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Download The Black Tower Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Black Tower Audiobook, by Louis Bayard
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,754 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Louis Bayard Narrator: Simon Vance Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2017 ISBN: 9781538464038
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From the acclaimed author of The Pale Blue Eye, this literary thriller features Eugène Vidocq, a criminal who transformed himself into the world’s first and greatest detective.

After the execution of Marie Antoinette and King Louis XVI and the death of their son, the Dauphin, the Bourbon monarchy has at last been restored. Dr. Hector Carpentier leads a very quiet life, until he meets legendary police officer Vidocq, who has used his mastery of disguise and surveillance and his extensive knowledge of the Parisian underworld to capture some of the most notorious and elusive criminals. Now with the help of Carpentier, Vidocq may prove that the Dauphin lives, which could change the course of history.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Another tour de force, an intense and gripping novel…This beautifully crafted thriller stands head and shoulders above other recent efforts to fictionalize Poe.”

    Publishers Weekly on The Pale Blue Eye (starred review)

  • “A compelling and sympathetic narrator instantly draws the reader into Bayard’s stellar third historical…Bayard keeps the reader guessing until the end…Few writers today can match the author’s skill in devising an intelligent thriller with heart.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Occasionally, a brilliant audio can improve upon the print original. Simon Vance’s skillful enactment of a cast the size of Balzac’s The Human Comedy is a joy…Most amazing is Vance’s portrayal of Vidocq, a criminal turned police inspector. A master of masquerade, Vidocq takes on many disguises, complemented here by unique voices. When uncloaked, Vance returns Vidocq to his natural speech…The pace is perfect, as Vance skillfully swirls the reader through a complex Restoration plot that is sure to please.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review for audio)

  • “Bayard has been making a name for himself as a gifted writer of historical mysteries. This superb novel just might prompt more widespread acclaim…In addition to many fine, quirky character portraits and the visceral depiction of a chaotic France still reeling under the regime change, Bayard offers a rip-roaring plot full of smart and funny turns.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “Bayard’s ably written historical whodunit fills in the blanks of a timeless mystery…A brilliant example of the genre…Simon Vance intuitively understands the fun of this enterprise and attacks the narration with a headlong relish, voicing a cavalcade of characters from all strata of nineteenth-century Paris—from duchesses and marquis to thieves and prostitutes. Best of all is his portrayal of the fearsome Eugene Vidocq.”

    AudioFile

  • A 2008 Christian Science Monitor Book of the Year for Fiction
  • Selected for the September 2008 Indie Next List

Listener Opinions

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

    " This book started off kind of slow, but picked up a lot of speed at the end. It had a lot of twists and turns in the last little bit that made it all worth while. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Wanda | 1/6/2014

    " Good book. The writing is smooth and easy to read. I wish I knew more about the background of the story to know the truth of this author's rendition. But, I can tell you this - there are enough red herrings in this story to keep you guessing until the very end. Read this book - you won't regret having done so. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Charles Robbins | 12/15/2013

    " Masterful historical fiction, with language that still resonates, more than a year after reading. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cheryl | 12/9/2013

    " Paris, after the Revolution, after Napoleon. Vidocq, once a master criminal, now a master detective. The Dauphin, son of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, dead? or alive? This one is an inventive, atmospheric and engaging read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Melissa | 12/7/2013

    " A compelling mystery about the ultimate fate of the young Dauphin after the Revolution; one can't help but love the hapless Charles. Still, it got kind of weird at the end and I'm still not sure what happened. Granted, that was probably the author's intent, but it makes for a less-than-satisfying conclusion. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kathi | 12/6/2013

    " This book was great - suspense until the very end! And still left you with more questions. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Becca | 11/28/2013

    " I found the 19th century murder mystery quite interesting from an anthropological sense as it portrayed daily life. "

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

    " Solid historical mystery with a great sense of time and place (18th century France). It reminded me a bit of Caleb Carr, only faster-paced and with more humor. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Desta | 11/3/2013

    " I am giving the audiobook version 5 stars. The story was okay, but the performance was incredible. If you've never listed to an audiobook, I would recommend this as one to begin with...but then again, it might be setting the bar too high for the rest. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laura | 10/24/2013

    " A fun, early Victorian murder mystery. Interesting look at how the French Revolution affected the people who survived, including members of the royal family. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Joan | 9/25/2013

    " Quite a nice book with several real characters, including a well-drawn Vidocq, acknowledged by many as the first police detective. A wonderful picture of Paris in 1818 and a good mystery. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alice | 9/18/2013

    " Interesting take on the "lost" Dauphin. The ending was a little outlandish, but overall a good glimpse into post-Revolutionary France. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Alyssa | 8/26/2013

    " I love historical fiction and Bayard does a fabulous job taking you straight to Restoration France. Some parts a little graphic for me, but I love the air of Poe--I need to read Pale Blue Eye next. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kivrin | 7/16/2013

    " This was another good one from Bayard. Liked the characters, the action, the mystery. I think I was expecting MORE of a twist somewhere down the line, but overall I really enjoyed it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dana | 5/6/2013

    " Very good yarn, historical mystery. Paris "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Paula | 5/4/2013

    " I'm not much of a mystery reader, but I do enjoy Bayard's books--his characters are so well done. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Manda | 12/27/2012

    " This one kept me reading just to see what was going to happen next. It's a pretty interesting fictional alternative history, but there were one or two pretty big anachronistic flaws that took me out of the story that a pre-publication read-through by a good historian would have caught. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kathryn | 10/1/2012

    " I was expecting more of a mystery but this was quite entertaining as far as historical fiction goes. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Viv | 5/11/2012

    " Fantastic historical fiction, really a great period piece quite aside from the compelling character study of Vidocq, the first "plain-clothes" policeman in France, founder of the Surete' and former criminal himself. With tie-ins to the French Revolution and a mystery within the mystery. Great read! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Aaron Krebs | 2/21/2012

    " Another excellent read by Bayard. Only the slightest of failed contrivances would have me dock it about a quarter of a star but I'm happy to round up because it's a really easy read, and dunks you into the period very comfortably. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Vince | 12/12/2011

    " A good period detective story with great characterizations and a lot of tongue-in-cheek humor to boot. A nice twist at the end. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lee | 9/20/2011

    " Another excellent historical novel by Louis Bayard. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Whitney | 7/25/2011

    " I had a hard time getting in to this... I think I might have liked it more if I had read it on the page instead of listening to it. Hmm. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sergey | 5/2/2011

    " Enjoyed this one less than I had expected. Vidocq was annoying and seemed out of place with the plot; would have enjoyed it more, I think, had he not pictured in the story at all. The plot was all right, but not all together inspiring. Good translation, though. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Paula | 4/6/2011

    " I'm not much of a mystery reader, but I do enjoy Bayard's books--his characters are so well done. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sarah "Kat" | 3/28/2011

    " Really enjoyed this author's style and the images of the day, 1818 Paris, were very visual. Good story even to the end, kept you thinking and guessing. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Donna | 3/27/2011

    " finished book in a week,a very easy read since author's approach is almost breezy. Enjoyed the historical aspect and recommend it highly "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kristen | 3/15/2011

    " I liked this for Vidocq and the setting, but found the plot implausible and the protagonist (a sort-of doctor) wishy-washy and weak. It kept my attention through the historic inaccuracies mostly though luck. Not sure I would read this author again. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kariss | 3/13/2011

    " The French Revolution / another view "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Alyssa | 2/24/2011

    " I love historical fiction and Bayard does a fabulous job taking you straight to Restoration France. Some parts a little graphic for me, but I love the air of Poe--I need to read Pale Blue Eye next. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jacksonjh | 2/18/2011

    " Search by a former criminal turned super police officer and a doctor in training for the Dauphin of France a few years after the execution of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette during the French Revolution. Very well written. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mary Ann | 11/8/2010

    " Don't know that many details of French History, but I thought it was an interesting and sly read "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nate | 11/7/2010

    " gripping historical mystery about the Bourbon's right after the revolution when France reinstated the royal family. "

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About the Author
Author Louis Bayard

Louis Bayard is a critically acclaimed novelist, reviewer, and journalist who has written for the New York Times, Washington Post, Salon.com, Ms., Nerve.com, and the Washington, D.C., City Paper. He is the author of The Pale Blue Eye and of Mr. Timothy, a New York Times Notable Book and one of People magazine’s ten best books of 2003. He lives in Washington, D.C., with his partner and two sons.

About the Narrator

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.