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Double Blind  By  cover art

Double Blind

By: Edward St. Aubyn
Narrated by: Benedict Cumberbatch
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Publisher's Summary

"In his remarkable performance of Edward St. Aubyn's newest novel, stage and screen actor Benedict Cumberbatch proves yet again that he is a master of pacing and characterization...When not delivering a silky, warm, and beautifully enunciated narration, Cumberbatch subsumes himself into a multiplicity of male and female roles." (AudioFile Magazine, Earphones Award winner)

Double Blind follows three close friends and their circle through a year of extraordinary transformation. Set between London, Cap d'Antibes, Big Sur, and a rewilded corner of Sussex, this thrilling, ambitious novel is about the headlong pursuit of knowledge - for the purposes of pleasure, revelation, money, sanity, or survival - and the consequences of fleeing from what we know about others and ourselves.

When Olivia meets a new lover just as she is welcoming her best friend, Lucy, back from New York, her dedicated academic life expands precipitously. Her connection to Francis, a committed naturalist living off the grid, is immediate and startling. Eager to involve Lucy in her joy, Olivia introduces the two - but Lucy has received shocking news of her own that binds the trio unusually close. Over the months that follow, Lucy’s boss, Hunter, Olivia’s psychoanalyst parents, and a young man named Sebastian are pulled into the friends’ orbit, and not one of them will emerge unchanged.  

Expansive, playful, and compassionate, Edward St. Aubyn's Double Blind investigates themes of inheritance, determinism, freedom, consciousness, and the stories we tell about ourselves. St. Aubyn's major new novel is as compelling about ecology, psychoanalysis, genetics, and neuroscience as it is about love, fear, and courage. Most of all, it is a perfect expression of the interconnections it sets out to examine, and a moving evocation of an imagined world that is deeply intelligent, often tender, curious, and very much alive.

Academy Award Nominee Benedict Cumberbatch is known for playing Sherlock Holmes in Sherlock, a role that has earned him international acclaim and several awards, including a Primetime Emmy. In 2015, Benedict portrayed Alan Turing in the multi-award-winning film The Imitation Game, which earned him a BAFTA, Golden Globe, and Academy Award nomination as Best Actor. Benedict joined the Marvel Universe as the titular character in 2016’s Doctor Strange, a role he reprised in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. More recently, Benedict’s performance in David Nicholls’s adaptation of Edward St. Aubyn’s beloved Patrick Melrose has earned him a BAFTA for Best Actor and Emmy and Golden Globe Best Actor nominations.

A Macmillan Audio production from Farrar, Straus and Giroux

©2021 Edward St. Aubyn (P)2021 Macmillan Audio

What listeners say about Double Blind

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  • Overall
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What in the world?

I will admit that I didn’t give this story the attention in required, but it was never interesting enough to compel me to pay closer attention. I kept expecting all the disjointed bits to come together in the end and make it all make sense, but the closest we get is that they are all at a party together at the end.

And I love Benedict Cumberbatch, but his representation of an American accent is hilariously awful—especially the females. I think he should stick to acting. Doing voices is not for him.

9 people found this helpful

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Rom Com as Philosphical Novel

Mr St Aubyn asks all the right questions in various elite settings but in the end one expects Hugh Grant and Andie Mcdowell to jump out of the bushes. Liked the first 75% but the finale failed to deliver anything in the way of resolution...the problems of upper class white people really are boring...in the end. But Mr. Cumberbatch does a great job. Can see him in the movie.

8 people found this helpful

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weird

adored the Patrick Melrose. listened hopefully throughout to this one. I felt it was an intellectual song and dance without a very good story. A many tentacles amoeba. disappointed

5 people found this helpful

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More, please

Although Edward St Aubyn’s books have been important to me, as the mother of a schizophrenic man this one was particularly moving. Funny as his books always are,
acute and insightful, I’m so glad Double Bind came along.

3 people found this helpful

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Sublime narration, quirky, pertinent tale

A book quite different from his other fiction, but worthwhile and full of authors keen descriptive eye. I tuned out during most passages of detailed scientific analysis but it’s a book for our time. I was really sad when it ended. (I would hear Benedict Cumberbatch read the telephone book, if audible offered it!)

2 people found this helpful

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Enjoyed

St. Aubyn gets into the characters heads and the narration couldn’t be better. It’s definitely lighter than the Patrick Melrose series (which I’ve only watched so far) but still usefully explores human nature in an entertaining way.

1 person found this helpful

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The best narration for a book ever heard

depth/breadth to/of character unparalleled revisiting this audible story over and over bc narration

1 person found this helpful

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Great book if you like loose ends.

I loved the idea of scientists as main characters. The characters and dialogue are interesting, for sure. And the story isn’t bad, but I would have skipped it knowing it wasn’t going to have an actual “end”.
It also seems there’s a lot of build up and foreshadowing to things that never actualize.
If there will be a sequel, I may read it and change my review. Otherwise, I can’t recommend this one.

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Cumberbatch - What a listening pleasure

I’m already looking for my next book: narrated by Cumberbatch. Can’t say the story was very “gripping”, but manages to keep your attention by means of creating a kaleidoscope of verbal exercise.

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Shortchanged

This book has all the makings of a fantastic novel- highly visual almost poetic prose, a cast of fascinating characters, lots of science from many different angles, humanized villains… but it falls short by just ending on a dime. There’s 10 different narrative arcs in the air, and no resolution. It felt like the first third, perhaps half of an incredible book. Cumberbatch’s narration is a delight.