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Publisher's Summary

Seventeenth-century Amsterdam is a city in the grip of tulip mania, basking in the wealth it has generated.

Sophia’s husband Cornelis, an ageing merchant, is among those grown rich from this exotic new flower. To celebrate, he commissions a talented young artist to paint him with his young bride. But as the portrait grows, so does the passion between Sophia and the painter; and as ambitions, desires and dreams breed an intricate deception, their reckless gamble propels their lives towards a thrilling and tragic conclusion.

©1999 Deborah Moggach (P)2014 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd

Critic Reviews

"Sumptuous prose ... reads like a thriller." ( The New York Times Book Review)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Kevin Crumpton
  • 31-01-2017

Very interesting book

This book was unpredictable in many ways which made it fun to listen to. The reader was excellent as she navigated between half a dozen characters. I listened on a trip to Amsterdam and it was perfect for the history and the setting the time of The Golden Age in Holland.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • SUSAN
  • 04-09-2017

Simply loved this book

The characters were deep and well defined. Remarkable story that I had no idea how it would end. Author's grasp of language made it intriguing and smart. Narration was perfect. I felt as though I was part of the story.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Andrea
  • 03-11-2016

Well worth a credit!

I love this book and couldn't wait to listen to it each day! Now I can't wait to see the movie!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Julia von Schilling
  • 25-02-2018

Stunning performance

The narrator creates a captivating atmosphere. One of the best audio performances in the hundreds of books I have heard.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • lisa
  • 19-09-2017

Finished in a day

It was well written and an easy listen, starts off slow but quickly picks up.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 17-09-2017

tulips<br />

I liked the various quotes at the beginning of each chapter. It is very well narrated.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • all smiles
  • 19-07-2018

Tulip Fever

I must admit that I saw the movie and loved it. That's what prompted me to get this book. I just can't seem to get into this book. I returned this book without finishing. I'm sure this is a great author sadly this book just isn't for me.

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  • Elise Fitts 
  • 24-05-2016

The ending seemed rushed

Overall this was a captivating and easy listen. The story was interesting and easy to follow even though it switched between several characters. The ending did seem very rushed compared to the rest of the dtory, but it was still a good read.

3 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Meghann Christianson
  • 09-04-2018

felt like half a story

felt like I was listening to a story that was only half complete. the characters were hardly developed, and I didn't find myself rooting for any of them. I felt very apathetic about what was going to happen to the characters. but the narration was great.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Claire
  • 04-11-2015

Adultery, Amsterdam, mania

Is there anything you would change about this book?

I'm afraid I didn't enjoy Rula Lenska's narration. I thought I would, but she didn't always pronounce things correctly. Her tone was very drab in the low notes and croaky higher up, making some of the characters quite annoying, and I found her interpretation of Cornelis made him creepier than he needed to be! She didn't encourage my sympathy with the protagonist either.

What other book might you compare Tulip Fever to, and why?

I guess the Girl with the Pearl Earring, owing to the Amsterdam setting, its famous painters, the 17th century, and the focus on female characters.

Would you be willing to try another one of Rula Lenska’s performances?

Not for me, I'm afraid. I can still hear one of the characters crying and it was grating like nails on a blackboard. Sorry, Rula!

Did Tulip Fever inspire you to do anything?

I purchased because I have recently visited Amsterdam and learned a lot more about its history, and the book had good reviews. I'm going to read Black Tulip by Dumas next, to explore another/older take on tulip mania.

Any additional comments?

I know this has been made into a film which I think will be released next year - I can see it being more compelling on screen, with the evocative shadows in the dark canal houses, and shimmering reflections from the canals, the mists and sounds of the period, and the haunting pace which could be achieved by following characters around the narrow streets: a good director could make a really great film, but I'm afraid Rula Lenska's reading soured me towards the book more than if I'd just read it myself.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful