The Plague Tales

  • by Ann Benson
  • Narrated by Juliet Stevenson
  • 6 hrs and 37 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook

Publisher's 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.

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Audible 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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Book Details

  • Release Date: 16-12-1999
  • Publisher: Bantam Doubleday Dell Audio