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Extended Audio Sample Portobello Audiobook, by Ruth Rendell Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,136 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Ruth Rendell Narrator: Tim Curry Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2010 ISBN: 9780307877840
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Ruth Rendell is widely considered to be crime fiction’s reigning queen, with a remarkable career spanning more than forty years. Now, in Portobello, she delivers a captivating and intricate tale that weaves together the troubled lives of several people in the gentrified neighborhood of London’s Notting Hill.

Walking to the shops one day, fifty-year-old Eugene Wren discovers an envelope on the street bulging with cash. A man plagued by a shameful addiction—and his own good intentions—Wren hatches a plan to find the money’s rightful owner. Instead of going to the police, or taking the cash for himself, he prints a notice and posts it around Portobello Road. This ill-conceived act creates a chain of events that links Wren to other Londoners—people afflicted with their own obsessions and despairs. As these volatile characters come into Wren’s life—and the life of his trusting fiancée—the consequences will change them all.

Portobello is a wonderfully complex tour de force featuring a dazzling depiction of one of London’s most intriguing neighborhoods—and the dangers beneath its newly posh veneer.

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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Poppy Hall | 2/19/2014

    " an interesting read purely for how brilliantly rendell potrays characters personalities habits and addiction. not much of a plot but still was entertaining. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Melyssa | 2/18/2014

    " Since this book had a blurb by Stephen King on the back I really expected it to be a lot creepier. It is really more about coincidence and the ways people's lives intertwine. "

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

    " Rendell continues to write intricate mysteries. The setting for this one is one of my favorites places in London. Didn't realize so much was going on in the neighborhoods surrounding Portobello Road. How she manages to tie up all the clues and disparate characters to bring the book to an end is impressive. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Daisyaday | 1/25/2014

    " A strange, psychological story about a young man who becomes his imaginary friend- and his family prefer him that way. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Deborah Crowdy | 1/8/2014

    " What a relief! Ruth Rendell is back to her old twisted self. This book is probably the best of her books in the last five years. Unusual characters, each totally separate from the others, and a plot that cleverly ties them together. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Donna Mcnab | 1/4/2014

    " As usual, this Ruth Rendell book has many strange, rather creepy, characters, whose thoughts are sometimes even odder than the characters themselves. I guess that the interesting part is that you would take these characters as being quite different personalities on the surface than what their innermost thoughts prove them to be. It can make for a rather interesting, if uneasy, read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Abby | 1/2/2014

    " Interesting characters; not a satisfying conclusion. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Meera | 1/2/2014

    " Not sure.... started well and I liked the detail about the whole area of London as I'm quite familiar with it, and there was a creepy sense of dread about the whole thing.... but then the suspense really came to nothing, and the neat and tidy ending felt like a bit of a let-down. Also, there was a strangely old-fashioned feel to the whole thing, despite it supposedly being set in present times, it really wasn't very modern. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Elizabeth | 1/1/2014

    " Rendell's thrillers have such an air of inevitability (and often doom). However, this one has a happy ending! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Paulette Heppner | 12/25/2013

    " I like Ruth Rendell in general, but this was not one of my favourites. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ann | 12/10/2013

    " Interesting.... almost too much going on, but like how it all tied together in the end. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Maryellen Woodside | 11/10/2013

    " Ruth Rendell does a great job in getting into the heads of her characters. In Portobello the lives of several characters are uniquely intertwined. You won't be disappointed in it! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 electriclemon | 11/8/2013

    " Amusing, light read with a dark undercurrent. I enjoyed it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 AnnieBebop | 11/7/2013

    " This one is nore in the Barbara Vine mode of psychological thrillers. Maybe she's stopped using that pseudonym now. I don't think it was one of her best, but I did enjoy reading it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jim | 4/11/2013

    " Interesting mix of characters, but more of a study than a story. I've read of relationships ending over impotence, infidelity, boredom, abuse, and myriad other reasons, but never over sugar-free chocolate-orange candy. Sheesh. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Anne | 3/8/2013

    " Not really a mystery, but along those lines. Most of the characters were well drawn (except Gemma, the girlfriend -- she was a bit of a blank to me) and the story was well-paced with some humor. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Keri | 5/1/2012

    " Decent, but more Maeve Binchy-ish and not very mysterious or interesting. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Nicole | 3/29/2012

    " This book was pretty boring. Not even the dulcet tones of Tim Curry could make it interesting. Its just about a boring town outside London. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Nicole | 5/16/2011

    " This book was pretty boring. Not even the dulcet tones of Tim Curry could make it interesting. Its just about a boring town outside London. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Maura | 5/15/2011

    " A pretty good little mystery set a London filled with crime and low lives. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lori | 5/7/2011

    " The character development was a whole lot more interesting (and fascinating for one character) than the plot--that may be the way with most Rendell's. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Gaurett | 4/25/2011

    " I liked the characters but a little creepy at times. I don't know if I would actually visit Portobello Road in London "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pat | 4/10/2011

    " I always think of Rendell as a mystery writer, but this book is much more a book about the characters'
    lives in Portobello Road. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Marzia | 4/8/2011

    " It took a bit of time to get used to Timmy Curry's strange voice. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sarahb. | 4/4/2011

    " What an odd book with weird characters, but a neat story! Takes place in London, in and around Portobello Rd./Market. Many of the places were familiar to me, since we were in London last spring. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Susan | 3/24/2011

    " My first Ruth Rendell novel...not what I expected. I was hoping for more of a mystery. The plot was Dickensian--I kept wondering how each character's story was going to connect to the greater whole. I liked the novel; it just differed from my expectations. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jim | 3/20/2011

    " Interesting mix of characters, but more of a study than a story. I've read of relationships ending over impotence, infidelity, boredom, abuse, and myriad other reasons, but never over sugar-free chocolate-orange candy. Sheesh. "

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About the Author
Author Ruth Rendell

Ruth Rendell (1930–2015) wrote more than sixty novels in a career spanning fifty years. She won numerous awards for her writing, including three Edgars—the highest accolade from Mystery Writers of America—as well as four Gold Daggers and a Diamond Dagger for outstanding contribution to the genre from England’s prestigious Crime Writer’s Association. She was also the winner of the MWA Grand Master Award. A longtime member of the House of Lords, she lived in London.

About the Narrator

Tim Curry has created a rich array of memorable characters for both the screen and stage, most notably the role of the scientist in the Broadway and film versions of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. He’s been nominated for Tony Awards for his roles in My Favorite Year and The Pirates of Penzance. His film credits include Muppet Treasure Island, The Shadow, Clue, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, The Three Musketeers, and many, many more.