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Download The First Casualty Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The First Casualty Audiobook, by Ben Elton
3.28 out of 53.28 out of 53.28 out of 53.28 out of 53.28 out of 5 3.28 (29 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Ben Elton Narrator: Jack Davenport Publisher: Random House Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: November 2005 ISBN:
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Flanders, June 1917: a British officer and celebrated poet is shot dead, killed not by German fire, but while recuperating from shell shock well behind the lines. A young English soldier is arrested and, although he protests his innocence, charged with his murder. Douglas Kingsley is a conscientious objector, previously a detective with the London police, now imprisoned for his beliefs. He is released, and sent to France in order to secure a conviction. Forced to conduct his investigations amidst the hell of The Third Battle of Ypres, Kingsley soon discovers that both the evidence and the witnesses he needs are quite literally disappearing into the mud that surrounds him.

Ben Elton's tenth novel is a gut-wrenching historical drama which explores some fundamental questions. What is murder? What is justice in the face of unimaginable daily slaughter? And where is the honour in saving a man from the gallows if he is only to be returned to die in a suicidal battle? As the gap between legally-sanctioned and illegal murder becomes ever more blurred, Kingsley quickly learns that the first casualty when war comes is truth. Download and start listening now!

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Listener Opinions

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Zaki | 2/20/2014

    " I don't know why I read this. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Trish | 2/15/2014

    " The first Ben Elton book I'd read, and a-typical, as it was his first foray into historical fiction. Interesting mystery about who murdered a famous poet recovering from shellshock during WWI, but also explores themes like what is a legal war, where does murder stop and war start, that kind of thing. Presented this to the book club and it went down better than The Eyre Affair! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Amanda Patterson | 2/8/2014

    " Started well enough and died! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Steve | 2/7/2014

    " Less farcical than some of his other books, I guess the subject matter does not warrant such treatment. A good easy read though. Very last episode of Blackadder Goes Forth. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Gabriele Wills | 2/5/2014

    " It's been a while since I read this, but I recall it was a fun book with some fairly accurate historical details about the Great War. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Isobel | 1/31/2014

    " Different from his other books - unsurprisingly less bitingly satirical but one is still aware of that undercurrent. Some parts I found rather far-fetched but still a good story with a point to make. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Stephen Wallace | 1/31/2014

    " Not the best of Elton's books, but still good; easy to read, good characters and genuinely interesting. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jayne Charles | 1/25/2014

    " I wasn't sure what to make of this one. As a mystery, it wasn't particularly taxing, as a tale of World War I I've read a lot grittier, and as for being funny, it wasn't. Definitely not one of my favourites by Ben Elton, his strength is the humour he usually brings to a situation, whereas this was more or less an exercise in serious writing. There were a few bits I liked - the ending was quite well done, but otherwise not the greatest read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sahar | 1/19/2014

    " Ben Elton can twist a story on its head and make the most unconvincing argument seem as bright as day. I absolutely loved it and would definately recommend it to anyone anywhere!!! Seriously, be done with my review and start reading it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Johannah Hunt | 1/13/2014

    " My favourite WW1 book - and thats a high recommendation from me "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Louise Nguyen | 9/28/2013

    " I really enjoyed this book. It's written really well, however i was not entirely satisfied with the ending. I think *SPOILERS* Kingsley's infidelity annoyed me, cause he'd been literally the perfect character prior to this. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jim | 8/19/2013

    " Looking for a murderer in the carnage of Flanders Field may seem an absurd task, written by a writer better known for his comic talents, this is a gripping read. We may be best served with a comic writer to retell the farce of the trench warfare of the first world war. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Simon Mccarthy | 8/18/2013

    " props for giving ww1 some love other than that zzz "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Gill | 6/1/2013

    " A gripping detective story and so much more. Ben Elton's latest has to be his best yet and should ensure he is taken seriously as a novelist. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Diana | 11/24/2012

    " My favourite of all Ben's stuff. Cracking good read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Steve Markham | 7/19/2012

    " Good Read - A good storyline and good characters help hold this story together. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bina Maldé | 4/30/2012

    " You need to persevere with this book. it switches several tiems between the two heroes but does eventually come together. "

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

    " tries hard but never quite works "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jo | 12/13/2011

    " This was very different to his usual books - not a satire, and disturbing descriptions of the reality of the first world war, with a detective mystery story which unfolded without being too predictable. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Nketchi | 11/27/2011

    " WW1 background and brutal realism of the front line "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 D Pestell | 8/30/2011

    " Surprisingly brilliant book by a chap I didn't percieve as a writer of brilliant fiction. Rubbish comedian, though! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bina | 5/20/2011

    " You need to persevere with this book. it switches several tiems between the two heroes but does eventually come together. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Diana | 4/11/2011

    " My favourite of all Ben's stuff. Cracking good read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sandyboy | 12/10/2010

    " tries hard but never quite works "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Zaki | 11/7/2010

    " I don't know why I read this "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rebecca | 7/31/2010

    " Set in the first world war, it is a slightly far fetched story but at the same time has some interesting observations/ideas. With so much carnage going on in the war does a murder have any significance?
    Its an easy almost light read but does leave you thinking of more meaningful things "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Steve | 5/25/2010

    " Good Read - A good storyline and good characters help hold this story together. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Gabriele | 3/2/2010

    " It's been a while since I read this, but I recall it was a fun book with some fairly accurate historical details about the Great War. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Louise | 11/15/2009

    " I really enjoyed this book. It's written really well, however i was not entirely satisfied with the ending. I think *SPOILERS* Kingsley's infidelity annoyed me, cause he'd been literally the perfect character prior to this. "

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