LISTENER

Amazon Customer

London, UK
  • 3
  • reviews
  • 1
  • helpful vote
  • 3
  • ratings
  • A Colder War

  • By: Charles Stross
  • Narrated by: Pat Bottino
  • Length: 1 hr and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 22
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars 16
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 16

Here is a modern novelette in H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu mythos. Imagine David Cronenberg directing Dr. Strangelove, based on a script by H. P. Lovecraft. Imagine an alternate history in which nuclear bombs are not the ultimate weapon, but instead are merely a stepping stone to eldritch technologies accessible through certain trans-dimensional forces first encountered in 1920s Antarctica, technologies that neither the United States nor the USSR can quite contain.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Great Story - Poor Reading

  • By Toby on 30-04-09

A classic story, and a great listen

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 25-05-18

'A colder war' is Stross's reframing of the Cold War as a Lovecraftian balance of terror in which the arms race revolves, not around nukes (here humanity's last-ditch defence) but around possession and control of the horrors from beyond the stars. The point of view is that of an intelligence analyst processing reports in a Reagan-esque USA, and very forcefully makes Stross's case that what spooks truly fear is paper. However, there are worse things out there than paper and the story does not end well, at least for the humans. Much of the fascination of the story is that it is an intelligence procedural, neither a spy story nor a tale of magicians, with the central character drawn ever deeper into the black ops orchestrated by the Colonel (at the least a very close relation of Oliver North). Stross's voice here is perfect - unsensational, unemotional, letting the horrors speak for themselves, and the narrator supports it perfectly. The audiobook is a great delivery of a great story.

If you're a Laundry files fan, you'll probably like this a lot. As well as being eminently worth a listen for itself, it gives an airing to a lot of themes later explored at greater length by Bob Howard and his colleagues. If you aren't, please give it a go anyway. It's Lovecraftiana's answer to le Carre.

  • At the Mountains of Madness

  • By: HP Lovecraft
  • Narrated by: Richard Coyle
  • Length: 2 hrs and 53 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 67
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 64
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 64

At the Mountains of Madness tells the first-person tale of geologist William Dyer, a professor from Miskatonic University in the USA. He writes to disclose hitherto unknown and closely kept secrets in the hope that he can deter a planned and much publicized scientific expedition to Antarctica. For he has been there and seen the unimaginable horrors that lay beyond the mountains. At the Mountains of Madness was written by HP Lovecraft in 1931, originally a serialised story published in Astounding Stories magazine in the US.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fantastic

  • By Katie on 11-01-18

Fantastic! Get it

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 25-05-18

'At the mountains of madness' is Lovecraft at his best, a classic story of Antarctic exploration and the horrors lying in the ice. Very much a period piece, highly atmospheric, and less floridly gothic than much of Lovecraft's work with a real uneasy atmosphere of tension as the secrets of an unbearably ancient city are slowly revealed.

Coyle reads the story brilliantly well. His voice is perfect for Lovecraft's work and he gets every last nuance of dread out of it without melodrama.

If you like Lovecraft, you'll love this.

  • Time of the Dark

  • By: Barbara Hambly
  • Narrated by: Teri Clark Linden
  • Length: 13 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 11
  • Performance
    2.5 out of 5 stars 11
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11

As a student of medieval history, Gil Patterson is a woman familiar with dark stories. She knows well the Crusades, the Black Death, and the other horrors of the Middle Ages, but it is another kind of atrocity that has begun to haunt her dreams. She sees forces of evil assaulting a beleaguered kingdom, whose kind people are on the brink of annihilation, and awakes each morning in a cold sweat. Gil dismisses the dreams until a wizard appears in her apartment. He has crossed into her dimension, passing through the fraying fabric of the universe, to ask her help.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Never heard anything like it.

  • By J.M.Harley. on 19-01-14

Good book ruined by awful reader

Overall
1 out of 5 stars
Performance
1 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 24-05-18

I really like Barbara Hambly. I really like the Darwarth trilogy, post-apocalyptic fantasy, well-written, engaging characters, a really good read. But the reader for this audiobook is terrible: slow, mannered and displaying a range of truly awful faux-Brit accents. Ingold the wizard sounds like a terminal laryngitis case, and the cryptic, deadly Icefalcon has for some reason been rendered as a Brummie. At least I think it's Brummie, it's kind of hard to tell, but by heaven it doesn't work. I'm returning the audiobook, it's painful to listen too. What a pity. I had to return 'The Ladies of Mandrigyn', again by Hambly, because the same reader simply destroyed it for me.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful