Editor reviews

‘My name is Simon. I'm 10 years old. I'm a serial killer.’ Thus begins the brilliant The Child, an audio drama from Audible Studios. In this audiobook, German author Sebastian Fitzek paints a chilling portrait. Defence attorney Robert Stern is persuaded by his old flame, nurse Carina, to take on the case of a young, terminally ill boy who claims to recall past-life experiences of murdering several men. Following Simon’s instructions, Robert and Carina are shocked to uncover several dead bodies around the shady areas of Berlin, and soon detective Engler has Robert in his sights as a suspect. With voice performances by Rupert Penry-Jones, Emilia Fox, Robert Glenister and the brilliant Andy Serkis, The Child is an astonishing drama.
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Summary

Shortlisted for the BBC Audio Drama Awards 2015
My name is Simon. I’m 10 years old. I’m a serial killer. Robert Stern (Rupert Penry-Jones), a successful defense attorney, doesn’t know what lies in store for him when he agrees to meet a new client in a derelict estate on the outskirts of Berlin. Stern is more than surprised, when his old love interest and professional nurse Carina (Emilia Fox) presents him a ten year old boy as his new client: Simon (Jack Boulter), a terminally ill child, who is convinced he has murdered many men in a previous life.
Robert’s surprise turns into horror when he and Carina find human remains in a cellar the boy has led them to. The remains of a man whose head has been split with an axe 15 years ago - just like Simon claimed he had. Things go from bad to worse within hours when Stern discovers more dead bodies, the investigating police officer Engler (Andy Serkis) starts to chase him as a suspect in the murder cases, and his own past comes to haunt him. Stern’s friend and former criminal Andi Borchert (Stephen Marcus) is the only one to believe Stern and Carina. Hunted by the police, and led by Simon’s memories, they start to investigate shady sub cultures of Berlin, and soon discover things that are more gruesome than anything they could have imagined…
Audible Studios London presents a gripping audio dramatisation by Sebastian Fitzek, Germany’s most successful thriller writer, whose books are read around the world in more than 20 different languages. This unabridged dramatisation introduces listeners to a completely new approach to audio entertainment, a full-length dramatised book adaption with an original score and soundscapes from the heart of Berlin. Featuring amazing performances by a cast of over 20 actors in a breathtaking plot, The Child provides a truly immersive listening experience.
Like this and looking for more unabridged multicast drama from Sebastian Fitzek? Then simply type ‘Amok’ in the search box, download and enjoy!
©2014 Audible Studios (P)2014 Audible Studios
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Critic reviews

"The Child is an unmissable milestone for fans and newcomers to audio dramas alike. A compelling, star-studded drama that mixes narration, performance, music and soundscapes into a moving story about a troubled young boy and a shocking series of dark crimes in Berlin. Essential listening," (David Hewson, author of The Killing series, co-author Hamlet, Prince of Denmark: A Novel and Macbeth: A Novel.)
"Fitzek’s thrillers are breathtaking and full of wild twists. The only disappointment : there is, inevitably, an end to the story!" (Harlan Coben)
"Action-packed and edgy, The Child is a dark and immersive listening journey." ( AudioFile)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By jo on 14-08-14

Like watching a great thriller on TV...

This is such an obvious concept, it is surely is only the cost of getting big names and sound effects people involved which makes a fully dramatised book so rare. It really is just like watching a cracking drama on TV, so if you really want straight narration, you'd better steer clear. If you want something which you feel like you've actually seen because it paints a picture so vivid, you'll like it.

It is in truth not as exciting a plot as some others I've enjoyed such as The Woodcutter, but there was plenty of interest to keep me completely gripped right from the opening scene. Rupert Penry-Jones and Andy Serkis are particularly excellent - they're acting, not narrating. Meanwhile there is a narrator: Robert Glenister, who is fantastic. I wasn't so keen on the child who understandably wasn't up to the standard of the others (he's fine, it's just that he sounds like a child who's acting rather than enabling the belief that he IS the character he is portraying).

On the whole it's a very enjoyable listen. I listened to it all the same day, which is a first for me.

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19 of 21 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Simon on 07-06-15

Chilling, Difficult in places, but damn good!

I'd definitely recommend this. The additional dimensions added by the multiple actors and sound effects make this a very engrossing format. All of the actors were very good in their roles and the narration was top notch.

The story strays into some difficult areas, there is violence and it descends into the world of the paedophile although it steers clear of going too far. The plot builds well and the very chilling "Voice" works very well.

I think some people might find the ending just a little weak but I liked it well enough. I will look out for more of these "radio plays" from Audible in the future.

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11 of 12 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By @MrBookChief on 12-10-14

My favourite listening experience to date

Where does The Child rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

It reminded me very much of HBO's True Detective and was a very different listening experience to other audiobooks. It felt more akin to a good film and I thoroughly enjoyed each listening session that I had with it.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Child?

The Voice

Which character – as performed by the narrators – was your favorite?

Robert Stern

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It opened my eyes to child trafficking

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12 of 12 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars
By Knitterati on 02-10-14

Sound Editing Subpar

Would you try another book from Sebastian Fitzek and/or the narrators?

No.

What was most disappointing about Sebastian Fitzek’s story?

Promising start. Around the middle the wheels came off.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of the narrators?

The narrators were fine. I like the concept of using a group of narrators. It reminded me of a radio drama, in a good way.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Child?

The pedophile scene was gratuitous and disturbing. I would have cut pretty much everything from the midpoint and asked for a different ending.

Any additional comments?

This recording can be salvaged to some degree by remixing the sound. Often the spoken word was obscured by what was supposed to be the background noise. The opening scene was a prime example--the rain was so disproportionately loud, they may have just as well been standing next to Niagra Falls.

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38 of 41 people found this review helpful

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