Burial Rites Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
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Audible Audiobook, Unabridged
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Shortlisted for the 2014 Indie Awards
In northern Iceland, 1829, Agnes Magnúsdóttir is condemned to death for her part in the brutal murder of two men. Agnes is sent to wait out the months leading up to her execution on the farm of district officer Jón Jónsson, his wife, and their two daughters. Horrified to have a convicted murderess in their midst, the family avoid contact with Agnes. Only Tóti, the young assistant priest appointed her spiritual guardian, will listen to Agnes’s side of the story. As the year progresses and the hardships of rural life force everyone to work side by side, the family’s attitude to Agnes starts to change - until one winter night, she begins her whispered confession to them, and they realise that all is not as they had assumed.
Based on a true story, Burial Rites is an astonishing and moving book about the truths we claim to know and the ways in which we interpret what we’re told. In beautiful, cut-glass prose, Hannah Kent portrays Iceland’s formidable landscape, in which every day is a battle for survival.
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|Listening Length||11 hours and 59 minutes|
|Audible.com.au Release Date||01 May 2013|
|Publisher||Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd|
|Best Sellers Rank|| 948 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
41 in Literary Fiction (Audible Books & Originals)
67 in Suspense
186 in Literary Fiction (Books)
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Top reviews from Australia
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The main character we are lead to believe is evil but but that slowly proves otherwise and the great sadness of this book is that it is true.
It is the story of the rich being able to determine the lives of the poor and it is also the story of in one sense a corrupt church and in another a sad, young pastor who is desperate to help his parishioner but in the end is stopped the 'those who know better'. If you want to read a good book that holds you on every page then this is the one for you. I found the end rather abrupt but then in the end life is rather abrupt. I give it five stars.
Based on a true criminal trial the story is steeped in the grunt and grind of poverty and freezing cold weather in the 1800 in Iceland. For anyone who has experienced the weather such as this, the author has captured it fairly well, and the notion that all of the beast is used is well displayed. Liked it - glad l read it. Glad also l that l no long live in a cold country.
Top reviews from other countries
Whilst awaiting the day of her beheading, Agnes is kept in custody at a local farm belonging to a district officer Jón Jónsson, his wife and their two daughters. They are horrified to have to keep a murderer in their home for what could be weeks or even months.
Agnes has an assistant priest who has been charged with helping Agnes return to God after she is executed. As time passes, we learn more about Agnes’ story. Her childhood, her life and what happened in the lead up to the murder.
This book is brilliant. It is extremely character based so can feel slow-moving, especially if you like very action-based books. The descriptive on the landscape of Iceland is phenomenal and the country itself is almost like a character in itself.
Even though this book is so very character-led, the story is fantastic too. So very moving and surprising in a way I didn’t expect.
I found that after reading this book, it really haunted me. In my dreams I was reading the book, in other dreams characters from the book made appearances and one night, as I was waking from my dream and still half asleep, I was aware of a movement in my room and felt someone walking past me and I believed it was Agnes. Of course, when I awoke fully there was no one there but to say this book left an impression on me is an understatement.
Interestingly, Burial Rites is a fictional story based on true events. Agnes Magnúsdóttir was the last person to be executed in Iceland. The author spent a lot of time researching her story, both through traditional routes and more personal ones to undercover who the real Agnes may have been.
What it is is beautiful, captivating, immersive and intriguing. Kent's writing style pulls you in and holds you there to the point where her description of the wild Icelandic landscape will leave you feeling chilly. Protagonist Agnes is a hard nut to crack, but as her story absorbs you more and more it's easy to forget why she is in the position she's in...
Look forward to reading more from this author. A wonderful debut.
It’s based on a real life crime in the early 1800s where three people in Iceland were convicted of murder and sent to live with different families whilst awaiting their fate: death by beheading. This crime has apparently been written about before but all the previous tellings painted Agnes, the main character in Burial Rites, as pure evil. Kent wanted to show a more balanced possibility and add some humanity to the character in her fictionalised account of Agnes’s months with the family tasked with keeping her a prisoner until her execution.
This was really well written and the characters were very believable. Kent has given them depth and the slow revelation of aspects of the story through the use of interspersed flashback worked really well for me. I’d definitely recommend it to others, even if you’re not usually into historical/period novels (which I’m not!)
Based on real events and much research, the novel paints a vivid picture of a farming community in Iceland in 1828. Work is hard, unremitting, and at the mercy of the northern climate. Social strictures can be as unforgiving as the long, dark winters, with a casual cruelty that is too often disguised as religious respectability. Farms may be isolated but privacy is hard to come by with families and visitors sharing the communal living and sleeping space of the badstofa.
In this land of sagas, the stories people tell about others are not always true to actual life. The stories surrounding Agnes slowly unfold in third person supplemented with extracts from documents of the time. Agnes intersperses her thoughts in first person and her reflections add a depth of feeling and understanding to the narrative.
The story is definitely not 'feel-good’, but I would not describe it as miserable; fate may be cruel but humans can, and do, learn kindness. And the evocative writing is a pleasure to read, conjuring with almost physical intensity the sounds, smells, colours and textures of life at close quarters in this beautiful, harsh landscape. I found myself pulling an extra duvet over me, I was so convinced by the depiction of the cold.
If you don’t already know the end and want to keep the suspense, then don’t look up the actual case until after you’ve read it. Hannah Kent weaves an engrossing story of how it might have been.
This book was recommended to me as being similar to The Miniaturist, which I had loved. In many ways, this is correct, as it's got the same sort of slow and detailed style to it, and Burial Rites is a book which needs to be read at a slower pace than some books. It's very atmospheric and drew me into the area and gave me an appreciation of the desolation of the landscape in Iceland at that time. Agnes's story is interesting to read and I enjoyed both the parts where she told the story and the bits in the third person from the viewpoint of the young priest she asks to help her through the time before her execution, and the various family members with whom she finds herself living.
This is a very good book and I enjoyed it very much, but I can't say it was the easiest read. It has a poetic style about it but I didn't find it over the top in this respect. I think it will be interesting to see what this author does next.