Download Dark Eden: A Novel Audiobook

Dark Eden: A Novel Audiobook, by Chris Beckett Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Chris Beckett Narrator: Matthew Frow, Jayne Entwistle, Heather Wilds Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2014 ISBN: 9780804190572
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On the alien, sunless planet they call Eden, the 532 members of the Family shelter beneath the light and warmth of the Forest’s lantern trees. Beyond the Forest lie the mountains of the Snowy Dark and a cold so bitter and a night so profound that no man has ever crossed it.

The Oldest among the Family recount legends of a world where light came from the sky, where men and women made boats that could cross the stars. These ships brought us here, the Oldest say—and the Family must only wait for the travelers to return.

But young John Redlantern will break the laws of Eden, shatter the Family and change history. He will abandon the old ways, venture into the Dark…and discover the truth about their world.

Already remarkably acclaimed in the UK, Dark Eden is science fiction as literature; part parable, part powerful coming-of-age story, set in a truly original alien world of dark, sinister beauty--rendered in prose that is at once strikingly simple and stunningly inventive.

Reader List:
"John Redlantern" Read by Matthew Frow
“Tina Spiketree” Read by Jayne Entwistle
“Sue Redlantern” Read by Ione Butler
“Gerry Redlantern” Read by Robert Hook
“Gela Brooklyn” Read by Heather Wilds
“Mitch London” Read by Nicholas Guy Smith
“Carolyn Brooklyn” Read by Hannah Curtis
“Jeff Redlantern” Read by Bruce Mann Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • “Dazzlingly inventive… superbly well paced and well written… packed with ideas.”

    Reader’s Digest

  • Winner of the 2013 Arthur C Clarke Award for the Best Science Fiction Novel of the Year
  • Poetic…Beckett renders the terror of the darkness beyond the forests with a riveting deftness that evokes all primordial fears of the unknown…There’s plenty here to intrigue and entrance. New York Times Book Review
  • A linguistic and imaginative tour de force.  The Guardian (UK)
  • Captivating and haunting…human plight and alien planet are both superbly evoked.  Daily Mail(UK)
  • A stunning novel and a beautiful evocation of a truly alien world.  Sunday Times
  • “Pure astonishment and pleasure, a storytelling ride full of brio and wonder. Locus 
  • Dazzlingly inventive… superbly well paced and well written… packed with ideas.  Reader’s Digest
  • Brilliantly imaginative…a superb entertainment, a happy combination of speculative and literary fiction. Not to be missed. Booklist (starred)
  • A fantastic novel…Beckett has created a bizarre world of astounding imaginative vision, grounded by fundamental human conflicts. Shelf Awareness
  • Riveting…a keenly imagined vision of the interaction between human nature and a truly alien world. BookPage
  • “For the sort of readers who like their heroes retro and their world building literally colorful, there’s plenty here to intrigue and entrance.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Captivating and haunting…human plight and alien planet are both superbly evoked.”

    Daily Mail (London)

  • “Stunning…a beautiful evocation of a truly alien world.”

    Sunday Times (London)

  • “A linguistic and imaginative tour de force.”

    Guardian (London)

  • “Pure astonishment and pleasure, a storytelling ride full of brio and wonder.”


  • “A compelling story of both survival and discovery. It is told in a number of distinctive first-person voices that beautifully define character and reveal the fact that Eden’s language has become corrupted…Beckett has done a brilliantly imaginative job of world building in both global concepts and quotidian details…None of these specifics gets in the way of a suspenseful, page-turning plot, however, and the book is a superb entertainment, a happy combination of speculative and literary fiction. And it is not to be missed.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “The use of multiple narrators is clever, as are creatures like singing leopards and the changes to English over generations.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “The world building is what sets this sf novel by award-winning British author Beckett apart. The linguistic drift of the isolated community, the unique environment of sunless Eden, and the social arrangements of Family are all fascinating. The main character is skillfully drawn, but the addition of other point-of-view chapters help round out the picture of a society in the midst of upheaval.”

    Library Journal

  • “A story of survivors in an alien environment who have more or less forgotten their origins…The stage is set for a parting of ways, exploration, conflict, murder, and the erasure of accepted truths. The narrative unfolds via several first-person accounts, which allows Beckett to develop a perspective on his archetypal main characters. Absorbing if often familiar, inventive and linguistically adept.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “An ensemble cast delivers the compelling story of a young man who forces part of his ‘family’ to set out and explore the strange sunless planet where they are marooned, rather than just sit and wait for help. The story is told from the points of view of different characters. Matthew Frow does a notable job as the bold John Redlantern as do the narrators who portray the members of the “Bat-face” tribe, people born with cleft palates because of generations of inbreeding. All speak with rough British accents except for the word ‘family,’ which comes out as snide and childlike with a drawn-out ‘a’ sound, an odd choice but one that eventually begins to sound appropriate. This production is impossible to turn off.”


  • “A dazzlingly inventive science-fiction writer.”

    A. N. Wilson, author of Winnie and Wolf

  • Winner of the Arthur C. Clarke Award for Best Science Fiction Novel of the Year
  • An AudioFile Best Audiobook of the Year for 2014
  • One of Audible’s Best Audiobooks of 2014: Editors' Pick
  • Nominated for the 2015 Audie Award for Science Fiction

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About the Author

Chris Beckett is a university lecturer living in Cambridge, England. His short stories have appeared in such publications as Interzone and Asimov’s Science Fiction and in numerous “year’s best” anthologies. In addition to the Arthur C. Clarke award for Dark Eden, he won the Edge Hill Prize, the UK’s premier award for short story collections, for his collection The Turing Test.

About the Narrators

Matthew Frow is a voice talent and audiobook narrator.

Jayne Entwistle is a voice talent and Earphones Award–winning narrator.

Heather Wilds is an audiobook narrator and an award-winning actress. She trained at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama and the University of Glamorgan and has appeared in numerous plays, receiving critical acclaim. She has also performed in award-winning short films, appeared on television and in commercials, and has worked extensively as a voice-over artist.