9 November 2011

Review; THE FOUR LAST THINGS, Andrew Taylor - audio book

  • Published 1997
  • This audio book version published by AudioGO Ltd.
  • Available from Audible.com 
  • Narrator by Ric Jerrom 
  • Unabridged
  • Length: 11 hours
  • Source: I bought it
  • First book in the Roth Trilogy

Little Lucy Appleyard is snatched from her child minder's on a cold winter afternoon, and the nightmare begins. It is as if the child had disappeared into a black hole with no clues to her whereabouts...until the first grisly discovery in a London graveyard. More such finds are to follow, all at religious sites. In a city haunted by religion, what do these offerings signify?

My take

Like all Andrew Taylor's books THE FOUR LAST THINGS is complex with great attention to detail.

The storyline sounds so simple if you just go by the synopsis but there is a multiplicity of themes and threads: should women be priests? Whose job is more important: husband or wife? Paedophilia and child abduction.

The novel is tightly structured. Each chapter is prefaced with a quotation from Thomas Browne's Religio Medici. The first quotation in the book defines what "the four last things" are.

Click on the image of the cover to the right to access the abstract of the printed version on Amazon. You can also access a sample of the audio version by clicking on the link to Audible.com.

The complexity of THE FOUR LAST THINGS extends from the plotlines into character descriptions including deep consideration of what drives those characters.

I reviewed #2 in the Roth Trilogy earlier this year: THE JUDGEMENT OF STRANGERS
Andrew Taylor explains what he is attempting to do in the Roth Trilogy as
    Each book discreetly modifies the others, and each is written in a different style. Taken as a whole, they make one large novel, which should keep readers occupied for the longest transcontinental flights.
The structure of the trilogy is made all the more complex by the fact that as you move from #1 to #2 you actually move back in time. If you click on the link on Andrew Taylor's name you can visit his website and investigate more about the trilogy for yourself.

The narration in the audio version of the novel is very well done.

My rating: 4.5

1 comment:

Margot Kinberg said...

Kerrie - An excellent review as always - thanks. Taylor's work is complex and multi-layered, but that's one of the things that I think can make it appealing.


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