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The Corpse Reader

Narrated by: Todd Haberkorn
Length: 12 hrs and 14 mins
4 out of 5 stars (226 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

As the months went by, Cí learned to tell the differences between accidental wounds and those brought about in an attempt to kill; among the incisions made by hatchets and daggers, kitchen knives, machetes and swords; between a murder and a suicide.

Cí, a young scholar-turned-gravedigger in medieval China, has survived enough horrors and pain to last several lifetimes. He finally has the chance to return to his studies - only to receive orders from the Imperial Court to find the sadistic perpetrator of a series of brutal murders. With lives in jeopardy, Cí finds his gruesome investigation complicated by his old loyalties - and by his growing desire for the enigmatic beauty haunting his thoughts. Is he skilled enough to track down the murderer? Or will the killer claim him first?

©2011 Antonio Garrido (P)2013 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Jody
  • Coupeville, WA, USA
  • 07-13-13

A serious disappointment

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

More corpse reading and less of the string of unbelievable calamities that seem to beset the protagonist. Also, he is by turns quite clever in haggling and dealing with commerce, and impossibly naive in dealing with everything else. It almost felt like reading one of those horrible gothic novels from the nineteenth century. He nearly entered the 'too stupid to live' category.

What do you think your next listen will be?

No idea.

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

The reader was the best part of the book, doing various voices and using a trace of a Chinese accent. One nit I will pick, is that he mispronounced the word 'ochre', using a soft ch, as in 'cherry'.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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Medieval China

If you can manage to wade through the first six hours or so of one calamity after another because the lead character is an idiot, it starts to get more interesting when he starts doing forensics, although I never really liked the lead character. Since it's set in medieval China there's a lot of violence and mistreatment of people. If you're accused of a crime you can't be sentenced until you confess and they beat you until you finally confess.

The narrator was the best part of the book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Not My Thing

Would you try another book from Antonio Garrido and Thomas Bunstead (translator) and/or Todd Haberkorn?

Probably not. This book just wasn't my preference.

Would you recommend The Corpse Reader to your friends? Why or why not?

I might recommend to those I know prefer mysteries and/or thrillers, and have more tolerance for slow pacing. I prefer faster pacing and/or more focus on science.

Any additional comments?

As mentioned, this book wasn't to my taste. I listened to the first part, and just couldn't bring myself to start the second part. I think I had a problem with the pacing of the character development: the main character spends too much time being passive, and the pace of his "coming out of his shell" is too slow for my taste. The pacing may have been forgiven if there were more focus on the unique aspects of the book (such as forensic science cast in light of the time frame and culture).

The narrator was fine -- not spectacular, but didn't get in the way of the book, either.

I may revisit this book if I run out of other things to listen to, but for now my queue of new books is too long to spend time on this one.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Another Chinese detective and Forensic examiner

I would have given the narrator 4 stars but for his rather disturbing mispronunciations of a few words.

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Well-constructed detective story

Antonio Garrido has given a great introduction to 13th century Chinese culture with this well-written detective story. He helps to endear us early to the main character Ci, and keeps us engaged throughout the book through the challenges of his early life that Ci was fleeing. The book keeps one guessing throughout and subtly promotes and virtues through the fiction. A delightful read, highly recommended.

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very interesting

the main characters struggles were heartbreaking. you want to reach into the book and help him!

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I was transported

What a wonderful story. I felt like I was reading about someone who really existed so long ago. I was holding my breath toward the end wondering how it would end. Well done.

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Wonderful story of Chinese Forensics

A story of revenge, betrayal, loyalty and honor. A historical depiction of the beginning of the art and science of forensic pathologist in China. It was one of the first books I read on a kindle. I could not resist revisiting this audio book. So glad to hear such a wonderful performance of this brilliant story.

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Historicaly interrtrigeingg<br />

A story as good as a Pearl Buck with a surprise at the ending and a satisfying end .

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Insightful, detailed, intriguing Asian forensic mystery!

Again the author takes phenomenal amounts of information along with the workings of a brilliant mind , weraves it all into a mystery, a foensic jungle and makes it interesting, exciting and understandable. The character development is amazing. This is not light entertainment, but educational, mind blowing, action packed, and thrilling. Be prepared to be thoroughly entertained, educated and enlightened. The insights into the Asian mindswet and code of honor is also terrific.

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  • Levente
  • 02-25-15

Brilliant

Well read, well performed. The story was captivating all way through. If you love crime fiction and deductions then this is very much recommended!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Susan
  • 12-23-17

not as exciting as it sounds

this was a very boring listen. the blurb sounds so unique and exciting but the actual story is pretty boring and the characters are flat and lifeless. the narrator mispronounced several words too.