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Download The Chatham School Affair Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Chatham School Affair Audiobook, by Thomas Cook Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (757 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Thomas Cook Narrator: George Guidall Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: August 2015 ISBN: 9781456125080
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Nominated three times for the Edgar Award, Thomas H. Cook continues to mesmerize readers with novels that combine tales of passion and intrigue with the best in page-turning suspense. Listeners find his pensive, lyrical style irresistible. As lawyer Henry Griswald draws up an aging client’s will, he reflects on a series of events between 1926 and 1927 that shattered the peace of his boyhood community.

Griswald, then a student at the school where his father was headmaster, witnessed a passion that would change him forever. At the heart of Griswald’s reverie lies a mystery only he can solve. What really happened at Black Pond—a tragedy that eventually destroyed five lives? Seeing his boyhood memories through the eyes of experience and age, Griswald relives the emotion-charged chain of events. As he pieces the tantalizing puzzle together, he also pulls the listener into a growing awareness of the terrible consequences of his childish vision.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A seductive book…the key to this mystery lies in the mind of the narrator. The pleasure is finding a new perspective to read that mind.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Henry Griswald, narrator of The Chatham School Affair, holds the key. Using the same dark, brooding tone that permeated Breakheart Hill, Thomas Cook has crafted a disturbing yet entertaining psychological thriller.”

    Amazon.com, editorial review

  • “In this literate, compelling novel, he observes the lives of people doomed to fates beyond their control and imagination…Cook is a marvelous stylist, gracing his prose with splendid observations about people and the lush, potentially lethal landscape surrounding them. Events accelerate with increasing force, but few readers will be prepared for the surprise that awaits at novel’s end. Literary boundaries mean little to Cook; crime fiction is much the better for that.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Cook’s novel takes the form of Henry’s memoir—an attempt to understand what led to tragedy at Black Pond. Like much of Cook’s previous work, it is the story of how our secrets control our destinies. This is a powerful, engaging, and deeply moving novel, highly recommended for all who enjoy well-crafted, genre-bending crime fiction.”

    Booklist

Listener Opinions

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Nikki | 2/18/2014

    " The Chatham School Affair is a psychological suspense novel with the narrator looking back at events that took place fifty or so years previously, when he was a teenager. It is set on Cape Cod. If I had not been reading it as part of my Edgar Best Novels Project, I probably would not have finished it. Not that it was not well written, for it was. But since the story is told in the first person, it is the narrator who is the most fully realized character, and I found him self-centered and impossible to like. The story is certainly unusual and there is quite a bit of philosophizing by several of the characters. Some of their philosophies are better than others. There are many people who like this sort of thing, and to them I can recommend this book. I, however, did not find it edifying and can safely skip Mr. Cook's other books (the edition I read had an opening chapter from a subsequent book and I could tell I wouldn't like that either.) "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jennifer | 2/17/2014

    " Totally awesome book taking place on Cape Cod. A lot of going back and forth about a scandal that took place while the narrator was a teenager. I liked the fact that you had to keep guessing exactly what the "Chatham School Affair" was until the last page! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Julie | 2/16/2014

    " Perhaps I am too new to the mystery genre, but I always expect more of a Sherlock Holmes style or even The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo rendering where the excitement of the mystery is uncovering the clues and piecing them together to find the culprit, or perhaps that is my analytically trained mind that wishes for it. Either way, I found Cook's style of reminiscing and only providing a glimpse of a detail here and there quite maddening. Although I suppose in a way, this also leads you through the clues until you find the final culprit, but it's not as linear and the clues are mostly misinterpreted by the reader up until the very end, yet because the crime is known the entire time it doesn't making it nearly as exciting as a "surprise" ending would be. Not my cup of tea. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jaime | 2/9/2014

    " Suspense. He's a good one. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Theresa Leone Davidson | 2/5/2014

    " A well written novel, absorbing, with a very quiet kind of suspense: what happened on the lake in Chatham? All we know from the beginning is that there were deaths on the lake and a woman goes on trial, facing hanging if found guilty. It was good enough that I finished it in three days but there was one important aspect to the ending I did not like. That's why I gave it four stars instead of five. "

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

    " it was really difficult for me to empathize with the main character who was the narrator so I didn't get as into this book as his other I've read. that being said, I still read it in 3 days. great story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laura | 2/2/2014

    " I read this book because the author of the House at Riverton recommended it at the end of her book. I loved the 1920's time period and the twists during the plot. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Leslie | 2/2/2014

    " Perfect for hours in an airplane...just what I needed. Gripping, interesting, reasonably well written. Maybe a wee too much foreshadowing, but the story of a free-spirited art teacher who comes to a school in a small Cape Cod-area town--as seen through the eyes of the school's headmaster's son, a teenager at the time and an aging lawyer as he narrates the story--kept me interested throughout. Even after the "mystery" is solved--what happened on a particular day and why it happened--the story remains interesting and poignant to the end. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Karen Lowe | 1/25/2014

    " A great storyteller, and a wonderfully poignant story - echoes of 'The Go-Between'. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Catherine Flusche | 1/15/2014

    " I'm not sure how much I like the way Cook writes, but of the three I've "read" so far, this is by far the best. I think there's a corrolation between how linear his narrative is and how much I like the book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kelly Smeeton | 1/5/2014

    " A great book. Briliantly written and it kept you guessing right to the end. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cindy | 12/15/2013

    " Dark writer, but one of the best. I always read whatever he writes "

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

    " An excellent mystery with beautiful writing by Cook..It is more of a literary novel than a hardcore whodunnit,but keeps you in suspense in anticipation of what happens next.. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bözsi Claussen | 12/4/2013

    " I liked this book in many ways. It is well written, has a very interesting narrator, and despite the fact that as I read the book I felt there was no mystery, in fact the mystery is sustained throughout until the end. I would definitely enjoy reading others of Thomas Cook's works. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Diana | 11/26/2013

    " I liked Into the Web better. After I read that book I had a sense of what Cook's writing style was . . . and somewhat predicted the ending of Chatham School Affair. :( "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dixie | 11/12/2013

    " This book seemed very slow. The story interested me enough to continue reading, but just barely. It certainly was not a page turner. I think the ending was supposed to be shocking, but it did not seem so shocking by the time I finally got there. Overall: meh. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ian | 11/10/2013

    " Beautifully written story of an elderly man looking back on the part he played as a young boy in a scandal that rocked a small town in America in the 1920s. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Anand | 5/21/2013

    " loved this book, again the ending shocks you, i don't know how he is able to always come up with a final twist that shocks the reader. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Michael | 2/17/2013

    " Too clever by a half...grew to immensely dislike the fore shadowing. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Trina | 12/12/2012

    " Still undecided. Didn't like all the setup. Maybe it was all the setup, maybe I'm just desensitized, but the something horrible didn't seem all that horrible to me. Maybe it was the very distanced, aloof narrator. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cheryl | 10/29/2012

    " A tragic "victorian" romance. Dark. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lynda | 10/8/2012

    " very slow, but interesting "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lois | 7/7/2012

    " this is one author I have actually travelled far and wide to find books by. His books are addictive. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Margo Lacey | 3/2/2012

    " Great summer read, especially if you are spending the summer in Chatham! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sharon | 10/28/2011

    " Excellent! Beautifully written. Proves there is a difference in writing and literature. Highly recommend. Very different from other Edgard Award winners I have read but worthly of the award. I would give it 5 stars (not sure what happened to the "my rating" section. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Stephanie | 8/14/2011

    " it was really difficult for me to empathize with the main character who was the narrator so I didn't get as into this book as his other I've read. that being said, I still read it in 3 days. great story. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kelly | 8/12/2011

    " A great book. Briliantly written and it kept you guessing right to the end. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ian | 7/29/2011

    " Beautifully written story of an elderly man looking back on the part he played as a young boy in a scandal that rocked a small town in America in the 1920s. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Adithyajones | 7/28/2011

    " An excellent mystery with beautiful writing by Cook..It is more of a literary novel than a hardcore whodunnit,but keeps you in suspense in anticipation of what happens next.. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Heather | 7/18/2011

    " A first rate mystery novel which will leave you hanging till the very end. It's not really a "who done it" type, but rather the author plays you along about what really happened with a young, very attractive teacher at a boys academy. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Tess | 5/28/2011

    " This won an Edgar? Ghastly waste of time and poorly written. Skip it! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carolyn (in SC) C234D | 1/29/2011

    " Read this in 1999. Remember this as being a very good suspense novel, but cannot recall details now. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kathleen | 11/19/2010

    " Exciting mystery. Fun since location was just down the road in Chatham.Had no idea "who dun it". Good finish, well developed. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 David | 10/5/2010

    " Mystery novelist Cook is adroit at entwining past and present through use of flashbacks, and this book is a prime example. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Judi | 10/5/2010

    " The author twisted and turned to make this book interesting to read. Everytime you thought you had it figured out it took another twist. "

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About the Author

Thomas H. Cook was born in Fort Payne, Alabama. He has been nominated for the Edgar Award seven times in five different categories. He received the best novel Edgar for The Chatham School Affair, the Martin Beck Award, the Herodotus Prize for best historical short story, and the Barry for best novel for Red Leaves, and has been nominated for numerous other awards.

About the Narrator

George Guidall, winner of eighty AudioFile Erphones Awards, has twice won the prestigious Audie Award for Excellence in Audiobook Narration. In 2014 the Audio Publishers Association presented him with the Special Achievement Award for an audiobook narrator of exceptional stature and accomplishment. During his thirty-year recording career he has recorded over 1,100 audiobooks, won multiple awards, been a mentor to many narrators, and shown by example the potential of fine storytelling. Among Guidall’s narration achievements are Crime and Punishment, The Iliad, and John Irving’s A Widow for One Year, which earned him an Audie Award for best unabridged narration of a novel, an honor he captured again for his rendition of Wally Lamb’s I Know This Much Is True. Guidall’s forty-year acting career includes starring roles on Broadway, an Obie Award for best performance off Broadway, and frequent television appearances.