The Diamond

  • by Julie Baumgold
  • Narrated by Simon Vance
  • 13 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Julie Baumgold's dazzling novel tells the story of the famous Regent diamond that links together the fates of some of the most powerful figures of European history. The exiled Napoleon and his biographer, the Count Las Cases, narrate the saga of the diamond as it is brought to the decadent courts of eighteenth-century France and passed through the hands of a glittering cast of characters. The diamond bestows an incredible power for good or evil upon its transient masters, a power that inspires passion, obsession, and lethal greed. Napoleon both loves and hates the gem, which represents his greatest success yet carries a dark shadow of murder and downfall. Ambitiously conceived, rich with historical detail and nonstop drama, The Diamond is a towering work of imagination all the more fascinating for being based in fact.

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What the Critics Say

"[A] regal, multi-faceted feat of historical fiction" (Kirkus Reviews)
"The story is deftly told." (Booklist)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

An exquisite gift for language

Julie Baumgold manages to make an inanimate object (the "Regent" diamond) very much a character of its own in this fascinating story. The diamond, not unlike a devastating femme fatale, is provocative and compelling, demanding all from those who come under her spell. Lust, crime, and tragedy follow her discovery. And when all else falls away, she remains, indomitable.

The author has a poet's gift for exquisite turns of phrase which bring the sensuality of the story to life. Sometimes her description is so realistic as to be revolting, such as her scenes from the French Revolution. At other times, her writing is redolent of the olfactory delights and physical pleasures of a sybarite. Simon Vance's narration makes it all the more delectable.

With its elements of history, romance, drama, and tragedy, "The Diamond" is a thoroughly engaging listen on so many levels. I recommend it, and look forward to reading more from Ms Baumgold.

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- Die Falknerin

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-22-2006
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.