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The Binding

A Novel
Written by: Bridget Collins
Narrated by: Carl Prekopp
Length: 15 hrs and 29 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (23 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Proclaimed as “truly spellbinding", a “great fable” that “functions as transporting romance” by The Guardian, the runaway number one international best seller arrives in America.

"A rich, gothic entertainment that explores what books have trapped inside them and reminds us of the power of storytelling. Spellbinding.” (Tracy Chevalier)

Imagine you could erase grief. Imagine you could remove pain. Imagine you could hide the darkest, most horrifying secret. Forever.

Young Emmett Farmer is working in the fields when a strange letter arrives summoning him away from his family. He is to begin an apprenticeship as a bookbinder - a vocation that arouses fear, superstition, and prejudice among their small community, but one neither he nor his parents can afford to refuse.

For as long as he can recall, Emmett has been drawn to books, even though they are strictly forbidden. Bookbinding is a sacred calling, Seredith informs her new apprentice, and he is a binder born. Under the old woman’s watchful eye, Emmett learns to handcraft the elegant leather-bound volumes. Within each one, they will capture something unique and extraordinary: a memory. If there’s something you want to forget, a binder can help. If there’s something you need to erase, they can assist. Within the pages of the books they create, secrets are concealed and the past is locked away. In a vault under his mentor’s workshop, rows upon rows of books are meticulously stored.

But while Seredith is an artisan, there are others of their kind, avaricious and amoral tradesman who use their talents for dark ends - and just as Emmett begins to settle into his new circumstances, he makes an astonishing discovery: One of the books has his name on it. Soon, everything he thought he understood about his life will be dramatically rewritten.

An unforgettable novel of enchantment, mystery, memory, and forbidden love, The Binding is a beautiful homage to the allure and life-changing power of books - and a reminder to us all that knowledge can be its own kind of magic.

©2019 Bridget Collins (P)2019 HarperCollins Publishers

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Top notch!

I really thought the story examines both sides of the role our memories play in our lives. I thought the plot was well planned with excellent foreshadowing.
I loved the narrator’s voice. His voice was soothing and almost hypnotic in the way he drew me into the story.
I did think that it would have been good though to hear about Alta and Emmett’s parents after Emmett had his memories wiped and how that impacted them once he gets his memories back. Perhaps though that could almost be another book!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Amazing!

A little slow in the middle, but the writing it beautiful and I found myself unable to stop listening.

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  • RUKiddingMee
  • 2019-05-18

Just wow

The Binding is best book I have read and listened to so far this year. I really, really hate reviews that reveal too much about a book, so I won't get into more of the plot than is revealed in the book summary. A few warnings though: The subject matter is mature and could be triggering to some readers. If you have worries about that, seek a review that reveals more of the subject matter.

The Binding is a little hard to categorize. It involves magic and an imaginary place, so it qualifies as a fantasy but it isn't a sword and sorcery story. The writing is achingly beautiful with a great deal of suspense and surprise. Books I would compare it to: The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon, The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson, When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead, some of Neil Gaiman.

Carl Prekopp is excellent as a narrator. At first I thought the pace was a bit slow, but his accents and style of narration add so much to the story that I would rate this as one of my favorite performances ever.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mikel V
  • 2019-05-10

holy shuzzm

this was amazing through out the entire thing no dry areas and my god the voice acting

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Pup Cerberus
  • 2019-04-30

a long darkly romantic book

it's slow, delightfully slow. the romance and cruelties inflicted left you wanting to hear more. the take on memories were originally. my only complaint was that I wasn't entirely sure what period the book took place in, obviously it was an alternative history but still. vastly enjoyable.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Sallyonfire
  • 2019-08-08

SpellBINDING!

I absolutely loved it! Captivated from beginning to end! If you're searching for a book to read or listen to, this is it!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Belinda
  • 2019-07-31

Captivating

The voice performances in this novel were excellent. The novel took a turn that I wasn't expecting, but a good book does keep you guessing. This novel is full of turmoil, mystery, love, and magic. Be careful, it will draw you in, and you may abandon your responsibilities to listen.
Excellent story.
Excellent Performance.
Excellent Book.
MUST READ.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Heather
  • 2019-06-23

Heather's review

Lovely story full of beautiful imagery and language. A love story that harkens back to the 18th century but with struggles that are relative to present time. I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Mireia Sainz Canela
  • 2019-06-21

Original fantasy at its best

As a fantasy bookworm since small, I do love it when I find a beautifully woven story. This one with plenty of love, fear and depravity.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • oldmanwagner
  • 2019-06-21

Satisfying if a little slow

Overall I liked this book for the well developed characters, the sense of mystery and classic ‘story tale’ motifs w/in a LGTBI framework. The love part of the story is quite lovely. However, the final third drags on interminably towards a forgone conclusion.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • W. Cripe
  • 2019-04-24

Politically correct drivel

This should have been good.
The idea had immense promise.
But the author and publisher chose to create a pap piece full of politically correct tropes in order to assuage the woke Millennial buyer.

I am so disappointed.

Mild spoilers ahead.







The idea behind binders and binding is wonderful, terrifying and rich with opportunity for fantasy exploration. Unfortunately - surprise! the gay agenda. It's not well-written. Rife with anachronisms and tiresome simile, this book attempts to channel Bronte, Dickens or even Mieville and fails; trading sophomoric attempts at Tolkiensian descriptions for actual storytelling.

Are the main characters bold or quivering and feeble? Are their feelings for eachother true or contrived? What of the people the author leaves in their wake? These seem like cardboard props designed only to create a story about same sex affection (or lust? or love? we never know!). The characters are motivated by whatever the word count requires for that chapter. Sometimes it's authentic self-affirmation. Other times it's macguffin motivated threat. It is never consistent character development or good storytelling.

This is a bad, highschool creative writing assignment, that uses all the PC buzzwords and ideas (though never exploring or developing them) that you turned in to that one teacher to get a good grade because, deep down, you know pandering works.

This is not a fantasy story for reading. This is drivel to lay down and avoid. Codswallop.

6 of 25 people found this review helpful