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Extended Audio Sample Mr. Chartwell: A Novel, by Rebecca Hunt Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (997 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Rebecca Hunt Narrator: Susan Duerden Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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July 1964. Chartwell House, Kent: Winston Churchill wakes at dawn. There’s a dark, mute “presence” in the room that focuses on him with rapt concentration.

It’s Mr. Chartwell.

Soon after, in London, Esther Hammerhans, a librarian at the House of Commons, goes to answer the door to her new lodger. Through the glass she sees a vast silhouette the size of a mattress.

It’s Mr. Chartwell.

Charismatic, dangerously seductive, Mr. Chartwell unites the eminent statesman at the end of his career and the vulnerable young woman. But can they withstand Mr. Chartwell’s strange, powerful charms and his stranglehold on their lives? Can they even explain who or what he is and why he has come to visit?

In this utterly original, moving, funny, and exuberant novel, Rebecca Hunt explores how two unlikely lives collide as Mr. Chartwell’s motives are revealed to be far darker and deeper than they at first seem.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A marvelously original, tender and funny debut novel…Rebecca Hunt proves herself to be a gifted writer who has no need of fictional realism to deliver profound truths.”

    Daily Mail

  • “Extraordinary…Owing to Hunt’s robust, intelligent style and the ingenuity and compassion with which she deals with her story.”

    Daily Telegraph

  • “Please, willingly suspend disbelief and allow Hunt’s vivid imagination to take you on this exuberant funhouse ride.”

    Library Journal (starred review)

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Constance | 2/18/2014

    " The premise of this book was clever, based on Winston Churchill's metaphor for depression as a big black dog, and the character of Mr. Chartwell well-thought-out and humorous. Unfortunately, it didn't quite fit for me with how depression feels, and for that reason it didn't work for me as a full-length novel. I was unable to finish. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Jessie | 2/3/2014

    " Both charming and unsettling, this novel pits manners against mores, depression against chutzpah, in the persona of Mr. Chartwell, the dreadful and comical guest who "dogs" the steps of his landlady in Churchill's Britain. The author blends metaphor, history and fiction with wit and grace. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by K | 1/13/2014

    " "You are a dark star in the constellation which forms me. And to fight against you is to try and fight the stars in the enternal firmament." so says churchill to black pat, the huge, black dog that exemplifies his depression...and who becomes a temporary lodger of esther, a young widow...a great premise that was fascinating to me but in the end, i was bored. and a little confused. i think hunt does a really good job of personifying depression...i very much identified with black pat/mr. chartwell...and i enjoyed the interplay between him and churchill. i found esther to be a bit underdeveloped. still, worth reading if only for the images...the finely detailed and original rendering of depression. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Hannah | 1/5/2014

    " This book is so weird, in the best way possible. The whole idea is crazy, and I didn't think I'd like it that much, to be honest, just because it sounded so out there. But I'm so glad I gave it a try - it totally works! The writing is great, making this weird, impossible stuff somehow seem possible, and making this a very entertaining, surprisingly lighthearted read. "

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