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Download Hawksmoor Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample Hawksmoor (Unabridged) Audiobook, by Peter Ackroyd
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,053 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Peter Ackroyd Narrator: Sir Derek Jacobi Publisher: AudioGO Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: November 2010 ISBN:
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In Hawksmoor, Detective Nicholas Hawksmoor investigates a series of macabre murders on the sites of certain 18th-century churches.

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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Isabel | 2/6/2014

    " Set in an alternate version of the East End, where the early 18th century churches that were built by Nicholas Hawksmoor in our reality, were built by Nicholas Dyer and Nicholas Hawksmoor is the name of a late 20th century policeman investigating a series of murders occurring at these churches. Echoes of the earlier era resonate through the later time, some believable like the playground rhymes and superstitions having been passed down almost unchanged for 250 years, but most having a more supernatural edge. Nicholas Dyer's assistant is called Walter Pyne and his intrusive landlady is Mrs Best, while Nicholas Hawksmoor's assistant is Walter Payne and Mrs West is just as intrusive as her predecessor. The murder victims are strangely similar to Dyer's earlier sacrifices, and not because the murderer is selecting similar victims; it seems as if reincarnations of the original victims are fated to die in the same place as before. The feeling of deja-vous is reinforced by snatches of conversation being repeated. I found the ending of the book disappointing as it was increasingly hard to work out what was going on. Dyer had seen his own doppelganger and had what was obviously a vision of Hawksmoor while delerious, before they took their last walk through London to Little St Hugh's where they finally became aware of the other's presence. And when they finally sat beside each other in the church and spoke with one voice, I assume that they were becoming aware of the cyclical nature of time, forever condemned to repeat themselves. Was Dyer going to offer himself as the sacrifice for the church of Little St. Hugh? And was Hawksmoor going to commit suicide in the same church, or was the murderer going to kill him? I'm not even sure whether there was a real murderer or whether it was all done by Nicholas Dyer from beyond the grave (since the police never found any fingerprints or physical evidence). And when they finally sat beside each other in the church and spoke the same words I assume they became aware of the cyclical nature of time, with events forever repeating themselves. There are plot holes. In real life, someone would have informed the police of the link between the churches where the murders were happening (unless Nicholas Dyer is considerably less famous than the real architect Nicholas Hawksmoor) or a journalist would have made the link and written a sensationalist article about it. Hawksmoor's disintegrating mental health was obvious to all his colleagues and I'm sure that he would have been given counselling earlier rather than being allowed to spiral downwards into depression with the investigation going to wrack and ruin. I did enjoy it, but I would have liked a clearer ending. I had to read the last couple of chapters again as I got so mixed up while trying to write this review. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cynthia | 1/28/2014

    " A structurally complicated historical novel despite being only 217 pp. Nicholas Dyer, early 18th century architect, practitioner of the dark arts and murderer reaches out through time to modern London creating "Terrour" leaving corpses at the sites of the churches he designed. Time is particularly out of joint and the "shaddowes" of the fear and irrationality he believes to be stronger than sense and reason make themselves felt. In its own quirky and studied way this is a very scary novel. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sarah Harkness | 1/14/2014

    " Such a brilliant idea, but ran out of steam? "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sarahlizp | 1/12/2014

    " So the blurb on the back of the book had almost zero to do with the plot, which involves the Plague and the Great Fire of London, and an 18th century Satan-worshiping church builder who sacrifices children, and mysterious present day murders at those churches which may or may not be being perpetrated by a ghost... it's a deeply weird book. It's also one of those books that was clearly written for other writers. He's put together the narrative like a piece of old-fashioned clockwork, and it's breathtaking stuff. Motifs, names, events, character's gestures, they all keep clicking and whirring around and around each other, cog and teeth fitting so seamlessly it makes you feel all liquidy inside. This book also had some of the most gorgeous lines of any I've recently read. "Anxiety was, for her, a form of prayer." Oh so perfect. Which is why at the end I threw the book across the room. It had been such a perfect read until the last two chapters when... nothing happened. The characters just did one more rotation and the mechanism wound down. No real climax, no resolution, I'm not even sure what the hell happened, to be honest. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Laurie | 1/8/2014

    " This book was inventive and strange, strange, strange. I just couldn't get excited by it though. I still love Peter Ackroyd, he's so evocative! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Garret | 1/4/2014

    " Very interesting but not very involving. Character development weak. The old english is interesting but these sections are rather plodding. The modern sections are weak in plot and action. Comes off as an exercise that wasn't flushed out. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Erin | 12/30/2013

    " I liked how moments from one story were echoed in the other, but at times (especially in the Dyer story), the language makes the story too difficult to follow. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Kate | 12/26/2013

    " Oh dear lord, this was awful! Words cannot express the awfulness of this book, just as they could not express the plot or any character development. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 dana | 12/25/2013

    " F*in Amazing!!! Grab From Hell and Drood to read all three together! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Chris S | 10/24/2013

    " It was OK, couldn't get into it. I preffered the old London/Hawsmoor storyline rather than the parallel contemporary detective story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Anna | 10/20/2013

    " A novel that celebrates the mysterious corners of dark London and the interplay between history and the present. Beautiful language and great use of perspective. Simply wonderful. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jenny | 10/10/2013

    " It gets 4 stars now, but I think I'll pick it up and re-read it when it gets a little colder, and it might get a fifth star then. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Richard | 9/14/2013

    " A well-constructed and cleverly written book, with a quite odd, but gripping plot. Ackroyd really knows his London, and it shows. Classy. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Mieczyslaw Kasprzyk | 9/12/2013

    " There was something very false about the whole book - over dramatic, convoluted... I can't say, but I didn't really enjoy it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Corey | 9/3/2013

    " After reading two mediocre novels in a row I turned to Peter Ackroyd, who never disappoints me. "

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

    " Opinando un poco, solo un poco. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Marie | 10/26/2011

    " Decided to abandon this one, at least for the time being - life is too short to force your way through a book you're not enjoying! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Jim | 8/23/2011

    " I give Hawksmoor one star for an interesting story line, but reading this novel is not worth the effort. Much of it is a narrative written in 18th century english. Every sentence is a struggle and the story is incomprehensible. Fortunately, it was only about 200 pages. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Christopher | 6/28/2011

    " An immensely chilling little book. A haunting ghost story made most effective not by temporal shifts so much as temporal seepage. Ackroyd nearly creates a literal palimpsest. Might eventually bump it up to five stars. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Mieczyslaw | 1/22/2011

    " There was something very false about the whole book - over dramatic, convoluted... I can't say, but I didn't really enjoy it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Notme | 1/22/2011

    " Dark and not easy tale of parallels and slow descent into madness. Worth the trouble, but maybe read by me at the wrong moment. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Coren | 12/11/2010

    " Ackroyd is one of those rare authors who can write imaginative fiction as well as factual books based on sound in-depth research. His knowledge of time and place is outstanding and probably why the characters have such life. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Richard | 7/25/2010

    " A well-constructed and cleverly written book, with a quite odd, but gripping plot. Ackroyd really knows his London, and it shows. Classy. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 dana | 6/18/2010

    " F*in Amazing!!! Grab From Hell and Drood to read all three together! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Steve | 2/26/2010

    " This mired itself in the complexity of language used, and left little opportunity to establish any hold on the reader. "

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About the Author
Author Peter AckroydPeter Ackroyd is the author of biographies of Dickens, Blake, and Thomas More, and of the bestselling London: The Biography. He has won the Whitbread Book Award for Biography, the Royal Society of Literature’s William Heinemann Award, the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, The Guardian Fiction prize, the Somerset Maugham Award, and the South Bank Award for Literature. He lives in London.
About the Narrator

Sir Derek Jacobi has had a long and distinguished career. He has toured in Becket and Uncle Vanya, and he received a Tony Award for his performance as Benedick in the RSC’s production of Much Ado about Nothing. His work in television includes the lead roles in Cadfael and I, Claudius, and his film credits include Henry V, Gosford Park, and Hamlet. His narrations have won him multiple Audiofile Earphones Awards.