power of books - and a reminder to us all that knowledge can be its own kind of magic.

©2019 Bridget Collins (P)2019 HarperCollins Publishers

What listeners say about The Binding

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Just wow

The Binding is best book I have read and listened to so far this year. I really, really hate reviews that reveal too much about a book, so I won't get into more of the plot than is revealed in the book summary. A few warnings though: The subject matter is mature and could be triggering to some readers. If you have worries about that, seek a review that reveals more of the subject matter.

The Binding is a little hard to categorize. It involves magic and an imaginary place, so it qualifies as a fantasy but it isn't a sword and sorcery story. The writing is achingly beautiful with a great deal of suspense and surprise. Books I would compare it to: The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon, The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson, When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead, some of Neil Gaiman.

Carl Prekopp is excellent as a narrator. At first I thought the pace was a bit slow, but his accents and style of narration add so much to the story that I would rate this as one of my favorite performances ever.

30 people found this helpful

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Captivating

The voice performances in this novel were excellent. The novel took a turn that I wasn't expecting, but a good book does keep you guessing. This novel is full of turmoil, mystery, love, and magic. Be careful, it will draw you in, and you may abandon your responsibilities to listen.
Excellent story.
Excellent Performance.
Excellent Book.
MUST READ.

11 people found this helpful

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holy shuzzm

this was amazing through out the entire thing no dry areas and my god the voice acting

9 people found this helpful

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a long darkly romantic book

it's slow, delightfully slow. the romance and cruelties inflicted left you wanting to hear more. the take on memories were originally. my only complaint was that I wasn't entirely sure what period the book took place in, obviously it was an alternative history but still. vastly enjoyable.

8 people found this helpful

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Not bad just not what I expected

Yes, I too wish the characters in the first part of the book were more prevalent in the latter parts. However my exception is more that I wanted the entire concept around binding and binders to be more deeply explored, prioritized over the romance which just takes up all the air. Emmett is well drawn and could take another book forward with more focus on the craft and the world/environmental building a bit more.

6 people found this helpful

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A beautiful disappointment

Beautifully written, with an incredible backdrop and a premise that grabbed my attention. I wanted so much more than a teenage romance from this story

5 people found this helpful

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SpellBINDING!

I absolutely loved it! Captivated from beginning to end! If you're searching for a book to read or listen to, this is it!

5 people found this helpful

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Satisfying if a little slow

Overall I liked this book for the well developed characters, the sense of mystery and classic ‘story tale’ motifs w/in a LGTBI framework. The love part of the story is quite lovely. However, the final third drags on interminably towards a forgone conclusion.

5 people found this helpful

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too depressing for me

like I said way too depressng for me nope haha I will go read something more positive now. don't bother if you can't do a lot of angst all in a row. and then get basically no gratification for the whipping you got

4 people found this helpful

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An astonishingly fresh and compelling story

The beginning this book was tough going and I nearly gave up, as it felt all too bleak, and then it transformed. Collins has the ability to create a whole world with such depth that you exist there and feel everything with the characters. At times I couldn't breathe, other times I was flooded with delight. Sometimes I became weirdly aware that she held such power, she could make things go any which way and I found myself hoping she wasn't cruel. She's not. It's an astonishing feat to create a reality that is so convincing and to be unpredictable. A truly talented storyteller. Carl Prekopp was pitch perfect all the way through, different people's voices were flawless and instantly recognisable. Bravo! The best book I have listened to this year.

3 people found this helpful