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Burial Rites Audiobook

Burial Rites

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Publisher's Summary

Shortlisted for the 2014 Indie Awards

In northern Iceland, 1829, Agnes Magnúsdóttir is condemned to death for her part in the brutal murder of two men. Agnes is sent to wait out the months leading up to her execution on the farm of district officer Jón Jónsson, his wife, and their two daughters. Horrified to have a convicted murderess in their midst, the family avoid contact with Agnes. Only Tóti, the young assistant priest appointed her spiritual guardian, will listen to Agnes’s side of the story. As the year progresses and the hardships of rural life force everyone to work side by side, the family’s attitude to Agnes starts to change - until one winter night, she begins her whispered confession to them, and they realise that all is not as they had assumed.

Based on a true story, Burial Rites is an astonishing and moving book about the truths we claim to know and the ways in which we interpret what we’re told. In beautiful, cut-glass prose, Hannah Kent portrays Iceland’s formidable landscape, in which every day is a battle for survival.

©2013 Hannah Kent (P)2013 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd

What the Critics Say

"Here is an original new voice, with a deep and lovely grasp of language and story. Hannah Kent's first novel, Burial Rites, is an accomplished gem, its prose as crisp and sparkling as its northern setting." (Geraldine Brooks)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.5 (209 )
5 star
 (131)
4 star
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Overall
4.5 (197 )
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Story
4.6 (199 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Zakgirl HUON CREEK, Australia 13/02/2016
    Zakgirl HUON CREEK, Australia 13/02/2016

    Zak the Writer/Reader/Farmer

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Well researched and very believable"

    The ending was no surprise as a documentary was what sparked my interest in this novel and they gave away the ending. Even so, the book was not ruined by this. In fact it made it more intriguing. Well written and researched. Very believable characters and plot. Even though this fiction was drawn from factual accounts of the time it was definitely not presented in a lecturing academic way - a most challenging read that takes you to the time and place in which it was set in a very real way. Cudos to the Author.
    Audio/narration was exceptional too.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sarah 31/12/2014
    Sarah 31/12/2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Highly recommended!!"

    Really recommend this book! One of the best I have read in the last year! A very gripping story that kept you guessing right till the last few chapters, and the rest of the way through was saw some beautiful relationships form as well as being filled to the brim with such detailed and fitting metaphors and descriptive language (defiantly recommend listening to this book as opposed to reading it, you get so much more out of it!!). Morven Christie is excellent at narrating it.
    Kent has done a marvellous job in writing this book - a debut to be most proud of!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lynnette Dyer New Zealand 07/09/2016
    Lynnette Dyer New Zealand 07/09/2016 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good story"

    Not sure how f I enjoyed the reader, but a good story all the same.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Maria 01/07/2016
    Maria 01/07/2016 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Wonderful!"

    Narrator was amazing, I didn't want it to end. The story was sad, no humour but very engaging. Thank you Hannah for writing this sad story.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    meghan 24/02/2016
    meghan 24/02/2016 Member Since 2016
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    "based on a true story!"

    I didn't realise this book was based on actual events until the very end! Maybe the Authors note should go at the start?? that fact made the book even more interesting & enjoyable

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Victor 18/05/2015
    Victor 18/05/2015 Member Since 2015
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    "remarkable and beautifully read"

    This is a stand out audiobook. The narrator provides a very moving voice for the main protagonist and her pronunciation of the Icelandic is flawless (at least it does to non-Icelandic speaking me). Recommend this very highly indeed - especially good for those students taking this in year 12 exams. An inspiring backup

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Justine 03/05/2015
    Justine 03/05/2015 Member Since 2016
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    "Fantastic book!"

    A great narration and well presented story of Agnes. Recommend highly. I found the Iceland history fascinating
    Thanks heaps
    audible !!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Madi 21/04/2015
    Madi 21/04/2015
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    "Beautifully read"

    So beautifully read. Mesmerising, lilting voice. Sad to reach the end . Highly recommend this version.
    Language would be hard to master

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amanda 08/04/2015
    Amanda 08/04/2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Cold comfort"

    This is a wonderful book and engaging storytelling although it was numbingly cold at times and almost unbearably grim. But I warmed to the characters and the desolate landscape. A very impressive first novel which is beautifully narrated.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jess 06/01/2015
    Jess 06/01/2015 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Amazing book - must read"

    Enthralling story line, encapsulating the reader in stunning imagery and thought provoking tale. Highly recommend this book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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  • Sharon
    Preston, Australia
    18/07/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Icelandic Drama"
    What did you love best about Burial Rites?

    The story was unfolded in a most intriguing manner.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The descriptions of the characters, the cold icelandic weather and the living environs that the characters performed their day to day tasks in.


    Which character – as performed by Morven Christie – was your favorite?

    Agnes


    Who was the most memorable character of Burial Rites and why?

    Agnes was revealed as an intelligent and compassionate lady who was convicted of a crime that she was sentenced to die for, but the unraveling of the story reveal the unfortunate circumstances and a questionable application of justice.


    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Kerrie
    Newport, Australia
    13/06/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A fascinating journey"

    I selected this book as it had got so much press and the reviews were gushing to say the least. The reviews don't exaggerate - It is an amazingly well written story about a place that I have never even thought about. Hannah Kent has a very bright future, her novel is incredibly engrossing. Morven Christie's narration is pretty close to perfect - she knows how to pause for dramatic effect and how not to rush, which is integral to this story.There were times when the narration was so evocative that I started shivering, empathizing with the cold conditions in the novel. The pronunciation of the Icelandic names was a joy to listen to and added immensely to my enjoyment. If you like novel's that take you to new and different locations (seriously who would have known anything about 19th century Iceland??) then this truly is a delight.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • karen
    Buderim, Australia
    3/07/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Brilliant . I couldn't stop listening."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Very well written. The story moves at a slow pace but is enthralling. The narration creates part of the scene with a very believable Icelandic element and a calming voice that builds a strong sympathy with the characters emotion.


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Susannah
    Adelaide, Australia
    18/03/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Favourite audio book so far...I mean it this time!"
    What made the experience of listening to Burial Rites the most enjoyable?

    Everything.....I love the narration, the story, the dialogue, the description of feelings, scenes ...it is the best book I have listened to for a long time.


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    Yes...and even though the reader knows the outcome before commencing the book, you cannot but help hoping for a miracle.


    What does Morven Christie bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Her voice made the story for me...the way she brings Agnes into the room with you, the use of the Icelandic accent, she is very very good.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Cry. Over and over again at the end.


    Any additional comments?

    Don't hesitate, just listen to it!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Christine
    10/07/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Captivating"

    Great book. Had us hooked from the start. Detailed characters. Not usually into historical novels but really enjoyed the setting for this one. Great listen!!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Kathryn
    Killara, Australia
    27/05/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The narrater's Icelandic pronunciation was real."

    A rich tapestry of characters interwoven through a time and place of poverty and disadvantage took readers on a journey with a tragic end with some triumph.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Angi
    New Zealand
    16/09/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A haunting portrayal of Icelandic life in 1800's"
    Would you try another book from Hannah Kent and/or Morven Christie?

    Possibly,but I found the pace of this book too slow. I think if she wrote a novel set in a different place and time it might tempt me. Her style is beautifully poetic.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    Edit out some if the detail of everyday life, not the descriptions of place which were excellent and haunting.


    Which character – as performed by Morven Christie – was your favorite?

    The protagonist.


    Do you think Burial Rites needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    Perhaps she could write a book about the men that were murdered.


    Any additional comments?

    This was an excellent book to listen to, there are a lot of Icelandic names and I think I would have given up reading it if I'd tried to pronounce them myself. The reader made a great job of it. There is no doubt that the author is very skilled at creating an evocative and haunting story,however I did find it a bit 'grim' for my taste.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Bee
    Sydney, Australia
    26/06/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A story you won't easily forget"
    Where does Burial Rites rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Superbly written tale based on a true story


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    Even if you know what the end will be, the journey to get there was nerve wracking


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Agnes relating her version of the story to Margaret


    Who was the most memorable character of Burial Rites and why?

    Agnes and Toti


    Any additional comments?

    Well worth the time and more than worth the credit.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Cynthea Wellings
    9/03/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Exceptional Novel"

    I was not expecting the sheer quality of this book - in content and performance. There seemed to be an uncanny convergence between the narrator and the text which truly brought the book to life. The setting in Iceland, the history and the unusual plot overlaying the extraordinary manner in which the presenter tells the story, twisting her tongue around the Icelandic names is breathtaking.
    This is definitely a classic book putting Hannah Kent in the BIG LEAGUE of modern day writers. I give this one 5 stars!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Elissa
    Taperoo, Australia
    6/03/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Engrossing"

    The book has virtually "teleported" me to the 19th century Iceland. It provides a snapshot of social structures and life in the harsh environment of this land.
    The mystery of Agnes, her inner beauty, the need to belong, her integrity and strength of character create a glow that warms you from within long after the book is finished.
    The story unravels slowly, and when it ends you feel somehow disappointed...
    Let it sink in. It makes me glad and appreciative of the times I was born in!
    The narrator Morven Christie is the best I have experienced in audiobooks. Her timing, pace, perception of mood are immaculate. Her pronunciation is so precise it actually enhances the experience of listening immensely
    This debut book is a winner!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Anthony
    Sydney, Australia
    30/06/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Engaging, spirited, beautiful"

    Wonderfully written and beautifully narrated story based on characters and events in Iceland in the 18th Century. It revolves around a young woman (Agnes) sentenced to death for her supposed involvement, with two co-accused (one fo whom is subsequently released), in arson and the murder of two others. Prior to her death by hanging, Agnes is accommodated by the family of a district official, and counselled by a trainee priest. Through different voices and perspectives we learn of Agnes' life and passions, her relationships with the co-accused and victims, as well as with the family (divided in its response to her) and priest (naive but rises to the occasion). It is compulsive reading/listening, offering great insights into the social structures and norms of life in Iceland at the time - including attitudes to women and to those from lower social classes. The author, a young Australian, first learned of this story while spending time in Iceland, and followed up with much deeper research based on documents and interviews. A fine story, finely written, and finely read.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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