Frog Music

  • by Emma Donoghue
  • Narrated by Khristine Hvam
  • 12 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Summer of 1876: San Francisco is in the fierce grip of a record-breaking heat wave and a smallpox epidemic. Through the window of a railroad saloon, a young woman named Jenny Bonnet is shot dead.
The survivor, her friend Blanche Beunon, is a French burlesque dancer. Over the next three days, she will risk everything to bring Jenny's murderer to justice - if he doesn't track her down first. The story Blanche struggles to piece together is one of free-love bohemians, desperate paupers, and arrogant millionaires; of jealous men, icy women, and damaged children. It's the secret life of Jenny herself, a notorious character who breaks the law every morning by getting dressed: a charmer as slippery as the frogs she hunts.
In thrilling, cinematic style, Frog Music digs up a long-forgotten, never-solved crime. Full of songs that migrated across the world, Emma Donoghue's lyrical tale of love and bloodshed among lowlifes captures the pulse of a boomtown like no other.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Donoghue + Hvam = entertainment

I am a fan of both Ms. Donoghue and Ms. Hvam, so imagine my happiness when they collaborate to entertain me. This book was engaging and interesting. I did find it a bit confusing because the author kept going back and forth between time periods, but that seems to be a writing technique that is very popular now. The storyline, set in San Francisco in the late 19th century was fascinating and I learned a few things I had never heard about ie: baby farms and cross dressing as a crime. The characters were not particularly likeable, except for Jennie, but I did feel that the author delved into what made them the people they were. I enjoy historically based novels because in an entertaining way they bring up facts I wasnt aware of, that I can later research. Ms.Hvams narration was excellent as always, she is able to conjure up many different accents realistically and move between them flawlessly! Despite this not being a perfect novel, I think it's entertaining and worth your time and credit.
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- Taryn "Addicted to Audible!"

Not a Great Book - HORRIBLE Audible

I looked forward to the end of the book, through most of this book. Only finishing because of my concern for the infant. The story held no interest to me.

Emma Donoghue chose to write about an actual unsolved murder mystery that took place in 1876 in San Francisco, using historic characters. The story centers around a French burlesque dancer struggling to stay alive after the murder of her unorthodox friend, Jenny Bonnet, a women locally well known for her crime of wearing pants. It's a dark world of prostitutes, baby farms, a factual small pox epidemic during an unrelenting heat wave. It sounds like a great story right? The author found an interesting topic but, she just did not deliver.

The characters are shallow, one dimensional and unconnected. They don't interacted or have conversations. They talk at one another - often in trite platitudes. The Jenny character sounds like a cartoon rootin'tootin' cowboy spitting one nonsensical adages after another and she's got a million of them. I was glad to see her demise...but, she kept coming back throughout the book. Blanche and her revolving maternal instinct. Hard to get around a woman who claims to have a deep bond then contemplates allowing her worst enemy to raise him in the next breath.

Here is why listen to this book on Audible made it even worse - 1)Half the characters have French accents. 2)The story switches between the beginning of these two woman's friendship - to the end of their relationship - to before their relationship - not in chapters or even paragraphs, but in sentences. I am thinking that the written text uses italics when the main character, Blanche refers back to the previous time from one sentence to another, then three sentences later is back to referring about events at the end of their relationship. That just does not show up when someone is reading to you. The listener is constantly listening for the tense of the verbiage or the action of the characters to try to determine where the story is. It's maddening. Khristine Hvam did all she could to translate this into an audible book - but, you can only do so much.
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- tooonce72

Book Details

  • Release Date: 04-01-2014
  • Publisher: Hachette Audio