Public Domain (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
I downloaded this last night, as the television was terrible (when isn't it?) and rather than watch something just for the sake of it, I thought I'd give it a go, who doesn't love a ghost story at Christmas. I've absolutely loved M R James since I was a teenager; Derek Jacobi's narration is superb(I could listen to him reading a telephone directory). The beauty of James is that it leaves so much to the imagination, nothing is ever explicit -something which Hollywood could take note of. Don't expect to be scared out of your wits, James is more subtle in his approach, unnerving and unsettling. So turn the television off this Christmas, turn the lights down and listen. You won't be disappointed.
I lay in bed over Christmas listening to these before I went to sleep. I had no idea how strange and disturbing these stories are, particularly the first few. In fact I find it difficult to describe them as ghost stories. Superbly read by Derek Jacobi,these are simply unlike anything I have ever heard or read.
I felt it was not the best collection of MR James stories, athough A View From A Hill is a favourite of mine. Derek Jacobi gives a masterclass in acting that makes up for any weaker entries in this collection. Overall I was very pleased with this and it stays on my phone for long car journeys.
If you are looking for the best tales of terror, without the overdone and predictable modern computer enhanced, unlikely and obviously unreal, and therefore un-scary rubbish, that it is just another failing copy of past masters of the traditional ghost stories, then you cannot fail with this audible purchase. The Narrator is perfect for this collection of M R James's tales. With this in mind, a great choice of bedtime ghost stories!...
"Incredible Narration for M.R. James Classics!"
I have found my new favourite narrator, Derek Jacobi! He's incredible at narrating these classic ghost stories by M.R. James - the way he acts out the conversations between characters is amazing! Here is a listing of the stories read:
A View From a Hill
A School Story
The Ash Tree
The Story of a Disappearance and an Appearance
If you're a fan of M.R. James or classic ghost stories, do not pass this one up! Get it now!
"An (Almost) Excellent Introduction."
This book, and volume two, are very good for the newcomer to M.R. James's work. The only downside to this anthology is perhaps the fact some of his best stories are not included. I would have loved to have heard Jacobi's take on "Casting The Runes".
"Simply superb. Fit for a stage."
Derek Jacobi brings the dialects and idioms of M.R. James' writing to life beautifully. The turns of phrase are notably archaic, and might otherwise be lost on modern readers how some characters are ironically pendantic or very 'working class.' I hope he will be hired on to read more turn of the century works.
"Cute, good, fun, definitely recommend!"
The narrator! Some of the stories weren't necessarily that scary but the narrator made everything feel spooky! It was great! definitely
I loved the story of the "special binoculars" very spooky and with such cute characters!
Strange and wonderful paths of darker worlds that you can't help relish meandering through.
I thought this was a short, fun little collection of short stories. I will be purchasing more volumes for more fun spooky nights.
M.R. James and Derek Jacobi. That's it. Perfection.Five out of five straight across the board.
"Do not download"
Audible asked me to provide my opinion of this book for the benefit of other listeners. I hope you heed my warning. Do not download this book. The book is boring. It will be a waste of your time and money. The stories are not scary. They are long tedious stores that lack appeal to both children and adults. My recommendation is to pass this one up. Title sounds promising but the content is terrible.
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