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Publisher's Summary

This is the story of John Stone, financier and armaments manufacturer, a man so wealthy that in the years before World War I he was able to manipulate markets, industries, and indeed whole countries and continents.

A panoramic novel with a riveting mystery at its heart, Stoneï¿¿ï¿¿s Fall is a quest to discover how and why John Stone dies, falling out of a window at his London home.

Chronologically, it goes backwards, and Stone's character deepens as the book progresses. Here is a love story and a murder mystery, set against the backdrop of the evolution of high-stakes international finance, Europe's first great age of espionage, and the start of the 20th century's arms race.

©2009 Iain Pears (P)2009 Isis Publishing Ltd

What listeners say about Stone's Fall

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Brodie
  • 27-12-2010

Woven Tapestry

This is a very good listen for it explores the plot from a variety of veiwpoints. Complex but not complicated, elegant but not fluffy. Am on my third listen and still it holds the attention.

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Tim Martin
  • 10-07-2020

Historical ooze

Storylines aside, Iain Peers (re)creates fabulous historical tableaus which ooze: the smells, textures, surfaces and light of a time that is not our own - it's worth the price of admission alone. While I enjoyed Stone's Fall, I found it dragged in places. I prefer the tighter 'An Instance of the Fingerpost'.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Roger
  • 13-12-2009

Excellent in every way.....

This is a great book and makes an almost perfect audio book. The writing is excellent - don't be put off by the length - and the story is compelling from start to finish. It charts the rise and fall of "Stone", from an obscure begining to his shocking, mysterious and abrupt end. Told from different perspectives the story never flags and is the best audio book I have ever listened to.

19 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Philip
  • Philip
  • 22-06-2010

Do not listen to Book One

I persevered through Book One and knowing its story possibly helps one enjoy and understand Books Two and Three. However, if you buy this audio book, I urge you to skip Book One altogether - or read it to your self from the written word. The narration is abysmal. The narrator appears to have read the words without understanding them. He places emphasis on the wrong words and in the wrong parts of sentences. I suspect that he did not practice but simply picked up the book and read. He is unable to provide any sense that the characters are real; so poor is his ability to act. He is utterly unconvincing, and I winced my way through his reading.

The story is, however, for all that, a decent one and worth the effort. Narrators Two and Three are excellent. Isis, the publishers, would be advised to re-narrate Book One altogether.

12 people found this helpful

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  • Colette Austen
  • 03-06-2014

Complex story ruined by poor narration!

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

By re-recording the first section of this book using a narrator who understood what he was reading and when it was appropriate to pause!!

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

Liked the ending!

Would you be willing to try another one of the narrators’s performances?

I purchased this audiobook on the basis of previous performances by the narrator of the second section of this book - a favourite of mine. Also enjoyed the performance of Narrator 3 who I had not listened to before. However the performance of Narrator 1 on this book can only be described as truly awful!!!

What character would you cut from Stone's Fall?

Disliked the character narrating Book 1 but this may have been due to the dreadful reading by the narrator of this section.

Any additional comments?

Re-record the first section of the book read by Narrator 1......the other narrators' professional handling of the text highlighted the deficiencies of the first narrator who didn't seem to have any understanding of what he was reading.

2 people found this helpful

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  • HaslemereBoy
  • 23-11-2020

Slow to start, but worthwhile

I was recommended this by a friend.
I was wondering why at the beginning but for anyone with an interest in London, Venice, finance, historical fiction and love & relationships- yes, I recommend!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Clementi
  • 05-12-2016

Tedious with unsympathetic characters...

I LOVED Instance Of The Fingerpost and thought it one of the best thought out books I'd heard in years. This, by contrast, is just horrid. Unpleasant characters with no redeeming features, endless and unnecessary description and repetition with essentially no coherent story or plot just a load of selfish, self interested people who live awful, tedious lives.

The narrators do their best with
a weak, almost non existent, plot.

Seriously, don't bother.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Russell
  • 08-04-2013

A thriller about banking...!

The slightly dry, analytical prose that served 'Instance of the Fingerpost' so well, feels rather less organic here and there are several passages detailing the way banks operate that outstay their welcome, but Pears is such an artful plotter and his characters so vivid, that the book builds in tension and becomes progressively more enjoyable. The way each of the 3 sections folds in on itself did lead me to guess at least one of the 'surprises' but there is a certain satisfaction in that too. It's a cunning book, not an easy read, but well worth the effort.

1 person found this helpful

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  • brenda miller
  • 24-06-2022

Excellent

Thoroughly enjoyable . I love long involved plots and he does it do well. I am looking forward to the next one

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  • E. Shachaf
  • 25-01-2022

Brilliant!

Gripping, interesting and sofisticated. Beautifully performed. Iain Pears livens up the era of the beginning of the 20th century, through three interwinding narratives . The three personal perspectives gradually build up a profound understanding and the meaning of the fascinating chain of events . A colourful veriety of individuals are thrown together into a harsh social and economical reality . Each with a unique set of coping tools to survive it. The accumulated point of
of view that the reader attains lead to understanding of the complex human condition within the historical and political context.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 20-11-2020

Brilliant.

Fantastic, really engaging and clever. I couldn't stop listening and am tempted to listen again straight away.

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Profile Image for Mr S.
  • Mr S.
  • 20-05-2020

Amazing book.

Iain pears has produced another brilliant novel. great performances too. need to write 5 more words so here they are

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