• by Jeff VanderMeer
  • Narrated by Oliver Wyman
  • 14 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Mysterious underground inhabitants known as the gray caps have reconquered the failed fantasy state Ambergris and put it under martial law. They have disbanded House Hoegbotton and are controlling the human inhabitants with strange addictive drugs, internment in camps, and random acts of terror. The rebel resistance is scattered, and the gray caps are using human labor to build two strange towers.
Against this backdrop, John Finch, who lives alone with a cat and a lizard, must solve an impossible double murder for his gray cap masters while trying to make contact with the rebels. Nothing is as it seems, as Finch and his disintegrating partner Wyte negotiate their way through a landscape of spies, rebels, and deception. Trapped by his job and the city, Finch is about to come face to face with a series of mysteries that will change him and Ambergris forever.
Audible’s production of Finch includes original music, inspired by the book, by the band Murder by Death.
Finch has been nominated for a World Fantasy Award.


Audible Editor Reviews

Jeff VanderMeer, master of the New Weird, has done it again in his latest Ambergris novel. Noir detective story meets eldritch fantasy in Finch, with a cast of crooked cops, a femme fatale, a loyal partner, a mysterious underworld boss, two dead bodies — and sentient fungal life forms.
Audie Award-winning narrator Oliver Wyman deftly carries us into the dark world of John Finch, a man who has survived The Rising, a war between humans and the gray caps, a sentient fungus. Humanity has lost authority to the gray caps. Humans are kept in internment camps, except when they're needed by the gray caps — people like Finch. Finch isn't sure why they need him, but they do. They call him a detective, and so that's what he is. Whether he likes it or not.
Finch is assigned a case: two dead bodies — one human, one gray cap — that appear to have fallen from a great height, into a closed room. The case leads him from a dark world into an even darker underworld, in which no one is who they appear — maybe not even Finch.
To hear Wyman's treatment of Finch, you would think that gritty and noir is simply what he excels at, and that he was cast for that reason — until you hear his dialogue, and the way he voices Finch's love interest, or the Partials, or Finch's spore-infected and disintegrating partner as he's being slowly colonized by fungus. Wyman is a gifted voice actor with a huge range of credits to his name, and he brings VanderMeer's cast to life. Tension and dream sequences are underscored by original music from Murder By Death.
Finch was short-listed for both the Nebula and the World Fantasy Award, and with good reason. While it follows the previous Ambergris novels, it stands alone, and can be recommended as a first-time listener's portal into VanderMeer's world of Ambergris. —Christie Yant


What the Critics Say

“I can’t ever remember reading a book like Finch. Audacious in technique and extravagant in imagination, it has the rare quality of making the macabre poignant. In the midst of a disturbed and disturbing narrative landscape, Jeff VanderMeer gives us deeply sympathetic characters – especially Finch himself – who inspire us to care about their flawed and tyrannized world. I’m impressed.” (Stephen R. Donaldson)
“Fungal noir. Steampunk delirium. Paranoid spy thriller, quite literally, on ‘shrooms. There’s enough nightmare and grit in Finch to stock any urban fantasy fan’s darkest imaginings for years to come.” (Richard K. Morgan)
"Intriguing and highly original.... VanderMeer writes insightfully about those caught in the middle of war. He makes one think of Baghdad in 2005 or Kabul today.” (Victor LaValle, The Washington Post)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful


The first time this book went by, I passed. It didn't really sound all that interesting. Grey caps?? Ok. Pass. But then, I found it again while looking through reader's reviews. (I like to see what kind of books the peeps doing the reviewing I can have some perspective on their reviews of a book, etc. etc.) I found this title with a GREAT recommendation from what sounded like someone of a similiar mind set (re:books). I took a chance. Wow. This baby delivers EXACTLY as promised. Classic sci-fi, fantasy, noir, etc. etc. combined surprisingly pleasantly with a very beautiful style. Succinct yet descriptive in an entirely imaginative way. I would (actually) rate this as one of my top books read, this year, to date. I hope Audible gets some more of this author :) :) :)
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- Pie

A darkly wonderful tale

I just finished listening to this book, and i would have to say that i highly enjoyed it.

The narration is very good quality with the narrator managing to get a feeling of each of the separate characters across strongly with his accents.

The book itself is a strange mix of sci-fi and noir, and something strange like this is exactly what i look for so needless to say this hit the spot very nicely.

Give it a shot, you might like it.
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- murry

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-31-2010
  • Publisher: Audible Studios