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The Chopin Manuscript  By  cover art

The Chopin Manuscript

By: Lee Child,David Corbett,Joseph Finder,Jim Fusilli,John Gilstrap,James Grady,David Hewson,P. J. Parrish,Jeffery Deaver
Narrated by: Alfred Molina
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Publisher's summary

15 thriller masters. 1 masterful thriller.

Former war crimes investigator Harold Middleton possesses a previously unknown score by Frederic Chopin. But he is unaware that, locked within its handwritten notes, lies a secret that now threatens the lives of thousands of Americans. As he races from Poland to America to uncover the mystery of the manuscript, Middleton will be accused of murder, pursued by federal agents, and targeted by assassins. But the greatest threat will come from a shadowy figure out of his past: the man known only as Faust.

The Chopin Manuscript is a unique collaboration by 15 of the world's greatest thriller writers. Jeffery Deaver conceived the characters and set the plot in motion; the other authors each wrote a chapter in turn. Deaver then completed what he started, bringing The Chopin Manuscript to its explosive conclusion.

The Chopin Manuscript was written by:
Jeffery Deaver (Lincoln Rhyme series)
David Hewson (Nic Costa series)
James Grady (Six Days of the Condor)
S. J. Rozan (Bill Smith/Lydia Chin series)
Erica Spindler (Last Known Victim)
John Ramsey Miller (Winter Massey series)
David Corbett (Blood of Paradise)
John Gilstrap (Scott Free)
Joseph Finder (Power Play)
Jim Fusilli (Terry Orr series)
Peter Spiegelman (John March series)
Ralph Pezzullo (Jawbreaker)
Lisa Scottoline (Daddy's Girl)
P.J. Parrish (Louis Kincaid, Joe Frye series)
Lee Child (Jack Reacher series)

©2007 International Thriller Writers, Inc., Jeffery Deaver, Lee Child, David Hewson, James Grady, S. J. Rozan, Erica Spindler, John Ramsey Miller, David Corbett, John Gilstrap, Joseph Finder, Jim Fusilli, Peter Spiegelman, Ralph Pezzullo, Lisa Scottoline, and P. J. Parrish (P)2007 Audible, Inc.

Critic reviews

  • 2008 Audie Award Winner
    Audiobook of the Year

"Innovative and unique, The Chopin Manuscript, written by masters in the field of thrillers, is far more than the sum of its parts. Here each author shines, blending individual skill and energy, into a riveting, crackling-paced tapestry of murder, mystery, and mayhem. Not to be missed!" (James Rollins, author of The Judas Strain)
"A GREAT story, written by one GREAT author after another, in one GREAT chapter after another. A stellar achievement of collectivity that blows from the starting gate at 100 mph and never slows down. A thrill-a-page from 15 GREAT thriller masters. Don't miss this one." (Steve Berry, author of The Venetian Betrayal)

What listeners say about The Chopin Manuscript

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Surprisingly good

I was very reluctant to try this, hating the idea of multiple authors working in any which direction on the same story. But, it worked surprisingly well, perhaps thanks to the skill of the narrator. Anyway, I liked it.

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63 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

A rollicking thriller

American Harold Middleton is a music professor and former war crimes investigator who is called to Poland to assess whether or not a manuscript purported to be an original, previously undiscovered, Chopin is genuine or a fake. However, the man that Harold meets with is murdered soon after their meeting and it soon becomes clear that there is more to the manuscript than mere rarity.

For what is essentially a publishing gimmick the book is delightfully entertaining. The plot rollicks along with red herrings and shocking twists aplenty, just as a good thriller should. The only evidence that the story is written by 15 different people is that there are perhaps a few more characters than normal, but the upside to that is that there are more genuine surprises than you might expect with a book authored by a sole writer who has pet characters and plot threads. There are several themes which are carried throughout the book, such as the role of music, and these help to produce a surprisingly cohesive story.

None of the characters are particularly well developed, there are too many and the book too short for that, but as this is a book all about a fast paced plot that's not a huge turnoff on this occasion. There was enough information to glean about Harold, his daughter Charlie, the evil Faust and a few of the other characters to engage my interest and keep me listening.

The book is narrated by actor Alfred Molina who does a superb job of handling the dialogue-rich story which features a couple of dozen characters.

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58 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Action

I am not english native. I do buy english audiobooks to learn english and to get entertained at the sametime. :o)
About the book: I liked it very much, but: Plot has many twists, many characters do survive about 15 seconds :o) Characers are described only vaguely... Everybody is shooting everyone without hesitation. It is reminding me B action film. Entertainment only, do not look for something more. Anyway, I would buy that one again.

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26 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Music and Thriller....WOW

This was really an excellent book! It could have turned out to be awful with so many fingers in the pudding, but it was just the opposite. I found it unique and I couldn't wait to see where the next author took us. The two winner short stories were a nice addition. Thank you writers for such excellent work and story line. It was a real great read.

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25 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Very well narrated

Each chapter of this book was written by a different author, the promise was to have a seamless story. And it is seamless, yet noting the difference in writing style, slightly different prose was fascinating. I READ books to enjoy the use of language and style; I usually listen to books that are just plain engrossing and fun. In this book I was able to experience both. Enjoyable, good listen!

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22 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Wonderful story... Sometimes hard to follow.

This is an amazing story. It is fast paced, and really action-packed. The plot, to be put simply, is similar to the DaVinci Code. Harry Middleton holds a rare manuscript, and someone is out to get it from him. This someone will kill anyone who stands in the way, including Harry.

It has a really good plot and story behind it, but the only thing is that near the beginning they introduce so many different characters that it is difficult to keep everyone straight in your mind. Once you get down who the people are and their relationship to protagonist Harry Middleton, it flows nicely and is a really cool story.

Alfred Molina does a wonderful job bringing the story to life. I couldn't wait to get in my car after school knowing that I had this book waiting for me! Hope you enjoy!

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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

What a thrill ride!

The only negative about this audiobook is that the bonus short stories seem a bit lackluster after hearing the book itself.

The writing, performance, and overall presentation are nearly unmatched. No wonder this was the audiobook of the year. Why did I not listen to this sooner? Simply remarkable.

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15 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Loved it

I loved how each author made his/her chapter as exciting as possible and with its own arc that still fit into the arc of the overall story. The characters are fun. Well worth it.

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14 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

convolution at its best

A great premise wasted. By the time Jeffrey Deaver got around to finishing the story, it has taken so many twists and turns that the plot goes from interesting to plausible to "what??". How many double agents and backstabbers can you fit into a 6-hour listen? Lisa Scottoline's chapter was terrible and detracted from the story, but Lee Child tried his best. Alfred Molina's narration was superior and I hope that he makes a career move of this. If you have a "free" credit, go for it, otherwise spend it elsewhere.

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14 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

High hopes dashed

I was thrilled by the prospect of this book. I waited until all of the chapters were available before downloading so that I could enjoy it without interruption. Unfortunately the pearls produced by these talented authors were strung disjointedly. What was started in one chapter was hastily aborted in the next. Out of no where, elements would appear and disappear, without rhyme or reason. Gosh! Was I disappointed!

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13 people found this helpful