• Macbeth

  • William Shakespeare's Macbeth Retold: A Novel
  • By: Jo Nesbø
  • Narrated by: Euan Morton
  • Length: 17 hrs and 27 mins
  • 3.9 out of 5 stars (478 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A New York Times Notable Book of 2018

Shakespeare’s dark and tragic play retold in a heart-pounding New York Times best-selling thriller from the author of The Snowman and The Thirst.

Set in the 1970s in a run-down, rainy, industrial town, Jo Nesbo's Macbeth centers around a police force struggling to shed an incessant drug problem. Duncan, chief of police, is idealistic and visionary, a dream to the townspeople but a nightmare for criminals. The drug trade is ruled by two drug lords, one of whom - a master of manipulation named Hecate - has connections with the highest in power and plans to use them to get his way.

Hecate’s plot hinges on steadily, insidiously manipulating Inspector Macbeth: the head of SWAT and a man already susceptible to violent and paranoid tendencies. What follows is an unputdownable story of love and guilt, political ambition, and greed for more, exploring the darkest corners of human nature and the aspirations of the criminal mind.

©2018 Jo Nesbo (P)2018 Random House Audio

Featured Article: All the World's a Stage—The Best Shakespeare Plays in Audio


If there’s one writer whose work translates spectacularly to audio format, it’s the Bard. Hearing Shakespeare’s dialog masterfully performed by professionals with the correct emphasis and tone can make all the difference in catching every clever joke and innuendo, picking up on subtle foreshadowing, and sometimes even understanding the plot itself. Here are our choices for the best Shakespeare audiobooks to add to your library today.

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What listeners say about Macbeth

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great story, listen to the sample first

I thought the story was great, and I love Nesbo's novels. The only difference with this was a new narrator, who if you're not used to a narrator with an accent, may be difficult to follow. I would recommend listening to the Sample of the audiobook to see if it's right for you before purchasing. Great overall though!

42 people found this helpful

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This took some guts

If, like me, you automatically purchased this book thinking you'd get a Harry Hole adventure, you quickly found out you were in different territory altogether. This is a stand alone book and I don't want to turn ANYONE off from it by telling you to run over to Wikipedia for a quick glossary of characters from yes, THE Macbeth if, also like me, you haven't read or seen the Shakespearean version for 20 years. Getting the names and the great plays events shored into or back into your brain will heighten your enjoyment of this novel. I listened to the first half thinking this is quite the tour de force, in that Nesbo has taken Macbeth into the (semi-) modern world of police and politics. The book is set in the seventies, far enough away from 2018 for a little dreamtime smudge. Around the time I reached the middle of the book I found myself hoping Nesbo would switch things up just to throw in a plot or character surprise, but then...I didn't care one whit if he did.

Nesbo so successfully builds character, dramatic tension and more than anything else a mood that permeates the entire listening experience that I am simply blown away. The Narrator is outstanding. Writing this book, maybe especially if you're already an international bestseller of a very different oeuvre of books from the Shakespearean took a lot of guts. But to do it incredibly well, took true artistry. I remember long ago a painting teacher of mine telling me that there are painters, and there are artists. If there's a similar division among writers-- that there are writers and there are artists, Nesbo has put a stake in the ground, he is an artist indeed.

27 people found this helpful

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Gritty, compelling noir

I wasn’t as interested in what Nesbo did or didn’t do with the play, but more whether it could work as a stand alone crime novel, and for me it really did.

9 people found this helpful

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Shakespeare, reimagined

Of all the Shakespearean updates, this is one of the best. Norwegian writer, No Nesbø (the Snowman) takes the one of the bards most famous plays, updates it to 1970's Scotland and turns it on its head. Cooked cops and politicians, motorcycle gangs, casinos and drugs replace the ancient battlefields for one wild ride of a read that looks at power and honour.
Euan Morton deserves a lot of credit for putting souls into each of the characters that he voices. Well worth the time.

4 people found this helpful

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  • MK
  • 04-16-18

Out there

I’ve read all of Nesbo’s books and loved them. This one was wierd. Is he changing his style to more otherworldly? Just strange, had to keep repeating sections to understand what was happening. Narrator was excellent but I would not buy this book again.

9 people found this helpful

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  • JC
  • 04-19-18

Disappointed Nesbo fan

What would have made Macbeth better?

I was 7 hours into the book and couldn't take it anymore. I'm a big Nesbo fan but hated this book so I returned it. This is the first book I decided not to finish on audible. I found it hard to follow. I'm not sure if it's the author or the narrator that ruined it for me. Perhaps both..

Would you be willing to try another one of Euan Morton’s performances?

No

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

No

13 people found this helpful

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IMPLAUSIBLE

Author fails to suspend imagination well enough to make his story worthy of Shakespearean allusions .

2 people found this helpful

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Couldn't get used to narrator

Love Jo Nesbø's novels including non Harry Hole books.
But I just could not get over the narrator's accent. I know the accent is appropriate for the original setting, but not for me.
I am going to read rather listen to this novel
Not recommended

2 people found this helpful

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Can’t wait for the movie!

Nesbo is a genius! This was a fantastic rendering of an old story. Shakespeare would be impressed. The characters were just as believable as Shakespeare created them, which is to say that they were more allegorical than realistic. Nesbo found a way to transform the characters and the story into a well conceived new story with all the same lessons. I felt I could feel the rain & smell the blood, the sweat, and the rank places Nesbo took me. I’m a fan of Nesbo through his other books, but never missed Harry Hole. I found the performance by Euan Morton to be equally as good. It took very little time to acclimate to his accent. He amazingly gave each character a voice and a beating heart. I’ve already downloaded another book he has narrated. I can’t imagine being disappointed in this book.

1 person found this helpful

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Not the Nesbo I've Always Enjoyed

Something about this listen didn't appeal to me. It's dark as are most of Nesbo's books so I was prepared for the gritty undertones. The narration was decent and I was able to understand the accent. There was a fair amount of suspense and the story was a long one which I enjoy. Odd, though, that I didn't care for it. When I think why this is I realize there are no likable characters, little hope that things will improve, and while listening, I felt the moroseness of the story. I finished, was glad to get to the end and definitely don't recommend.

1 person found this helpful