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Publisher's Summary

There was no pattern to the murders, no common thread other than the fact that the victims were all vacationers, robbed of their possessions, and slain in seemingly random crimes. Authorities across three continents and a dozen nations had no idea they were all looking for the same man: Charles Sobhraj, aka "The Serpent".   

A handsome Frenchman of Vietnamese and Indian origin, Sobhraj targeted backpackers on the "hippie trail" between Europe and South Asia. A master of deception, he used his powerful intellect and considerable sex appeal to lure naive travelers into a life of crime. When they threatened to turn on him, Sobhraj murdered his acolytes in cold blood. 

Between late 1975 and early 1976, a dozen corpses were found everywhere from the boulevards of Paris to the slopes of the Himalayas to the back alleys of Bangkok and Hong Kong. Some police experts believe the true number of Sobhraj's victims may be more than twice that amount.   

Serpentine is the "[G]rotesque, baffling, and hypnotic" true story of one of the most bizarre killing sprees in modern history (San Francisco Chronicle). Edgar Award-winning author Thomas Thompson's mesmerizing portrait of a notorious sociopath and his helpless prey "[U]nravels like fiction, but afterwards haunts the reader like the document it is" (The Plain Dealer, Cleveland).

©1979 Thomas Thompson (P)2018 Tantor

What listeners say about Serpentine

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Better narration needed

The story itself was interesting but the narration was almost as if it was a computer generated voice the entire novel. Very hard to engage and get excited about this book.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Chandelle
  • 09-10-2018

Good Story / Weak Narration

I listen to quite a few audible books. I'm normally not all that fussy with narrators but this book needed one with significantly more voice acting skills.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Kim Baker
  • 28-09-2018

This story is unbelievable but true

This story is unreal and I kept pausing the book to do research because it all sounds too strange to be true. Didn’t love the narrator at first but he grew on me after the first few chapters. This book kept me hooked until the very end.

4 people found this helpful

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  • RobotMaria
  • 15-02-2019

Gripping story

Took a minute to get past the narrator’s voice- reminded me of David Cross as Tobias Funke. Couldn’t put it down once I was engrossed with the story. Well written, and compelling.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Eeriis
  • 01-07-2021

Fantastic book - horrible narration

What a great read - I had to read most of the book though as the audible version was just terrible - the book itself - with all the narrations and well researched background of all the different people who came across Charles Sobhraj and especially also the wonderful descriptions of all the places made me feel like I was traveling truly the world again. I enjoyed this book tremendously even though of course the subject matter is very dark. But I don't understand Audible or whoever is in charge to choose narrators - the squeezed voice and poor performance of the narrator made it very hard to listen to. Such a pity!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Sarita r.
  • 10-05-2019

serpentine

This is a fascinating, unforgettable TRUE story. The narrator was great! I have listened to this book 3 times.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Mario
  • 22-11-2018

Captivating story bogged down by relentless detail

Don’t get me wrong, the book is good—but it’s 26 hours long and could have really benefited from a good paring down.

I had some pretty significant heartburn over Thompson’s accounting for thoughts, opinions, etc from the 70s. I know he was well researched, but there are some details that simply had to be supposition presented as fact.

In the grand scheme of things, the book is worth a listen just to learn about Sobranj (SP?), but a good editor would’ve really done wonders for the tome.

Chamberlain’s narration was decent but not compelling.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 25-10-2018

Fascinating.

The characters are well developed. Charles’ life is almost unbelievable and the entourage he collected to support his criminal empire is a real clown show. Excellent narration also

1 person found this helpful

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  • jaye
  • 07-10-2018

I HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR THIS BOOKS FOR SO LONG!

I READ THIS BOOK PHYSICALLY WHEN I WAS ABLE TO READ. NOW I CAN READ IT AGAIN. THE STORY IS CRAZY BUT TRUE. THIS GUY DOES OUTLANDISH CRIMES AND HE ALSO IS VERY CARELESS AND GETS HIMSELF IN A LOT OF TROUBLE. THE STORY IS A SAGA. A SAGA OF A SOCIOPATHIC CONMAN-MURDERER. I FOUND THE FIRST FEW HOURS SLOW. BUT I KNEW THAT FROM THE PHYSICAL BOOK. KEEP WITH IT IT IS WORTH THE READ. THE NARATOR WAS NOT MY FAVORITE. BUT HE DID OK . IT IS A LONG BOOK BUT TIME WORTH SPENDING. IF YOU LIKE THIS GET BLOOD AND MONEY ALSO FINALLY OUT BY SAME AUTHOR I AM READING THAT NEXT I HAVE READ THE HARD COPY YEARS AGO.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Pamela Norris
  • 22-08-2020

Disappointed

What a let down after all that story. Did the author just get tired? No justice for those murdered or for the reader.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Matt Arrington
  • 05-06-2020

wrong book

I bought this book by mistake and cant seem to return it. I tried listening to it just because I thought I might as well. but it's so boring

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 03-04-2020

Too much filler !

The book is very long.... probably two to three times longer than necessary. Dragged out what was otherwise an interesting story.

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