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Extended Audio Sample Stones Fall: A Novel Audiobook, by Iain Pears Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (2,813 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Iain Pears Narrator: Roy Dotrice, John Lee, Simon Vance Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2009 ISBN: 9780739354384
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A return to the form that launched Iain Pears onto bestseller lists around the world: a vast historical mystery, marvelous in its ambition and ingenius in its complexity.

In his most dazzling novel since the groundbreaking New York Times bestseller An Instance of the Fingerpost, Iain Pears tells the story of John Stone, financier and arms dealer, a man so wealthy that in the years before World War One he was able to manipulate markets, industries, and indeed entire countries and continents.

A panoramic novel with a riveting mystery at its heart, Stone’s Fall is a quest to discover how and why John Stone dies, falling out of a window at his London home.

Chronologically, it moves backwards–from London in 1909 to Paris in 1890, and finally to Venice in 1867– and in the process the quest to uncover the truth plays out against the backdrop of the evolution of high-stakes international finance, Europe’s first great age of espionage, and the start of the twentieth century’s arms race.

Like Fingerpost, Stone’s Fall is an intricately plotted and richly satisfying puzzle–an erudite work of history and fiction that feels utterly true and oddly timely–and marks the triumphant return of one of the world’s great storytellers.


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Quotes & Awards

  • When I read Iain Pears' An Instance of the Fingerpost years ago, I thought it was so brilliantly plotted, so compulsively entertaining, so utterly engrossing that I gave it to my father and said, 'This is the new Dickens.' Stone's Fall is better. Malcolm Gladwell
  • Mr. Pears’s assured command of period history, language, lore, and attitudes is formidable. The Wall Street Journal

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Claire Haeg | 2/19/2014

    " Rivaling AS Byatt's "Still Life" as one of the best books I've read this year. This is a lengthy tome, well plotted and well written. You can't ask for more than that! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Beve | 1/8/2014

    " Although an interesting read, the author goes about telling the story in a roundabout way which cause tedium--some parts a reveting and others not. The ending is quite a surprise! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mariann | 12/20/2013

    " Intricate plot, interesting characters. A little too complicated, but it kept me reading to the very end. Not predictable at all. If you like mysteries, this is one with an economic/financial espionnage slant. Kind of reminded me of the Olin Steinhauer book I read recently. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Tim | 12/10/2013

    " Unless highly interesting and this is not. Unless done properly and this is not. Moving a story backwards in time is not beneficial for action seekers. 2 of 10 stars "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 David | 12/9/2013

    " Awesome story: historical financial thriller. Ponder that phrase and try not to get bored... but really, this book kept me up nights reading. Told in 3 parts, moving back in time, each section sheds light on the earlier sections which come later in time. Disorienting at first, but incredible literary technique here is on display. Builds and builds with great intermediate and tremendous final climax. I might actually read this again, which is rare for me. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Gwen | 11/21/2013

    " I have read everything (I think) that Iain Pears has written and I will probably keep on reading his work. This was a long read for me (high finance and espionage are not high interest topics) but the ending was so very satisfying. I am going to go back and read the Instance of the Fingerpost, again - "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jeff | 11/16/2013

    " Very readable. Not up to Instance of the Fingerpost, but less obtuse than Dream of Scipio. The story is inticately plotted and the reader often returns to passages in the book to refresh and remind them of facts intitially not totally understood until more facts emerge. Three different narators, progressively going back in time from London 1910, to Paris, 1890 and Vienna 1867, slowly unravel the mystery of how wealthy arms financier John Stone hppened to fall out to his death out of his study window. Sometimes the narrators speak too much with the same voice, but this is a minor distraction to an otherwise engaging read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Arlene | 11/6/2013

    " I had a hard time getting through this one. I found parts of it interesting, and perhaps it was that I was traveling when reading it, so my attention wasn't riveted on the book. It was an interesting concept, though, with some unexpected twists. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lorraine | 11/6/2013

    " The overall story was good. It did king of drag in parts and by the end I was wondering when it would get to the point. But ... then ending was good and brought it full circle. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Laurel | 9/25/2013

    " Outstanding historical mystery. If you like Sarah Waters and/or Neal Stephenson, I highly recommend it. And I learned more about the 19th-century British financial system to boot! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jvigran | 9/16/2013

    " Loved it. A great summer read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Edward | 7/16/2013

    " This is a great historical mystery adventure. It is as good as I have read "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Grant Sollenberger | 7/9/2013

    " Whoa, an incredible book with an intriguing plot and story. Captivating to the last page. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Roshni | 6/17/2013

    " Similar to Instance of the Fingerpost, fantastic mystery with multiple perspectives, complex and satisfying "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kathleen | 5/31/2013

    " It was good till the end. Very week ending. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kyra | 11/17/2012

    " Entertaining. Satisfyingly complex, but not enthralling. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lindsay | 10/23/2012

    " Interesting historical murder-mystery that works backwards in time. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Candie | 10/4/2012

    " another masterful book by Iain Pears. As with Instance of the Fingerpost he provides different character's perspectives on the same story. Superb historical settings. Page turner. The mystery isn't revealed until the next to last page at which point he ties it all in a SURPRISE bow. Awesome. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sarah Sharp | 7/7/2012

    " I really liked it. Nor sure why. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alisa | 5/23/2012

    " Quite a read: a richly detailed historical fiction/mystery with an interesting structure and an immaculately conceived plot. Not a quick read, but a rewarding one. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lee White | 5/8/2012

    " I am hooked. Just hooked. It is not a compulsive read but it is very compelling. What happened to John Stone and who is he? We know his wife is nutz.... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Roxanne | 7/8/2011

    " This was an exceptional read!! Nearly better than Instance of a Fingerpost. Pears is a talented writer; the three perspectives build from beginning to end and never miss a beat. I must read! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jessica | 4/27/2011

    " I really had some serious issues with the end. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dee | 4/23/2011

    " I read it for a book group. I found it heavy going. It was very convoluted and there were not many people to like or admire. The bit about how easy it would have been to demolish the English banking system was pretty frightening. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jessica | 4/3/2011

    " 3.5 stars. Slow at points, but worth it at the end. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ann | 3/29/2011

    " Tale of intrigue, finance, romance, & history set in London, France, and Venice in 1909, the 1890’s, and 1867. Expertly narrated by three British voices.
    "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lee | 3/19/2011

    " I am hooked. Just hooked. It is not a compulsive read but it is very compelling. What happened to John Stone and who is he? We know his wife is nutz.... "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kathleen | 3/17/2011

    " It was good till the end. Very week ending. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nancy | 3/11/2011

    " A good, if somewhat convoluted story, well written. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Becky | 3/9/2011

    " I listened to the audiobook, which might have changed my perspective, as it was read very well. Not in my usual genres, but drew me in quickly. Fun and interesting read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sidney | 3/3/2011

    " Pretty good. A similar form to Fingerpost. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Heather | 3/2/2011

    " Interesting, but not extremely engaging. Yes, the plot twists. However, took me 3 months to listen to in CD form in the car (18 discs), meaning that it didn't compel me to avidly continue listening. The 2nd of the three narrators was quite dull to listen to. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mmorelock3 | 2/27/2011

    " Enjoyed it. The rise and fall of a business (history repeats itself) along with inter-woven relationships. Holly - wonder if you will figure it out before i did (about 3/4 of way through0?
    "

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About the Author
Author Iain Pears

Iain Pears is a journalist and art historian with a doctorate in art history from Oxford. He is the author of numerous works, including seven detective novels in the Jonathan Argyll series, a book of art history, and the New York Times bestselling historical novel An Instance of the Fingerpost. He lives in Oxford, England.

About the Narrators

Roy Dotrice is a Tony Award–winning actor best known for his Broadway performance in the revival of A Moon for the Misbegotten. He studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art before producing and directing some three hundred stage plays. In 1957, he joined the Shakespeare Memorial Theater, an experience that brought him opportunities in radio, film, television, and numerous Broadway productions.

John Lee, a stage actor and writer and a coproducer of feature films, has narrated more than one hundred audiobooks of every conceivable genre, earning some three dozen Earphones Awards and the prestigious Audie Award.

Simon Vance (a.k.a. Robert Whitfield) is an award-winning actor and an AudioFile Golden Voice with over forty Earphones Awards. He has won thirteen prestigious Audie Awards and was Booklist’s very first Voice of Choice in 2008. He has narrated more than eight hundred audiobooks over almost thirty years, beginning when he was a radio newsreader for the BBC in London.