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Extended Audio Sample Smoke: A Novel Audiobook, by Dan Vyleta Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Dan Vyleta Narrator: Allan Corduner Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2016 ISBN: 9780735206755
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“The laws of Smoke are complex. Not every lie will trigger it. A fleeting thought of evil may pass unseen; a fib, an excuse, a piece of flattery. Next thing you know its smell is in your nose. There is no more hateful smell in the world than the smell of Smoke.”

England. A century ago, give or take a few years.

An England where people who are wicked in thought or deed are marked by the Smoke that pours forth from their bodies, a sign of their fallen state. The aristocracy do not smoke, proof of their virtue and right to rule, while the lower classes are drenched in sin and soot. An England utterly strange and utterly real.

An elite boarding school where the sons of the wealthy are groomed to take power as their birthright. Teachers with mysterious ties to warring political factions at the highest levels of government. Three young people who learn everything they’ve been taught is a lie—knowledge that could cost them their lives. A grand estate where secrets lurk in attic rooms and hidden laboratories. A love triangle. A desperate chase. Revolutionaries and secret police. Religious fanatics and coldhearted scientists. Murder. A London filled with danger and wonder. A tortured relationship between a mother and a daughter, and a mother and a son. Unexpected villains and unexpected heroes. Cool reason versus passion. Rich versus poor. Right versus wrong, though which is which isn’t clear.

This is the world of Smoke, a narrative tour de force, a tale of Dickensian intricacy and ferocious imaginative power, richly atmospheric and intensely suspenseful.

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Quotes & Awards

  • Dan Vyleta has conjured a rich and surprising counter-history, an England saturated with a substance so potent and evocative it vaults instantly into the pantheon that includes the Dust of Philip Pullman, the soma of George Orwell, and the opium of Amitavh Ghosh. Smoke is enthralling. Robin Sloan, bestselling author of Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore
  • Smoke is one of the most original and enthralling books I have read in a long time. I was immediately sucked in and then mesmerized enough that I read it in a rush. I think the book is absolutely stunning. I’ve told so many people about it, I feel like I should carry a bag of galleys around with me to hand out. I’ve refined my elevator pitch to: ‘Smoke is an addictive combination of thriller, fantasy, and historical novel, with a dash of horror. It’s chilling and complex and amazingly imaginative.’ Marilyn Dahl, Shelf Awareness
  • Astonishing . . . It's filling in that gaping hole left by both Harry Potter and Philip Pullman's Northern Lights. Yes, really. Stylist
  • Dan Vyleta writes with intricacy and imagination and skillful pacing; never once would I have considered putting his book down. In the manner of both a Dickens novel and the best young adult adventure stories (the Harry Potter series among them), the children run away together to uncover the dark secrets of the grown-up world . . .his ending, which I wouldn’t dare reveal here, is a real firecracker, and the lessons Mr. Vyleta wishes to impart are largehearted Jennifer Senior, The New York Times
  • Vyleta's Gothic YA fantasy is part Dickens, part dystopia and totally immersive; a book as eerie and atmospheric as its sooty muse. Entertainment Weekly's "Best Books of 2016 so far..."
  • [S]tunningly inventive. O Magazine's Summer Reading Guide 
  • Compelling…a gloriously murky vision of the past. . . .[D]eliriously imagined. . . . Elusive and nebulous, this gas-lamp fantasy at time borders on steampunk through the grimy lens of a dystopian past. NPR.org
  • “Stunningly inventive.”

    O, The Oprah Magazine

  • Vyleta has woven a powerful fictional spell, creating both an entire world (as believable as it is incredible) and a richly crafted cast of characters. It’s a unique and unforgettable reading experience. National Post (Canada)
  • A fiercely inventive novel . . . Vyleta’s bold concept and compelling blend of history and fantasy offer a provocative reflection on the nature of evil, power, believe, and love. Dickensian in its imaginative scope and atmosphere. Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) 
  • [T]he novel's sumptuous, irresistible narrative—filled with plenty of twists and turns and imagination—will satisfy any reader. A terrific, suspenseful tale. Kirkus
  • Is it natural to think ‘bad’ thoughts, and if so, does that make it OK? Do people behave morally out of true goodness? Full of otherworldly adventure yet chilling in its realism, Smoke lures readers into considering these questions about society and ourselves. Booklist (starred review)
  • “Vyleta’s Gothic YA fantasy is part Dickens, part dystopia, and totally immersive; a book as eerie and atmospheric as its sooty muse.”

    Entertainment Weekly

  • “Vyleta writes…in the manner of both a Dickens novel and the best young-adult adventure stories…His ending, which I wouldn’t dare reveal here, is a real firecracker.”

    New York Times

  • “Vyleta has woven a powerful fictional spell, creating both an entire world (as believable as it is incredible) and a richly crafted cast of characters. It’s a unique and unforgettable reading experience.”

    National Post (Canada)

  • “A fiercely inventive novel…Vyleta’s bold concept and compelling blend of history and fantasy offer a provocative reflection on the nature of evil, power, believe, and love. Dickensian in its imaginative scope and atmosphere.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Full of otherworldly adventure yet chilling in its realism, Smoke lures readers into considering these questions about society and ourselves.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “Narrator Allan Corduner squeezes every ounce of emotion from every one of the many characters he embodies in this Dickensian dystopian fantasy…Corduner makes the fantastic believable, managing a dizzying array of voices and sounding like everyone all at once. Vyleta’s exciting, inventive tale is made mesmerizing by Corduner’s remarkable performance. Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award.”

    AudioFile

  • A May 2016 LibraryReads Pick
  • An O Magazine Pick for Summer Reading, 2016
  • Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award
  • Entertainment Weekly Pick
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About the Author

Dan Vyleta is the son of Czech refugees who emigrated to Germany in the late 1960s. He holds a PhD in history from King’s College, Cambridge. Vyleta is the author of several novels, including Pavel & I; The Quiet Twin, which was shortlisted for the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize; and The Crooked Maid, which was a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and won the J. I. Segal Award. An inveterate migrant, Vyleta has lived in Germany, Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom. He currently resides in Stratford-upon-Avon in England.

About the Narrator

Allan Corduner is a voice, film, and theater actor who has worked in London’s West End and on Broadway. He is the winner of five AudioFile Earphones Awards. He has also appeared in several BBC Radio 4 plays, including The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui and Insignificance. His narration includes The Book Thief by Markus Zusak and Garth Nix’s Keys to the Kingdom series.