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Download Christine Falls: A Novel Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Christine Falls: A Novel Audiobook, by Benjamin Black Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (3,989 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Benjamin Black Narrator: Timothy Dalton Publisher: Macmillan Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Quirke Series Release Date: March 2007 ISBN: 9781427200730
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It's not the dead that seem strange to Quirke. It's the living. One night, after a few drinks at an office party, Quirke shuffles down into the morgue where he works and finds his brother-in-law, Malachy, altering a file he has no business even reading. Odd enough in itself to find Malachy there, but the next morning, when the haze has lifted, it looks an awful lot like his brother-in-law, the esteemed doctor, was in fact tampering with a corpse—and concealing the cause of death.

It turns out the body belonged to a young woman named Christine Falls. And as Quirke reluctantly presses on toward the true facts behind her death, he comes up against some insidious—and very well-guarded—secrets of Dublin's high Catholic society, among them members of his own family.

Set in Dublin and Boston in the 1950s, the first novel in the Quirke series brings all the vividness and psychological insight of Booker Prize winner John Banville's fiction to a thrilling, atmospheric crime story. Quirke is a fascinating and subtly drawn hero, Christine Falls is a classic tale of suspense, and Benjamin Black's debut marks him as a true master of the form.

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Quotes & Awards

  • Christine Falls is a triumph of classical crime fiction, finely, carefully made, not a single false move or wrong word--why don't they write books like this anymore? Alan Furst

  • Contemporary fiction gets no better than this... Banville's books teem with life and humor. Patrick McGrath, The New York Times Book Review on The Untouchable
  • John Banville is the heir to Nabokov. The Sunday Telegraph on The Sea
  • A major work of fiction in which every suave moment calmly detonates to show the murderous gleam within. Don DeLillo on The Book of Evidence

  • “Swirling, elegant noir…Crossover fiction of a very high order…Rolls forward with haunting, sultry exoticism…toward the best kind of denouement under these circumstances: a half inconclusive one.”

    New York Times

  • “A page-turner told in prose so beautiful you’ll want to read some passages repeatedly. Intricately plotted, beautifully written.”

    Boston Globe

  • “Measured, taut, and transfixing…Benjamin Black’s plotting is methodical, detailed, and always gripping. You can smell the smoke in Quirke's favorite pub and touch the cool walls in a Boston convent he later visits.”

    USA Today

  • “Offers a subtler, deeper satisfaction than just finding out whodunit…What’s most disconcerting of all about Christine Falls is the atmosphere of moral claustrophobia enveloping it.”

    Philadelphia Inquirer

  • “A dark, ambitious crime novel.”

    Newsday

  • “Crime fiction rarely lives up to the term ‘literary,’ but [Christine Falls] is the happy exception.”

    Entertainment Weekly

  • A 2007 Macavity Award Finalist for Best Mystery Novel
  • Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award
  • A 2008 Edgar Allan Poe Award Nominee for Best Novel
  • Among longlisted titles for Audible.com Best of the Year, 2007
  • Nominated for Edgar Allan Poe Award Nominee, 2008
  • Among longlisted titles for Audible.com 100 Audible Essentials, 2007
  • Winner of Publishers Weekly Listen Up Awards: Best in Category, 2007
  • Nominated for Macavity Award - Nominee, 2007

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kathryn | 2/15/2014

    " Well written story that didn't entirely succeed as a mystery as I felt there were a few too many coincidences. 3 1/2 stars "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dave | 2/14/2014

    " Luridly descriptive but at the cost of the plot. The conclusion was a bit too transparent for a mystery. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jo M. F. | 2/10/2014

    " A well written mystery that has quirky and interesting characters along with an intriguing plot. An enjoyable read. It's a nice change to have the mystery genre expanded to the size of a nice hefty novel with chacters drawn in depth and with much complexity. John Banville, writing under the name of Benjamin Black, is an expressive and colorful writer whose talents are put to good use in this crime novel. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sara Grace ('00-'05) | 2/3/2014

    " Beautifully written mystery with a hint of thriller. Perfect for anyone who loves mystery but wishes the genre leaned a little more toward literary excellence. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Elisa Winter | 2/2/2014

    " Didn't know what I was getting into, and if I knew I would not have listened to it. However, the language is great, the story pleasingly tangled. But oh please, enough of the Powerful Catholic Men who make up so many rules and then beat up and even kill the not powerful Catholioc women when the Powerful Catholic Men break the rules. When do the Powerful Catholic Men take a beating?? "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Letterswitch | 1/19/2014

    " This will be my last book finished of 2012. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kate | 1/15/2014

    " John Banville can introduce a zillion characters and somehow manage to get me to keep them all straight. I wasn't that impressed with the revelation of the mystery, and I kept wondering why all the sex? But I was captive to Banville's great writing, and the end made me hopeful in a way I was not expecting would emerge from all the tragedy and seediness. I will definitely read Silver Swan. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Christopherbourassa | 1/5/2014

    " By no means a favorite mostly because I don't usually like crime novels. But I did appreciate the writing from a prose perspective and liked the way the characters developed. Also just liked the Dublin backdrop. I think thats why I initially picked it up. That and it was recommended by the people at Books Inc.; and I often take book advice from people who never seem to leave their homes, except to go to work at the bookstore. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Catherine | 1/2/2014

    " a dark mystery, it had a lot of potential it didn't really live up to. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Doreen | 1/2/2014

    " Dark, but realistic, examination of the underbelly of the Dublin hierarchy and its links with the Boston Irish. Looking forward to reading the next in the Quirke series. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Meredith | 1/1/2014

    " Great book filled with intrigue ...and even better, filled with the lyrical prose of John Banville who wrote this under a pen name. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cynthia | 12/31/2013

    " I didn't hate this book, but it was unsatisfying, predictable, and not very mysterious. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Robert King | 12/23/2013

    " good mystery - nice references to Ireland in the 50s "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Casey Dawes | 12/3/2013

    " The writing is excellent, but I had a hard time with it -- not my cup of tea, really. And, I couldn't connect with the reason that all the mayhem was taking place. I think the author kept it a little too hidden and didn't express it in ways the modern reader could understand. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Vicki | 11/15/2013

    " I would probably have liked it much more if I'd read it instead of listening to it. The reader gave everything -- even everyday life things -- a sinister cast. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cassandra | 8/26/2013

    " A very interesting book, it's pretty dark but I still liked and I thought the writing was very good, it's set during the 1950's in Ireland so it makes for a good setting. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kristine | 8/15/2013

    " Starts out intriguing--a pathologist investigating the mysterious death of a pregnant woman. Throws in some potentially interesting characters and situations. However, you never care about anyone and the mystery is anticlimactic. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Annie | 8/9/2013

    " Very boring, definitely no suspense or mystery to this. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Helen Mccarthy | 1/15/2013

    " Enough twists and turns to the plot to keep it interesting. About young women in Dublin who get into trouble with pregnancy and a pathologist who solves some problems regarding suspicious deaths. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Michael Sherer | 6/22/2012

    " One of the worst, overwritten, self-indulgent, overly melodramatic books I've ever read. In a word, "blowzy." "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Annie Michelle | 4/30/2012

    " it was ok...first part good, last part...not so much "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cyn | 2/27/2012

    " This wasn't fine literature but it was an interesting yarn, somewhat dark and I liked the characters well enough to find myself absorbed. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sharron | 12/29/2011

    " This has a John McDonald or Raymond Chandler sort of atmosphere to it but with John Banville's literary style. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 John Cain | 8/23/2011

    " Very well written with a great main character. It seems to fail a bit in the probabiilty of hte plot. It seemed that critical information was needlessy and artifically withheld from the reader so as to create a mystery. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sara | 8/13/2011

    " The story kept me turning pages, the introduction of each character brought the reader into the relationships, brilliant writing. I will definately find the rest of "Blacks" work and read this series. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Robin | 5/23/2011

    " I found this book underwhelming--I liked parts, but it didn't come together for me for a number of reasons. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jean | 3/27/2011

    " Less dark than The Gathering, but still a bit grim. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Douglas | 3/18/2011

    " Good. A little slow at times.
    Well written. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Simran | 3/8/2011

    " nice book..storyline gets a little slow in the middle but overall quite readable. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 David | 2/21/2011

    " Listened to the audiobook version while running. Timothy Dalton is really strong as the narrator but the story is just okay. Come to think of it the slow pace of the book is probably responsible for some of my slower times lately. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shawn | 1/25/2011

    " Depressing as hell and certainly not a "mystery," but beautifully written, like all the rest of John Banville's novels. I'm not sure why he uses a pseudonym for this series of "crime fiction" since I think it stands comparison to the books he publishes under his own name. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jenni | 1/18/2011

    " SO GOOD! I've never read a mystery/thriller that was so well written. I only wish the main character's actions weren't so mind-boggling at times. Hopefully in the sequel we'll learn more about why he acts so strangely. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Lisa | 1/12/2011

    " Babies born to poor Irish women, brought to an orphanage in Boston funded by a rich man who thinks it will get him into heaven if they all grow up to serve the church.

    This is a stupid book. I felt a little let down, a lot confused and a lot I didn't care. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kathleen | 1/5/2011

    " This book was very dark. The main character, Quirke, tries to be a good man, but is an alcoholic and is cold and distant. The characters are either despicable or pitiable. I found the book depressing, albeit well written. I don't think I'll read any more of them. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Edie | 12/14/2010

    " Couldn't finish. The writing was smart and all, but the story was too grim without any reward. I didn't like the main character enough to commit. And overall it wasn't entertaining (or enlightening) enough to subject myself to such negativity and violence. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Emma | 12/12/2010

    " I wanted to like it more than I did. It may be that I am not suited for the mystery genre. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 shan | 12/9/2010

    " Dark, storied and beautifully scripted. 'Christine Falls' is the story of a lonely pathologist who is entangled in a web of deceit and inebriation. I was kept guessing throughout and surprised in the end. I plan to follow up this great book with the sequel, 'The Silver Swan' "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kirsty | 12/7/2010

    "

    Loved it and didn't want it to end!

    "

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About the Author
Author Benjamin Black

Benjamin Black, the pen name of acclaimed novelist John Banville, is the author of Christine Falls and The Silver Swan. Christine Falls was nominated for both the Edgar Award and Macavity Award for Best Novel. He lives in Dublin.

About the Narrator

Timothy Dalton is perhaps best known for his critically-acclaimed incarnation of James Bond in The Living Daylights and License to Kill. A classically trained Shakespearean actor, he has appeared in films including The Tourist and in television miniseries including Scarlett (in which he played Rhett Butler), Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights, Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre, and in countless Shakespearean films and plays. He is also the voice of Mr. Pricklepants, a character in the animated film Toy Story 3. He is a longtime reader of thrillers written by Booker Prize winner John Banville, writing as Benjamin Black, including Christine Falls, which garnered an AudioFile Earphones Award. AudioFile magazine described Timothy’s reading of The Silver Swan, also written by Benjamin Black and published by Macmillan Audio, as “so good it will make listeners giddy with delight…As the heavy-drinking Irish pathologist Quirke, Dalton offers a pitch-perfect Irish brogue. It’s all thrilling, honest, and raw.”