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The Binding

Narrated by: Carl Prekopp
Length: 15 hrs and 29 mins
4.4 out of 5 stars (1,666 ratings)

Non-member price: $22.03

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Publisher's Summary

Imagine you could erase your grief.

Imagine you could forget your pain.

Imagine you could hide a secret.

Forever.

Emmett Farmer is working in the fields when a letter arrives summoning him to begin an apprenticeship. He will work for a Bookbinder, a vocation that arouses fear, superstition and prejudice - but one neither he nor his parents can afford to refuse.

He will learn to handcraft beautiful volumes, and within each he will capture something unique and extraordinary: a memory. If there’s something you want to forget, he can help. If there’s something you need to erase, he can assist. Your past will be stored safely in a book, and you will never remember your secret, however terrible.

In a vault under his mentor’s workshop, row upon row of books - and memories - are meticulously stored and recorded.

Then one day Emmett makes an astonishing discovery: one of them has his name on it.

The Binding is an unforgettable, magical novel: a boundary-defying love story and a unique literary event.

©2019 Bridget Collins (P)2019 HarperCollins Publishers

Critic Reviews

"The Binding is a dark chocolate slice of cake with a surprising, satisfying seam of raspberry running through it. It is a rich, gothic entertainment that explores what books have trapped in them and reminds us of the power of story telling. Spellbinding." (Tracy Chevalier) 

"Pure magic. The kind of immersive storytelling that makes you forget your own name. I wish I had written it." (Erin Kelly, author of He Said/She Said)

What listeners say about The Binding

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
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Thoroughly original.

devoured this book. the performance is perfect. a powerful idea and language that embroiders the scenes around you. surprising and touching. I have not enjoyed a story so much in a long time.

23 people found this helpful

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Outstanding!

This book is exquisitely expressive. I've been entranced, drunk on words. Beautiful soul staining art.

19 people found this helpful

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What the heck???

I snagged this audiobook after reading one word in the description; MAGICAL. I needed a little more magic in my life and BOY OH BOY did I get that and more. I was swept up in this story from the get-go, it lost a star because of a slight drag midway through. The reader brought the characters to life, putting a great spin on the personality of every person he voiced. What a great book to launch me into 2019’s reading list.

18 people found this helpful

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One of the best love stories, ever.

Go into this book with a clear mind, an open heart and a desire to feel that life really is worth living. The binding is is a clever, mysterious book about the things we love and hate about ourselves. As well, it looks at the wider view, the community, it's prejudices and the hidden worlds that lay beneath the surface of those prejudices. I was unable to stop listening.

37 people found this helpful

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Wow. I love this book. Something really special.

Thank you Bridget Collins for this incredible novel. What seems a simple tale gathers depth and momentum as the story continues...in the end you’ll be willing the narrator to tell you more, and more quickly because you can’t stand not knowing. A beautiful and relatively simple magical vein runs through the tale - but it is an original one which makes for a fantastic story. I love this book.

12 people found this helpful

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An unexpected surprise!

What a beautifully written and creative story. I had no idea what this book was about when i started listening and who knows...if i had spent too much time dithering over whether it is something i would read I would have missed out. Don't overthink it, just do it! You won't be disappointed.

18 people found this helpful

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Great book

So interesting to listen to as the voice actor is amazing and the story so compelling and unusual.

8 people found this helpful

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Amazing

What a lovely, fantastic book, I feel honoured to have read it. Highly recommended it.

7 people found this helpful

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Miss me with that gay shit.

It would have been nice to know that this story is actually about gay love.

6 people found this helpful

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You will love this, whoever you are.

This book is so beautifully written and Carl Prekopp’s incredible narration and gravelly voice is a joy.

10 people found this helpful

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  • Bel
  • 08-10-2020

Spellbinding

A beautiful book. I loved it. What imagination, what pictures, and what a wonderful love story. Add to this, that it was absolutely beautifully narrated, and you have a book that can be recommended to anyone. A perfect escape from today's world into a wholly different world.

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  • Karen McCarthy / Brenda Dass
  • 27-05-2020

Breathtakingly beautiful

What a stunning book and stunning performance. I am an avid Audible listener and I haven’t been this absorbed and mesmerized in ages. Highly recommended.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 26-06-2019

If you wished for another Wuthering Heights

The Binding transports you to the marshes of Yorkshire and binds you to the characters as if you were written into the story along with them. It has the spacious quality of a Max Richter piece of music and the melancholy of a modern Gothic masterpiece.

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  • Angela
  • 16-03-2019

Brilliant

An exceptional story, written with perfect descriptions that painted a vivid picture. Could not put the book down.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Tans
  • 21-08-2019

Different

I felt that the story was wonderfully different to what I had expected and similar in ways to "The watchmaker of Filigree Street" by Natasha Pulley. The narration was incredible- Prekopp did an outstanding job. I just felt a bit underwhelmed by the ending.

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  • Orsolya Gyorfi
  • 19-01-2019

Magical

As a bookbinder by trade, this stands close to my heart. There IS a kind of magic in binding a book.. The details described in tools and processes were a joy to recognise. The story itself is subtle and passionate and gentle and addictive and strong and brilliant...! It beautifully weaved together threads of love and craft and mystery and the narrators' voice transferred it all perfectly. I cannot praise it enough. I will be looking out for more of both Collins' and Prekopps' works.

68 people found this helpful

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  • Emma C
  • 15-02-2019

One of my best listens of 2019

If I had read this, I would certainly have cheated and skipped to the end. I was rapt all the way through. This is one of those rare stories that you cannot wait to finish but then mourn reaching the end. Thank you Bridget Collins, I adored The Binding. I look forward to more of you. Carl Prekopp's narration and care of the distinctive voices of Bridget Collins's characters and their world was utterly delightful. Thank you Mr. Prekopp for your stunning delivery, I would love to hear more of your narration. I will be purchasing a hard copy of this because I wish to make a home for The Binding in my bookcase of forever stories.

62 people found this helpful

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  • Jude
  • 06-07-2019

Disappointing

A good and intriguing idea, but the execution was so drawn out and laboured. Very dodgy historical period placing, sort of vaguely Victorian but then hinting at 18 century. Cloaks are worn at the beginning, later men have coats... Modern turns of phrase too. All middle class evil and depraved. very repetitious at times. Lots of ragged windblown sky's and sleet driving into faces. Yawn

41 people found this helpful

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  • S J Russell
  • 09-02-2019

Mesmerising, intriguing and utterly beautiful

I fell a little bit in love with this book. It is beautifully written, the plot is entrancing and the narration simply marvelous. To say that the characters were brought to life just doesn't do it justice. I wish I could have my memory of the book bound just so i could experience it again for the first time.

35 people found this helpful

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  • Nick Morris
  • 04-02-2019

Takes a fantastic turn you never see coming!!

great read, felt almost like 2 different books as the plot is going down one path and before you even realise your stood at the end of Path no 2!! Loved every second and couldn't get through it fast enough. Fantastic narration brought an amazing story even further to life

26 people found this helpful

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  • DEN
  • 17-01-2019

Both story and narration are absolutely fantastic!

Both story and narration are absolutely fantastic! Enjoyed it so much. Please don’t be put off by the length. I’ll definitely listen again

24 people found this helpful

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  • Frances Houghton
  • 14-04-2020

Disappointing for me

I was very keen to read this book but it was very dark and dreary. I waited and waited for it to get going but it never took off for me. The basic story of homosexuality and members of the aristocracy abusing very young female staff then having their memories erased was miserable from start to finish. Another wasted credit.

18 people found this helpful

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  • Marg
  • 01-02-2019

Exceptional... Stunning.. A reread again and again

I was unprepared (why so cheap?) for such a book. Poetry turned into a story which magically bound me to its pages. I was surprised by the gentleness, the passion and the amazing word skill of this author. Read it please.. You won't be disappointed, I'm starting again

15 people found this helpful

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  • A Smithy
  • 11-02-2019

Fine, if overly long

I love the concept and the first half of the novel is incredibly strong. From there I feel the novel began to amble too much. Characters who play an important part are brushed over while other parts are stretched too far.

13 people found this helpful

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  • Tiina
  • 15-01-2019

amazing, breath taking, heart wrenching

The language is so beautiful, but not too flourished. Just the right kind of magic to add to the story. The plot gets darker than you might think at first. But it is well worth a few uneasy nights to get through this.

27 people found this helpful