The Child: An Audible Drama – Review by Paul McD
Author: Sebastian Fitzek
Narrator(s): Rupert Penry-Jones, Jack Boulter, Emilia Fox, Stephen Marcus, Robert Glenister, Andy Serkis
A ten year old child thinks he’s a murderer. To make matters more complicated, the crime happened fifteen years ago! The child in question is called Simon and is suffering from a brain tumour and only has weeks to live. To appease him, his nurse takes him to a hypnotist/ psychologist who performs regression therapy and discovers his past. The child knows where the body is buried and demands to be taken to find it. Things start to get complicated when the body is located and the crime committed exactly as the child predicted! The story is told from the perspective of a 45 year old lawyer Robert Stern who is tricked into helping the child find the body. Robert does not believe in the supernatural and struggles to accept many of the events, and tries to find an explanation in the rational world.
This book is the work of German writer Sebastian Fitzek. The Child is his third novel, and he has gone on to write five more. Fitzek sold over 4,5 million books worldwide and is one of the most successful writers in Germany. The Child was made into a film in 2012.
To say there is a lot going on in this book is an understatement. All of the plot above happens in the first few minutes of the reading, and it develops quickly from there. It’s packed with plot twists and strange forces that seem to be controlling the various characters. The underlying theme of the book is that of reincarnation and life after death. If the book was played slightly closer to reality, you’d reject it utterly, but the madness carries you along like a wave! This is by no means Shakespeare, but if you’re looking for a supernatural thriller this should keep you entertained.
The interesting thing about this production is that it is multi-cast audio dramatisation from Audible, featuring Andy Serkis (Planet of the Apes) among others. The production works well and the variety of voices add depth to the characterisation, making it closer to a theatrical production than a strict reading of the book would provide.
Length: 6 hrs and 56 mins