The Club Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
The Club is a blistering, timely, and gripping novel set at Cambridge University, centering around an all-male dining club for the most privileged and wealthy young men at Cambridge and following an outsider who exposes the dark secrets of this group, the Pitt Club.
As a boy, Hans Stichler enjoys a fable-like childhood among the rolling hills and forests of North Germany, living an idyll that seems uninterruptible. A visit from Hans' ailing English aunt Alex, who comes to stay for an entire summer, has a profound effect on the young Hans, all the more so when she invites him to come to university at Cambridge, where she teaches art history. Alex will ensure his application to St. John's College is accepted, but in return, he must help her investigate an elite university club of young aristocrats and wealthy social climbers, the Pitt Club. The club has existed at Cambridge for centuries, its long legacy of tradition and privilege largely unquestioned.
As Hans makes his best efforts to prove club material and infiltrate its ranks, including testing his mettle in the boxing ring, he is drawn into a world of extravagance, debauchery, and macho solidarity. And when he falls in love with fellow student Charlotte, he sees a potential new life of upper-class sophistication opening up to him.
But there are secrets in the club's history, as well as in its present - and Hans soon finds himself in the inner sanctum of what proves to be an increasingly dangerous institution, forced to grapple with the notion that sometimes, one must do wrong to do right.
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|Listening Length||5 hours and 24 minutes|
|Author||Charlotte Collins - translator, Takis Würger|
|Narrator||Tim Campbell, Kate Reading, Henrietta Meire, James Langton, Simon Vance, Feodor Chin, Derek Perkins, Ralph Lister, Bradford Hastings|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||March 12, 2019|
|Publisher||Blackstone Audio, Inc.|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #354,111 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#14,774 in Literary Fiction (Audible Books & Originals)
#22,825 in Suspense (Audible Books & Originals)
#93,106 in Suspense Thrillers
Top reviews from the United States
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In the Patricia Highsmith mold, this is a story about a strange woman, Alex, a professor at Cambridge, who enlists her orphan nephew in a plot to uncover the truth about a campus secret society. The nephew, Hans, is given an assumed name and enters Cambridge with a trumped up bio courtesy of his aunt.
His entree to The Club is his proficiency as an amateur boxer and he is put forth as a member by the father of one of Alex's students, Charlotte, whose own motivations are hazy. The other members of this much sought after club spend considerable time drinking and fighting and no time studying. If this book has a major flaw, it is the difficulty imagining any of these guys as Cambridge material.
The reader is as in the dark as Hans about what his true purpose is in his aunt's plot. She speaks only that he is to uncover a crime but offers no details. The book is short, well written and easy to read. The style is almost dreamlike as only brief references to iPad's and cell phones set the story in the 21st Century.
The conclusion is foregone and while this book may not be knocking any others from top crime novel lists, it's better than most. It's slow enough to put down to take a nap but good enough to keep reading when you wake up.
are believable. The dialog was stilted and amateurish. I had to force myself to finish it. Generally just a waste
of my time and money.
Because everyone likes Hans -- the reader will too -- it's no surprise that he quickly makes friends, gets invited to the Club, joins the school boxing team, and acquires a girlfriend, Charlotte. Charlotte's voice joins the ever-expanding chorus of narrators as the story unfolds and the chapters get shorter and shorter, by which point I had to keep reading until the end. There are no hairpin curves in the plot, and no real surprises, partly because the author has so skillfully planted clues that the pieces all come together literally on the last page.
Takis Wurger is a German journalist, and there are parallels in his story to that of Hans that lend verisimilitude to the plot. Takis was also a Cambridge student and student boxer; he recently won a journalism award for his portrayal of an aging boxer. But although the story covers some well-worn topics, it doesn't feel like Takis simply added a veneer of fiction to his own experiences.
Prospective reader heads-up: the book has scenes of violence, including rape, and there's one offensive portrayal of an Asian student. I understand the author was trying to make a point, but I cringed.
I read this book right after completing Social Creature, which also depicts a person of middle class upbringing in the midst of a bunch of rich people. Almost all the same motifs, beat for beat, but The Club takes a much different approach to the material, and the result is a more nuanced plot with a more profound impact. Unlike most books that I read, I'll be recommending this to others -- not everyone will like it, but its thoughtful observations will hit home with many readers.