The Vagrant

  • by Peter Newman
  • Narrated by Jot Davies
  • 13 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The Vagrant is his name. He has no other. Years have passed since humanity's destruction emerged from the Breach.
Friendless and alone he walks across a desolate, war-torn landscape. As each day passes the world tumbles further into depravity, bent and twisted by the new order, corrupted by the Usurper, the enemy, and his infernal horde. His purpose is to reach the Shining City, last bastion of the human race, and deliver the only weapon that may make a difference in the ongoing war. What little hope remains is dying.
Abandoned by its leader, The Seven, and its heroes, The Seraph Knights, the last defences of a once great civilisation are crumbling into dust. But the Shining City is far away and the world is a very dangerous place.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Weird…but I think I liked it


Story – 4/5

I found the Vagrant hard work a lot of the time. I had to try really hard to concentrate what exactly was happening, and I am still not entirely sure I understand it fully. I think reading the novel instead of listening probably would have made this easier. It hasn’t put me off though, I just feel like I should re-listen to it. The world is very complex; taking on a fantasy/sci-fi mix of a post demon apocalyptic setting, but with some futuristic technology involved such as brain enhancing chips, rocket launcher weaponry etc.

It is very unique. At first it reminded me of Glen Cook’s style of writing; concise, but rich prose, but in reflection, was probably closer to Mark Lawrence’s Broken Empire trilogy – although still very different to anything I have ever listened to/read. One of my favourite parts of the book is Peter Newman’s use of the English language; his metaphors, similes and use of short sentences were perfect in setting the scene.

The thing that makes this story stand out the most is the prominent parental aspect, where the vagrant is looking after a baby (and a goat!) while travelling an unforgiving and brutal world; carrying an infectious goodness about him that doesn’t really exist elsewhere. It’s unusual enough to write parts of the story from the baby’s point of view, but Newman even writes some parts from the goat’s perspective – and I quite liked it.

The ending was very underwhelming as I thought it was building up to something big, but in reflection – the story was more about the journey. I fully expect Peter Newman to write sequels to this, as people will want to know what happens to that baby when she grows up.

I can see a lot of people hating this one, but I thought it was good.


Performance – 4/5

The performance is a tough one to judge properly. The reading is very slow, with large gaps in-between sentences. I found that speeding it up to x1.25 though was spot on, and removes this issue completely. You may even get away with x1.5.

I quite liked Jot Davies as a reader; he set the atmosphere of the novel nicely by really performing the story. I can see why a previous reviewer has stated the need to add impact to every word, but it worked nicely for me, and maybe felt toned down at the slightly higher speed.

His voice acting was about as distinct as you can get it. There was no subtlety at all, each being extremely different. It did mean you had lots of accents from all around the UK, but once again, this worked for me personally, as he acted them out extremely well. Some of the baby talking moments were a bit much, but these were infrequent.

I would recommend listening to sample to see if you can cope with his style.


Overall – 4/5
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- Christopher

Unusual and compelling

Some great ideas in this book - I struggled at the start with an unusual style of telling, but quickly grew to love it!
And I want a goat! 😃
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- Andrew

Book Details

  • Release Date: 23-04-2015
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Limited