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Extended Audio Sample The Coral Thief: A Novel Audiobook, by Rebecca Stott Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.06 out of 53.06 out of 53.06 out of 53.06 out of 53.06 out of 5 3.06 (31 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Rebecca Stott Narrator: Simon Prebble Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2009 ISBN: 9781400183388
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In her virtuosic debut, Ghostwalk, Rebecca Stott unfolded an extraordinary and true mystery involving Isaac Newton and set in seventeenth-century Cambridge. The Coral Thief is another intriguing mystery and love story, centering on pre-Darwinian theories of evolution and set in Paris right after Napoleon's surrender at Waterloo. Upon his arrival in Paris, where he has come to study anatomy, Daniel Connor, a young medical student from Edinburgh, finds that his letters of introduction and precious coral specimens have been stolen by the beautiful woman with whom he shared a stagecoach. But when he begins searching for his lost items-and the alluring woman who stole them-Daniel is thrust into a tumultuous, underground world of philosopher thieves obsessed with the emerging theories of evolution. As he is pulled into their plot to steal a precious jewel from the Jardin des Plantes, and as he falls in love with the mysterious coral thief, Daniel is introduced to a radical theory of evolution that irrevocably changes his conception of the world in which he lives. As riveting and beautifully rendered as Ghostwalk, The Coral Thief is a provocative and tantalizing mix of history, love, and philosophy. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • With consummate skill and compassion, Stott plunges Daniel the innocent into a serpentine plot that involves spies, philosophers, revolutionaries and scientists.... [A] hybrid novel of action and ideas. The Washington Post

Listener Opinions

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

    " Interesting for its depiction of 1815 Paris and scientific thought regarding evolution from that time. The story line was non-compelling. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Stacia | 2/14/2014

    " I really enjoyed The Coral Thief as a historical fiction piece (though the characterization could have been stronger, imo). Stott provided many fascinating facts about the Paris scientific community after the fall of Napoleon, specifically lots of emerging thought around the ideas of transmutation & evolution. Recommended for those who enjoy historical fiction w/ a dose of science. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cymiki | 1/27/2014

    " i'm in paris! at least on audio i am. a recommendation from bookletters....... satisfying read. take an innocent man, combine it with an experienced thief with a past, add a dash of Napoleonic history and you've got an engrossing story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kira | 1/26/2014

    " I liked this book quite a bit until the end where it just kind of dropped off-which is the reason for 3 stars instead of 4-- a lot of reference to the Count of Monte Cristo - my favorite book:) "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Maria | 1/16/2014

    " The story is probably best for Francophiles or those really into natural history pre-Darwin. There were weird interludes of Napoleon that were unrelated to the rest of the story unless I was missing something. And a romance between a woman in her late forties and a man young enough to be her son. There were good aspects to the story, of course, or I wouldn't have kept listening, but over all it just didn't really come together. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Adele | 1/11/2014

    " This had an intriguing premise and was well-researched. It was set in a place and during a time that I didn't know much about, and that was interesting. I don't really feel that the book delivered on all its promise - but it was an entertaining and quick read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gressp | 1/11/2014

    " This fast paced mystery is set in Paris just after the battle of Waterloo was lost to Napoleon. The adventures of Daniel Conner, a young Scottish scientist, and his much older love interest, Lucienne, lead the reader through the streets of Paris right up to the last page. This is a delight. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kieran Neylon | 1/10/2014

    " Call me weird but the combination of French revolution, Napoleonic history, history of science (especially early evolutionary theory), and the crime thriller really floated my boat in this book (ok and the romantic bit too). More of a gentle thriller than a rapid paced one. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Emily | 11/19/2013

    " I liked how this book tied in so many factors: historical, philosophical, adventure, and romance. The periodic excerpts on Napoleon were interesting. Other than that, I found the story a little slow. Not my favorite book but definitely not the worst I've read! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Viccy | 11/14/2013

    " If you like books about revolutionary Paris, you might like this. I could not finish it; I just did not care about the characters. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Michele | 10/24/2013

    " Started really well. It takes place in Paris right after Napoleon was defeated and that was really fun to read the description of Paris back then. But I thought the story really lost momentum half way through. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Cathy | 8/18/2013

    " The book did a good job in portraying Paris in period after the Revolution but I felt that I was constantly straining to get into the action. The characters were grainy and the anticipation of action seemed to drag. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Linda | 8/9/2013

    " There were some ups and downs in the book. It started off a little bit rough but picked up somewhere near the 75% mark. I would only recommend if you are trapped traveling like I was. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lisa Greer | 2/24/2013

    " Ok, better than ghostwalk, but I still could not do 4 stars. It started so well, then 100 pages in, it began to drag... all the way to the end, sadly. I really like the history in these novels; the writing is just not quite up to par. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tasula | 9/10/2012

    " A book rich with detail about post-Napoleonic Paris, and scientists working in the Jardin de Plantes on an encyclopedia of plants and animals. Into this comes a young scientist who meets an older woman who is a thief and a philosopher- a collector of coral. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jackie | 6/28/2012

    " Great story of post-revolutionary Paris and the debates around Genesis vs evolution. And a love story too. History, crime, passion - a right riveting read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lauren Bishard | 6/22/2012

    " I enjoyed learning some of the history of Paris discussed in this book! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Faith | 5/2/2012

    " OK...not a must read. Young man from Edinborough goes to Paris to work and study with a noted scientist. Meets a mysterious woman and is off on a number of adventures. Historical, 1815, time of Bonaparte's exile to Santa Helena (sp??) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Karin | 2/6/2012

    " This was well-written, but I had a hard time really believing the characters. I also found the ending somewhat anti-climactic. Still, it was an interesting novel of post-revolutionary France and of the developments taking place in science at that time. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Caro | 12/3/2011

    " Lots of elements that appeal to me - evolutionary theories, Paris, Napoleon, Cuvier and Lamarck - but the characters never quite came to life. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Aileen | 11/24/2011

    " This should have been a book I would love-- I was so torn. Wanted desperately to like the book, it had all my favorites elements. I just could not get into the characters-- didn't really care about them. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Donna | 7/9/2011

    " It was OK. Setting and time period were interesting but it seemed to lose focus in the middle. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Megan | 4/6/2011

    " A very intricate and enjoyable read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tasula | 3/29/2011

    " A book rich with detail about post-Napoleonic Paris, and scientists working in the Jardin de Plantes on an encyclopedia of plants and animals. Into this comes a young scientist who meets an older woman who is a thief and a philosopher- a collector of coral. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Scott | 3/28/2011

    " Set in post-Napoleonic Paris, the historical references to early evolutionary thought (Lamarck) and taxonomy (Cuvier) made this an extremely pleasurable read for me. Exciting storyline and intersting characters to boot. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 David | 3/16/2011

    " Great book. This one has it all; history, romance, exceptionally well crafted story, wonderfully written... and set in Paris. It would make a terrific movie. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Marji | 2/10/2011

    " reading for book club-it took me a while to get into the book, there was a lot of stuff that I just kind of skimmed over, the story was good though, I think it will be a good discussion "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Linda | 12/28/2010

    " There were some ups and downs in the book. It started off a little bit rough but picked up somewhere near the 75% mark. I would only recommend if you are trapped traveling like I was. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laura | 11/28/2010

    " I enjoyed this immensely--when I read this I was transported to Paris in 1815. This was a good mystery, fun to read, with a great ending. This is the second book I've read by this British author and I really like her books. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Zoe | 11/25/2010

    " Pulled me in rather quickly. Mystery swirls amidst the skulduggery and philosophizing of the scientific community and "salons" of 1815 Paris. Napoleon.... natural evolution.....dogma..... What more could a girl ask for? ;) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 L | 11/9/2010

    " This is a fast paced historical novel with a highly improbable plot. The history is interesting, but the story is very contrived, but still fun to read. "

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About the Author
Author Rebecca StottRebecca Stott is a professor of English literature and creative writing at the University of East Anglia and an affiliated scholar at the department of the history and philosophy of science at Cambridge University. She is the author of several books, including Darwin and the Barnacle and the novels Ghostwalk and The Coral Thief. She lives in Cambridge, England.
About the Narrator

Simon Prebble, a British-born performer, is a stage and television actor and veteran narrator of some three hundred audiobooks. As one of AudioFile’s Golden Voices, he has received over twenty Earphones Awards and won the prestigious Audie in 2010. He lives in New York.