A stranger enters the inner sanctum of the Ashby family posing as Patrick Ashby, the heir to the family’s sizeable fortune. The stranger, Brat Farrar, has been carefully coached on Patrick’s mannerisms, appearance and every significant detail of Patrick’s early life, up to his 13th year when he disappeared and was thought to have drowned himself. It seems as if Brat is going to pull off this most incredible deception until old secrets emerge that threaten to jeopardise the imposter’s plan and his very life.
©1949 The National Trust (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
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"Great all around"
I'm a big Josephine Tey fan, and I'm picky about narrators. This was my first Carole Boyd listen, and now I'm hooked. She's just great. Enough variations in voicing to keep the characters identifiable, but no stagey acting to distract from Tey's precise and wonderful story. If you like British mysteries and good narrators, you can't go wrong here.
"Probably the best mystery I've ever read."
The narration: Carole Boyd read with such beauty in her voice. I listened to the story at .75 speed to be able to more fully take in the words. Carole's voice maintained its smoothness and nuance, as she captured the setting, its characters, and the subtle and sometimes sudden shifts that occur in this mystery set in the post-WW II English countryside.
The author: This is my first book by Josephine Fey and, although I am sad to let go of its characters, I look forward to the other books she left for us to enjoy. I concur with others who have commented on the depth of her characters, the atypical storyline that differs from traditional mystery/crime novels of her day (and ours), and the lyrical beauty of her words. What also struck me strongly was the affinity with the characters I experienced and so enjoyed.
Josephine Tey is dated - this is a bucolic England of the imagination circa 1920s, 30s - but, she has a sharp edge, and is such an elegant writer - and excellent story teller. All of which explains why, even now, her books are a pleasure. This is exceptionally well narrated by Carole Boyd - an excellent match with the material. BRAT FARRAR is a classic of its kind from the Golden Age of British mysteries - Allingham, Christie, Sayers. If you like those, you'll be happy you spent the credit on this. It's very well done.
"The perfect mystery with perfect narration!"
Perfect is a strong word and I use it here with appropriate caution. Brat Farrar (also titled Come and Kill Me) was released in 1949 less than three years before the author's death. The publisher's summary tells enough about the novel. I'll just add that British author Josephine Tey remains the master of the mystery genre and that British actress Carole Boyd who was 70 years old at the time of her narration of Brat Farrar does this novel justice with her wonderful narration.
Now a question for Audible: Can we get more of Tey's novels in audio format? The Franchise Affair is available but I would really like the marvelous The Daughter of Time. At one time you did have it narrated by Derek Jacobi and published by Audible Studios. I see it is still available to UK Audible members. Please get US rights!!
"Best book in years"
Loved it. Fascinating plot. Engaging characters. I listen to dozens of books each year and this was by far the best in years. Looking forward to more by the same author.
"Another riveting story by Josephine Tey"
As expected, Josephine Tey delivers a compelling, absorbing tale that draws one in and doesn't let go. After reading her "Daughter of Time," I knew to expect the highest quality of literate writing and at the same time a delicious, entertaining read. Once again, I was in her power for the whole time of listening to the book. The reader and the production were excellent.
"A dearly-loved, favorite to read and reread."
This story takes the classic change-of-identity plot and turns it on its head. Set on a horse farm in the English Midlands, Brat Farrar takes full advantage of the beautiful scenery and a family of wonderfully individual characters, with a tragic mystery in its past and a warm and human faith in a future. Sounds sappy, but it carries the reader along, revealing the hidden facts and surprising us all in the process. Simply a lovely, lovely book which makes this reader, at least, wish I had been part of the Ashby family.
"Very British, very entertaining"
A perfect example of a British mystery. A bit more somber than an Agatha Christie, less of mystery than a character-driven narrative. There is a lot about horses, raising and riding, which was not interesting me but was the backdrop for the milieu in which the story takes place. The narrator was excellent.
"One of the best audible books ever"
Loved the story, loved the presentation. This is the first thing I've read by Tey and plan to listen/read the rest. After I finished the book I listened a second time- I've never done that before.
"A Clever Classic"
Lovely narration, but even in print this would have been an absolute pleasure to read. A cosy crime, that all of a sudden isn't all that "cosy" anymore. Wonderful character descriptions and a time and place you want to be transported to. Great!
"Couldn't stop listening"
At last! What a joy to find the real Josephine Tey books on Audible. And Bratt Farrar is one of her best. In theory, one ought to thoroughly dislike a young man who sets out to deceive, but Bratt is such a sympathetic character that the listener can't help but be drawn into his story, and that of the family who welcome him 'home'. Even though I had read the book and knew the outcome, it was a real pleasure to hear it read aloud, and Carole Boyd makes an excellent job of it. Please, Audible, do let's have all of Josephine Tey's books made available.
"A favourite book, beautifully read"
I have loved this book since I first read it in my teens and that was a long time ago! I was delighted to find this audio version, read by the excellent Carole Boyd. My pleasure in following the ramifications in the Ashby family when their nephew/brother, thought to have killed himself when young, turns up again just before he is due to come into his inheritance was undimmed.
"Suspenseful family drama"
Yes, I would recommend this audiobook to a friend, because it takes the 'missing heir' trope to yet another level. As a listener, you think the imposter is cheating the family of what belongs to it; however, it is because of his imposture that a crime is revealed and a criminal punished.
Aunt Evie--there was something very humane and loving about her.
No, I don't think I have--but I will look out for them.
When Evie and Charles discover/uncover Brat's identity.
"Mores of its time occasionally painful, but..."
...otherwise an excellent mystery. I just can't stand how often the author has characters who are meant to be sympathetic protagonists use the word "moron", frankly. I grit my teeth every time I hear it. I get that ableist language as insults were more or less the norm for her generation and unexamined as such, but that doesn't make it at all pleasant to hear in this century. The sub-plot involving Sheila Parslow & the characters' attitudes toward her comparative promiscuity also makes me cringe.
Other than that, I enjoy re-reading this particular mystery in various forms. I don't think I shall ever be able to forget the solution, so I re-read with 20-20 hindsight every time, but the story is just as interesting and nuanced when you already know the ending as it is when you know nothing about it - and with such hindsight the author's subtle but clear foreshadowing is easy to discover and to enjoy. I can assure you of that much!
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