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Download The Quickening Maze Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Quickening Maze, by Adam Foulds Click for printable size audiobook cover
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Based on real events, The Quickening Maze won over UK critics and readers alike with its rapturous prose and vivid exploration of poetry and madness. In 1837, after years of struggling with alcoholism and depression, the great nature poet John Clare finds himself in High Beach—a mental institution located in Epping Forest on the outskirts of London. It is not long before another famed writer, the young Alfred Tennyson, moves nearby and grows entwined in the catastrophic schemes of the hospital’s owner, the peculiar Dr. Matthew Allen, his lonely adolescent daughter, and a coterie of mysterious local characters. With lyrical grace, the cloistered world of High Beach and its residents are brought richly to life in this enchanting book. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Impressive…simultaneously poised and flowing in its urgency.”

    Gaurdian (London)

  • “Adam Foulds is one of the best British writers to emerge in the past decade. His story of [the poet] John Clare's incarceration in a Victorian lunatic asylum is subtle, highly intelligent, and rich in its understanding of the mad, the sane, and that large overlapping category in between.”

    Julian Barnes, author of Nothing to be Frightened Of and Flaubert’s Parrot

  • “What a haunting, fascinating book this is. Foulds leads us deep into a mysterious maze of history, where the demarcations of sanity are blurred, reality competes with dreams, and the truth is what any character imagines it to be.”

    Joanna Scott, author of Follow Me and Arrogance

  • “A remarkable and passionate book. The worlds it creates, the forest and the asylum, and the characters that inhabit them are drawn with a wonderfully strange poetic intensity. It is a wholly original vision, impossible to forget.”

    Patrick McGrath, author of Trauma and Asylum

  • “Tender and scrupulous…what I love most about The Quickening Maze is its quietness, the silence that makes you lean in until you hear its lovely song.”

    Nadeem Aslam, author of The Wasted Vigil

  • “Exceptional…Earthy and true, but shifting, metamorphic—the word-perfect fruit of a poet’s sharp eye and novelist’s limber reach.”

    Times (London)

  • A 2009 Man Booker Prize Finalist
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About the Author
Author Adam Foulds

Adam Foulds was named the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year in 2008. He is the author of several novels and the narrative poem The Broken Word, which won the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize and the 2008 Costa Poetry Award. He lives in London.