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Early Riser

Narrated by: Thomas Hunt
Length: 15 hrs and 49 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (67 ratings)

Non-member price: $37.98

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Publisher's Summary

Jasper Fforde's first stand-alone novel - full of the imagination, wit and intelligence that has made Fforde a number one best seller.

Every Winter, the human population hibernates. 

During those bitterly cold four months, the nation is a snow-draped landscape of desolate loneliness and devoid of human activity.

Well, not quite.

Your name is Charlie Worthing, and it's your first season with the Winter Consuls, the committed but mildly unhinged group of misfits who are responsible for ensuring the hibernatory safe passage of the sleeping masses.

You are investigating an outbreak of viral dreams which you dismiss as nonsense - nothing more than a quirky artefact born of the sleeping mind.

When the dreams start to kill people, it's unsettling.

When you get the dreams too, it's weird.

When they start to come true, you begin to doubt your sanity.

But teasing truth from Winter is never easy: You have to avoid the Villains and their penchant for murder, kidnapping and stamp collecting, ensure you aren't eaten by Nightwalkers, whose thirst for human flesh can be satisfied only by comfort food, and sidestep the increasingly less-than-mythical WinterVolk.

But so long as you remember to wrap up warmly, you'll be fine. 

©2018 Jasper Fforde (P)2018 Hodder & Stoughton Limited

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Great

Jasper Fforde never disappoints. This standalone is just as weird and wonderful as the worlds of Thursday Next and Shades of Grey.

1 person found this helpful

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Really enjoyed this one

A great story that seemed a bit slow at first but then, before I realised, the hooks were in and I couldn't stop listening. Thouroughly enjoyable.

1 person found this helpful

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Loved it! The best accents ever!

Took a chapter or two to get into the groove, but was gripping for the rest of the book.
I loved the excellent Welsh accents - definitely added to the experience.
The story is brilliant and full of Fforde's classic twists and turns, many things happened that I didn't expect and all ends were tied neatly at the end.

1 person found this helpful

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An absorbing dystopian adventure

I have read several Jasper Fforde novels & was particularly taken by “Shades of Grey”. I have been looking for another story with a similarly well constructed alternate (if dystopian) society & world view since. Jasper has delivered. I loved the premise of this story. I also found his main character charmingly likeable with a believable amount of grit below the surface! In fact, all the characters inhabiting this novel were wonderful in their own ways. The story was by turns entertaining and gripping & the ending was ultimately satisfying.
In my view, the narrator served this story well & was just the right choice to voice this narrative.
Didn’t want this to end.
More like this please Jasper Fforde!

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I tried to love it but it just didn't capture me.

Great narrator though. For me this book tried to be quirky but just fell short. I kept fading out and I had to relisten to chunks of it. I'm disappointed that I didn't love it, I'd heard such good things and had high hopes.

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Great Story.

Great story please finish the orhers. Great narration by the reader. Will listen again soon.

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Original and entertaining

Funny and pleasant story. The storyline is original, funny and thought provoking at times. A light read, nothing special.

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Almost as good as Thursday Next...

I really enjoyed this title - a little slow to get going, but once into it, it is great. Loved the Welsh setting and accents. It had hints of Thursday Next, (Wales, not always raining) but I can’t give anything 5 stars in comparison to that first book and subsequent ones in the series. I guess it is hard being judged by comparison to one of my favourite books of all time. Strongly recommend this book.

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Early Riser

As weird and wonderful, story-wise, as always with Jasper Fforde. The main speaker is a joy to listen to but the cutaway at the beginning of each chapter just, ... I couldn't even listen towards the end. I'm not sure if it was just me but it was a nails-on-a-chalkboard situation.

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  • A Reader
  • 26-11-2018

Not as good as his other books

It's a good story but not as good as Shades of Grey and the Next series

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  • Sleepyhollow
  • 13-08-2018

Only drawback - no sequel yet.

As I don't live in the UK and the audiobook was released same day as the hardcover I started listening to it before having the chance to read the book itself and I'm super happy about that because the book would have been finished in a night and this has been my companion for the last 10 days.
The book, as is a most of mr Fforde work, is imaginative, funny and quirky at the same time. It reminds me a little of my favorite book by him "Shades of Grey" as the main character again is a somewhat bewildered youngster with good intentions lost in a dystopian version of Wales. It is however completely different , original and very entertaining.
The narrator is great, with a deep but very clear welsh (?) accent which suites very well to the character of the book.
Highly recommended.

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  • A. R. Daw
  • 22-02-2019

Turned into a marathon.

I started losing interest. Possibly a good premise but just too long winded for me.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Sue Gill
  • 28-01-2019

Brilliant, amusing and though inducing

A other fantastic story from Fford. Set in a Welsh soverinty that experiences ice age like winters with residents who hibernate.
Who stays up to look after them? What happens to those who dream?

1 person found this helpful

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  • Mrs. J. M. Galor
  • 20-12-2018

A bit baffling

There’s a really great story in here somewhere, I just didn’t quite find it. Convoluted, meandering, a bit directionless. It was almost impossible to keep track of characters and plot, but somehow there was still something that kept me listening. I think what kept it going for me was in fact the narrator, who is terrific, better I think than his material. All credit to his storytelling ability.

1 person found this helpful

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  • J L Parkes
  • 13-08-2018

More good work from the king of Dystopia

Really good book, really enjoyed it! Now come on and write Shades of Grey 2!!!!!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 15-02-2020

thoughtful

will be starting again from the beginning! so many interesting concepts that turn our reality on its head, but remain recognisable. more in keeping with shades of gray than the Thursday books. more preferable in my opinion.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-10-2019

very entertaining story

very entertaining story well read and funny too ... definitely worth a listen i suggest

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  • Lissa F
  • 19-09-2019

not what I expected from Fforde

having read all of Fforde's books so far and loved every one, I was really excited to discover one that I'd missed from last year.
I'm probably being harsh, and the plot was ok, and it had a good concept, but I was expecting the usual Fforde jokes and references.
Now, perhaps the jokes were there, but all hidden in the depths of Welsh in-jokes, but I certainly missed the joy I normally get from reading Fforde's books.
I wouldn't say to miss this one, but just don't have the high expectations I had.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • E. A. Mackie
  • 15-09-2019

Great listen

Like all his books,a great story at the heart of it. Well done JF keep up the good work k.

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  • James
  • 24-08-2019

Outstanding

Reminded me of his other stand-out book, Shades of Grey. I really hope he gets round to writing the sequel to that one day. It's supposed to be a trilogy.

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  • Vicky
  • 26-05-2019

I love this book!

I’m a big fan of all of JF’s books, and this one is no different. It bears no comparison in style to the other series (maybe a hint of the Shades series), but like all of his other books it’s superbly written.

The narrator was great and his delivery was compelling. I was put in mind of (the also wonderful) Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere at times due to the narrator’s style as well as the twist on reality that both books do.

Basically I had to put everything else on hold until I finished it - it’s one of those kind of books!