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Christine Falls Audiobook

Publisher List Price: 26.99 USD

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Written by Benjamin Black

Narrated by Timothy Dalton

Published on March 6, 2007

Audio is 1550 hours

About Christine Falls:

It’s not the dead that seem strange to Quirke. It’s the living. One night, after a few drinks at an office party, Quirke shuffles down into the morgue where he works and finds his brother-in-law, Malachy, altering a file he has no business even reading. Odd enough in itself to find Malachy there, but the next morning, when the haze has lifted, it looks an awful lot like his brother-in-law, the esteemed doctor, was in fact tampering with a corpse—and concealing the cause of death.

It turns out the body belonged to a young woman named Christine Falls. And as Quirke reluctantly presses on toward the true facts behind her death, he comes up against some insidious—and very well-guarded—secrets of Dublin’s high Catholic society, among them members of his own family.

Set in Dublin and Boston in the 1950s, the first novel in the Quirke series brings all the vividness and psychological insight of Booker Prize winner John Banville’s fiction to a thrilling, atmospheric crime story. Quirke is a fascinating and subtly drawn hero, Christine Falls is a classic tale of suspense, and Benjamin Black’s debut marks him as a true master of the form.

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In the debut crime novel from the Booker Prize-winning author, a Dublin pathologist follows the corpse of a mysterious woman into the heart of a conspiracy among the city’s high Catholic society

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Benjamin Black is the pen name of acclaimed author John Banville, who was born in Wexford, Ireland, in 1945. His novels have won numerous awards, most recently the Man Booker Prize in 2005 for The Sea. He lives in Dublin.

Timothy Dalton is perhaps best known for his critically-acclaimed incarnation of James Bond in The Living Daylights and License to Kill. Dalton is a longtime reader of thrillers written by Booker Prize winner John Banville, writing as Benjamin Black, including Christine Falls, which garnered an AudioFile Earphones Award.

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Discussion Questions

1. “In secret,” the author writes, “Quirke prized his loneliness as a mark of some distinction.” (pg. 12). What does Quirke’s loneliness do for him? How does it make possible what he ultimately accomplishes in the story? Is Quirke’s isolation part of what allows him to see the truth about the conspiracy around him?

2. What does Crawford mean when he says to Quirke that America is “the New World,” that, “This is the place. God’s country.” How are Ireland and America treated differently in the novel? How do these portrayals relate to the current America and Ireland?

3. Do the revelations about Quirke, Phoebe, and what he knew about their relationship change your perception of how he treated her earlier in the novel? Why do you think Quirke kept the secret so long of who her parents were? Was it the right decision?

4. Early in the novel, Quirke is thinking about his late wife Delia: “Perhaps he had cared for her more than

he knew, had cared for what she was, that is, and not just what she had been to him.” How do these two different

types of caring come into play for other characters in the novel? Do you think they are always distinct

from each other? Are some people capable only of one or the other?

5. What do you think of the overall portrait of the Catholic Church that emerges from the novel? Did you find the conspiracy plausible? Did you feel sympathy for the nuns, the Staffords, and other less powerful figures who were complicit in it?

6. Consider the difference between Quirke’s early childhood, first in a brutal orphanage and then in an adoptive home, and Mal’s, as the natural-born son of a wealthy father who loved him less than his brother. How do you think their respective childhoods can be connected to the decisions they make in their relationships in this story?

7. What role does social class play in the novel?

8. Why do you think Quirke sleeps with Rose? Is she right when she tells him, “You’re more like me than your precious Sarah. A cold heart and a hot soul…”?

9. What do you think drew Quirke and Sarah together initially? Do you think they were better off for having stayed apart throughout the years, despite an acknowledged love for each other?

10. Quirke realizes midway through the novel that as “Mr. Punch and fat Judy” were beating him, the prospect of his own death was insignificant, that “he had thought he was going to die and was surprised at how little he feared the prospect.” Is this is a sign of bravery in Quirke, or despair, or both? Do you think his own life matters more or less to him by the end of the novel?

11. At the end of chapter 28 a nun says to Quirke, “From the little I’ve seen of you, you’re a good man, if only you knew it.” Do you agree with her assessment? What does she mean by, “if only you knew it.” Would knowing it change his behavior?

12. What do you imagine happening after the end of the book? How will Quirke’s relationship to his family evolve, including to Sarah and Phoebe? Have the events in this story made him a happier man, a better man? Or have they changed him for the worse?

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About this Guide

The following author biography and list of questions about Christine Falls are intended as resources to aid individual readers and book groups who would like to learn more about the author and this book. We hope that this guide will provide you a starting place for discussion, and suggest a variety of perspectives from which you might approach Christine Falls.

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Christine Falls is a triumph of classical crime fiction, finely, carefully made, not a single false move or wrong word–why don’t they write books like this anymore?” —Alan Furst

“Contemporary fiction gets no better than this… Banville’s books teem with life and humor.” —Patrick McGrath, The New York Times Book Review on The Untouchable

“John Banville is the heir to Nabokov.” —The Sunday Telegraph on The Sea

“A major work of fiction in which every suave moment calmly detonates to show the murderous gleam within.” —Don DeLillo on The Book of Evidence

Christine Falls was published on March 6, 2007.

The Christine Falls Audiobook is 1550 hours. Speechify has the Unabridged edition version of the audiobook.

Both the publication language and the narration language are in English.

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Subjects in Christine Falls

Christine Falls includes the following subjects: Mystery & Detective / Historical. The BISAC Subject Code is Fiction, Literary.

About the Author(s) of Christine Falls

The author of Christine Falls is Benjamin Black.

About the Narrator of Christine Falls Audiobook

The narrator for the Christine Falls Audiobook is Timothy Dalton.

Christine Falls Audiobook Additional Info

The imprint is Macmillan Audio. It is supplied by MPS. The ISBN-10 is 1427200734. The ISBN-13 is 9781427200730.

Global Availability of Christine Falls Audiobook

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