• The Stranger Times

  • Stranger Times, Book 1
  • By: C. K. McDonnell
  • Narrated by: Brendan McDonald
  • Length: 11 hrs and 8 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (523 ratings)

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The Stranger Times

By: C. K. McDonnell
Narrated by: Brendan McDonald
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Publisher's Summary

Brought to you by Penguin. 

There are dark forces at work in our world (and in Manchester in particular), so thank God The Stranger Times is on hand to report them.

A weekly newspaper dedicated to the weird and the wonderful (but mostly the weird), it is the go-to publication for the unexplained and inexplicable.

At least that's their pitch. The reality is rather less auspicious. Their editor is a drunken, foul-tempered and foul-mouthed husk of a man who thinks little of the publication he edits. His staff are a ragtag group of misfits. And as for the assistant editor...well, that job is a revolving door - and it has just revolved to reveal Hannah Willis, who's got problems of her own.

When tragedy strikes in her first week on the job, The Stranger Times is forced to do some serious investigating. What they discover leads to a shocking realisation: some of the stories they'd previously dismissed as nonsense are in fact terrifyingly real. Soon they come face-to-face with darker forces than they could ever have imagined.

The Stranger Times is the first novel from C. K. McDonnell, the pen name of Caimh McDonnell. It combines his distinctive dark wit with his love of the weird and wonderful to deliver a joyous celebration of how truth really can be stranger than fiction.

©2020 C.K. McDonnell (P)2020 Penguin Audio

What listeners say about The Stranger Times

Average Customer Ratings
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Animal abuse

This book started out great. It was really funny, creative and odd. The reader is superb. I will absolutely be looking for other books read by him. This book lost me utterly and completley when it decided to indulge in animal abuse. As far as I'm concerned, this book is ruined by that, and it's worse because it at first draws you in with being so much fun. I will never read anything by this author again.

42 people found this helpful

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Great writing, characters, and interesting story

C.K. McDonnell has good writing skills. Best of all, I like that his women characters are strong and intelligent. It's refreshing. This dip into urban fantasy only helps the genre, which has lately had a spate of weak writers trying their hand. The world is described in a grittier fashion than that of Ben Aaronovitch's Rivers of London series, and in my mind's eye everything was dark or grey and cluttered as opposed to bright and orderly. The characters have depth and unique aspects that kept me intrigued. Narration was very good. Looking forward to a sequel.

17 people found this helpful

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Comical and Mysterious

This book did not disappoint. The characters are interesting and relatable. The story line did not disappoint A little Sci -fi mixed with myth, legend, and the tabloids I thoroughly enjoyed it. I bought the book and the audible version. The narrator did an excellent job in distinguishing the characters and bringing the story to life. I hope to see more of The Stranger Times and it's living and/or deceased staff of writers and crew!

10 people found this helpful

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Thoroughly enjoyable

Stranger times has the same playful sense of humor as McDonnell's Dublin Trilogy, but with a new and supernatural direction. The narrator did a great job voicing the wide variety of characters. A thoroughly enjoyable listen.

9 people found this helpful

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Weird and Wonderful

This is quite different from the Bunny Books (that I soooo enjoy) and I was hesitant to add it to my collection.

No worries now - I really, really enjoyed it. I kept stopping and leaving the car running so I could listen some more. I grew to really bond to the characters - particularly Hannah, but even her boss grew on me.

Looking forward to the next in the series - just as I do for the Bunny etal characters.

Also - GREAT narrator (much preferred the the narrator for Bunny). Pleasure, pleasure, pleasure to listen.

8 people found this helpful

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Amazing voice performance

The guy who reads this story deserves a medal. The variety of voices is honestly amazing and may be the best audible performance I've ever heard. The story is often funny and it's entertaining, if a little long-winded and vulgar/dark.

5 people found this helpful

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Fantastic Book

Great story - great narrator - loved all the accents and I'm looking forward to the next book.

4 people found this helpful

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Hugely Funny!

C.K., or Caimh, McDonnell, is possibly my favorite living author. This book is a marvelous listen. If you like Pratchett, you'll probably like C.K. He has a marvelous sense of humor, and while his work is set in a universe very different from Pratchett's, he has the same heart and basic kindness, and he creates characters I feel I've met. His shift from stand-up to author appears seamless, and nothing makes me happier than finding a new McDonnell novel has finally arrived!

The reader, Brendan McDonald, does a great job bringing even more life to Caimh's already-vibrant characters. I'm pretty sure that he's met them all, because he sounds exactly like them. No doubt in my mind about this.

I strongly suggest you give McDonnell a try. Every one of his books is a tour-de-force of fun!

3 people found this helpful

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So much fun

Great characters. Thoroughly enjoyable. Humorous. Can’t wait to read or listen to the next one. Narrator is awesome

2 people found this helpful

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I want more!!

This was a hilarious, interesting, and un-put-downable tale that I wish did not have to end. I need a book 2!!!

2 people found this helpful

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  • simon white
  • 03-20-21

Weirdy McWeird wrtes another cracker so he does

The ultimate in paranotmal/weird shit publication staggers from disaster to disaster whilst unknowingly embracing the stuff its staff don't really believe in. A great read all round.Now where's me cheque Mr McDonnell?

14 people found this helpful

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  • L
  • 03-06-21

Most entertaining book I've heard in years!!

Thanks to author CK McDonnell for creating a another memorable cast of characters and laugh out loud dialogue. Storytelling matched by the best voice narrator I've heard on Audible.

11 people found this helpful

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  • CM
  • 01-18-21

What a Romp !

I have enjoyed other books by Caimh McDonnell especially his Dublin trilogy. This book was a real treat and I hope the start of a long “Stranger Times” series. A little otherworldly, a little mystery, a lot barmy! Great characters . The perfect escape for lockdown. More please!

10 people found this helpful

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  • lisasarcy
  • 01-17-21

It’s all about the dialogue...

As always with McDonnell, this is absolute joy to read. The plot is the least important part of the whole, you read on for the wonderful off-kilter characters and the beautifully written dialogue.

As a fan of the Bunny McGarry books, I wasn’t entirely sure how this ‘urban fantasy’ novel would be, but it was as lovely to read as any of his other books. The podcast is great too.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Loui
  • 03-05-21

refreshingly new and brilliant!

a crazy enjoyable concept of an alternative newspaper, with an oddball mixture of staff investigating the abnormal..... what could be more entertaining! Brilliantly narrated too... perfect!

6 people found this helpful

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  • Satisfied Customer
  • 01-13-22

Good story, brilliant narrator

It is almost unbelievable that one narrator could produce so many distinct and believable voices. Very enjoyable narration and an engaging story. I will certainly purchase the next in the series.

5 people found this helpful

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  • M. A. SMITH
  • 01-07-22

Great Fun

I found this a very enjoyable and easy Listen. Even books I like sometimes feel a bit of a slog and this one passed by like a breeze. The characters are great company and the humour is strong and mixes appropriately with the moments of real drama. Liked the Narration

4 people found this helpful

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  • Russell McKee
  • 01-12-22

Just wonderful.

Listened to this as it was recommended by another author. Cannot tell you how much I enjoyed it. The different voices were brilliant. The story line was wonderful. Just a wonderful book. Off to pre order the next one.

3 people found this helpful

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  • mustangclaire
  • 10-05-22

what can I say

My book of the year. My book of my library so far. Sublime. Narrated outstandingly.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • K. Saywood
  • 09-21-22

Hilarious

This book constantly surprises and made me laugh out loud! Thank you C K McDoonald

2 people found this helpful

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  • sandra darling
  • 06-03-21

Fun romp

I’m a big Michael Marshall Smith and Terry Pratchett fan, and I love weird characters in unusual circumstances so this was right up my ally. I wouldn’t say the plot is surprising but it’s a fun romp with a few laugh out loud moments and a lot of very engaging dialogue. Light fun fast paced and quirky.

4 people found this helpful

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  • robert
  • 02-09-21

Give it a go - quirky and funny

I gave this audio book a go, simply because I saw an online review comparing the author's style to that of the late Sir Terry Pratchett.

I was not disappointed, never will an author be like Sir Terry, but this author i believe is in the same league.

The story was original, the characters were relatable, story kept its pace through out the entire book.

Whilst is was never a suspenseful 'whodunit' novel, it was incredibly enjoyable and I await the next book eagerly.

2 people found this helpful

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  • rhiannon
  • 04-07-22

Brilliant!

I haven’t laughed so much while reading a book in a long time. But the best thing about this book is the characters; they deserve their own show! It’s a must read.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Carl Haynes
  • 02-27-22

Love this.

A beautiful blending of the rivers of London series with the humour of Terry Pratchett

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-07-22

Fabulous!

I loved very minute of this book. It is engaging, funny and intriguing. Good buy.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Nawwal
  • 09-30-22

amusing

This was one of the few books that could extract a chuckle from me. Although a little cookie cutter, it was a fun romp anyway.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amanda Vermeulen
  • 04-28-22

Wonderful performance.

Charming story that is elevated to something quite special but the talents of the narrator/ performer Brendan McDonald. I would drink his bath water ( to borrow from CK McDonnell).

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Scott Nicholas
  • 03-26-22

A masterful performance of a great story

Brendon McDonald gives truly astonishing, masterful audiobook performance of this very funny book. The characters are rich, the story is exciting and it’s very, very funny.
It’s very much in the brilliant British sensibility, following in the illustrious footsteps of Sir Terry Pratchett.
But if you want to hear a remarkable performance, listen to this book. Mr McDonald’s performance is the best I’ve ever heard in 5 years of listening to audiobooks. Prepare to be amazed.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Kindle Customer
  • 01-17-22

Very enjoyable book

great narrator and very funny book. Loved the acknowledgements at the end. Will definitely read the next one.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-13-21

Amazing in everyway conceivable!

I bought the book... loved it!
I downloaded the freebies mentioned at the end of the book and signed up to the authors newsletter... loved all of that (especially the podcasts)
Then signed up to Audible JUST to listen to the audiobook version which was amazing, brilliantly performed and every bit better than everything before it.
I highly recommend this performance. story and book to everyone and can't wait for the sequel!