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The Child  By  cover art

The Child

By: Sebastian Fitzek
Narrated by: Rupert Penry-Jones,Jack Boulter,Emilia Fox,Stephen Marcus,Robert Glenister,Andy Serkis
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Publisher's summary

Shortlisted for the BBC Audio Drama Awards 2015

My name is Simon. I’m 10 years old. I’m a serial killer. Robert Stern (Rupert Penry-Jones), a successful defense attorney, doesn’t know what lies in store for him when he agrees to meet a new client in a derelict estate on the outskirts of Berlin. Stern is more than surprised, when his old love interest and professional nurse Carina (Emilia Fox) presents him a ten year old boy as his new client: Simon (Jack Boulter), a terminally ill child, who is convinced he has murdered many men in a previous life.

Robert’s surprise turns into horror when he and Carina find human remains in a cellar the boy has led them to. The remains of a man whose head has been split with an axe 15 years ago - just like Simon claimed he had. Things go from bad to worse within hours when Stern discovers more dead bodies, the investigating police officer Engler (Andy Serkis) starts to chase him as a suspect in the murder cases, and his own past comes to haunt him. Stern’s friend and former criminal Andi Borchert (Stephen Marcus) is the only one to believe Stern and Carina. Hunted by the police, and led by Simon’s memories, they start to investigate shady sub cultures of Berlin, and soon discover things that are more gruesome than anything they could have imagined…

Audible Studios London presents a gripping audio dramatisation by Sebastian Fitzek, Germany’s most successful thriller writer, whose books are read around the world in more than 20 different languages. This unabridged dramatisation introduces listeners to a completely new approach to audio entertainment, a full-length dramatised book adaption with an original score and soundscapes from the heart of Berlin. Featuring amazing performances by a cast of over 20 actors in a breathtaking plot, The Child provides a truly immersive listening experience.

Like this and looking for more unabridged multicast drama from Sebastian Fitzek? Then simply type ‘Amok’ in the search box, download and enjoy!

©2014 Audible Studios (P)2014 Audible Studios

Critic reviews

"The Child is an unmissable milestone for fans and newcomers to audio dramas alike. A compelling, star-studded drama that mixes narration, performance, music and soundscapes into a moving story about a troubled young boy and a shocking series of dark crimes in Berlin. Essential listening," (David Hewson, author of The Killing series, co-author Hamlet, Prince of Denmark: A Novel and Macbeth: A Novel.)
"Fitzek’s thrillers are breathtaking and full of wild twists. The only disappointment : there is, inevitably, an end to the story!" (Harlan Coben)

What listeners say about The Child

Average customer ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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  • 3 Stars
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  • 2 Stars
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Performance
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Story
  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
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  • 3 Stars
    374
  • 2 Stars
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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Sound Editing Subpar

Would you try another book from Sebastian Fitzek and/or the narrators?

No.

What was most disappointing about Sebastian Fitzek’s story?

Promising start. Around the middle the wheels came off.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of the narrators?

The narrators were fine. I like the concept of using a group of narrators. It reminded me of a radio drama, in a good way.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Child?

The pedophile scene was gratuitous and disturbing. I would have cut pretty much everything from the midpoint and asked for a different ending.

Any additional comments?

This recording can be salvaged to some degree by remixing the sound. Often the spoken word was obscured by what was supposed to be the background noise. The opening scene was a prime example--the rain was so disproportionately loud, they may have just as well been standing next to Niagra Falls.

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57 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Disappointing

The story wasn't that great, pretty much unbelievable. I am disappointed at the rave reviews that misled me into thinking that this would be a good experience. The characters were lame, the story was forced and unbelievable, the subject matter is intentionally disturbing. I think that what made this "book" so disappointing is that the producers have such little faith in the audience's imaginations that they decided to take it upon themselves to create the world in their image, and expecting listeners to embrace it. No thank you.

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49 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Auditorily Noxious

Any additional comments?

The creepy voice and sound effects from screechy tires to phlegmy aspirations were intolerable to me (listening by headset). The acting was canned, harkening back to old-time radio dramas. It was an interesting endeavor for audible so I gave an extra star for that.

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43 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

I finished it, but I didn't want to.

What did you like best about The Child? What did you like least?

The actors performance was good enough. I must have missed in the description of the book how in depth the subject of pediphilia would dominate. I heard way more than I wanted to.
The ending was embarrassingly predictable.

Would you ever listen to anything by Sebastian Fitzek again?

No.

What three words best describe the narrators’s voice?

Adequate.And Ok.

Could you see The Child being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

Please... no movie.

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34 people found this helpful

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

A Bone Chilling Voice Imbedded in a Unique Story

What made the experience of listening to The Child the most enjoyable?

The music, the Voice and the dramatization. Audible, please provide more just like this one! You have a winner here! :-)

What did you like best about this story?

The Voice...freaky scary

Any additional comments?

This is one of the scariest novels I have listen to, and one of the most enjoyable short audible dramatized books. I cannot count the many times I jumped, startled by the musical score or the voices of the narrators. The premise of the story is simply fascinating, raising questions about reincarnation, regression therapy, insanity, fear and revenge.

Setting: Berlin, Germany. Characters: Ten year old Simon - termally ill, does not want to die before he knows if he killed people in a former life, Rober Stern - defense attorney, Carina - nurse, Andi Borchart - former criminal, Engler - investigating police officer.

There are not many books by Sebastian Fitzek available in English translation, nor as e-books, however, being fluent in German in will read everything this fine author has in print in his native language.

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32 people found this helpful

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

Hands down worst Audible title I've ever bought

What disappointed you about The Child?

Where to begin? This was a ridiculous production. Bad story. Bad writing (translation). Overwrought acting. Laughable sound effects. Bizarre production choices. There's probably a reasonable explanation for this, but why all the Cockney rhyming slang in Berlin? Is that a thing now?

Has The Child turned you off from other books in this genre?

No, I love all sorts of genres, including, sometimes, these dramatized productions. This was definitely an exception.

Would you be willing to try another one of the narrators’s performances?

Probably. I don't think this was the fault of any of the narrators.

What character would you cut from The Child?

All of them. Absolutely all of them.

Any additional comments?

Obviously, lots of people like this one, so if you decide to try it out anyway, remember that you can always return books to Audible with no questions asked and get your credit or money back.

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27 people found this helpful

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

My favourite listening experience to date

Where does The Child rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

It reminded me very much of HBO's True Detective and was a very different listening experience to other audiobooks. It felt more akin to a good film and I thoroughly enjoyed each listening session that I had with it.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Child?

The Voice

Which character – as performed by the narrators – was your favorite?

Robert Stern

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It opened my eyes to child trafficking

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21 people found this helpful

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

Best in a long time

Where does The Child rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

One of the best in a long time

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

The plot and overall performance keeps you on the edge of the seat

Any additional comments?

I loved the ensemble cast it makes the book flow so much better

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16 people found this helpful

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

Good, but distracting sound effects

It was a good book that kept my interest. The performances were also good.

Although, I found the sound effects very distracting.

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13 people found this helpful

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

Great Listening Experience

What made the experience of listening to The Child the most enjoyable?

The use of sounds, different male and female narrators, the format of an old time radio drama with breaks in between chapters.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Child?

There was a section that dealt with the black market for children which was disturbing but an important piece of the story.

Which scene was your favorite?

All the scenes were better than in most books due to the use of sound effects. For me it helped me to get into the story more.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

There were multiple parts that I think any parent can relate to.

Any additional comments?

Thought it was a great listen and I look forward to more Audible Dramas.

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11 people found this helpful