Extended Audio Sample

Download The Orphanmaster Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Orphanmaster Audiobook, by Jean Zimmerman Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (841 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jean Zimmerman Narrator: George Guidall Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2012 ISBN: 9781101564301
Regular Price: $25.00 Add to Cart
— or —
FlexPass™ Price: $18.95$5.95$5.95 for new members!
Add to Cart learn more )

From a debut novelist, a gripping historical thriller and rousing love story set in seventeenth-century Manhattan

It’s 1663 in the tiny, hardscrabble Dutch colony of New Amsterdam, now present-day southern Manhattan. Orphan children are going missing, and among those looking into the mysterious state of affairs are a quick-witted twenty-two-year-old trader, Blandine von Couvering, herself an orphan, and a dashing British spy named Edward Drummond.

Suspects abound, including the governor’s wealthy nephew, a green-eyed aristocrat with decadent tastes; an Algonquin trapper who may be possessed by a demon that turns people into cannibals; and the colony’s own corrupt and conflicted orphanmaster. Both the search for the killer and Edward and Blandine’s newfound romance are endangered, however, when Blandine is accused of being a witch and Edward is sentenced to hang for espionage. Meanwhile, war looms as the English king plans to wrest control of the colony.

Jean Zimmerman brings New Amsterdam and its surrounding wilderness alive for modern-day readers with exacting period detail. Lively, fast paced, and full of colorful characters, The Orphanmaster is a dramatic page-turner that will appeal to fans of Hilary Mantel and Geraldine Brooks.

Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • The Orphanmaster is a sweeping novel of great and precise imaginative intelligence; it’s also the most entertaining and believable historical novel I’ve read in years. Jean Zimmerman is a debut novelist who already writes like an old master. Read any page of The Orphanmaster and you’ll become an instant fan.”

    Darin Strauss, author of Half a Life and Chang and Eng

  • “Jean Zimmerman’s seventeenth-century New Amsterdam teems with enough intrigue, lust, and madness to give our twenty-first-century Big Apple a run for its money. And money is what drives this book—liberating, corrupting, forming the only bulwark against a terrifying, chaotic New World. Zimmerman’s wit and humanity shine light in a dark woods, creating an uncommonly rich debut.” 

    Sheri Holman, author of The Dress Lodger

  • “Here’s American history turned inside out, animated by Jean Zimmerman’s prodigious imagination. Monsters lurk in the shadows, chaos presses in, legends come alive, and one adventure leads with irresistible force to the next. The Orphanmaster is a breathtaking achievement.”

    Joanna Scott, author of Arrogance and Various Antidotes

  • “Absorbing period fiction with the requisite colorful characters of the era.” 

    New York Daily News

Listener Opinions

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Sara | 2/16/2014

    " This book isn't worth the time it takes to read it. For a historical novel the verbal and conceptual anachronisms are too distracting. The author likes to tell rather than show. For example, I paraphrase, but this is essentially what is written, 'Eventhought they would rather die than admit it both loved their little brother fiercely.' I might just skip to the end to see what happens to everyone. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Cindy | 2/12/2014

    " Eh. I gave up and skipped to the last chapter to find out. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Alex M. | 2/10/2014

    " Such a slow start, but eventually picked up. I liked the setting of New Amsterdam and I think historically I learned a lot, but I thought the characters were all a bit trite and there was barely any female-female interaction, just a lot of dudes, and that was pretty boring. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Honour Del | 1/16/2014

    " Great - a wonderful dive into early America "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jeanne | 1/7/2014

    " Not what was expected at all, a new era of American History explored which is usually overlooked by me, and more disturbing compared to most of the things I chose to read. The details and richness of research added to one's drive to keep reading to the satisfying conclusion. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jenn | 1/7/2014

    " The plot was ok.... could have done a LOT of editing to get the same result. Some inconsistency in language put me off too.... 2-1/2 stars :P "

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

    " Enjoyed this read it is well written and the story line is well thought out.I very much enjoyed the history details however there is a element of gorry killings. would recommend this to history fiction buffs "

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

    " This was my first foray into audiobooks. I got a new job and my commute is 40-60 minutes each way depending on traffic and this book kept me engaged the whole way. In fact, I even brought it in and listened to it on my laptop towards the end, just because I couldn't wait the 8 hours to find out what would happen next! I will say that the way animals, children and minorities were treated at the time is appalling and I was pretty sickened by some of the details (beyond the disappearance and murder of the orphan children). "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lynn Diane | 1/6/2014

    " It was interesting, but suffered in comparison to The Light Between Oceans which I was also reading during that time. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kras | 12/19/2013

    " in the mood for eating orphans? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Scottie | 12/5/2013

    " A great read. Attractive characters and a storyline that once you give it some room to unfold it grips and doesn't let go. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joan | 4/3/2013

    " Very well done. Great mystery set within wonderful New York history tale. You'll feel smarter after reading this and you'll have fun. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sandy | 3/16/2013

    " 4.5 stars. Although the book is a mystery, it is much more. I really liked that the book took place in New Amsterdam during the 1600s. It was very interesting to learn how the Dutch women were impowered. Very enjoyable book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Foggygirl | 11/3/2012

    " An excellent read, despite the fact it deals with a canabalistic serial killer targeting children in the 17th century New World colony of New Amsterdam soon to be called New York. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 wendy | 10/3/2012

    " i'd give it 4.5 if i could. ;) "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 David | 7/29/2012

    " One of the best historical mystery/thrillers I've ever read. (Complete review submitted to Suspense Magazine.) "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Holly P | 7/11/2012

    " 2.5 Review to Come.... "

Write a Review
What is FlexPass?
  • Your first audiobook is just $5.95
  • Over 90% are at or below $12.95
  • "LOVE IT" guarantee
  • No time limits or expirations
About the Author
Jean Zimmerman is the author The Orphanmaster and several works of nonfiction, including Love Fiercely and The Women of the House. Born in Tarrytown, New York, she is a graduate of Barnard College and Columbia University School of the Arts. She lives in Ossining, New York.
About the Narrator

George Guidall, winner of more than eighty AudioFile Earphones 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. His forty-year acting career includes starring roles on Broadway, an Obie Award for best performance off Broadway, and frequent television appearances.