• The Man of Legends

  • By: Kenneth Johnson
  • Narrated by: full cast
  • Length: 15 hrs and 55 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (2,256 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Award-winning science-fiction mastermind Kenneth Johnson blends epic adventure, romance, and evocative drama into an intense supernatural thriller rooted in one of the great untold legends of human history.

New York City, New Year's weekend, 2001. Jillian Guthrie, a troubled young journalist, stumbles onto a tantalizing mystery: the same man, unaged, stands alongside Ulysses S. Grant, Theodore Roosevelt, and Gandhi in three different photographs spanning eighty-five years of history.

In another part of town, Will - an enigmatic thirty-three-year-old of immense charm, wit, and intelligence - looks forward to the new year with hope and trepidation. Haunted by his secret past and shadowed by a dangerous stranger, he finds himself the object of an intense manhunt spearheaded by an ambitious Vatican emissary and an elderly former UN envoy named Hanna.

During the next forty-eight hours, a catastrophic event unites Will, Jillian, and Hanna - and puts them in the crosshairs of a centuries-old international conspiracy. Together, the three must unravel an ancient curse that stretches back two millennia and beyond, and face a primal evil that threatens their lives and thousands more.

The full list of narrators includes: Eric Pierpoint, Emily Adams, Stephen Mendel, Alexis Evans, Kerrie Keane, Jackson White, Terri Treas, Francesca Ling, Jackie Mah, Jeff Marcus, Kenneth Johnson, Nelson Estevez, and Susan Appling.

©2017 Kenneth Johnson (P)2017 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

Featured Article: 10 Best Full Cast Audiobooks


As any audiobook fan knows, the perfect narration can take a listen from good to great. Full cast ensembles in particular are the perfect choice for those times you really want to dive headfirst into a story. A cast of narrators, sometimes accompanied by music or sound effects, craft a unique and immersive listening experience. Unique performances let listeners intimately experience each character’s personality as the story progresses. If you’re looking to liven up a long road trip or day of chores, look no further than our list of the top 10 full cast audiobooks.

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What listeners say about The Man of Legends

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

Enjoyed every minute.

I started this book after 3 awful books I couldn't finish. What took me so long? I've lost faith in book reviews. Maybe my tastes are different, but I was despairing.

History so well delivered you believe it was a first hand account. I never guessed where the plot was headed, even if there was one. There is and it's a doozy.

One thing, if you are touchy about religion being played with, you might have a small issue here. Remember, this is supposed to be coming from a man who was there at the crucifixion. Having lived until the present day he has his own take on things.

Recommend this book to those who can never know enough. Even if it's fiction.

61 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Seems interesting but gets disgusting

The writer is obviously ignorant about how calendars and dating work in the real world, as well as demeaning in his portrayal of minorities. I stuck it out for hours until he started graphically describing sexual assaults on minors and I am done with this writer for good.

56 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Gave up after he invented the latte

It started as a great concept but it turned into a fancy Forest Gump. I get it, the dude gets around and for a very long time, but c'mon he helps inspire Frankenstein and create Levi's?? Too much!!! The thing that jumped the shark for me is when he invented lattes, I stopped right there! I have no idea how it ends, but I assume it's with a box of chocolates...

54 people found this helpful

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Immortality lite

I am always surprised, unpleasantly so, when a book that is so popular with other audible readers turns out to be a disappointment. Unfortunately, this was one of those for me.

The premise of this book was intriguing enough–a man cursed with immortality travels through time and around the world throughout the course of his endless life. When most of us would like to prolong our lives, the idea of living living forever might seem appealing. We learn that such a fate might well be a curse rather than a blessing.

The problem for me is that the author did not take his premise seriously enough. You don't at all get a feeling of what it was like to live in different times and places– instead Johnson takes the easy way out and just describes various highlights in history in which his character turns out to have participated--sort of a Forrest Gump type of character. Worse, Johnson does not even get the history right –the constant historical inaccuracies are both annoying and distracting. I also am tired of the trope of the evil priest from the Vatican relentlessly pursuing a good man. Couldn't finish it…and will be returning it.

25 people found this helpful

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A great concept. Just terrific story telling

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Man of Legends?

The entire story is memorable, and I still find myself mulling it over and over in my head. But if I have to pick one thing, it's when Will says, "Don't make me angry. You wouldn't like me when I'm angry." Nicely done Mr. Johnson. Knowing your background, this line was an out-loud hoot. Thanks for the giggle.

What about full cast’s performance did you like?

I generally do not like multiple narrators, but because the way this story is unveiled, the multiple "character" voices work just fine. Thoroughly enjoyed their performances, and great direction from the author himself.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes. I was listening to it while working, which is something I generally do not do.

Any additional comments?

I trust Kenneth Johnson has already written the teleplay for his novel. A 4-night 8-hour miniseries should allow time to tell the entire, unabridged story. I hope you direct it.

25 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

This story had a good flow to it!

This is the first story I've read from Kenneth Johnson. I liked the flow of it. Sometimes, when a story has multiple first person narratives, the story can get bogged down, rehashing what other characters had already discussed. It can also get every confusing. This author was able to avoid those downfalls, allowing the story unfold very organically. I'm an avid reader and listener of audio books. I enjoyed this story a lot. (Spoiler alert) I was a little worried that that main character was going to take credit for all the major advances in society but the author was able to integrate the main character's influences on world events without claiming all big advances came from him whispering in the right ears.

16 people found this helpful

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One moving brilliant all genres in one

I am a big SciFi audiobook nerd - most of my repeated listens are all around SW - ST superhero stuff - few mysteries here and there - this book honestly takes the gold for not only the narrative and the "actual" story, the performers of the characters were just fantastic!!! So for all those comic buffs like me - this amazing title has it all : superhero but, history of the current living, history of biblical proportions, history of science, history in military, humanities achievements rendered , modern day, spirituality, religion, value systems, social studies ...I can keep going!! Ooooh yeah SPACE TIME CONTINUUM - astral plain--- simply brilliant book on audio! A must hear!!! Thank KJ for sharing this fantastic revelation in our "mass media hysteria" of a world! This really anchors it altogether superbly!

13 people found this helpful

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What would Twain have done without him?

Set in the 21st century, this reinterpretation of a religious legend is marred by cliché and brief flashbacks thrown in throughout the book for the purpose of informing the reader that our cursed/blessed hero, Will, has been present at every important discovery/turning point/etc. in the last 2000 years and has planted every good idea in every great man's ear, from Gutenberg to Einstein. However, there is no attempt to provide context or depth for these asides, so they mostly come off as a weak attempt to build cred for the good guy, who would have to be very good indeed, as well as totally brilliant, to inspire philosophers, literary lights, and businessmen, alike. Not that this is a book in which the believability factor is high or even expected to be, but after he's been given credit for suggesting the theory of relativity to Einstein, you kinda start wondering when Paul Bunyan is going to make an appearance.

As to the narration, while a few of the characters are well done--the little girl, Maria, in particular--the full cast is very uneven in talent and over the top more often than not. In particular, the voice acting for Will is strange and way slow. I listened to this whole book at 2x and still wasted way too much time on it.

I seem to be an outlier, considering all the five star reviews for this book. Maybe it's just me, but I gotta disagree.

11 people found this helpful

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Great story horrible to listen to.

The actor reading the part of the protagonist reads painfully with unnecessary pauses throughout. It is as if he is trying to emulate caricature of William Shattner. The other actors are much better.

10 people found this helpful

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Worst Book I have read

This book is disjointed and nearly impossible to follow. The Narrator's just drone on

10 people found this helpful

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  • Mr. S. M. Elliott
  • 04-18-21

Give it time.

This is a slow burner that at first is confusing and jumps around. I confess I gave up on it the 1st time I started it. But give it time (about an hour) and it will draw you in. A wonderful tale of a man cursed and forced to walk the earth for ever unable to die. Having out lived his wife and children his only wish is to join them in death. He tries to redeem himself but the curse is unrelenting and every 3 days he must move on. A great concept.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-01-21

great surprise of a book

very very good story with performances to match , with some very interesting historical snippets intertwined within a compelling story , very well acted out by the cast , highly recommended

1 person found this helpful

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  • Bluelesley
  • 11-05-20

Amazing!!

Where has this book been? I have never heard anything about it and it should be on everyone’s to read list!! I was engrossed start to finish and wished it just went on and on. I am a huge reader and have been all my life so that makes a lot of books read and it is seldom a book affects me like this one has. Absolutely loved it!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Adrian
  • 04-11-18

Listening to it for the 2nd time

So I've already reviewed this book but its now over a year since I finished it and I felt the need to re-listen to it. A wonderful book, well narrated.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • NM
  • 03-28-18

Brilliant!!

I'm not a huge reviewer but really felt that this book deserved one. I'll start by saying that some of the bad reviews were off putting in my choosing this book and, in my opinion, undeserved - yes it's a bit Forrest Gump, cliched and some of the voice characterisation is a bit off but please don't let any of that put you off!!
It's a great story, well performed and I found it captivating, exciting and moving too - really looked forward to the drive home from work and, this is always a good sign - the drive to work!!
I don't think anyone will be disappointed listening to this - I'm just sad I finished it!!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-07-19

superb read

what a journey.. It put all I love to read into one book and that's some clever craftsmanship..

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Daran G. Rowlands
  • 04-13-18

Dreary and Predictable

Would you try another book written by Kenneth Johnson or narrated by full cast?

No

Has The Man of Legends put you off other books in this genre?

No

Have you listened to any of full cast’s other performances? How does this one compare?

No

Did The Man of Legends inspire you to do anything?

No

Any additional comments?

The book is intriguing to start with but it gets a bit tiresome with the "hero" essentially being responsible/involved in everything from levi-jeans studs through to Einstein's theory of relativity and even the killing of Hitler... I think the author simple drew up a list of significant historic events/discoveries/inventions and then wrote a story around it. There is no real depth to the story and it just meanders from one event to the next although I did like the way the story was told via a mixture of eye witness accounts interspersed with additions from the main character.

The most interesting part of the book was the biography of the author at the end!

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  • Kevin Boone
  • 01-30-18

Nicely told, but not an original story

Man of Legends tells the story of a man cursed to live forever, as a result of an evil deed committed in the distant past. We don't find out what this deed was until the end and, frankly, people have done worse and suffered less. The plot is really an amalgam of Da Vinci Code, Highlander, and Paradise Lost. The idea that Jesus was a decent guy promoted beyond his competence by a manipulative Church is _not_ an original idea, either in fiction or religious studies. It didn't originate with Dan Brown, and it certainly didn't originate in this book.

What makes this audiobook worth a listen is the characterization, and the way that the story is told from a variety of first-person viewpoints. The narrators carry their characters along nicely, and the different voices probably make the plot easier to follow that would be the case with a traditional book. Some of the characters are a bit stereotypical, but the variety of viewpoints adds a certain amount of depth to the story.

All in all, not a bad audiobook but, where it succeeds, it is not because of the story, but the way it is told.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • barloch76
  • 01-12-18

Hard to get into but worth it in the end

Thought the 1st hour or so was too fragmented and found I had to restart the AB. Decent story throughout but really didn't link well until later in the story. Well acted. enjoyed it

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  • jacqueline bain
  • 12-01-17

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. LOVED IT

Had not heard of this book and found it as I was scrolling looking for something to interest me. The only downside was that I needed to sleep otherwise I would have read this in one session. Amazing book, writing and narration. This must be seen as a challenge for other authors to achieve. Thank you

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 05-16-19

Astonished, I couldn't finish book by fav author !

To my ear, the narrator"s interpretation of character voices put me off listening at all. The voices were harsh, then whiney supposedly German (?) accents.
I've loved every book by this author, audio books everyone, except for this novel, I found it to be a dreadful listen.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-26-18

Thought provoking

I found this thought provoking and intriguing. I was constantly amazed at the twisting of history- or was it? This book certainly grabbed my attention. The audio version was amazing and the drive to work seemed a lot shorter than normal. Money well spent and I have a feeling it will be one book I come back to again.

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  • Andrew & Kath Paton
  • 01-12-18

Great story line

Really enjoyed this audible book, great storyline and character were varied and interesting. Book was not to predictable however story did not need to have child abuse scene as vivid and as detail as it I was and I was quite cranky and upset by that detailed part of book otherwise 98% worth reading or listening to in my case. Cheers

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  • Jenny Macmillan
  • 11-05-17

Fantastic

What can I say this book was one out of the box. A great story with food for thought on religion without taking anything away from the whole book.
I hope there is a follow up to this story.

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  • Darren lock
  • 08-28-17

Amazing

wow wow wow this book held me in its grasp fro. start to finish the story line the people the emotion of it all thanks kenneth and cast amazing.