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The Test

Written by: Sylvain Neuvel
Narrated by: Neil Shah
Length: 2 hrs and 12 mins
4.4 out of 5 stars (62 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Britain, the not-too-distant future. Idir is taking the British Citizenship Test. He wants his family to belong. 

Twenty-five questions to determine his fate. Twenty-five chances to impress. When the test takes an unexpected and tragic turn, Idir is handed the power of life and death. 

How do you value a life when all you have is multiple choice?  

©2019 Sylvain Neuvel (P)2019 Blackstone Publishing

What the critics say

"Thought-provoking and disturbing. A cautionary tale illuminated with dark enlightenment." (Kirkus, starred review)

What listeners say about The Test

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

Emotionally devastating

Sylvain Neuvel has quickly become one of my favourite authors. I listened to this in one sitting as I could not bring myself to pause it. Wonderful story, even if it has left me sobbing!

1 person found this helpful

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Love this short...

Very interesting perspective, really made me like the main character! I would recommend d this book as a good read

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Excellent, cerebral, if a little short

This is a fantastic little thought experiment novella. It would be great in an anthology of stories, like Ted Chiang would write. This was offered as a daily deal by Audible. Cheap and enjoyable. Great! Highly recommend

1 person found this helpful

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Favorite Book I've Read This Year

So far (August) this is the best book I've read this year. I loved everything about it.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kristy @ Caffeinated Fae
  • 2019-03-22

Shocking & engaging

Holy sh*t that was a mind f*ck. Sorry, but there really wasn't another way to put that. This book truly belongs as an episode of Black Mirror. It's shocking, it's engaging, and it really messes with you. The Test by Sylvain Neuvel is truly a novella that is going to stick with you long after reading it. I listened to the audiobook of it. The narrator (Neil Shah) was perfect. He was able to capture the characters perfectly and his accents and voices were brilliant. This audiobook was extremely well done. I was engrossed in the first minute of the audiobook and I didn't want it to end. I cannot wait to see what Sylvain Neuvel comes up with next. This was brilliant.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Chester Johnson
  • 2019-02-17

Dystopian Britain.......

This short 2 hour and 12 min audiobook leaves the reader with a lot to ponder even after you finish the book. Very much in the same vein as a Black Mirror episode, it centers around a Iranian immigrant to Britain taking the British Citizenship test somewhere in a dystopian future, but all I'll say about the plot is that it isn't as simple as that. A great short 4 out of 5 star read for its intriguing plot.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Jake LaFrance
  • 2019-02-16

Very good! Interesting concept

I read this book because I loved the Themis Files by Sylvain Neuvel and was much looking forward to this one. I was not disappointed. I really enjoyed this little novella. The conecpt was well executed, the characters were great. I only wished it was slightly longer, maybe it could have been 3 hours instead of 2 hours. It was great either way though. I can't wait to read whatever Sylvain Neuvel releases next.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Margie
  • 2020-10-20

Not impressed

This book was way too long. I listened to it all and wished I’d stopped after the first chapter. And the ending is very anticlimactic. Don’t waste your time.

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  • KJH
  • 2020-10-19

Very affective, short thriller.

This packs a surprising punch for such a short story. With its mildly futuristic theme, it would make a great episode of Black Mirror. Definitely worth the time between regular length novels.

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  • Megan Dann
  • 2020-10-17

Short and Shocking

So many twists in the plot, I was kept engaged for the whole thrill ride. It was terrifying, a super mind f***, and had an ending I wasn't expecting. What's not to like?

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  • Brutis
  • 2020-10-15

Bad

I got exactly what I paid for, its part of the extended library and cost nothing. That library seems to have all the books I have tried and returned for being no good.

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  • originalmike007
  • 2020-10-14

Starts off strong...then goes off the rails.

The good: likable protagonist, interesting premise, literate. The bad: WTF? Every other character is flat, unrealistic, and unempathizable. The premise turns from interesting to disgusting to completely unbelievable.

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  • Ereika Kane aka Girl 6
  • 2020-10-09

Thought provoking

Very interesting story that makes you think. The narrator was awesome his acting was engrossing!

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  • FanFiAddict
  • 2020-08-27

Unsettling

This was my first foray into Neuvel’s writing and certainly won’t be my last. I have heard great things about his Themis Files trilogy and The Test gives me an anticipation boost to start the series. The Test begins begins with a room full of test takers, including our protagonist, Idir, and a multiple choice, 25-question exam to determine the potentiality of citizenship in the UK. With a few questions knocked out of the park, Idir believes he will come through this with flying colors. But when variables change and the test comes down to life or death, multiple choice doesn’t always hand you the answer you expect, or want. I have to say, this novella blew my mind through the first 20 or so pages. I feel like I was dropped into an episode of Black Mirror where I am going down one path and BOOM, 180° turn. WTF??? To really explain this feeling would absolutely spoil the read for you so you’ll just have to find out what mean for yourself. One thing Neuvel has going for him his character development. It has been a while since I have been so emotionally invested in a character, but Idir takes the freaking cake. I laughed. I cried. I felt triumph to only have it absolutely crushed into dust. But when it came down to the hard decisions, I had his back. The Test is a very unsettling read, and a bit of a mindf^$k if I’m being honest. It’ll take you on an emotional rollercoaster ride, one with an underlying darkness that stays with you and will leave you with less answers than you began with. But I have to say, I highly recommend it. Short, engaging, and powerful.