Editor reviews

I found this program so terrific and fun to listen to, that after the six hours, I wanted to go back to the beginning and start over. I was captivated by how first-time novelist Ann Benson weaves together the historical and futuristic plots. Two parallel stories are presented: one an account of an unlikely and unwilling physician to King Edward III in 1348; the other a tale of London in 2005, a time when antibiotics no longer cure. What seals this as my staff pick is the riveting and often lyrical narration by British actress Juliet Stevenson. Her portrayals of the British, French, Spanish, and American characters here are completely convincing in tone, person, and accent. Highly recommended. (David O.)
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Summary

Fourteenth-century physician Alejandro Canches, caught performing a forbidden autopsy in his Spanish homeland, flees through Europe at the time of the Black Death to escape execution for his heretical deed. When he arrives at the Papal city of Avignon, he is conscripted to serve as a Plague Doctor, and sent against his wishes to the court of England's Edward III. Unfolding in dramatic counterpoint is the story of American medical archaeologist Janie Crowe, in England at the turn of the twenty-first century to recover from the tragic loss of her family. She digs up a medieval artifact as part of her research, and unwittingly releases a deadly plague bacteria on an unprepared world. In a future where antibiotics are useless and a past where death is an ever-present fear, these two unwilling heroes from two different centuries are linked by history and defined by circumstance. Here are their stories - the plague tales.
©1997 Ann Benson; (P)1997 Bantam Doubleday Dell Audio Publishing; Bantam Doubleday Del Audio Publishing, A Division of Random House, Inc.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By Branden on 26-11-05

Narration saves it...

In spite of drawbacks, like a couple of deus ex machina moments and some protocol-breaching yahoos as central characters--who make you wonder how the story's modern world could have survived so long without some devastating scourge overrunning it--I don't regret purchasing this book. The most rewarding aspect of the production is Juliet Stevenson's enthralling narration. Even when I was thinking, "oh, pleease" about the plot I was compelled to continue. I did feel as though something were missing from the plot. I'm not sure if it was because of the abridgement or not. All in all, if you can generously suspend disbelief, this book will kill a few hours for you.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By David on 05-07-03

The Plague Tales

A terrific read.......A blend of the historical & the 21st century, very well written & spell binding. I listened all in one day as I found I had to know what happened next.

The narrator is one of the best so far at Audible! This book is exceptionally well read by a narrator of many voices further enhancing the enjoyment of the story!

Don't miss this one!

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11 of 13 people found this review helpful

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