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Ghost Empire

Narrated by: Richard Fidler
Length: 14 hrs and 58 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (448 ratings)

Non-member price: $54.63

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Publisher's Summary

Ghost Empire is a rare treasure - an utterly captivating blend of the historical and the contemporary, realised by a master storyteller.

In 2014, Richard Fidler and his son Joe made a journey to Istanbul. Fired by Richard's passion for the rich history of the dazzling Byzantine Empire - centred around the legendary Constantinople - we are swept into some of the most extraordinary tales in history. The clash of civilisations, the fall of empires, the rise of Christianity, revenge, lust, murder.

Turbulent stories from the past are brought vividly to life at the same time as a father navigates the unfolding changes in his relationship with his son. Ghost Empire is a revelation: a beautifully told ode to a lost civilisation, and a warmly observed father-son adventure far from home.

©2016 Richard Fidler (P)2016 Bolinda

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Fjp
  • 23-04-2017

Loved it.

We travelled through Turkey for 6 weeks in May/June 2013 with our 2 boys aged 15 & 13, it is a magical place with so much history and beauty.I wish I had of had this book before we went to Turkey , to understand a more in depth history of the place.The only thing I really knew about Turkey was about Gallipoli and our Anzacs.It blew me away how rich and interesting the history of Turkey is (I did modern history in high school which I loved, but now wish I had done ancient as well) , Richard and Joe's visit had many similarities to ours and I thoroughly enjoyed the interwoven history.Richards calm tone makes it a very easy to listen to audiobook.I am going to buy the hardback copy as well just to have it in my library. This book took me back to Beautiful Turkey and back to Byzantium.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Great story of long decline

Once into this reading, I could barely stop listening. Richard Fidler has written and read superbly.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Karla
  • Wellington, New Zealand
  • 18-05-2019

Interesting and compelling

I really enjoyed this audiobook. It was an interesting insight to a part of history we here little about. The author re-told compelling stories of the times in a way the average person can relate to.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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enlightening and warm, stranger than fiction

i learnt more about the history of that region than i could have imagined. lovely father son experience.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Richard and Joe

I enjoyed this journey a lot- enlightening historical anecdotes and numerous intimate moments between father and son.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Engrossing

A brilliantly written title and performed so perfectly by the author. There is nothing better than hearing stories the way in which they were intended to be heard.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Well put together

Places the listener into the perspective of the times. I found myself willing this ongoing line of Emperors to "get a clue", but the history is fixed with all the human flaws.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A brilliant story, full to the brim of facts and laced with love and passion for history.

I fear that I will not do justice to this marvellous story of a devoted father who has taken his young teenage son on a journey to modern Turkey to share his passion for the history of the Byzantine
Era. By taking him to the remains of what was the centre of the Roman Empire, Richard is able to entwine the facts of what took place centuries ago and retell it with the added joy he has in sharing the journey with his young son. He leads young Joe on the trip of a life time where he is able to impart to the reader factual history that is told in such a way that it has left this reader wanting more, though I doubt that he'd left much out. One can only hope that there are more journeys in the future for this pair of travellers, perhaps as Joe becomes the man his fathers mentions in this tale,he will take his father on a journey that we can be rewarded with. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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loved this book

a great story about Richard Fidler and his son discovering Constantinople. I loved the personal style to this history lesson

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Bringing history to life with easy style

A nice side story of a father and son trip against the backdrop of Istanbul and all the history of the Byzantine Empire

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  • Wendy
  • 30-03-2018

Great Listen

What did you love best about Ghost Empire?

Well written and read by Richard Fidler. A fascinating history of a strategic, important city, inhabited and fought for by diverse cultures.

Any additional comments?

It is such a pity that Constantinople and Byzantine are pronounced with incorrect emphasis. As they occur frequently it becomes annoying.

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  • TAO
  • 05-10-2017

Unraveled byzantine history

Very much enjoyed the exploration of an old city. The movement between the contemporary and the past was presented in a way that pulls you in. I have wanted to do something similar but Erdogan and the occasional crack downs give me pause. As does all the rest of the regional chaos. The trip to Roman ruins is on the list and this book upped the desire factor.

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  • JL
  • 11-06-2017

Interesting story by a great storyteller

Interesting history of Byzantium combined with a travelogue of Istanbul and Rome. The author is an excellent and captivating storyteller with a great ability to weave a complicated yet easy to follow story. His depiction of the Fourth Crusade is probably the best I've heard and truly captures pointless tragedy of the affair. He doesn't dive into as great of detail on some issues that other histories cover, namely the theological disputes, but that is probably for the better in keeping the story moving. Definitely recommend.

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  • Ann Scott Jobe
  • 24-03-2017

Great presentation

The journalist Fidler does a really wonderful and entertaining presentation both in content and narration. Like an excellent song sung by the songwriter, Fidler imparts emotion at the level the text demands. There may be new things for Byzantine history buffs but mostly is is enjoyable the way he put it together. Everyone who loves history whether you care for Byzantine history or not should listen. It will grab you from the start.

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  • Jack M.
  • 28-02-2017

loved it

Richard Fidler is such a compelling narrator. his enthusiasm for the story behind this fascinating place is infectious.

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  • Isobel Stevenson
  • 19-01-2018

The writer isn't always the best narrator

I was very much looking forward to this book - very, very much - but the outdated gender philosophies around father/son relationships and the narrator's dull and charmless delivery made it impossible to get through chapter one. I'm going to try again in hard copy. Maybe.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • David H. Cats
  • 06-09-2016

Fabulous Book

A well written and well narrated book which brought history to life with a breath of fresh air and a father and son rite of passage. Absolutely loved it and highly recommend.