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Extended Audio Sample Grasshopper Audiobook, by Barbara Vine Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (743 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Barbara Vine Narrator: Jenny Sterlin Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: August 2017 ISBN: 9781461812654
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Ruth Rendell has held her place atop the world of mystery writers for decades, writing dozens of books that have won numerous awards, captivated countless fans, and collected widespread critical acclaim. Writing as Barbara Vine, she is the Edgar Award-winning author of such books as Chimney Sweeper’s Boy and King Solomon’s Carpet.

Young Clodagh Brown loves to climb, especially the giant electrical pylons that form a neat row outside her parents’ home. When this obsession breeds tragedy, her shamed family sends her to London for college. As a respite from insufferable classes, she begins climbing atop the local houses with her unique band of friends. But it is a practice that lands the group in a kidnapping scandal—and leads to a terrifying climax on the rooftops. Grasshopper is a meticulously crafted novel—a sharp and textured thriller infused with layers of psychological suspense. Narrator Jenny Sterlin steps into Clodagh’s unique world and takes readers on a rousing adventure through the Victorian neighborhoods of London.

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Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Susan McNally | 2/17/2014

    " I started out enjoying this book but the story became unconvincing principally because I didn't believe in the family in the flat trying to avoid detection from social services. Then there was an unconvincing twist in the tale ( won't give it away) but it was too much of a coincidence. Pity because she can write a good story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amanda Patterson | 2/12/2014

    " You'll never look at pylons the same way again! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Brigitte | 2/11/2014

    " A bit too dark for me. I was getting so depressed that I didn't finish reading it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Johnsergeant | 2/5/2014

    " As an audiobook this was a wonderful listen. A bit slow paced at times, but it held my attention, and as the story developed, I found myself wanting to keep listening to find out what was going to happen next. (18 cd's) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lise Petrauskas | 1/28/2014

    " This is my first Barbara Vine, though I've read plenty of her work as Ruth Rendell. It's taking me awhile to warm up to it, but I'm sticking with it because it is a studio listen. Unfortunately, I never really took to these characters. I think it was partly the narrator, but this book didn't grab me. So many circumstantial and ultimately not very interesting details. I did like the surprise ending, though. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kwoomac | 1/27/2014

    " The book is written by Barbara Vine, an alter-ego of well-known British mystery writer Ruth Rendell.It is essentially a love story. The author tells the story through the eyes of Clodagh Brown, who has bumped into a woman she once knew, eleven years after they had been kind of friends. Clodagh reviews the events that took place over a roughly 6 month period when she was twenty, newly in love, and making choices based on her youth and naivete. I persisted in reading this book, in spite of its very slow pace and tedious detail of the day-to-day lives of the many (some minor) plots the author juggled. The book was full of foreshadowing events which never seemed to live up to the author's hype. Sometimes, I would get distracted by the author's jumping around on the timeline. If I had the energy (which I don't...the book was 400 pages loooooong)I'd go back and see if things matched up. The author would say things like, "we would learn weeks later" or "we'd never have left her that day had we known". This was pretty constant throughout the book. I found it tiresome. Yet I give it three stars because I did get caught up in the lives of the characters. I did want resolution. I felt like this would have worked more as a British mini-series on PBS, where not a lot is happening much of the time, but you still are committed to watching their daily lives play out. Ruth Rendell (Barabara Vine) is a highly regarded author so I think I'll give her another try. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Daniel | 1/24/2014

    " One of Barbara Vine's (Ruth Rendell) best. I've listened to it twice now as a Book on Tape. She is one of the best authors at writing about the "human mystery" of motive and emotion. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bea Alden | 1/14/2014

    " Clodagh's passion was climbing electric pylons. But she is haunted by the memory of her boyfriend's awful death, when he became electrocuted on the pylon the two of them were climbing. Moving to London, she finds a new lover, with whom she discovers the thrill of climbing buildings and across roofs. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jocelyn | 1/6/2014

    " Just reading this now. I tend to love British writers, the humour is so sophisticated, dry and subtle. The writing here conveys the characters' thoughts amazingly well. An interesting story line, human and simple yet not usual. Not an amateurish writing style in any way either. Like :-) "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Marlene | 1/5/2014

    " Won't read again. Gloomy "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Jmac | 12/10/2013

    " I absolutely hated this book! It dragged on and on and on. It was torture reading this book to the end. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stephanie | 12/1/2013

    " All the elements of a good thriller, including premonitions of upcoming disasters; but I found myself irritated by the characters' constant poor choices. Thought provoking. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Wendy | 11/28/2013

    " This novel is about loss and growing up. It has a slightly suspenseful aspect (which I enjoyed) and some good twists. Although it has a bit too much detail, the author weaved the story and moved through time so effortlessly that it was a nice read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Moi | 4/16/2013

    " a relatively quick read, her characters are always interesting. The story was compelling up to a certain point then seemed to lose momentum : I felt a little cheated at the (anti) climax. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shirley | 4/10/2013

    " Always enjoy Barbara Fine, especially for her character development, much better, I think, than her Ruth Rendell series. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Erika Veale | 3/7/2013

    " One of my favourite books, I've read a few times now. Really got lured into the lifestyle of the characters and their strange habit, especially the character named Wim (I don't want to give anything away). Try it, see what you think! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ian | 3/2/2013

    " This has got to be the most disappointing Barbara Vine novel. If you're new to her work, don't start here "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Emma Caley | 1/3/2013

    " I loved this book she is a fantastic storyteller! I was hooked all the way. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kaethe | 9/21/2012

    " Not my favorite. Maybe I'm tiring of the hard-luck stories of all the characters. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Cynthia Cadenhead | 9/20/2012

    " very odd book set in London. Lives of late teens/early 20-yr olds Almost quit reading a couple times but persevered because something entangled me in the story. Not exciting though. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Joanne | 8/8/2012

    " It took me a while to read this, some of it dragged. I still wanted to know what happened, and I'm glad I finished it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ann | 5/20/2012

    " Well-plotted. A little too much stuff about what's on top of roofs. A few illustrations would have helped. Still, it was a good read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Liz | 3/14/2012

    " Unlike "The Birthday Party", I found this book somewhat tedious with too much foreshadowing of doom and gloom. "

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About the Author
Author Barbara Vine

Barbara Vine is a pseudonym for Ruth Rendell, who has won numerous awards, including three Edgars, the highest accolade from Mystery Writers of America, as well as three Gold Daggers, a Silver Dagger, and a Diamond Dagger for outstanding contribution to the genre from England’s prestigious Crime Writer’s Association. A member of the House of Lords, she lives in London.

About the Narrator

Jenny Sterlin, winner of eight Earphones Awards, has more than seventy audio titles to her credit, including Laurie R. King’s popular Sherlock Holmes / Mary Russell series. Before beginning her narration career, she helped found England’s experimental Living Theatre.