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Publisher's Summary

Sometimes when he didn't know he was being watched, Meggie would look at him and try desperately to imprint his face upon her brain's core. And he would turn to find her watching him, a look in his eyes of haunted grief, a doomed look. She understood the implicit message, or thought she did; he must go, back to the Church and his duties. Never again with the same spirit, perhaps, but more able to serve. For only those who have slipped and fallen know the vicissitudes of the way.
©1977 Colleen McCullough (P)2007 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"One of those books that will be read as long as women love, and men care." ( Daily Mirror)
"I simply could not put it down. If it hadn't been wrenched from me at mealtimes, I'd have starved." ( Daily Mail)
"A true epic....It's easy to see why this stunning tale has been called the Australian Gone With the Wind." ( Daily Telegraph)

What listeners say about The Thorn Birds

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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Abridged is like cut from alive body

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

yes, but i'd turn their mind to the abridgement staff

What other book might you compare The Thorn Birds to and why?

As it was well noticed The thorn birds is an australian Gone With the Wind

How could the performance have been better?

less exaggerated pronounce

Was The Thorn Birds worth the listening time?

Yes, but the story is worth more listening time.

1 person found this helpful

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Brilliant book

A wonderful storyline with great character development and a plot of twists and turns with a wonderful undertone of life and love. A romance of reality .... love it❤❤❤

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Unrewarding

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

Maybe someone without any expectations. I had so many and looked forward to finally reading it and was surprised to find that it was quite boring. I know it's not allowed to say that about this great book but that is how I felt. I was surprisingly bored

What was most disappointing about Colleen McCullough’s story?

One expects so much from these modern classics. It is one of those rare books which has the ultimate humiliation of being surpassed by its film adaptaion. it. I watched it in the eighties when I was a child and was still only learning English but I could not get over it. I'm not a film person and I sleep through most movies. I recently slept through the Da Vinci Code movie but I'd stay awake until 3am reading the book. So I was really surprised when the book disappointed me so much. The story was just not as engaging as I had thought it wasd going to be. It turned out to be a very love ordinary story unlike what it is pitched as. There is nothing memorable about this book

What didn’t you like about Greta Scacchi’s performance?

Its not that it was particularly bad. It just wasn't memorable

What character would you cut from The Thorn Birds?

Thats just it. None of the characters were engaging enough for me to truly care about loving or hating them.

Any additional comments?

It just wasn't for me I guess. My expectations were too high and it disapointed me. I expected a book in stakes of Grapes of Wrath or The Picture of Dorian Gray but it falls far short and is just a book that I forgot as soon as I finished it.

1 person found this helpful

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A lovely story

This was a most enjoyable read. I wished it carried on longer, yet it ends perfectly.

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Profile Image for Linh
  • Linh
  • 04-15-17

This is a fake 'The Thorn Birds'

Any additional comments?

The Thorn Birds is my favorite book ever, I've got a paperback book, a DVD of its movie, and I wanted to have an audio version so that I can always listen to, especially when I'm on the go. I purchased this audio book with excitement but it turned out to be a HUGE disappointment. About a half of the story was skipped with all of the critical, beautiful parts and conversations... gone. What a waste!

7 people found this helpful

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Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 01-25-18

This is NOT the full novel

The Thorn birds is one of my favourite novels so I was extremely disappointed after listening, to find out that this version of the novel leaves out multiple key paragraphs, and whole scenes out of the book. Unfortunately, upon searching, it seems that audible doesn’t actually offer the real version, or any other version at all of this book. Very disappointing. Going to try another audio book service to see if I can find it.

4 people found this helpful

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Profile Image for Valentina
  • Valentina
  • 11-15-16

Disappointed

I absolutely love the printed book, it is definitely my favorite book since I was a teenager, so I really looked forward to listening to it. But I was really disappointed that the audio version had left out at least 1/3 of the book, the listeners are missing out on so much! Why would you cut the story short?! The original narrative adds so much depths to the characters, to the storyline...and it's all missing in this audiobook!
The narrator wasn't great either, at times cringeworthy. Disappointed again.
I wish there was a full version, with a different narrator.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Mrs
  • 07-30-15

A bit of Australia

A surprisingly captivating story which I really enjoyed as a new resident of Australia I enjoyed hearing about now familiar scenery, animals and culture and enjoyed it all the more for that.

1 person found this helpful

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Profile Image for Diana
  • Diana
  • 12-24-20

Fabulous as always.

Colleen McColloch describes beautiful men, beautifully. A story over 3 generations and multiple countries. Mainly Australia.

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Profile Image for GBAD
  • GBAD
  • 12-04-20

This is an abridged version

Disappointed to read lose after listening for a while that this is abridged, which should be made clear on/before purchase.

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Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 08-25-20

Read the hard copy

So many parts missed and cut out.. WOULD NOT RECOMMEND!! Waste of money. So disappointed.

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Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 08-02-20

Wonderful

I love this story. Thank you Colleen. Even the movie was great. Such a wonderful talent you have.

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Profile Image for Jason
  • Jason
  • 05-18-20

A great book to listen to

This was beautifully read but I wish I'd realised that the story was abridged as it missed so many details from my favorite story.

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  • Tracey Rice
  • 03-24-19

Not what I expected

Found I longed for the connection between Meggie and Ralph. Couldn't feel it in the written word at all. Great did a wonderful job as narrator. Colleen's description of Drogheda was beautiful and it became a living entity for me. However, doesn't happen to me often but much preferred the mini series