The Blasphemer

  • by Nigel Farndale
  • Narrated by Simon Vance
  • 13 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

This is an astonishing, ambitious, and masterful new novel, with echoes of Robert Graves’s great autobiography Goodbye to All That, that reads at the pace of a thriller.
On its way to the Galápagos Islands, a light aircraft crashes into the sea. Zoologist Daniel Kennedy is confronted with a stark Darwinian choice. Should he save himself or Nancy, the woman he loves? But how can one moment of betrayal ever be forgiven? And after he escapes the plane and swims for help, who is the elusive figure who guides him away from certain death?
Back in London, Daniel thinks he finds the answer; it is connected with his great grandfather and the first horrific day of Passchendaele. But as the past collapses into the present, the fissures in his relationship with Nancy show through, until he is given a second chance to prove his courage and earn her forgiveness. The Blasphemer is a novel that speaks to the head as well as the heart.


Audible Editor Reviews

A modern-day teacher and atheist, Daniel Kennedy, crashes off the coast of the Galapagos Islands. In the face of desperate odds he loses hope, but on the verge of embracing death, an angelic vision leads him to safety. Decades before, during WWI, his ancestor Andrew Kennedy finds himself in the midst of a meat grinder of a battle where all seems lost. Yet he too is led to safety by a mysterious smiling vision. In The Blasphemer, Nigel Farndale weaves these two events together, along with their consequences and far-reaching repercussions. What happens when you’ve seen the hand of god? Does it give insight into the divine or just raise more questions?
Award-winning narrator Simon Vance shows here why he's in such demand. He walks that fine line that great audiobook narrators have to hone between having distinctive engaging voices, yet a voice that you can listen to for hours on end. The two main characters are hardly grand heroic figures, and Vance voices them as the rather average, everyday men of their times that they are. The soldier, Andrew, is portrayed as even mild-mannered and soft-spoken. There are many scenes where the story and narration blend to tremendous effect, answering questions often asked about how a brave man looks, sounds, and behaves. In one particular sequence, Vance narrates Andrew's stumbling through a rainy battlefield strewn with body parts and scampering rats, for one of the most vivid and horrific portrayals of war I've ever read or heard. Similarly, the modern telling of Daniel's epic swim for help is a vividly harrowing account of a man lost, desperate and about to slip into the depths of madness.
The Blasphemer deals with some big questions and seeks to challenge your intellect and belief systems. At times it may even try a bit too hard, but it is an engaging bit of thought-provoking storytelling and a great listen, especially for the perfectly balanced performance by Simon Vance. —Cleo Creech


What the Critics Say

“[An] elegant meditation on morality….[Farndale] knows how to tell a terrific story.” (Publishers Weekly)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

well read kept me listening every chance i had

i can normally take a couple months to listen to a book. this book has taken days. i was waking at 3am and listening to as much as i could before work, on the bus to work and in the car at work! of all the books i have downloaded this was by far the best reading i have heard. this guy does different voices for different characters and holds them through tout the book. now i going to search for more books narrated by this guy. good listening. great story right to the fact i wanted more...
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- Daniel

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-16-2010
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.