Three Bags Full

  • by Leonie Swann
  • Narrated by Hugh Lee
  • 11 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

On a hillside near the cosy Irish village of Glennkill, a flock of sheep gather around their beloved shepherd George, who lies murdered, his body pinned to the pasture with a spade. Fortunately, George has left behind an unusually intelligent group of sheep. Every night since they were lambs, he has read aloud to them - fairy tales, factual books about ovine disease, even detective stories - in order to help them sleep.
Faced with a real-life investigation, the flock spring into action. They are led with fortitude by Miss Maple, the cleverest sheep in Glennkill and possibly the world, She is aided by Cordelia, who loves long words; and Othello, a ram with a dark past. Together they uncover the truth behind the life and death of their shepherd. Why did George tie little packets under their bellies before they crossed the meadow? And whose blood does Ham the butcher have on his hands?
While some of the detectives insist on chewing the evidence, or even forgetting it, together they succeed in shedding the revelatory light on the inexplicable world of human beings, and even on themselves.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Lovely story, beautifully read by Hugh Lee

What made the experience of listening to Three Bags Full the most enjoyable?

This is one of those audiobooks where the narration really enhances the experience. It was complete chance that I decided to buy this as an audiobook (having seen it mentioned in a Guardian article about books featuring animals) and I'm so glad I did. This is a lovely story by Leonie Swann, gentle, funny and warm. Hugh Lee's narration is wonderful, he gives all the sheep distinctive voices and personalities that considerably add to the story. I was distraught when it ended, I wanted it to carry on forever. I can't recommend it highly enough. I have now downloaded other books narrated by Hugh Lee, and am sorry to discover that this is the only book by Leonie Swann on Audible.


What was one of the most memorable moments of Three Bags Full?

Hard to pick one moment. Generally any scene involving Mopple the Whale.


Which scene did you most enjoy?

As above.


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

It made me both laugh and cry, and feel all warm and fuzzy. A true antidote to stress.


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- C. Buckroyd

Wonderful, entertaining and charming

What other book might you compare Three Bags Full to, and why?

I like to change the pace of my listens, following a dark Jo Nesbo with an Agatha Raisin comic piece. It was in the expectation of Agatha type wit that I bought Three Bags Full.
But, Leonnie Swann's herd of detective sheep are in a league of their own, a creation of sensitive observation of animal behaviour and great imagination. Brilliant.


Which character – as performed by Hugh Lee – was your favourite?

Hugh Lee is rapidly rising to no. 1 spot in my personal 'best narrator' top ten. The characterization of each individual is thorough, distinctive and utterly convincing. This is a group (flock) piece, each character adding a particular spice to the mix, so it is not really fair to single out one. They all have a charm and appeal. The dialogue is brilliantly dramatised and articulated, and Hugh Lee's reading style in descriptive passages is easy and flowing. There is a sense of a lot of background and preparatory work before the recording being worn lightly in a confident, polished performance.


Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

There are lots of moments to note, but saying anything here risks me writing spoilers that would undermine the narrativeand plot... So you will just have to find out for yourself!


Any additional comments?

I really, really enjoyed this and hope to hear more from Leonnie Swann.

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- Catherine

Book Details

  • Release Date: 18-05-2011
  • Publisher: Random House AudioBooks