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Download The Beacon Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample The Beacon (Unabridged) Audiobook, by Susan Hill
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (236 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Susan Hill Narrator: Maggie Ollerenshaw Publisher: AudioGO Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2011 ISBN:
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The Prime children grew up in a bleak North Country farmhouse called the Beacon. Colin married and went to work on a neighbouring farm. Bernice married locally, too. May stayed behind at the Beacon, the spinster daughter looking after ageing parents. And then there was Frank, Frank who was always watching.

Frank was the one who got away. He left for London and Fleet Street, but journalism was not enough. Frank wanted fame and money... and he got them, by writing about his old home, his family, his past - as he remembers it...

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Listener Opinions

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Lisa | 2/12/2014

    " Couldn't get on with it all. had to abandon it! :( "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Suzanne Cole | 2/6/2014

    " ike most readers I was familiar with Susan Hill's work as a crime and ghost story writer and there I was intrigued by the Beacon mainly due to the contrast between this book and her previous works. I read the whole story in one evening,partly because the entire book is only 150 pages, but also because I found the story so unexpectedly absorbing. It is structured in a similar fashion to Hill's short ghost novel 'The Man In The Picture', Jumping between one event occurring in the present and various incidents in the family's history leading up to that point, so always keeping an element of suspense. The overall tone of the book is undoubtedly sad and deals with the ideas of missed opportunities, wasted potential and personal sacrifice. It is also examines how a family can co exist together and never truly know or understand each other despite an unspoken emotional attachment. I found the protagonist, May Prime, sympathetic if somewhat distant but completely human and undeserving of the life she has lead since early events at the Beacon. The other Prime siblings I felt were also warm characters except for Frank whose betrayal is hinted at until it is revealed. The most powerful effect that the book had on me was to cast a seed of doubt over certain real life biographies which are published every year and often become best sellers. The Beacon reminds us that behind every story and headline there are real people whose lives are can be drastically altered by the media and the publics' thirst for scandal . "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Elizabeth Harty | 1/16/2014

    " Beautifully written, loved the suspense. Highly recommended. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Linda K K | 1/15/2014

    " Puzzling story about a family with 4 children with one of them committing a terrible tragedy of untruth against the others. Story moves back and forth from early times to older and is compelling in the way it takes your mind in various thought patterns. Outcome is surprising and left me confused. Author writes with skill and picks the reader up on her train of thought for a good ride. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sarah | 12/28/2013

    " also recommended; her Simon Serailler mysteries "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Chris Stanley | 12/23/2013

    " This story didn't live up to what I expect from a Susan Hill book. Despite being a short, easy read, it really didn't seem to go any further than you already knew or guessed from the cover blurb. The writing itself was excellent as always, but I reached the end and wondered why I'd bothered. It won't put me off reading books by Susan Hill though! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mary-Anne | 12/8/2013

    " bit dark, good though. Good idea for a book. The narrator took the sombre tone a bit too seriously though - soporific. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sue | 11/13/2013

    " Short story with not a word wasted. She is a master of building up suspense using the very minimum. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Christopher | 10/20/2013

    " A short but absolutely brilliant book. A subtle and atmospheric story which leaves many questions unanswered but that only makes it all the more thought-provoking. An excellent choice for a book club. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lynsey | 9/22/2013

    " Brilliant, Susan Hill just gets better with every book! Subtle undercurrents of the gothic, compelling family drama that leaves you with more intriguing questions than answers- just the way I like it! :D "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Astrid | 11/19/2012

    " And where was the plot line in this book? "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Birgit Alsinger | 5/20/2012

    " Wanted to give it four stars but found it rather weak in the buliding of characters "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Lucy Yaschenko | 4/29/2012

    " I didn't enjoy this book at all. The writing was good, but the story itself went nowhere & just left me depressed and with more questions than I had in the beginning. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Annie | 4/9/2012

    " Dark! Like her writing very much. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jo | 3/2/2012

    " Saved by some beautiful prose, otherwise I'd have only given this one star "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lynda Edward | 2/18/2012

    " Less is more "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Matthew White | 8/23/2011

    " One of the blandest books ever penned. Thankfully, it's ludicrously short so it won't waste too much of your time. The most attractive feature of this novella is the pretty cover, which gets a gold star! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kirsty | 7/2/2011

    " Takes about 2/3 of the book to get going, but when it does it's a lovely and sad depiction of wasted lives. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Beverley Link | 10/23/2010

    " Ending a bit sudden, and obvious "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Caroline | 8/30/2010

    " Quite a short book, but perfectly written. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Venuskitten | 10/16/2009

    " The death of their mother Bertha at the former family farm (the Beacon) rouses mixed feelings in her four children, Colin, Frank (a successful author), Berenice and May, (who returned home after a year at university in London). "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Renate | 7/31/2009

    " A short book and an easy read. Interesting plot and theme, but the characters lacked some depth. Thought about a two* rating, but the end included a twist that made me think again, the book had more promise than I had recognized upto that point. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sheila | 6/28/2009

    " Yeah, ok, I'm a little scattered right now! I have 3 books going in 3 different genres! All very good... "

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About the Author
Author Susan Hill

Susan Hill, a full-time writer since 1963, has written over forty novels, numerous nonfiction books, novellas, short stories, and several books for children. In addition to her writing, she edits short-story compilations, writes a monthly column for the Daily Telegraph, and runs a literary magazine, Books and Company. She has also formed a publishing company, Long Barn Books, inspired by her lifelong admiration for Virginia Woolf and the Hogarth Press. She was a finalist for the Man Booker Prize and has won the Whitbread, Somerset Maugham, and John Llewellyn Rhys awards for her adult novels, as well as the Smarties Prize for a children’s book.

About the Narrator

Maggie Ollerenshaw’s theater work is extensive, ranging from several Alan Ayckbourn roles, to Martha in Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Similarly, her many television credits cover Open All Hours and The House of Eliott, to a BAFTA nomination for her performance in Last of the Summer Wine. She has written for radio and has written and performed a one-woman musical play about Vera Lynn titled Yours Sincerely.