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Jonathan

Jonathan Haywards Heath, United Kingdom Member Since 2007
HELPFUL VOTES
54
ratings
REVIEWS
22
16
FOLLOWERS
FOLLOWING
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  • "A clever, subtly scary read"

    Overall

    I'll come clean from the start - I had an extra credit and nothing I particularly wanted to spend it on this month. My first credit went on Joe Hill's excellent new book, Horns - the second went on The Waiting Room almost at random. I've been pretty disappointed by a lot of the new horror that's come out over the last year or so, but it's books like The Waiting Room that make me try to keep abreast of them as much as possible.

    The concept of the book is hardly the most original - listening made me think of Stephen King's Pet Sematary, M.R. James, Lovecraft and the like, and the ghost hunter angle's also fairly popular now - but most horror is very derivative now, and the way this book is written, coupled with David Ritoul's excellent reading, results in a subtle, genuinely disturbing but oddly comforting narrative. The atmosphere it creates reminds me fondly of the kind of ghost story classically told around the fireside, which I enjoyed immensely. There's very little violence and hardly any gore - the horror aspect is more atmospheric and subtle than that, which I admire in a genre increasingly affected by movies. Not that there's anything wrong with gore if it's done well, I just like to have the option.

    Um - that probably got a bit wordy. Basically though, if you have a spare audible credit & are looking for a good piece of horror fiction, I'd really recommend The Waiting Room. If you enjoy this, you might enjoy Dark Matter (Michelle Paver) or maybe The Passage (by Justin Cronin), both of which are available on Audible (unfortunately I don't know a lot about F.G. Cottam's other works).

    More

    The Waiting Room

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By F. G. Cottam
    • Narrated By David Rintoul
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (232)
    Performance
    (69)
    Story
    (67)

    The waiting room stands on a crumbling railway platform at the edge of a retired rock star's vast estate. Abandoned to dereliction and isolated by a moat of thorny wilderness, it used to be a playground for his children. Until strange music and the terrifying spectre of a leering soldier frightened them away. Julian Creed is TV's most popular ghost hunter. Only his small production team knows he is a complete fake who doesn't even believe in the paranormal. Until he spends one night in the waiting room.

    Jonathan says: "A clever, subtly scary read"
  • "Genuinely unsettling, well written ..."

    Overall

    If you've listened to or read Bentley Little's The Collection (also on audible), you may well be wary of trying this book - even as a pretty hardcore fan of horror as a genre, I found stories in The Collection difficult to listen to (and often to stomach). Don't worry though - The Haunted is a much easier listen, and well worth the download.

    It's a fairly standard haunted house story, but it's very well written and honestly compelling. From the comfortable, engaging trials and troubles of an american middle class family, the narrative turns in a heartbeat to something much more disturbing and other worldly. You find yourself waiting for the next thing to happen, but you're often genuinely surprised when it does. Unlike The Collection, which was very much about short, massive shocks, this is much more subtle. I've been very disappointed with horror releases on audible lately, but this book is a very welcome change from the general trend and well worth a credit.

    More

    The Haunted

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Bentley Little
    • Narrated By Dan Butler
    Overall
    (47)
    Performance
    (25)
    Story
    (26)

    The Perry family's new house is perfect - except for the weird behavior of the neighbors, and that odd smell coming from a dark corner in the basement. Pity no one warned the family about the house. Now it's too late. Because the darkness at the bottom of the basement stairs is rising.

    Jonathan says: "Genuinely unsettling, well written horror"
  • "A great collection of short horror ..."

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm always hungry for collections of good short stories, especially horror, and often disappointed by what gets released. Thirteen, though, has everything I look for in a collection - good stories and great narration, with excellent sound effects and music as a very welcome (and effective) bonus.
    The stories themselves are pretty diverse in terms of content, and while some are inevitably stronger than others, none of them are less than enjoyable to listen to, delivering genuine scares and a lingering atmosphere of building tension throughout. The collection even includes a modern-day retelling of the much-loved "the monkey's paw" and, though personally this is my least favourite tale, I have to admire the effort to bring the classic to a new audience.
    The narration is excellent, as diverse as the stories themselves, and none of the actors involved deliver anything less than a brilliant performance. So many audio books suffer from poor narration, which, for me, can sometimes ruin a decent story entirely - I'm delighted to say that Thirteen doesn't fall in to this group.
    Overall - it's definitely worthy of a place in any horror fan's collection, and I only wish it was called 14 or 25 or 62. Really hoping for a Thirteen volume 2 in the near future.

    More

    Thirteen

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Scott Harrison, Dan Abnett, Cavan Scott, and others
    • Narrated By Gemma Arterton, Lalla Ward, Frances Barber, and others
    Overall
    (8)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (8)

    In early 20th Century England Hamilton James Macaulay relates the tale of how he found himself in a Scarborough Bric-a-brac shop. The owner of the shop has 13 long playing records that each contain a hidden track at the end, that tell strange tales of future times. These 13 tales of terror will change Hamilton James Macaulay's life forever and he will leave the shop a murderer. Thirteen is a portmantaeu audio anthology, harking back to the classic horror albums of the 1970s.

    Jonathan says: "A great collection of short horror stories"
  1. The Waiting Room
  2. The Haunted
  3. Thirteen
  4. .

Stranded on the red planet

A new sci-fi adventure from the great Terry Pratchett

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