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  • Rotherweird

  • Rotherweird, Book 1
  • By: Andrew Caldecott
  • Narrated by: Kris Dyer
  • Length: 16 hrs and 14 mins
  • 4.1 out of 5 stars (1,476 ratings)

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Rotherweird cover art

Rotherweird

By: Andrew Caldecott
Narrated by: Kris Dyer
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Summary

Rotherweird is a twisted, arcane murder-mystery with shades of Deborah Harkness, Hope Mirrlees and Ben Aaronovitch, Mervyn Peake and Edward Gorey at their disturbing best.

The town of Rotherweird stands alone - there are no guidebooks, despite the fascinating and diverse architectural styles cramming the narrow streets, the avant-garde science and offbeat customs. Cast adrift from the rest of England by Elizabeth I, Rotherweird's independence is subject to one disturbing condition: nobody, but nobody, studies the town or its history.

For beneath the enchanting surface lurks a secret so dark that it must never be rediscovered, still less reused.

But secrets have a way of leaking out.

Two inquisitive outsiders have arrived: Jonah Oblong, to teach modern history at Rotherweird School (nothing local and nothing before 1800), and the sinister billionaire Sir Veronal Slickstone, who has somehow got permission to renovate the town's long-derelict Manor House.

Slickstone and Oblong, though driven by conflicting motives, both strive to connect past and present until they and their allies are drawn into a race against time - and each other. The consequences will be lethal and apocalyptic.

Welcome to Rotherweird!

©2017 Andrew Caldecott (P)2017 WF Howes Ltd

Critic reviews

"Intricate and crisp, witty and solemn: a book with special and dangerous properties." (Hilary Mantel)
"Baroque, Byzantine and beautiful - not to mention bold." (M. R. Carey)

What listeners say about Rotherweird

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Weird? Rather...

Enjoyed this one - sort of Gormenghast meets Neverwhere. Very well narrated.

Loads of weird and dark happenings occur to interesting and well-written characters in and around a strangely-disconnected English town.

I did think the ending dragged on a bit and could have been pared back a little, so at the risk of outstaying my own welcome I'll leave it there...

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66 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Good story bit hard to follow

It's a clever idea, a very good story but for some reason I found it hard to follow, kept having to go back and listen again. Can't tell why - maybe too many characters with odd names, maybe too complicated for my wee brain. I don't think it was the narrators fault. Still I enjoyed it and got my monies worth as I probably heard it twice.

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59 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

A good first draft

Before launching into criticism, I enjoyed this book and it kept me entertained to the end - it had the some interesting ideas and the essence of some good characters. The real problem is that it feels like a long first draft that needs editing back to about 2/3 if it’s length and about half of its characters - none of whom are well developed enough for you to remotely care about. Add the fact that there’s more loose ends than a bowl of spaghetti and some daft coincidences and you’ve got a fun but frustrating book

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38 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Unbearably tedious

I couldn't finish it. Doesn't happen often, as I usually plough on to the end even if I'm not loving it. But I didn't like any of the characters, the plot was barely there and while I'll admit I kind of want to know what happened in the end, I really couldn't stand the idea of putting up with the dullness to find out.

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29 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Not to all tastes

I found this strangely mesmerising. At first I found the somewhat slow delivery irritating but became used to its measured pace even though I felt it made the tale drag in places. The narrator voices the characters quite well but has a tendency towards a rolling, poetic delivery that I'm not keen on but that's just my taste. However, it was worth sticking with it as the story is quite bizarre and has fantastic (in the true sense of the word) twists and turns that keeps one guessing to the end. There are shades of Mervyn Peake and Neil Gaiman in the storyline. If you liked the Gormenghast trilogy and/or Neverwhere, you'll probably like this.

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21 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

What a shame...

Listened to this on holiday and was disappointed. A book too in love with its own pretentious intellectualism. Yet with all its ideas, there's hardly a plot, the characters aren't developed well and sometimes I had to laugh out loud by how little cohesion there was. A shame really, it did have a lot of potential.

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21 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • P
  • 10-10-17

Brilliant and fun

Intriguing story, interesting array of characters and great narration. I have thoroughly enjoyed listening to this book.

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18 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Marvelous

A truly magical book. Full of inventiveness. I was sad when it ended. Heartily recommended.

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16 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Highly recommended

I listened to about 34 audio books in 2017 and this one was among the best. I really enjoyed the writing and the language. The storyline was pretty whimsical and relatively original. It had a lot of interesting characters and the narrator wasn't bad either. I would definitely recommend.

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14 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

brilliant

Loved this book from start to finish, so many characters, twists and turns. If you're looking for something a bit different then this is the book for you. Would make a great film. I'll definitely listen to this one again.

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8 people found this helpful