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  • The Terrible Thing That Happened to Barnaby Brocket

  • By: John Boyne
  • Narrated by: Richard Goulding
  • Length: 5 hrs and 21 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (16 ratings)

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Summary

There's nothing unusual about the Brockets. Normal, respectable, and proud of it, they turn up their noses at anyone strange or different. But from the moment Barnaby Brocket comes into the world, it's clear he's anything but ordinary. To his parents’ horror, Barnaby defies the laws of gravity - and floats. 

Desperate to please his parents, Barnaby does his best to keep both feet on the ground - but he just can't do it. One fateful day, the Brockets decide enough is enough. They never asked for a weird, abnormal, floating child. Barnaby has to go....

Betrayed, frightened and alone, Barnaby floats into the path of a very special hot air balloon - and so begins a magical journey around the world, with a cast of extraordinary new friends.

©2012 John Boyne (P)2020 Penguin Audio

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Q. Are We Not Men? A. We are Devo!

Charming tale about acceptance and tolerance from Irish writer, John Boyne. An all-ages, Dahl-esque fable about a floating child cast adrift by his parents, this book sees the titular Barnaby Brocket 'Little Prince' his way around the globe in a series of quirky adventures whilst learning valuable lessons in kindness and compassion. Yes, it's broad and rather sentimental, but it's also sweet and funny (I particularly liked his dog being called 'Captain W.E. Johns'); you'd have to be a sour old soul to object to Boyne's intentions.
Full praise due to Richard Goulding's narration: it was completely delightful and made this audiobook a real pleasure. His voice for Barnaby's mum especially tickled me (although, oddly, he seemed to forget how to do it upon her reappearance at the end) and is a credit to his repertoire.

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Wonderful fun, dry humour, heart melting

I read this so that I could recommend to my students at school, and I will! It was such a lovely performance, a great celebration of diversity.

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Completely absorbing

Lovely story beautifully read. Had me captivated from the start. I completely recommend this for all ages.