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Publisher's Summary

Three journeys. One road. 

England, 1348. A gentlewoman flees an odious arranged marriage, a Scots proctor sets out for Avignon and a young ploughman in search of freedom is on his way to volunteer with a company of archers. All come together on the road to Calais. 

Coming in their direction from across the Channel is the Black Death, the plague that will wipe out half of the population of Northern Europe. As the journey unfolds, overshadowed by the archers' past misdeeds and clerical warnings of the imminent end of the world, the wayfarers must confront the nature of their loves and desires.  

A tremendous feat of language and empathy, it summons a medieval world that is at once uncannily plausible, utterly alien and eerily reflective of our own. James Meek's extraordinary To Calais, in Ordinary Time is a novel about love, class, faith, loss, gender and desire - set against one of the biggest cataclysms of human history.

©2019 James Meek (P)2020 W. F. Howes

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  • Johnny Grey Ltd
  • 11-12-2020

Gripping story let down a bit by poor reading

It seems mean to complain but my pleasure on listening to this excellent book was marred by mispronunciations and poor emphasis on some words. I do understand it’s hard to get these things consistently right but mistakes break the spell of the story. From listening to quite a few Audible books I’ve found the quality of the reader so important that I’ll look for familiar actors’ names and if missing will probably not download the book.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 21-12-2020

Interesting book, disappointing performances

This book is interesting, a neat piece of medievalism ambitious in its depictions of so many different cultural corners of c14th England. I get what meek is going for with the different tones between characters (low old English, high courtly French, clerkly Latin) but it gets a bit laboured. The performances on this really disappointed me. The pace is rushed, all of them inflect in ways that diminish interest or even obscure certain meanings, and one of them gasps really loudly and distranctingly at the end of each sentence. It's just confusing to hear sex scenes narrated with less sensuality than the evening news.

4 people found this helpful

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