The Hangman’s Daughter Audiobook [Free Download by Trial]

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The Hangman's Daughter

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Germany, 1659: When a dying boy is pulled from the river with a mark crudely tattooed on his shoulder, hangman Jakob Kuisl is called upon to investigate whether witchcraft is at play in his small Bavarian town. Whispers and dark memories of witch trials and the women burned at the stake just seventy years earlier still haunt the streets of Schongau. When more children disappear and an orphan boy is found dead - marked by the same tattoo - the mounting hysteria threatens to erupt into chaos. Before the unrest forces him to torture and execute the very woman who aided in the birth of his children, Jakob must unravel the truth. With the help of his clever daughter, Magdelena, and Simon, the university-educated son of the town's physician, Jakob discovers that a devil is indeed loose in Schongau. But it may be too late to prevent bloodshed.



  • I really like this story. It may not have a profound impact, but it's still quite addictive and highly entertaining. However, I do wish I had gotten the original language version. The reader's pronunciation of German names, verses, or phrases is so terrible that even as a fluent speaker of the language, I can't comprehend what he's saying. If you're familiar with German, I suggest avoiding this version and instead trying to find a German one, even if it takes some effort.
  • The characters in 'The Hangman's Daughter' are one-dimensional and seem to be influenced by an unusual culture. It's like that joke where a guy asks his fish, "How's the water?" and they're like, "Water?" We often fail to recognize how our culture shapes our behavior and limits our spontaneity. It acts like an internal corset, imposing certain boundaries on us. The novel is set in 1500s Germany, and the cultural context plays a significant role in driving the plot, sometimes to the point of being frustrating, considering our present-day freedoms. This is the most intriguing aspect of Oliver Potzsch's storytelling. However, the rest of the book is rather ordinary, with predictable characters. Despite this, I managed to listen to the entire audiobook. While I may forget the plot and its inhabitants quickly, I will remember the vivid setting. It's a shame that Grover Gardner's talents don't shine in this audiobook.
  • I really wanted to enjoy this book since I was looking for a new series to get lost in, but unfortunately, it fell short of my expectations. The writing felt quite immature and there was a lot of repetition. It seemed like the same word was being used every other sentence, which became tiresome. The plot progressed at a slow pace, filled with numerous unnecessary digressions where characters discussed recent events. The villains came across as overly theatrical and their threats felt reminiscent of something you would find in a 1970s James Bond film. Initially, I thought maybe it was targeting a young adult audience, but then there were these unnecessarily brutal torture scenes that didn't fit. Overall, I would advise you to steer clear of this book and save yourself the disappointment.
  • I appear to be in the minority opinion here, but I found this book to be incredibly dumb and couldn't bear to finish it, despite the fact that Grover Gardner is one of my all-time favorite narrators (and he did an exceptional job, as always). Perhaps part of the issue lies in the translation; I can't really get into a book set in the 1600s where a character uses "Whatever" in the same way that modern-day teenagers do, to indicate indifference towards another person's statement, for example. There were a few other instances of modern slang, along with some truly awful dialogue. Another problem, unrelated to translation, is the stark contrast between the anachronistically enlightened and aware hangman, and the superstitious and ignorant villagers. It was simply ridiculous; the hangman not only understands the need for wound cleaning centuries before anyone else, but he also realizes that all the witchcraft (and many other things) are just ignorant superstitions. To top it off, he outshines Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes by centuries in his detective skills. He's just way too unbelievably brilliant and aware. By the way, for those who struggle to reconcile how the kind-hearted healer can also be the hangman and torturer, we see in the very first paragraph that the protagonist himself is tormented by what he has to do. We witness him drowning his sorrows in alcohol and experiencing a nervous breakdown when it comes time for him to carry out his duties, especially when he believes the person being tortured or executed is undeserving. He even administers drugs to innocents to ensure they hardly feel a thing. (On another note, I wish my current medications were one-tenth as effective as some of his herbal remedies; they just don't measure up.) In contrast to the overly intelligent hangman, the other characters make incredibly idiotic decisions that made me wish they would meet their demise before they had a chance to reproduce (or further annoy me). Instances like the following (although this specific scenario doesn't actually happen in the book, similar situations do): - Characters X and Y are being pursued by others down a narrow canyon at night. X and Y are trying to sneak along and then stop in the bushes to listen for signs of their pursuers. Suddenly, X stands up and loudly exclaims, "HELLOOO!" Y grabs X and whispers, "What are you doing?!" X responds, "I just wanted to see if the echo works at night." - Another time, X and Y are being chased (still at night). X sneaks up behind Y, covers Y's mouth to prevent screaming, and whispers in their ear, "Shh, it's me, don't scream." Y nods in understanding. X releases their hand. Suddenly, Y shouts, "Don't ever put your hand over my mouth, I hate that!" Absurd actions like these were just too foolish to tolerate. I became so frustrated with instances like these and the excessively dim-witted behavior of many characters throughout the book that I managed to stick with it until about three-quarters of the way through. At that point, I decided I would only finish it if all the characters met a horrible fate. However, since there are more books in the series, it's clear that some of them survive. Needless to say, the hangman, his daughter, and the rest of the gang will have to continue their adventures without me.
  • I stumbled upon this Author unexpectedly and snagged the book on sale. After diving into the first few chapters, I was instantly captivated and struggled to tear myself away. (I should mention that I'm a huge fan of Grover Gardner too.) The way the author crafts the language, plot, and characters is truly remarkable, transporting you to a forgotten era in European history. What particularly draws me to the author and their story is the emphasis placed on regular people and the intricacies of their lives, their moments of happiness and their deepest fears. I'm already one step ahead, having purchased and devoured the second book in the series - The Dark Monk.
  • Set in a German State during the middle ages, "The Hangman's Daughter" grips you from start to finish. The protagonist, known as the Hangman, is not only the town executioner and torturer but also a skilled herbalist and devoted family man. Despite their importance to the community, the Hangman and his family are treated as outcasts. His daughter is a rebellious and alluring young woman who challenges societal norms, much like the Hangman and a local physician. In a world dominated by superstition and religious fervor, these characters are ahead of their time. As a string of child murders occurs, with the victims bearing a mysterious mark, blame is quickly placed on a witch. However, the Hangman and the physician rely on science and logical thinking to unravel the truth behind the killings. The story delves into the dichotomy between the villains and the heroes, with both sides resorting to violence and torture to achieve their goals. Overall, the book is well-written, capturing historical accuracy and providing an engaging read. The narrator, Grover Gardner, does an excellent job in bringing the story to life.
  • I was hooked by the story from start to finish. There were multiple instances where I predicted the outcome, but I was pleasantly surprised by the unexpected twists. Overall, I had a great time listening to this audiobook. The narrator did an outstanding job in bringing the story to life. I particularly appreciated how they accurately pronounced the names, especially since I'm not familiar with Polish pronunciation. This made the listening experience even more enjoyable. As avid audiobook listeners know, the narrator can truly make or break the overall experience, and in this case, they definitely made it exceptional.
  • I'm a big fan of historical fiction in general, so I was really excited to dive into this book. However, it fell short in every single aspect. The characters were one-dimensional, uninteresting, and filled with clichés. The plot moved at a snail's pace, with the same "clues" being repeated multiple times, as if the author thought I would forget. Honestly, the book could have easily been half its length without losing any substance. The translation was awkward, especially with idioms and phrases. If you're not a fan of graphic descriptions of torture and killing, then this book is definitely not for you. But my main issue with the book was the lack of continuity and numerous plot holes. It's clear that the editor seriously dropped the ball on this one. Small details, like the characters being covered in clay dust and then suddenly appearing clean an hour later, went completely unnoticed. And when the culprit is revealed, the physical description of the character contradicts what was previously described. It's truly frustrating and honestly, appalling. Initially, I thought I would give this book a mediocre three-star rating and say it was decent enough to listen to during car rides. However, the infuriating plot hole at the end was the final straw for me. I have to admit, I absolutely loathed this book. I cannot recommend it and I definitely won't be purchasing the sequel.