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Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.

Matthieu Zela has lived his life well. In fact, he's lived several lives well. Because Matthew Zela's life is characterised by one amazing fact: his body stopped ageing before the end of the 18th century. 

Starting in 1758, a young Matthieu flees Paris after witnessing his mother's brutal murder. His only companions are his younger brother, Tomas, and one true love, Dominique Sauvet. The story of his life takes us from the French Revolution to 1920s Hollywood, from the Great Exhibition to the Wall Street Crash - and by the end of the 20th century, Matthieu has been an engineer, a rogue, a movie mogul, a soldier, a financier, a lover to many, a cable TV executive and much more besides.

Brilliantly weaving history and personal experience, this is a dazzling story of love, murder, missed chances, treachery - and redemption.

©2011 John Boyne (P)2020 Penguin Audio

What listeners say about The Thief of Time

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Excellent

I’ve no idea if this historical fiction as billed or sci do/fantasy but I don’t suppose it matters in the least. The un-aging immortality of Matthieu sounds ideal and in many ways is but what impact does it have on those around him. Witty, clever and thoroughly enjoyable. I’m off to see why an 18th century character calls Matthieu Grasshopper though!

6 people found this helpful

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Absolutely terrible

This book is completely tedious. None of the characters or relationships are written with any depth so I felt no investment in them at all. Also, there is absolutely no rendering of any historical period so they all felt the same and there was no sense of a passage of time. Finally every woman is either very beautiful or stupid and annoying. A real disappointment

1 person found this helpful

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Doesn’t really grip you

I really wanted to enjoy this. A 256 year old lead taking us through his remarkable life but it fell flat. George Blagdon is an amazing actor and narrator but this rendition was not his best. I’m not sure if it was the material he had to work with, especially the flat and uninteresting female characters, or if he simply can’t do female voices well but I found it tedious. The story could have been great but it skipped all over without really finishing any particular episode satisfactorily and there were glaring historical inaccuracies especially concerning dress or speech which jarred with me.

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Unusual read with surprising events.

I enjoyed this book very much. John Boyne draws you in to the characters. A great story over centuries giving a history lesson in its wake. Brilliantly narrated

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  • 27-12-20

Another wide ranging epic

Fabulously engaging and clever tale that slowly becomes clearer as you progress. The breadth and scope of history covered is breathtaking.
The reading is good, though the narrator didn’t gel with me at first I came to enjoy his pace and tone, and characterisation.
In places the production values are amateur, where a break has not been well spliced, or a cut not sufficiently paused.
Other than those niggles, superb.

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Great Story

Another Great storytelling by Boyle, but the narrating could be better. The dialogues were well performed, but the narrating parts were read in rather monotous tone. Still well worth a listen.