Today, AudioBook Addict takes over the controls at CTG HQ to give his verdict on new audible drama The Child by Sebastian Fitzek. Here’s what he has to say …
Title: The Child
Author: Sebastian Fitzek
Narrated By: Rupert Penry-Jones, Jack Boulter, Emilia Fox, Stephen Marcus, Robert Glenister, Andy Serkis
Run Time: 6 hrs and 56 minutes
Abridged Dramatisation: released on 07/08/2014
What the blurb says: “My name is Simon. I’m 10 years old. I’m a serial killer.
Robert Stern (Rupert Penry-Jones), a successful defense attorney, doesn’t know what lies in store for him when he agrees to meet a new client in a derelict estate on the outskirts of Berlin. Stern is more than surprised, when his old love interest and professional nurse Carina (Emilia Fox) presents him a ten year old boy as his new client. Simon (Jack Boulter), a terminally ill child, who is convinced he has murdered many men in a previous life.”
So, just to be clear, this is good, very good! But I want to go back a bit and tell you how I got to that conclusion.
I think it was Stephen King in his book ‘On Writing’ that said words to the effect of ‘abridged audio is the pits’ (Stephen, I wholeheartedly agree and if you didn’t say it, I am now). I’d add to that by saying I’d always thought that dramatised, abridged audio would be even worse. I based this only on experiences of listening to recordings with my children, like Blyton’s Malory Towers or The Famous Five – this is not them!
The story itself is excellent – dark, edgy, challenging – everything I like in my crime thrillers. From the time we first meet Simon, you’re compelled to like him and (NO SPOILERS) the relationships that build, grow and break down during that story are crafted masterfully. The action and intrigue are non-stop and at just short of 7 hours – I wanted more.
The recording and scripting are simply excellent with first class narration and, whilst the sound effects in previous recordings have seemed to distract me from the story, here, the sombre music and effects only served to add genuine atmosphere to this excellently creepy book. The young boy, Simon, narrated by Jack Boulter deserves a special mention for his excellent role; I really rooted for him throughout the book. Also, Robert Glenister put in another superb performance equal to that of his work on The Cuckoo’s Calling and The Silkworm.
[With thanks to Audible UK for a review copy of The Child.]