A Dying Breed

  • by Peter Hanington
  • Narrated by Jonathan Keeble
  • 12 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

A debut novel in the vein of Greene and le Carré, A Dying Breed is a brilliant and gripping story of the politics of news reporting, intrigue and blood set between the dark halls of Whitehall, the shadowy corridors of the BBC and the perilous streets of Kabul, in the shadowy le Carré-esque world of foreign correspondents reporting from war zones around the world.
Carver, an old BBC hack, is warned off a story when a bomb goes off, killing a local official in Kabul, but his instincts tell him something isn't quite right, and he won't give up until he finds the truth. A junior producer sent out from London to control him is kidnapped, and as the story unravels it looks like there's collusion between the local consul, Whitehall and someone in the BBC to ensure the real story never sees the light of day.

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What the Critics Say

"A tremendous novel - shot-through with great authenticity and insider knowledge - wholly compelling and shrewdly wise." (William Boyd)
"A Dying Breed is a deeply insightful, humane, funny and furious novel. This is both a timely reflection on how Britain does business and a belting good read." (A. L. Kennedy)
"A compelling read, and a great insider's view of life in broadcast journalism. I'm disappointed I am not to feature in the book: it is a brilliant read." (Evan Davis)
"Buy this book. Find a quiet place. Switch off your phone and devour it. Hanington's ability to wrap a story around the ghosts of truth is superb. He spins his tale with a true writer's gift. I loved every minute in this book's company." (Fi Glover, BBC Radio 4 presenter)
"Peter is that rare commodity in the journalistic fraternity...a natural storyteller. You really want to turn the pages. And that's what matters." (John Humphrys)
"A deeply intelligent, beautifully constructed story." (Will Gompertz, BBC arts editor)
"All journalists seem to think they can write great novels about journalism and 99% of those who try make a hash of it. Hanington is in the 1%. Having created believable characters caught up in the hell that is Afghanistan, he weaves a story that manages to excite, appall and instruct in equal measure. And it reveals one of the trade's most important differences: the chasm that exists between horizontal journalism and vertical journalism." (Roy Greenslade, Guardian and Evening Standard columnist and commentator)
"A Dying Breed is a gripping, fast-moving tale of shifting loyalties and creeping betrayal.... Hanington connects the inner-workings and skullduggery of the BBC's London headquarters to the quiet, menacing stillness of the deserts of Central Asia, where the story turns dramatically and violently in a heartbeat and builds to its tempestuous, thrilling conclusion.... A page turner from the first line - and full of insights, some chilling, some hilariously well-observed - into the murky worlds of the war on terror, the secret intelligence services, and the mainstream British news media." (Allan Little, former BBC foreign correspondent and chair of the Edinburgh International Book Festival)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Joseph Conrad and Graham Greene Return

It has been a long time since I read or listened to a novel that conjures a sense of waning Empire (British). The foci of this novel is a not-quite-burntout BBC radio journalist (of the old school). He stumbles upon a plot to extract profit in a war-torn region through nefarious means. Since the plotters are Brits, and he is BBC, there is tension revolving around which side of the politico-economic coin each character resides.

A great deal of classic literature written by Conrad, Greene, W. Somerset Maugham, and George Orwell (Burma years) expose' similar themes. Peter Hanington reawakens our questions about Empire, contemporarily known as "economic interests," by setting us in the heart of a former minor (but failed) jewel in the crown, Afghanistan.

This is not an "in your face" dissertation of capitalism run-amok. It is a story, well-told, of opportunism and malefactors that do the bidding of corporations.

I give this novel two Khyber Rifles up!
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- Craig "I teach. I Listen. I trust your judgment as a fellow listener."

A gripping story, I just could not put it away.

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I would recommend this book because it portrays the middle east as a complicated area with cultural and economic aspects that perhaps we westerners are not capable of understanding. We seem arrogant when we try to manage or make what we call improvement to Afghanistan when we have little in common historically,culturally and spiritually.


What was one of the most memorable moments of A Dying Breed?

The Afghanistan Warlord,has a story and a point of view that is understandable, that while it
doesn't make him a sympathetic person or justify his activities, I could see that he too has a
humanity. For example the Warlord was concerned about a young relative that he was helping. When the young man was killed, the Warlord wanted to know how and by whom.

The Americans and English thought that the Warlord had economic issues the Warlord was
trying to advance. The Americans and the English and the Warlord were working at cross purposes.


Have you listened to any of Jonathan Keeble’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I have heard his name before, but I can't remember anything of his that I have listened to
before. He is excellent.


Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I had a very difficult tine, setting this book aside,so I get ready for work, sleep or other duties. I still finished it in 2 days.


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- Julie "I love a good mystery. My favorite author right now is Edward Marston. I am enjoying the Great War Series."

Book Details

  • Release Date: 04-07-2016
  • Publisher: Two Roads