Word Child

Narrated by: Simon Prebble
Length: 15 hrs and 59 mins
4.0 out of 5 stars (32 ratings)

Audible Premium Plus

$14.95 a month

1 audiobook of your choice.
Stream or download thousands of included titles.
$14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $29.95

Buy for $29.95

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

A brilliant but deeply flawed man struggles to earn absolution

Hilary Burde was a rising star in academia until a tragic accident plunged him and his mentor and rival, Gunnar Jopling, into two decades of depression and guilt. Hilary, unable to overcome his pain, abandoned his promising career for an unfulfilling job as a civil servant. But at age 41, Hilary crosses paths again with Gunnar - initiating a series of events that will change their lives forever.

Set against a richly drawn backdrop of post-war London, A Word Child is a gripping story of passion and the redemptive power of love.

©1975 Iris Murdoch (P)2012 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about Word Child

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    16
  • 4 Stars
    8
  • 3 Stars
    3
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    3
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    20
  • 4 Stars
    6
  • 3 Stars
    2
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    1
Story
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    16
  • 4 Stars
    7
  • 3 Stars
    2
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    4

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A vortex

Murdochs story takes guilt to the highest level of psychological and moral consideration. The reading by Prebble captures the voices beautifully, and this is a novel of voices, told mainly through dialogue.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Gifted writing about an unredeemable soul

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

I listened to all 14 hrs. of this audio book because of its glittering prose and insight into the complexities of humanhood, but mostly I hoped that something redeemable might surface in the central character. But alas, there was something so inherently "off" in Hilary Burde's very being that neither deprived childhood nor tragic accident could excuse the lens of cruel distain through which his relationships with others are filtered. His unbridled narcissism is that of the sociopath. He reels through his life in a toxic cloud of self-pity, poised to smash and destroy with clenched fists or poison tongue. This unattractive protagonist left me with a bad taste in my mouth at the first line but Murdoch is such an intuitive and gifted writer that I persevered in the withering hope of some sort of epiphany rising like a Phoenix in the final pages. Indeed there was a small glimmer of such but it was too little, too late. I no longer cared. Having spent 14 hours with a bully I was just glad it was over.

What about Simon Prebble’s performance did you like?

I listen to a lot of audiobooks and Simon Prebble is one of the most gifted readers I have encountered. His performance kept me engaged long after I lost interest in the central character.

Could you see Word Child being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Ugh!!!

Unpleasant story about mostly unpleasant people; wasted 15 hours of my time. Beautiful prose; minimal substance!

1 person found this helpful