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The Moon-Spinners

Narrated by: Daphne Kouma
Length: 9 hrs and 12 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (50 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The pioneer of romantic suspense Mary Stewart transports listeners to the idyllic hills of midcentury Crete in this tale of peril and intrigue that will keep fans of Agatha Christie and Barbara Pym on the edges of their seats.   

While on a walking holiday through the beautiful, deserted hills of Crete, Nicola Ferris stumbles across a critically injured Englishman, guarded by a fierce Greek. Nicola cannot abandon them and so sets off on a perilous search for their lost companion - all the while being pursued by someone who wants to make sure none of them leave the island.... 

When the big white bird flew suddenly up among the glossy leaves and the lemon flowers, and wheeled into the mountain, I followed it.

©1962 Mary Stewart (P)2019 Hodder & Stoughton Limited

Critic Reviews

"Mary Stewart is magic." (New York Times)

"One of the great British storytellers of the 20th century." (Independent)

"A comfortable chair and a Mary Stewart: total heaven. I'd rather read her than most other authors." (Harriet Evans)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Frustrating volume variations

Disclaimer: I have hearing loss, but with well-fitting earbuds I usually do fairly well. This book is frustrating in that I was constantly fiddling with the volume as the narrator's voice dropped away into a whisper and then increased again to near-shouting. I think she does a wonderful job of dramatizing the story, and the character voices were all good, but the volume thing drove me crazy. There are some small problems with pronunciation. I don't know how caique should be pronounced, but the narrator uses at least three different ones throughout the story.

I am a long-time fan of Mary Stewart's romantic mysteries, and I was so thrilled to see them published on Kindle and then on Audible. The quality of the narration and recording has been disappointingly uneven, unfortunately.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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terrible narration!

really??? you pick a narrator that slurs her speech and mumbles and talks to fast?? for one of Mary Stewarts best novels??? i am returning it. very disappointed.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Classic thriller, but wish narrator was literate

Don't have to say much about Mary Stewart; everything she wrote is tightly plotted, brilliantly characterized, beautifully evocative. Her work and its popularity speaks for itself. I was motivated to leave a review only because the narrator, who does a fairly good job otherwise, pronounced the word "Levite" as "levity." A little cultural literacy goes a long way. Please, Audible, either select educated narrators or educated editors who will catch such errors. Make your products attractive to people who actually read (but are now losing their near vision!).

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Great story. Narration a problem.

The story is great. One of my favorites. The narrator has potential; however, the constant change in volume is a problem. I would get the volume to a level where I could hear her and then she would raise her voice for a character and it would become way too loud. If she only did it occasionally, I would not comment, but it is through the entire book. Obviously, the narrator needs to work on this. She has a great voice and good characterization, so it is a shame.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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The pacing of the narration is jerky

I like Mary Stewart books because the stories are fun, the setting is glorious, her descriptions are vivid, her characters are living, and her themes poignant due to her references to literature and ancient history. However, because of her careful descriptions, Stewart’s writing pace is often very slow. I enjoy this usually, but this book seems slower to me. Maybe this is because the characters seem painfully unaware of the usefulness of an employee of a the British embassy and also unaware of both the overall danger to the area as well as the necessity of finding help wherever they can get it, even from a girl. Even in the male dominated 1950’s, this seems unlikely given the depths of their problems. Maybe greater detail about their reluctance will be forthcoming in the following chapters as I am only part of the way through. Right now, their reluctance seems just because she is female. Usually, Stewart manages to make the male characters’ reactions to the female characters within the ordinary way most acted in the time period. This time, however, it seems unreasonable, and the reader or listener is aware of what the characters are not but must eventually find out. This definitely makes the pace slow. There is another issue, though, that makes the pacing even slower.

Listening to this book is less enjoyable because of the voice production. The narrator does a good job in the voices and gives a good performance. However, the pacing of the narration in this book is very odd. At 1x the pace, one would think this is the way the narrator recorded it, the pace sounds normal then jerks forward, and the words come so quickly that they blend together sounding like one word. If I were to type a sentence the way the narrator sounds it would look like this—The Greek answered, “YesmissIsawtheEnglishmanyesterday.”
Some words are clearly separated, and others nosomuch.

To remedy this, I tried putting the playback speed at 75%. The story now seems normal at times and slow at other times with log pauses in between some paragraphs. I find myself growing impatient sometimes because the pace is still very odd. Nevertheless, I will keep the book because the narrator’s voice is pleasant, and I am in no real hurry to finish the book. I am about a third of the way through at the slower pace and want to find out what happens to one of Stewart’s most daring heroines (even if the males do not respect her enough yet). I must have read this years ago, and I know I saw the Haley Mills movie, but I do not remember it now.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • jahk
  • Pasadena, CA
  • 09-08-19

One of my favorite Mary Stewart stories.

The narrator is a bit difficult to understand some times, but other than that a most enjoyable listen.

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Narration very good

There have been some reviews regarding the sound volume of the narrator. At the beginning of the book I was concerned but soon realized the little bit softer speech were asides and reflective of thoughts so were appropriate. They added to the ambiance of the story. Only the Greek names of the town and some of the characters were a little bit incomprehensible. It might have been easier if I could have read the words before I heard them spoken, but in the end it didn’t detract from the story. I really enjoyed the narrator she brought much of the action and inflection of the characters to life.

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Fast moving and exciting

I love Mary Stewart and this is one of her best. Not a dull moment.

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  • Maggie
  • 08-16-19

An old and well loved friend

Those of us who are Mary Stewart aficionados have been so pleased over these past few months to find all of her books have been, or are about to be, recorded unabridged (thanks Audible). The balance, mainly her later, shorter, titles are due to follow in November.
Language evolves, we all know that, and it's been interesting to hear how this, one of her earliest and best loved novels from the 1960s, (Hayley Mills was young when they filmed it) would sound in the hands of a young 21C female actor (I'm assuming that as this seems to be her first narration for Audible) Some words do defeat her, which is a shame as someone could have guided her (for instance for Psyche we got sickie all the way through)
The answer is, not that bad. I was a bit worried at first as Daphne Kouma seemed to be attacking the first narrative sections so fast she was almost breathlessly gabbling, probably out of nervousness, but it did settle down. It's of its time, as all Mary Stewart books are, The Boy meets Girl is from a more innocent age, but the murder and general nastiness is not.
Kouma's characterisation is not bad at all, giving us the very believable light touch of the rather lovely (despite everything) Tony and the sadness and worry of Sophia - and as with all Stewart's practical heroes, Max sounds good. OK, her Colin age 15 sometimes sounds like a rather childish 12 year old by today's standards, but on the whole it's all right.
Now onto My Brother Michael, The Ivy Tree and The Gabriel Hounds, all also released yesterday. For Mary Stewart readers, Christmas has come early. Shame in some ways that the narrators are such a scatter gun mixture, rather than a single voice, but just glad they are all recorded.
As to Daphne Kouma, not a bad first attempt. Hope she goes on to record more.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful