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The Lives of Christopher Chant

Narrated by: Gerard Doyle
Series: The Worlds of Chrestomanci, Book 4
Length: 9 hrs and 4 mins
Categories: Kids, Ages 8-10
4.5 out of 5 stars (369 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Christopher Chant has no real power. He can't perform spells or do anything magical. However, he does possess something that most humans do not. Christopher has nine lives. Gerard Doyle's spellbinding narration is sure to capture every listener's attention.
©2005 Diana Wynne Jones (P)2005 Recorded Books, LLC

Critic Reviews

"Here's a perfect choice for the Harry Potter/Philip Pullman crowd." (AudioFile)
"Gerard Doyle's rich voice and English accent suit the story perfectly. His excellent expression and conviction draw listeners into the tale and help them follow the complex plot, giving each character's voice just enough distinction." (School Library Journal)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Fascinating!

I listened to this with my 7 and 10 year-olds, after enjoying the "A Charmed Life". The characters are interesting and distinct, the plot complicated, and the climax had all three of us huddled around the speakers. Highly recommended!

Between the two books, I don't think it matters what order one reads them in. Both are great. There's plenty of witchcraft, magic, and humor to entertain, but there's more than mere entertainment here.

15 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

"Lives" is well read

I am a fan of Diana Wynne Jones, and I like most of her books. This is vintage Jones at her peak, a charming child/young adult book that I have liked in the print version for a long time. The voice reading in this strikes me as just right- a nice plummy British voice that pronounces things correctly and does not read too slow or too fast for my taste. I am hooked; I want to get more of her books read by Gerard Doyle. (I only hope that they add others that are not in the Chrestomanci series, such as "Howl's Moving Castle," which is my absolute favorite Jones book.)

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

wonderful!!

this is a wonderful book for any age. it flowed nicely. i bought this book when it first came out for my daughters and never read it myself. i loved it. the reader is great. i also then bought the next book. for me this is a must read if you like books about magic and other worlds.

4 people found this helpful

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

Amazing story

One of my favorite childhood books, and it's every bit as good now that I'm an adult. Jones is a master of fantasy.

2 people found this helpful

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

Second book in the Chrestomanci series

What did you love best about The Lives of Christopher Chant?

I love that this book is essentially the prequel to the first book and tells us about some of the characters we had already met in book one.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Christopher Chant - knowing what he becomes from the first book makes him more interesting as his personality is in stark contrast in this book to the first one.

Have you listened to any of Gerard Doyle’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Yes, this is consistent with his other performances. Great, easy to listen to, really entertaining narrator.

1 person found this helpful

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

I love the Christomancy series so much

Would you listen to The Lives of Christopher Chant again? Why?

Yes I would. I feel like I might have missed things the first time through. I also love the story and would love to hear it again. I've been listening on my way to work and I get so into the story I can't wait to go on my drive to and from work and I don't mind the traffic. Then again when I am getting ready to drift off to sleep I have to put the sleep timer on audible so I can listen and fall asleep. Often times I have to back track because I have NO CLUE what happened because I dreamt I was there in the book.

What other book might you compare The Lives of Christopher Chant to and why?

I guess all of Diana Wynne Jones other books. I feel like I just figured out her "style". She never writes books with main characters that continue to be the main character. She will maybe give them a small passer by roll here and there. I would love to have 3 books about Howl and Sophie, or about Christopher Chant. When I listened to A charmed life I hated Christopher Chant (we only knew him as Christomancy though). Now I love his character. She also seems to have a soft spot for gingers (as do I, ).

Which scene was your favorite?

oh boy... There were so many. I really enjoyed when Christopher spirit walked into the other worlds and as he learned how to do things in the other worlds. I really liked Tadroy and I was suspicious that what they were doing wasn't good. Why else would they be doing it. I also enjoyed the parts with the Goddest, and Flogmorgan (however you spell the cats name).

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No, I suppose one could however I like to enjoy them over a good stretch of time. If it's over 2 hours I don't try to listen to something all in one sitting. If I was on a 6+ hour plane ride, by all means yes.

1 person found this helpful

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

Fun Family Fantasy

I have listened to this audiobook twice because I really loved the story. I think it's the best on in the series. Gerard Doyle is a great narrator and makes the stories very amusing.

1 person found this helpful

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

This author is insanely fat-phobic.

So, Diana is an incredible writer. I’ve loved her my whole life. Rereading her books as an adult, I’ve realized that they are terribly fat phobic. At one point in this book, she goes on and on about how disgusting a fat character is, and describes her loathing of each of his body parts and mannerisms in detail. It was hard to get through and nothing I would ever want to expose anyone to, let alone a young adult. I would hope as a parent, that we would do better for our kids than perpetuate a stigma that is false and damaging.

Other than that, the story line is magnificent. I hate that it can’t just be amazing. I will never let my teens read this series. Each book is riddled with fat phobia so intense, I felt sick.

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

TERRIFIC.

That's all I can say. Jones takes it away with this installment of the The Worlds of Chrestomanci series, and Gerard Doyle is as good as ever.

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

One of my favorites!

I absolutely love this book, Diana Wynne Jones's books have such a charming whimsy and engaging characters. I also love Gerard Doyle as a narrator, particularly in his narration of Jones's books - he captures each character's personality and the emotion of every scene so well and so naturally. Together Jones and Doyle make a perfect combination!