The Watchmaker of Filigree Street by Natasha Pulley
Publication date: 07 July 2015
Genre: General Fiction (Adult)
Length: 10 hours 11 minutes (Unabridged)
Narrated by: Thomas Judd
Published by: Audible Studios for Bloomsbury
Available at: Audible.co.uk,
My Rating: 5 out of 5
It’s 1883. Thaniel Steepleton returns home to his tiny London apartment to find a gold pocket watch on his pillow. Six months later the mysterious timepiece saves his life, drawing him away from a blast that destroys Scotland Yard. At last he goes in search of its maker, Keita Mori, a kind, lonely immigrant from Japan. Although Mori seems harmless, a chain of unexplainable events soon suggests he must be hiding something. When Grace Carrow, an Oxford physicist, unwittingly interferes, Thaniel is torn between opposing loyalties.
The Watchmaker of Filigree Street is a sweeping, atmospheric narrative that takes the listener on an unexpected journey through Victorian London, Japan as its civil war crumbles longstanding traditions, and beyond. Blending historical events with dazzling flights of fancy, it opens doors to a strange and magical past.
I purchased an Audible.co.uk download of this audiobook through my Audible.co.uk monthly subscription.
This book has sat in my wish list since its release last year. When my subscription to Audible.co.uk renewed this month, I decided it was time to satisfy my curiosity about this book.
I wasn’t disappointed. Immediately the intrigue begins with Thaniel discovering that someone has broken into his flat to give him a gold pocket watch, which will not open. A bomb goes off near Scotland Yard, and watch saves him from the explosion. From here a series of unlikely but logical events lead him to the watchmaker with a pet octopus, a headstrong female scientist, and the maker of the bomb.
Thomas Judd narrates perfectly, adding enough character to dialogue and narration to give the words life, without becoming a distraction from the story.
This book is a page-turner. I listened in commuter-chunks to and from work. I almost missed my stop on the train several times – I was that engrossed.
Listening in these chunks in no way interrupted the tension and compelling nature of the story. In fact, I found myself thinking that this book would make a wonderful serialised radio play, or tv drama. Each scene, each chapter is a perfectly constructed episode that satisfies your last curiosity, and then presents you with a little cliff-hanger that leaves you hungry for more.
I loved this audiobook, and imagine that in paper-book format it is just as wonderful. I recommend it heartily, but with the health-warning that reading/listening to it on public transport will result in missing your stop!