The Boy with the Cuckoo-Clock Heart by Mathias Malzieu (Unabridged) was produced by Blackstone Audio and comes with what is perhaps the best audiobook app available (see below for features list).
Edinburgh, 1874. Born with a frozen heart, Jack is nearly dead when his mother abandons him to the care of Dr. Madeleine—witch doctor, midwife, protector of orphans—who saves Jack by placing a cuckoo clock in his chest. It is in her orphanage that Jack grows up amid tear-filled flasks, eggs containing memories, and a man with a musical spine.
Dr. Madeleine warns Jack that his heart is too fragile for strong emotions: he must never, ever fall in love. But of course he does, on his tenth birthday and with head-over-heels abandon, for a bespectacled young street performer with a soul-stirring voice. But it’s not only Jack’s heart that’s at risk, it’s his very life. Now begins a wild journey of escape and pursuit, from Edinburgh to Paris to Andalusia, where Jack will finally learn the great joys—and the greater costs—of owning a fully formed heart.
Self-contained, this audiobook app is perfect for your commute, on a trip, or while relaxing. Based on a library-quality recording, this app was built especially for your iPhone and iPod Touch. No unreadable text, no endless scrolling. The audio is of higher-than-normal quality, making for a great listening experience that will not tire your ears or grate on your nerves.
NOTICE: This app includes the same 5-star recording that is available through other retailers at higher prices. It is unabridged and professionally recorded at Blackstone Audio by Jim Dale, who is the voice of all the characters in the magnificent Harry Potter audiobook series. As a narrator he has won two Grammy Awards, seven Grammy nominations, and ten Audie® Awards. You are not buying yet another amateur or volunteer narration. No clicks, background noises, throat clearing, mispronunciations, tinny voices or monotones will be found here.
“Affords considerable escapist pleasures….Malzieu sketches European landscapes and crafts figurative language with irresistible relish….Calling to mind a host of cultural touchstones, from Pinocchio to The Wizard of Oz, this kaleidoscopic picaresque will enchant many adults and young people alike.” —Publishers Weekly
• EXPERIENCE. About 5 hours of play time. Created as a Folium enhancedAudio™ edition, this book includes extra functions and features not found on lesser players.
• PLAYER CONTROLS. Includes listen (play), pause, multi-speed fast forward/reverse, jump ahead/back, chapter skip, volume control, one-touch chapter- and bookmark browser. There is also a “scrub” bar that finds any point inside the chapter with just a tap.
• SLEEP TIMER. Have you ever fallen asleep watching TV or listening to a book? If so, you'll love this feature. Once set, the book will stop, place a bookmark, and allow you to jump back to where you probably began dozing.
• CLEAR & ELEGANT DESIGN. Simple, clean, intuitive, and smarter than average.
• CHAPTER TIMINGS. Always know how much time it will take to finish a chapter. Plus, the progress bar at the top of the screen shows how far into the book you’ve come.
• OFFLINE LISTENING. You are airplane-ready! Once downloaded, listen uninterrupted without threat from a lost network connection. Downloads are usually just 5-10 minutes, but depend upon your network speed.
• AUTO-BOOKMARKING. The player remembers where you stopped listening and returns to that exact spot when you open the book again.
RATING: 4+ For mild suspense, but otherwise purely delightful and meaningful for both children and adults.