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Extended Audio Sample White Blood, by James Fleming Click for printable size audiobook cover
2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 2.00 (31 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: James Fleming Narrator: Simon Vance Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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The son of an English father and a Russian mother, Charlie Doig is a big man—big in stature, in spirit, and in sexual appetites. A naturalist, he roughs it around the world collecting specimens for museums. In 1914, he is on a mission for the Academy of Science in Russia when war breaks out. His pay is stopped and his companion goes off to enlist. Doig, however, has no intention of volunteering to be killed, so he returns to his family’s home near Smolensk and to the woman he loves, his cousin Elizaveta.

At first, their home remains untouched by outside events, and the familiar ways continue. But imperial Russia is doomed, along with all the old certainties. Trapped by the snow with Doig and Elizaveta are a motley collection of old aristocrats and two soldiers seeking refuge—one of whom, Doig fears, is a Bolshevik out to destroy them all.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A historical novel with the right kind of hero: virile, ruthless, adventurous.”

    Independent (London)

  • “[A] meticulously researched act of reconstruction…The narrative, the dialogue and the intensity of Doig’s emotions drive the story to a savage climax that reads like a modern thriller. It is the best sort of historical novel.”

    Spectator (London)

  • “I’m grateful to Fleming for reminding me just how exciting a good novel can be.”

    Publishing News 

  • “Moving and gripping…Fleming captures the contradictions of the period and the rich flavours of elegance and terror compellingly. This is a tense, thrilling, and at times darkly comic novel with a complex central character who, in the best passages, bursts off the page.”

    Time Out London

  • “Crackling, flamboyant…funny, sad, and magical.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Charlie Doig…is an unforgettable character…From the first chapters showcasing lusty encounters to the closing chapters ablaze with the Russian Revolution’s gore, this work is energetic, lavishly expressive, and a great read. That it also pulses with historic accuracy is a reader’s bonus.”

    Library Journal

  • “Suspenseful…richly told…moving from the wildly entertaining travelogue that opens the tale to the cat-and-mouse game among the snowbound to an out-and-out thriller as Charlie witnesses firsthand the horror of Bolsheviks ‘forging a new kind of hell.’”

    Booklist

  • “The action sequences virtually sing with energy, and the novel’s blistering pace never lets up for a moment. Fleming is indeed skilled, and the book is a pulse-pounding read. But, like Charlie’s innumerable paramours, you may hate yourself in the morning for having enjoyed it so much.”

    Kirkus Reviews

Listener Opinions

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 by Mehak Mittal | 10/16/2013

    " Couldn't even reach the 3rd chapter..it was soo boring!!! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 by Kim | 10/26/2012

    " Gave up around page 150. Just couldn't stand it anymore. I felt bad about that but I saw other people didn't like it either. Disconnected, mostly rambling and no story. Not for me. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 by Trent Ross | 8/17/2010

    " first 300 pages were useless and the last 60 were crap. "

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About the Author

James Fleming was born in London in 1944, the fourth in a family of nine children. He read history at Oxford and has been variously an accountant, farmer, forester, and bookseller. A nephew of Ian Fleming (of James Bond fame), he is the author of two previous novels, The Temple of Optimism and Thomas Gage. He lives in Scotland.