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The Book of Kells

Narrated by: Alan Robertson
Length: 14 hrs and 56 mins
4 out of 5 stars (156 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

An unusual and original work of fantasy from the acclaimed author of Tea with the Black Dragon.

A contemporary man, John Thornburn (a meek, non-violent and unpredictable artist) and woman, Derval (his tough, confrontational, strong and warrior-like lover) time travel to ancient Ireland to avenge a Viking attack. Packed with fascinating details of historical time and place in Irish history and delicately balanced on the border between realism and fantasy, the story centers around one of the most famous and beautiful illuminated manuscripts in history, the legendary but entirely real Book of Kells. Celtic history blends with magical fantasy for a strange and immersive tale of adventure.

©1985 R.A. MacAvoy (P)2012 Audible, Inc.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

The Book of Irish Fantasy

Not really about the Book of Kells, but excellent on its own merits. It does contain a story about that book, but the main plot is not so much the time-travel (which is important to the character portrayal) but life and times in the Ireland of the 10th century. Herein is contained the storytelling (and the magic) of the Irish of any age, and richly portrayed by both the author and the reader. There are scenes in this book that I will probably never forget (and as much as I read and listen, that is saying something!)

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Don't waste your money

I'm only on the 3rd chapter and I can't read anymore. The main characters personality is really negative, the woman he has a relationship with is negative, they bicker all the time. Then it just gets bloody and dark... I just stopped listening because it's so bad. I wish I hadn't wasted my money in this.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Interesting Time Travel Concept

This was a good story based on time travel. The way they travel is new and has not been overdone. It is so nice to not have someone travel through a fairy ring stone. This is different and is an unexpected form of artistic magic. The ending was unexpected. The narration was good.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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All the Good Things

All the good things are in this book-- love and poetry and music and art, and time-travel and swords, betrayal and loyalty. Fans of Outlander should find it irresistible. Flawless Audible performance. I just wanted him to keep telling me the story, even after it was finished.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • K
  • 10-02-19

Lots of violence but well done.

Very good narrator. Story is absorbing but not for the squeamish. Loved the character development!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

A great story address to all Irish descended.

I love this listening to this book. Very interesting characters across multiple timelines. a review of Irish history at the time of the Vikings. And a fantastic tale about time travel.

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Lingers on your heart

One of a few books that weave time travel with magic. John, an artist from Newfoundland and Derval, an Irish historian from the 1980s cross a threshold to nearly 1000 in the past by the power of song, a carved cross and St. Bridget to a time of Norse and Celts in Ireland. History sprang to life as I was pulled into the intertwining incongruous cultures, art and personalities. In the midst of struggling for their lives they find new passions grown from many sweet, funny, poignant moments.

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    3 out of 5 stars

A good way to ease into Irish folklore

Like Dragon Tea, a really subtle character development between the men/women. A whole lot more exciting than Rope Twisting. Apparently quite an authentic Irish feel (from what others said), but the denouement - ouch. Can two (or 4) people a thousand years apart really be able to overcome their differences/enter another's world that easily? Perhaps the unstated magic that put some medieval Irish brogue into the Canadian mouth nearly overnight can work wonders for the olfaction too. And I feel so sorry for Derval's souvenir brought forward to the 21st century.

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  • kr
  • 11-08-17

Loved this book and it holds up

The reader is good too. I'd have given performance five stars but there needed to be a beat between point of view changes--confusing every now and again

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  • M.
  • Chesapeake, VA, United States
  • 08-21-17

Enjoyable listen!

Predictable but very enjoyable. The narrator made a wonderful story even more enjoyable.
Entertaining listen.