Regular price: $37.38

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price
  • Easy exchanges – love a book or swap it for free
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel
  • After your trial, Audible is just $16.45/month
OR
In Basket

Publisher's Summary

Penguin presents the audiobook edition of The Chalk Man by C. J. Tudor, read by Andrew Scott and Asa Butterfield.

None of us ever agreed on the exact beginning.

Was it when we started drawing the chalk figures, or when they started to appear on their own?

Was it the terrible accident?

Or when they found the first body?

©2017 C. J. Tudor (P)2017 Penguin Books Ltd.

Critic Reviews

"[I] haven't had a sleepless night due to a book for a long time. The Chalk Man changed that. Many congrats C. J. Tudor." (Fiona Barton, best-selling author of The Widow)
"It's been a while since I've read such an impressive debut." (James Oswald, author of the Inspector McLean series)
"Tense, skillful storytelling." (Ali Land, best-selling author of Good Me Bad Me)

"If you like my stuff, you'll like this." (Stephen King)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    34
  • 4 Stars
    18
  • 3 Stars
    16
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    0

Performance

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    37
  • 4 Stars
    16
  • 3 Stars
    13
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    2

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    36
  • 4 Stars
    16
  • 3 Stars
    15
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    0
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Reminds me of IT and Stranger Thing

Is it just me or this book really reminds me of IT and Stranger Thing?

Anyway 10/10 book, really recommended this book!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • ej
  • Australia
  • 06-05-2018

Riveting Read

The superb novel sustained my interest from start to finish. It intrigued and puzzled me. I could not stop listening until the mysterious plot was revealed.. Narrators were excellent. A wonderful read.

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

fabulous read.

loved it. the narrators mafe it sooooo much better.. One of the rare books i couldn't put down.

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

Marvellous

A wonderful story read brilliantly. Loved it. I wish he had written more hope he does write more soon.

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

Mumbled audio almost ruined it

This audio book was great. However one of the narrators who had a wonderful Irish voice, and the reason I chose the book in the first place. Turned out to mumble quietly a lot follows by loud yelling. It made some parts un-listenable and let down what could have been a great book. That said, the accent and second narrator was made it almost still worth it. Just proceed with caution if you don’t have headphones.

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

Chills

Listing to this story gave me the creeps at times but I couldn’t stop listening. Brilliant

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

A fine debut and a clever thriller.

The big man, Mr Stephen King himself, tweeted out high praise for The Chalk Man and it's easy to see why it would appeal to him. Whether inspired by, or purely coincidental C.J. Tudor's debut title feels quite a bit like an early King novel and, to me at least, thats not a bad thing.

The story twists and weaves and you'll have a hard time seeing whats coming next. Characters are well fleshed out and likable, at least for the most part. Eddie himself, particularly in his later years is a fantastic protagonist and is brought to life beautifully by the narrator.

All in all, i highly recommend this title.

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

Couldn't turn it off!

Absolutely amazing story and could not stop listening. the final chapter brings an entirely earth shattering change of perspective for the listener.

Assume Nothing!

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

Mystery Thriller with a bit of “I didn’t see that coming”

Wow. Not what I expected. So glad I chose it! Couldn’t stop listening. Beautifully written. The narrator definitely made it!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Heidi
  • Australia
  • 01-02-2018

Messes with your mind

WOW! WTH did I just read?! I am still weak-kneed from the final revelation and at the same time relieved and sad that I finally got my answers, and may – given time – be able to creep outside in the dark again to lock up my chooks without expecting some sinister figure peering at me from the dark trees. Now here, people, is a REAL psychological thriller, one that messed with my mind from the opening sentence until the very last page. At times I felt so clueless that I wasn’t sure I would ever get my answers.

Tudor has really nailed it with this novel, from the “then” and “now” setting, to the creepy details that flow so effortlessly into the narrative, never too explicit to cross the line, but insinuating horrors that seep into your nightmare as they do into Eddie’s. I am not going to delve into the plot at all, as this is one you should dive in blindly, trusting fate to spit you out whole at the other end (no guarantees!). But I can safely say that the story revolves around an old murder, with the body of a dismembered girl discovered in the woods as the book opens with its chilling prologue. At the time of the murder, Ed (Eddie) Adams was twelve and on the brink of teenagehood and change. Whilst he still loved hanging out with his gang of friends – Hoppo, Fat Gav, Metal Micky and Nicky – a tragic accident at the fairground that summer and the arrival of their new teacher Mr Halloran (“the Chalk Man”) changed Eddie’s life forever in ways he could not have foreseen.

Told in a dual time frame from the POV of 12-year-old Eddie and 42-year-old Ed, the book seamlessly switches back and forth in time in ways only few authors can achieve. Like Tudor herself, I was a teenager in the eighties, and her narrative brought back a lot of memories, good and bad, which immersed me deeply into the storyline. But even without that connection, it was impossible not to get drawn into the mystery surrounding the body in the woods, its ominous presence announced by chalk men marking the way. It reminded me of a game we used to play at school, of drawing stick figures as messages to be secretly passed around the classroom to pass the time in the most boring of lessons, often featuring gruesome deaths as they plunged off mountain peaks or were eaten by stick-sharks. We didn’t have facebook then, so had to resort to more primitive ways ;)

I loved the way Tudor presents her main protagonist. The innocent voice of 12-year-old Eddie telling of his adventures with his friends, and yet also hinting at the savagery of the childhood gang, with a Lord-of-the-Flies vibe suggesting that something darker is lurking beneath their games in the woods. On the brink of adulthood but still children at heart, the group are propelled into a cruel and unforgiving adult world through circumstances out of their control, which changes the dynamics of their friendhips forever. Don’t we all remember that bittersweet time, with one foot in childhood and one wanting to boldly step over the threshold into adult life? And then there is grown-up Eddie, who may have shed the last syllable of his childhood name, but not the history that still haunts him. There is something slightly off about Ed in ways that raised goose bumps on the back of my neck, and I was forever wondering if I could truly trust him.

¾ into the book I still had no idea where we were headed, with sinister images of chalk men marching through my dreams (this will teach me to read late into the night). But of course it all came together beautifully in the end, a denouement so clever and so chilling with its final reveal that this book will stay with me for a long time to come. Brilliant! It ticked all the boxes for me, so if you are a lover of dark, clever psychological thrillers that really live up to their genre, this is a must-read!

If this was CJ Tudor’s debut novel, I am trembling in anticipation what she will come up with next! A great book, the best I have read this year so far and one that will appeal to male and female audiences alike. Do yourself a favour and start listening today!




Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Tom
  • 07-03-2018

Great story. 1/2 the narration god awful.

The story is great let’s get that out of the way. The one narrator who does the chapters from flashbacks is great. The man whoever that does the 2016 chapters. Is beyond horrible. I noticed that on some of the reviews before buying people saying the same thing. I’ve never seen such a harsh review be so correct. He is so bad, honestly doesn’t seem like he’s even trying. He mumbles so some words aren’t even understandable. He also whispers for intense moments trying to make it sound creepy but it doesn’t work. They should have just had the one guy do both parts. Duo narrations always are weird but this was bad. I would have just rather bought the book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • OA
  • 12-03-2018

Ok, but flawed narration

I really don't understand why the producers of this book decided to use an Irish narrator for the 2016 parts. It suggests that Eddie grew up to become Irish, which doesn't make much sense, since he stayed in the same town until the age of 42.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Pauline Bain
  • 14-01-2018

Highly recommended

I have been looking forward to this book being released for weeks. It did not disappoint. Very well written & performed. I was gripped all the way through, loving each twist & turn.

21 of 28 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Tracey Phillips
  • 14-01-2018

Chillingly brilliant

A brilliant chilling suspenseful story full of twists and surprises.

Beautifully narrated.

Should be a TV crime drama, preferably starring Andrew Scott.

20 of 27 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Simon
  • 12-01-2018

More Gold Dust Than Chalk Dust!

I do enjoy trying a few new authors particularly those making their debuts each year. Of course you get mixed results but every so often it’s worth it because you come across something like The Chalk Man. C.J. Tudor draws from her favourite authors and her personal experiences to give us a real sparkler of a mystery story which genuinely had me guessing from start to finish. There are quite a few echoes of Stephen King’s epic masterpiece, IT in The Chalk Man. A dual timeline, traumatic events in damaged childhoods of much nostalgia, playing outside in the woods, bikes. Those events re-visited and confronted decades later by the adult remnants of those children and the baggage they have accumulated.

Those influences are very clear but it’s very much a book with its own identity and it’s much more a mystery, or even set of mysteries, than a horror. The narration is shared between the past in 1986 and the present in 2016. Andrew Scott gets 1986 and he evokes a bright, direct approach well suited to young twelve year olds and their world as the memories unfold. Asa Butterfield takes the present and he strikes a quieter and far more measured tone that evokes the languid nature of the characters three decades later and the regrets and fading memories they carry with them. It’s a stunningly effective way to use two different narrators and the book is almost perfectly structured for it. The only point I’d raise is that Butterfield at times goes fairly quiet and with that wistful nature almost seems to trail off at the end of some sentences which if listening in a noisy environment could prove awkward.

The Chalk Man is a quality piece of work hovering between a murder mystery and an examination of tortured minds affected by trauma and mental deterioration. There are some real stand out moments and a lot of guessing to be done before the final reveal. The moment that will live with me longest though is the very end of the book. In a book largely about memories, their nature and how they affect us it’s a very powerful and moving conclusion.

12 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 27-01-2018

Good story, narration less so

I enjoyed the story but did find adult Eddie sounded really bored and distracted at times... and did this weird whispering voice thing which detracted from an otherwise good story.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • John
  • 27-01-2018

shame about the narration

Having read the publishers reviews and a short extract I looked forward to listening . All started ok but then narattor number 2 took over as senior story telller. Apart from the occasional moment of good character intetpretation , he mumbled , fading lazily at the end of phrases and often reduced to a slurred whisper. An incongreous match to the other readers interpretation of story teller in his youth. This detracted greatly from the intended theme which was not exactly brilliant or gripping . Howver I listened to the end , albeit irritated by the often monotone lazy rendition. I would say save your money and move on to better entertainment .

8 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Nick Dawson
  • 15-01-2018

One of the best Audiobooks...

I have listened to. I was grippe from the first line. I tried to save it but ended up racing through.

Narrated wonderfully. I knew what to expect from Andrew Scott (Hypnotic) but the highlight was Asa Butterfield

Would recommend

9 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Donna Maguire
  • 15-01-2018

Excellent debut book!

What did you like most about The Chalk Man?

The flashbacks to the 1980s from the present day

What did you like best about this story?

The whole concept was great and it was a gripping story

Which character – as performed by Andrew Scott and Asa Butterfield – was your favourite?

I enjoyed all the characters - they worked so well together

10 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • V
  • 14-02-2018

Gripping book.

This book is well written and holds your attention from the start. While it kept going back in time to explain what is happening in modern day, it didn’t confuse you and actually enhanced the story. The only downside of the audible story was the narrator who told the story in 2016 kept changing the tone of his voice when he was relating something in the character’s head speaking so softly that it was very hard to hear when you are driving.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Mrs. K.
  • 06-02-2018

terrible narrator.

The second narrator (2016 Eddie) completely ruined this book for me. His monotonous voice was maddening. overall the story was good but I almost gave up on this book because of the narrator.

5 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 21-01-2018

Couldn't Put It Down (figuratively!)

Partly because it's an audiobook so impossible to physically place down. But a hugely enjoyable book, highly recommend.

5 of 8 people found this review helpful