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Extended Audio Sample The Blasphemer Audiobook, by Nigel Farndale Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (538 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Nigel Farndale Narrator: Simon Vance Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: August 2010 ISBN: 9781455199464
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This is an astonishing, ambitious, and masterful new novel, with echoes of Robert Graves’s great autobiography Goodbye to All That, that reads at the pace of a thriller.

On its way to the Galápagos Islands, a light aircraft crashes into the sea. Zoologist Daniel Kennedy is confronted with a stark Darwinian choice. Should he save himself or Nancy, the woman he loves? But how can one moment of betrayal ever be forgiven? And after he escapes the plane and swims for help, who is the elusive figure who guides him away from certain death?

Back in London, Daniel thinks he finds the answer; it is connected with his great grandfather and the first horrific day of Passchendaele. But as the past collapses into the present, the fissures in his relationship with Nancy show through, until he is given a second chance to prove his courage and earn her forgiveness. The Blasphemer is a novel that speaks to the head as well as the heart.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “[An] elegant meditation on morality…[Farndale] knows how to tell a terrific story.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Does suspense exceptionally well, and is a book that won’t leave your fingernails intact…a terrifically exciting and thought-provoking must-read.”

    Daily Mail

  • “A fine novel; strange and unforgettable.”

    Times (London)

  • “A fine novel; strange and unforgettable.”

    Times (London)

  • “Beautiful…Farndale’s elegant prose, his storytelling ability and the wise tolerance with which he views...his characters lend his exhilarating novel a tenderly redemptive afterimage.”

    Sunday Telegraph

  • “A great achievement…To take on the First World War as so very many have done and make it fresh is remarkable.”

    Melvyn Bragg, author, broadcaster, and media personality

  • “This perfectly constructed drama explores the moralities around unconditional love and self-preservation. And it also weaves an intricate story of redemption starting in the trenches at Passchendaele and continuing till Britain's current terror threat…storytelling at its best.”

    News of the World

  • “Ignites with an energy that should ensure short-listing in the next Man Booker Prize…Farndale’s evocation of trench warfare surpasses Sebastian Faulks' Birdsong…Of the book’s many accomplishments perhaps the strongest is the writing itself. Exquisite and luminous…Farndale gives a master class in the power of literature to illuminate the physical world and the human soul.”

    The Australian

  • “Love, cowardice and redemption are the themes that stalk Farndale’s beautifully intelligent tale.”

    Daily Mirror

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Doc & Charly | 2/13/2014

    " A good read for no special reason other than it is a good read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 June | 2/5/2014

    " Far too much going on in this book. Too many loose threads at the end. I almost feel like I need to read it a second time. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Andy Mann | 1/31/2014

    " Really enjoyed this. Suggest reading synopsis on amazon for good insight "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lena | 1/23/2014

    " War soldiers,plain crash,evolution,debates about faith and the existence of God,angels(?),human relationships and fight of cowardice.All these you can find in this book.The way so many themes are tied in through the book was brilliant.The characters seemed to me very real.It seemed like a believable story.Well-written.My favorite part was the plain crash and the struggle for survival.Although the book had a lot of unexpected plot twists, it didn't manage to leave you excited and in agony in my opinion.Now that I think about it it seems like a good average book.It didn't blow my mind... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Helen | 1/12/2014

    " Intelligent, thought provoking, page turner. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Khaled Al Jaser | 1/2/2014

    " Story telling at its best. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Eldra | 12/29/2013

    " A wonderful juxtaposition of three generations surrounding the subjects of war, courage, friendship, love. A very insightul novel with beautiful prose. A fantastic book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ellie | 11/23/2013

    " This novel squeezes in a lot of themes - cowardice, love, war, family and religion amongst others, but somehow it all comes together very well and the storylines and characters are very engaging. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Becky | 3/19/2013

    " Stories about several generations of one family cunningly interspaced. From half way I found it hard to put down! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jane Rocks | 8/14/2012

    " Three generations of men, 2 wars with the past blending with today. Fast paced exciting novel. Thoroughly enjoyable. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Susan | 5/25/2012

    " Compelling read, would have liked more "closure" at the end, but I guess the reader has to draw their own conclusion. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gavin Scott | 1/4/2012

    " An excellent storyteller with an interesting tale to tell, lots of ideas about science and religion, a good past/present interface and the ability to make you want to know what happens next. Recommended "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Tom Goelz | 10/20/2011

    " Worthwhile for the references to World War I trenches. Some annoying card board characters and unlikely dynamics. It tried for something in the realm of life mystery but did not seem to make its case in a believable manner. In the end kind of a meh read. "

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

    " I liked parts of this book, but some parts were not that well written and seemed like too easy solutions. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Becky | 3/26/2011

    " Stories about several generations of one family cunningly interspaced. From half way I found it hard to put down! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 J.R. | 3/7/2011

    " Too choppy for my liking. Never quite sure where I was. Liked the overall premise, and really liked Martha. She is the only character with whom I truly connected. Cute kid. Disappointed in the conclusion, however. Or maybe I don't even know how it ends??? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Donna | 2/9/2011

    " I thought this was a well written and well thought out book - wanted to give it 4.5 stars. It was very clever and thought provoking re atheist re believer arguments. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Caithlin | 1/14/2011

    " Plane crash. Shell shock. An angel? "

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About the Author

Nigel Farndale is the author of Haw-Haw: The Tragedy of William and Margaret Joyce, which was shortlisted for the Whitbread Prize and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize. Other published works include a collection of his award-winning interviews. He lives in England on the Hampshire-Sussex border with his wife and their three children.

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.