• The Bird Tribunal

  • By: Agnes Ravatn
  • Narrated by: Penelope Rawlins
  • Length: 6 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 10-18-16
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Audible Studios
  • 3 out of 5 stars 3.2 (12 ratings)

Regular price: $17.92

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Publisher's Summary

TV presenter Allis Hagtorn leaves her partner and her job to take voluntary exile in a remote house on an isolated fjord. But her new job as housekeeper and gardener is not all that it seems, and her silent, surly employer, 44-year-old Sigurd Bagge, is not the old man she expected. As they await the return of his wife from her travels, their silent, uneasy encounters develop into a chilling, obsessive relationship, and it becomes clear that atonement for past sins may not be enough.
Haunting, consuming and powerful, The Bird Tribunal is a taut, exquisitely told psychological thriller that builds to a shocking, dramatic crescendo that will leave you breathless.
©2016 Agnes Ravatn (P)2016 Audible, Ltd
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
2 out of 5 stars
By Green Link on 01-29-17


I waited and waited for something in this book to excite me or at the very least to wake me up. The one good thing was, it was a short read/listen. I can't say it was an awful story it just had no depth or meaning to it and very predictable. The narrator wasn't bad at all I enjoyed other books read by Rawlins. Wish I could rate higher but I rely on honest reviews given by others when making my book selection so I owe them the same.

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1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By J S Stonemam on 01-27-18


just two characters, well written and narrated kept to the plot which was quite simple.

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3 out of 5 stars
By H. Kendall on 06-24-17

A dark but compelling read

I bought this book on Audible as I had listened to the first episode on Radio 4's Book at Bedtime and decided that I wanted to have whole thing unabridged.
If I had read this book rather than listened to it I would have described it as a page-turner and I found it compelling right from the start. I very much enjoyed the author's style and the tense atmosphere she creates as the narrative unfolds.
That said, in retrospect, I think this might have worked better for me if it had been abridged or as a shorter novella as there are parts, especially the climax, which are just a bit too drawn out. There was also a number of issues which I simply didn't understand. Why was she so instantly in this man's thrall? Why did she have no apparent connection to the life she had just walked away from?
For my money I would have liked a narration which was more 'read' than 'acted'. I don't need different accents/voices. But I suppose that's just my personal opinion.

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Customer Reviews

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3 out of 5 stars
By Heidi on 04-23-17

Claustrophobic tale of obsessive love

With her life in ruins after a scandal that wrecked her marriage and cost her her job, historian and TV presenter Allis Hagtorn leaves it all behind and takes on the position as housekeeper for 44-year-old Sigurd Bagge, a mysterious reclusive man living in a small cottage in the rugged Norwegian countryside. Far from town and without transport except a bicycle at her disposal, Allis throws herself into the housekeeping and gardening chores expected of her whilst Bagge’s wife is away. But when time goes by and the woman fails to materialise, Allis slowly falls more and more under her employer’s spell, trying to appease his labile moods. What follows is an account of a dysfunctional and somewhat obsessive love affair, its claustrophobic atmosphere enhanced by the remote setting and a sense of menace and danger always hovering in the background. What really happened to Bagge’s wife?

The Bird Tribunal is a slow-burning mystery with very little action and only two central characters to drive the story, which worked well in some parts but dragged a bit in others. Whilst I enjoyed the tension underlying the story and really liked Allis as a character, I found that the strange “dance” between the two main protagonists became a bit repetitive, and I longed for a bit more action or a twist to move things along. However, I loved the claustrophobic and atmospheric armchair-travel setting, and the mystical component of Norse mythology interspersing the story. I am definitely interested to read more from this author in future.

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