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Extended Audio Sample Hadrian’s Walls, by Robert Draper Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (326 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Robert Draper Narrator: Pete Bradbury Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Shepherdsville, East Texas, is a town defined—architecturally, financially, and socially—by its state penitentiaries, among them the bleak Hope Prison Farm. It’s a town where virtually every inhabitant is either an inmate or a prison employee, a town where crime literally pays.

Shepherdsville’s two most famous citizens are Sonny Hope, its larger-than-life prison director, and Hadrian Coleman, its most notorious convict. Their friendship since boyhood has followed a pattern of mutual dependence, keeping them at once in collusion and on opposite sides of the law. At age fifteen, introspective and emotionally vulnerable, Hadrian killed a man and was sentenced to fifty years at Hope Farm. However, twenty years later, he achieves the unthinkable and escapes from the prison.

After years of life on the run, he’s summoned back to Shepherdsville to receive a full governor’s pardon secured by Sonny, who now runs the prison and, by extension, the town. Hadrian knows Sonny’s motives are not entirely clean, that this is a favor that will require something in return. When the nature of that payment is finally made clear, he must determine who really owes what to whom and whether carrying out Sonny’s demand will result in a lifetime spent in his power.

As Hadrian vacillates between loyalty to his friend and the struggle to do right, he is pulled toward a final showdown with Sonny, a crisis that will not only change the lives of the two men but also finally free Hadrian from Shepherdsville and from his past.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Robert Draper has made an exciting debut. He’s got a good ear for the tones of the region and a sharp sense of how the oppressiveness of it adds its weight to the actual oppression that is his theme. I hope he finds many readers.”

    Larry McMurtry

  • Hadrian’s Walls, is…a deft, occasionally ingenious novel.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “[A] scorching, Faustian first novel…Draper skillfully balances his stark portrayal of Shepherdsville’s environs and feckless inhabitants with the affecting drama that unfolds among the central characters. His ambitious novel explores the irony, pathos and contradictions both of freedom vs. captivity and of good vs. evil.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “In his cool, prosaically loping fiction debut, Texas journalist Draper easily entraps the reader in a Lone Star State prison town …[Hadrian’s Walls] provides sooty, ragged, fearsome reading pleasure…A breezy encounter with human darkness, carried on by the lilt of Draper’s choice prose.”

    Kirkus Review

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Colby | 2/17/2014

    " Pretty good historical fiction about the clash of Roman imperialism and Celtic culture North of Hadrian's Wall in what is now Scotland. The romance between the Roman aristocrat daughter and the Celtic chieftain makes for a rousing story that brings the history to life. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Stephanie | 2/17/2014

    " I've never read anything from the Roman occupation of England. This book seemed to do a good job of portraying both the Celtic and Roman cultures, as well as describing the wall that spanned Britian in that era. A Roman heiress is captured and becomes a part of the Celtic community. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Nathaniel | 2/8/2014

    " This is a pretty decent sort of historical fiction novel. It's pretty similar to what you would get if you read a King Arthur novel, but without any of the magic. The Celtic traditions are part of the story, and so is the whole discussion of the Roman empire. This book takes place about the time Rome's influence in Britain was beginning to end. I thought it was pretty well written, but not a 5 star book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Adrienne | 1/30/2014

    " An interesting historical fiction from ancient times. Nothing too spectacular, but definitely entertaining enough if you're looking for a fun and semi-educational read. It get's a 3.5 star rating from me. "

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