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  • Necroscope III: The Source

  • Necroscope Series, Book 3
  • By: Brian Lumley
  • Narrated by: James Langton
  • Length: 18 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 68
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 64
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 63

Russia's Ural Mountains hide a deadly secret: a supernatural portal to the country of the vampires. Soviet scientists and ESP-powered spies, in a secret military base, study the portal - and the powerfully evil creatures that emerge from it, intent on ravaging mankind. When Jazz Simmons, a British agent sent to infiltrate the base, is captured by the KGB espionage squad and forced through the portal, his last message tells Harry Keogh, the Necroscope, that the vampires are preparing for a mass invasion.  

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • When is book 4 due to drop?

  • By allan smith on 01-02-19

Superb - now let's get the whole series!

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

Reviewed: 02-12-18

The Necroscope series is fact becoming one of my favourite audiobook experiences. Not only is it my favourite of Lumley's various series but it's narrated beautifully. Whenever I imagine any of the characters it's James Langton's performance I hear.

These are absolutely superb and I recommend them to fans of lovecraftian horror and anyone who wants an original and rich take on the vampire mythos rooted in a good understanding. Please Macmillan and Audible - get Langton back in the studio asap and get this whole series out and available. A Necroscope revival is long overdue.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Breeds, Book 1

  • By: Keith C. Blackmore
  • Narrated by: Sean Runnette
  • Length: 9 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 258
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 244
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 244

In a near-deserted coastal village, odd things are happening. Strangers are asking questions about the town's recluse. A local hunter discovers naked footprints in the snow. The stray dog population has ceased to exist. And with winter's most powerful weapon bearing down, things are about to become much, much worse. A werewolf book. Not a romance. Not at all.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Surprisingly Good

  • By Michael on 06-04-17

Reads like it was written by a wrestler

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 14-08-18

There's one central problem with Keith C Blackmore's writing, and this book suffers from it very badly.

You see, in most stories you have a varied cast of characters and those differences between them create tension and possible plot points. You might, for example have a group of characters like The Tough Guy, The Intelligent Lady, The Goth Punk, The Rebellious Kid, The Father Figure and The Wimp. You can already see how those kinds of differences might create interesting scenarios because they're all so different.

In Keith Blackmore stories The Tough Guy and The Other Tough Guy have to go up against The Other Other Tough Guy. Then a plot twist would be something like two more Very Tough Guys show up or maybe even a Tough Gal and everyone fights.

As an effects laden action movie with a couple of charismatic actors and a good budget this could be a fun piece of 90 minute werewolf schlock. But over ten hours of audio it's just sort of dense and ponderous. I've tried to listen to it several times and I still can't name one of the characters. That's never a good sign.

It's nicely read but there's only so much even a good narrator can do with this.

  • Sherlock Holmes: The Definitive Collection

  • By: Arthur Conan Doyle, Stephen Fry - introductions
  • Narrated by: Stephen Fry
  • Length: 71 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 6,931
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 6,498
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 6,470

Ever since he made his first appearance in A Study In Scarlet, Sherlock Holmes has enthralled and delighted millions of fans throughout the world. Now Audible is proud to present Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes: The Definitive Collection, read by Stephen Fry. A lifelong fan of Doyle's detective fiction, Fry has narrated the complete works of Sherlock Holmes - four novels and five collections of short stories.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Brilliant audio book, shame about the navigation.

  • By Mr. P. J. Marsh on 10-03-17

National Treasures read by a National Treasure!

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

Reviewed: 14-08-18

Quite simply superb. Holmes and Watson live and breathe again! And apparently Stephen Fry can do Every Accent Under The Sun convincingly! I could waffle on forever pouring praise on this audiobook, but your time would be better spent listening and enjoying.

Also, not to be crass - but a 70 quid book with 71 hours of audio for my monthly Audible membership fee is a good deal for anyone's pocket.

Get it now!

  • Smoke and Mirrors

  • By: Neil Gaiman
  • Narrated by: Neil Gaiman
  • Length: 10 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 191
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 173
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 174

This definitive collection of Neil Gaiman's short fiction will haunt your imagination and move you to the very depths of your soul. An elderly widow finds the Holy Grail beneath an old fur coat. A stray cat fights and refights a terrible nightly battle to protect his unwary adoptive family from unimaginable evil. A young couple receives a wedding gift that reveals a chilling alternative history of their marriage. These tales and much more await in this extraordinary book, revealing one of our most gifted storytellers at the height of his powers.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I couldn't stop listening and felt empty when it was over.

  • By tara on 27-03-17

A very mixed bag.

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

Reviewed: 14-08-18

I came into this one cold as a fan of Gaiman's work as an Author of comic books but never having read or listened to any of his novels. As a fan of short stories and novellas this seemed like a good place to dip my toe into the water. The experience was mixed at best.

Naturally like any collection of short stories and poems there's a fair bit of diversity on show. But perhaps in some places to such an extent that I lost track of any distinct authorial Voice.

The stories that are good are often great; his lovecraft mythos stories have tons of character and even a fair bit of unexpected humour, and the tale of the troll under the bridge lingered with me long afterwards for no reason I can clearly explain.

But there's a lot of filler added that doesn't quite stand up. Some of this is down to Gaiman being the one to read his own work. The man is without doubt a talented author but he is not a natural narrator or performer. His accents come and go, when he manages a convincing one, and his listless dreamy voice works well for the whimsy but badly for anything where the blood is supposed to run a little hotter.

Gaiman devotees and completists will probably enjoy it a lot. But it's not the best introduction to his writing and I think perhaps he is best served by being read by a professional narrator or voice artist.

  • The Burrowers Beneath

  • By: Brian Lumley
  • Narrated by: Simon Vance
  • Length: 6 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 41
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 38
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 37

For millennia men have strutted their pride over the fragile surface of the Earth, arrogantly proclaiming themselves masters of creation. But now their feeble investigations have disturbed the planet's original rulers far beneath the globe's crust.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Lumley and Crow find their feet

  • By Greg on 14-08-18

Lumley and Crow find their feet

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 14-08-18

Of all Lumley's writing this first in the Titus Crow series echoes the style and pacing of an HP Lovecraft story the most, which is appropriate since the series is set within and expands upon the Lovecraft Cosmic Horror Mythos. Having first listened to Book 0 - The Compleat Crow, which is a collection of various short stories, I found this more of a slow start.

Characters communicate mostly by letters which we are privvy to, and when it's not a letter it's very often a Diary or Journal entry. As such there is no one central narrator which takes a little bit of getting used to. Crow himself is such an enjoyable and larger than life character but Lumley seems equally keen to put other supporting characters centre stage and let them tell huge chunks of the story.

Overall I felt like I was reading an author begin to properly get to grips with his character and the style in which this line of books was to distinguish itself from his other writings. Fans of Lovecraft who hunger for more of his particular horrors and want to hear how the modern world dealt with them will very likely enjoy this a lot.

It took me a while to warm up to it, but it won me over in the end. I'm looking forward to listening to more.

  • Necroscope II: Vamphyri!

  • Necroscope Series, Book 2
  • By: Brian Lumley
  • Narrated by: James Langton
  • Length: 17 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 72
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 68
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 68

Not the end of life, Harry Keogh discovered - and not the end of his battle against the terrible evil of vampires. In a secluded English village, Yulian Bodescu plots his takeover of the world. Imbued with a vampire's powers before his birth, Bodescu rules men's minds and bodies with supernatural ease. He is secretly creating an army of vampiric monsters, things that once were men but were now walking masses of destructive hunger!   

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • just as good second time around

  • By Amazon Customer on 28-03-19

A long overdue classic, beautifully performed!

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

Reviewed: 14-08-18

Since I found the first Necroscope Audiobook on A Well Known Online Video Platform a few years ago I've been wondering why nobody has done any more. The Titus Crow books are all available in audiobook form, as are the Psychomech series. But for the longest time it seemed as if Lumley's seminal vampire series was going to have a massive audiobook gap between episodes 1 and 17.

So when I saw Book II pop up and Book III become available as a pre-order I was apprehensive. James Lengton's interpretation of the characters had become inextricably woven into the story for me and without him it would be much like pressing a giant reset button.

But to my joy - The Man himself is back and is on the same superb form as before. Langton's character performances are varied and subtle. His vampires hiss and growl with fiendish delight. His accents (various regional English as well as Russian, Scottish and more) are immaculately delivered in a way that never once pulls you out of the story.

The story itself is a logical extension of Lumley's unique combination of parasitical lovecraftian vampires and psychic spies, but this time the plague spreads to the rural heartland of england and the crew must take swift action to prevent a new plague spreading through the country.

Essentially, if you liked the first book either as an audiobook or in written form - you will like this one too. I heartily recommend it.

If you enjoy these and want another series to get your teeth into (no pun intended) I also recommend Lumley's series of Titus Crow books which expand of HP Lovecraft's cosmic horror pantheon.

  • Danse Macabre

  • By: Stephen King
  • Narrated by: William Dufris
  • Length: 18 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 32
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 28
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 28

It was not long after Halloween when Stephen King received a telephone call from his editor. 'Why don't you do a book about the entire horror phenomenon as you see it? Books, movies, radio, TV, the whole thing.' The result is this unique combination of fantasy and autobiography, of classic horror writing honed to an unforgettable edge by the best-selling master of the genre.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fantastic book, great performance!

  • By Olga Akselrad on 27-12-17

So bad it eroded my respect for Stephen King

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

Reviewed: 29-07-17

Would you try another book written by Stephen King or narrated by William Dufris?

I'm a big fan of Stephen King's voice as a fiction writer, both gruesome and otherwise. So I'll continue to buy his fiction writing. But if this is what a few hours in the company of King The Educator is like? I'm glad I never have to repeat the experience.

What was most disappointing about Stephen King’s story?

I'd love to hear Stephen King's view on the horror phenomenon - just not one that's 37 years out of date. This book was first released in 1981 and unless you're fully prepared for and happy with that you WILL be disappointed.

Simply put, this has aged INCREDIBLY badly. Here and now in 2017 King's recommendations are so outdated, misjudged and downright awful as to be almost comedic and his opinions on other people's work are just tragic faff he's clearly grown out of by the tone of his subsequent writing.

Allow me to provide just a taste of the phenomenally outdated choices and shocking poor taste on offer here.

King rhapsodises for a full hour and a half about Rosemary's Baby (which in 1981 was a pretty amazingly fresh piece of satire and horror but in the era of the 7th SAW movie is about as scary as an episode of any prime time Tv soap opera) while suggesting it's a GOOD thing William Peter Blatty never wrote a followup to The Exorcist (he did, it's called Legion and it's excellent).

He goes on for some time about how Harlan Ellison was so clearly right about the inability to deliver satisfying horror fiction on television, an opinion so completely blown out of the water in the last decade that one almost winces with physical discomfort at his naive certainty.

And that's just the tip of the giant reeking fetid pile of dead ideas on offer here. Here's another more specific example.

As a fan of werewolf fiction who is all too painfully aware that the genre has descended into a medium for soft core airbrushed eroticism for pre teens, I was truly excited to read a book described by King as perhaps the single finest werewolf novel ever written: "The Night Walker". Off I trot to find an audiobook version and enjoy King's recommendation.

Imagine my dismay when I found out just how unimaginably poor it was! It's a horribly campy late 70s pulp piece of nonsense filled with trite sexism, casual racism, nonexistent narrative and (most unforgivable of all from a Stephen King Horror Novel Recommendation) HORRIBLY poor writing!

Some of this wouldn't be such a problem if King weren't writing in his very best college professor voice, abundantly certain that he's speaking from a place of genuine authority. But hearing him ramble on aimlessly in such a smug close minded tone when the weight of subsequent years and works of fiction has proven him so embarrassingly wrong has actually ended up reflecting on my own personal enjoyment of his fiction.

The experience of listening to this book has been much akin to loving the work of a famous musician so much that you invite them over for dinner - only to find they are a horrible pretentious bore. You'll never quite enjoy their albums in the same way.

Sadly this entire book is so dated as to be rendered utterly useless as a critique of the horror phenomenon as it currently stands. If King wrote a second part here and now I'm sure I'd enjoy it, but as it stands the whole affair is a bit of a bad joke.

But his worst crime, the absolutely unforgivable error he commits again and again - is his continued bashing of various types of critics in a book created solely to offer NOTHING BUT CRITIQUE.

It's like walking into a kitchen wearing an apron with "ALL CHEFS ARE IDIOTS!" written across it. You're not really standing in the right spot to make that observation, and even less so when doing the job badly yourself.

It helps to understand why King has become a little less noisy about his own critics in later life to imagine that perhaps he listened back to this absolutely ghastly piece of undigestible stodge and realised what a poor critic he was during his one and only attempt at being one.

Quite genuinely ghastly. Avoid at all costs. I got a refund.

Which character – as performed by William Dufris – was your favourite?

William Dufris does his best with King's insufferably smug waffling, but ultimately he's only as good as the material he's given to read.

You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

The only redeeming factor this book has is that Stephen King only wrote one of them.

Any additional comments?

Genuinely poor, upsettingly misjudged and lacking in every last scrap of the emotional intelligence, insight and fun present in his fiction.

2 of 5 people found this review helpful