- Audible Audio Edition
- Listening Length: 10 hours and 18 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Audible Studios
- Audible.com Release Date: April 21, 2009
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00275RKUY
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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The Birthday Present Audible – Unabridged
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Top Customer Reviews
I don't want to give anymore of the game away,suffice to say it has the quality typical of Ruth Rendell,writing as Barbara Vine.
Have already recommended it and loaned it out.
The Birthday Present is one of Vine's best. Ivor Tesham is an up and coming Member of Parliament in the early 1990s, on the fast track to high office in Margaret Thatcher and John Major's Tory Party. He's rich, urbane, and sophisticated, with a taste for sexual adventure that embroils him with some embarrassing hangers on. His story is told by two separate characters, his brother in law and a sad, delusional woman who was a friend of one of Tesham's lovers. The two points of view interweave his story and those of his family and associates over a period of about five years.
This is an exciting story with plenty of unexpected twists and turns. In addition to the main plot line, Vine provides a lot of interesting material on British political affairs in the early 1990s. I was somewhat apprehensive about The Birthday Present because I felt the previous Vine book, The Minotaur, was not up to her usual standard, but The Birthday Present was highly satisfactory.
I don't want to give anything away because the plot holds precious few surprises as it is. But I have to mention that a pretty major plot line (which is the only part of the novel that is of any interest at all) gets broken off all of a sudden with no explanation given.
The only reason why I forced myself to slog through thsi novel, is my love and respect for this author. The ending of THE BIRTHDAY PRESENT, however, is even weaker than the beginning and the middle. I really hope that this weak novel is just a fluke, and we will get to see more beautiful novels from this great writer.