The Toymakers

Narrated by: Ruby Bentall
Length: 14 hrs and 4 mins
5 out of 5 stars (6 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Random House presents the audiobook edition of The Toymakers by Robert Dinsdale, read by Ruby Bentall.

Do you remember when you believed in magic?

It is 1917, and while war wages across Europe, in the heart of London, there is a place of hope and enchantment.

The Emporium sells toys that capture the imagination of children and adults alike: patchwork dogs that seem alive, toy boxes that are bigger on the inside, soldiers that can fight battles of their own. Into this family business comes young Cathy Wray, running away from a shameful past. The Emporium takes her in, makes her one of its own.

But Cathy is about to discover that the Emporium has secrets of its own....

A dark, enchanting, spectacularly imaginative novel perfect for fans of Jessie Burton's The Miniaturist and Erin Morgenstern's The Night Circus.

©2018 Robert Dinsdale (P)2018 Random House Audiobooks

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    5 out of 5 stars

Absolutely Marvelous!

What a wonderful story. By tirns whimsical, playful, terrible, sad, and brilliant. Have some tissues handy.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-14-18

if you like the night Circus your love this book

this book is an intriguing story and keeps you guessing what's round the corner with magic and mystery well worth a listen

11 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • A. Cooper
  • 01-27-19

The Toymakers

I struggled to finish this book. Nicely written language and sentence structure but banal storyline. Good one to snooze to but this meant I had to 'rewind' several chapters to pick up the storyline. There were hints of religious overtones with the two warring brothers (God and Lucifer?) but these were not followed through. I'm not sure what the book was trying to achieve. Sorry.

17 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Lena
  • 01-16-19

Simply magical!

This book is beautifully written. I can't wait for First Frost... The performance is perfect - Ruby Bentall just added to the magic!

6 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • wendy Lawrence
  • 04-01-18

Absolutely fantastic!

I haven’t enjoyed a book as much as this for years. I know I’ll read it over and over again. THANKYOU so much for such wonderful imagination.

6 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Andy Parsons
  • 01-29-19

Not magical for me

I found this book annoyingly ambiguous. The magical elements just could not have coexistence with the real elements. That is the trick and delight of the genre.
Could the toys not have been put to real.military use. Would the shop really just be treated as a curiosity.
I was also not really engaged by any of the characters.
I liked the ending and the reading was generally OK but there are edits which been left in when the reader has a second go at some phrases. Tut Tut.
I had hoped for Rivers of London in a toy shop but it didn't have the wit in any sense.
I see a lot of people liked it but not me.

17 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-11-19

good overall.

the story could have been at least a couple of chapters shorter. it waffles in the middle and seemed to lose it's way bout if you persevere the ending is worth it.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-21-18

Brilliant!

A really different and unique story, a joy to listen to from beginning to end.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Colin Chisholm
  • 02-02-19

wonderful - full of wonders.

Disappear into this magical world of toys, tinkerers and vagabonds. You will not be disappointed

5 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-13-18

Not dull, but...

Strived to be magical, but never managed to sweep me off my feet. Interestingly read, wanted to finish, I'm not sure exactly why.

2 people found this helpful

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  • David lindfield
  • 02-26-18

disappointing

I was so excited to read this book. the narration was fine and the storyline. But I found it an unenjoyable listen. it was very vague in areas and often unclear. such promise of enchantment but sadly lacking

8 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-21-20

Great atmosphere

This is a very hard book to review without spoiling everything, but I will do my best.
First things first, the atmosphere was amazing. The toy store setting was magical and wonderful and just all the good things. The WW1 time period also fed into the enchanting atmosphere by placing this juxtaposition between the despair of the war and the joy people find in the Emporium.
Like most magical realism stories, this is a very character-focused book and focuses on some really great themes. Even though this story is told predominantly from the perspective of Cathy, it really focuses on the sibling relationship between Kaspar and Emil. I really enjoyed having an outsiders’ perspective into their sibling rivalry and seeing how it impacts the brother’s relationships between each other and with other people.
However there were points where I felt like the story lost direction a little and I was mildly dissatisfied with the ending, I just wanted a couple more chapters or an epilogue.
I listened to this book on audio and unfortunately the narrator wasn’t my favourite. There wasn’t a huge amount of distinction between the voices (especially male). However I think she did do a great job of expressing the correct tones and emotions to fit the scenes, and creating the atmosphere.
Overall, this was a beautifully told story of family and relationships. I would recommend to anyone who enjoys slower, character-driven magical realism books.

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  • helen lamb
  • 08-06-18

Magical

What a fabulous book suitable for adult and child alike I was a bit sad when I reached the end of the story but was it the end?? No I don’t think so.