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Casting the Runes

Narrated by: David Suchet
Length: 57 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (247 ratings)

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Summary

The tale of a man who unwittingly angers a sorcerer, who is assumed by some Monty scholars to be based on the self-styled 'Great Beast,' occultist Aleister Crowley.

Montague Rhodes James was a noted British mediaeval scholar and provost of King's College, Cambridge (1905–1918) and of Eton College (1918–1936). He is best remembered for his ghost stories which are widely regarded as among the finest in English literature.

One of James' most important achievements was to redefine the ghost story for the new century by dispensing with many of the formal Gothic trappings of his predecessors, and replacing them with more realistic contemporary settings.

"Montague Rhodes James has an intelligent and scientific knowledge of human nerves and feelings; and knows just how to apportion statement, imagery, and subtle suggestions in order to secure the best results with his readers," HP Lovecraft.

Actor David Suchet is best known for his definitive portrayal of Hercule Poirot, the Belgian detective created by the legendary mystery author Agatha Christie, in a number of international television productions. He narrates his story in Poirot and Me.

©1904 M. R. James (P)2013 Audible Ltd

What members say

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An encounter with evil

Yet another brilliant tale from M R James and told with perfection by David Suchet. This is about an encounter with an evil man hell bent on revenge. It is also fascinating to hear that the character is based on one of M R James's contemporaries. This must have ruffled a few feathers in its day!

2 people found this helpful

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Utterly brilliant!

I like the work of MR James immensely. Often, however, his work is slightly spoilt by a poor narrator. In this particular case David Suchet is an utterly brilliant reader of the tale. I would happily award 6 stars if it were possible. A rare treat.

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Great fun

David Suchet's a perfect voice for M.R. James.

James's stories were written to be read aloud - by himself. It's lovely to have Suchet read them to us.

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Stunning performance

.....as are all of Mr Suchets readings of M.R. James. such a pity there aren't more.

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Wonderful

A great atmospheric, spooky story. It's in the trees,it's coming! It was made into a British film, "Night of the Demon".

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classic ghost story

m r james at his best read superbly by David suchet. having read all of m r james ghost stories it is a real pleasure to listen to this rendition

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Brilliantly read

A decent ghost story, enhanced by the reader. Definitely worth a try at the price.

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  • pm
  • 15-04-18

A tale of occult curses

A ghostly tale about runic curses. The superb writing and narration makes it atmospheric. A perfect tale to listen by the fireside or a campfire.

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Entertaining!

I really enjoyed this. An intelligently written story. The narration was excellent and brought the story to life.

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Excellent narration of a ghostly tale

M.R. James' ghost stories are wonderfully atmospheric and creepy and David Suchet's narration brings them wonderfully (horribly!) to life. The characters are well defined with different voices / tones and when put together with D.S.'s lovely voice made the whole listening experience great. I will be listening to this again but I will also be hunting out more books/ stories narrated by David Suchet as his voice is lovely and his narration very skilful and engaging; even without seeing his expression, the feelings of the characters came through brilliantly. Loved it.

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  • tru britty
  • 30-04-15

Suchet does M.R. James so well

I think i have five different versions of M.R. James stories, each with a different read. I love Derek Jacobi. But David Suchet really nailed this and the other James stories on Audible. I heard things in the stories i had not heard before.

This story was the basis of the excellent B horror flick from the 1950s, Curse of the Demon (Night of the Demon) with Dana Andrews. Really suspenseful film with decent effects for the time. Love the short story more. Has an academic air. I guess James was an Oxford (?) don. Comes thru. But he is a master of psychological horror. Can see how he might have influenced Lovecraft.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Admiralu
  • 02-01-20

My Person Favorite M.R. James Tale, Superbly Performed

This is my favorite story and the first that introduced me to MR James the author. I had an audio drama from the BBC called the Conception of Terror, tales based on MR James. It was a collection of some of tales updated for the modern era. Casting the Runes was the first and my favorite. It was a treat to read and listen to the original, superbly performed by thespian David Suchet. Still packs a punch.

1 person found this helpful

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  • E. Stewart
  • 17-09-19

Extremely unmemorable

performance was great and lovely to listen to... but after literally just finishing this 5 minutes ago... I don't remember the story. I don't remember character names or the plot or why any of the action was so important...which is not what you want in a story. The narrator was excellent, but absolutely nothing about the story itself stayed with me. I'm glad this was one I got for free.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Vivian Gosey
  • 30-03-16

Supernatural fun

Short, not graphic, mildly creepy, great narrator. For fans of English Goths or Victorian atmosphere. Fun! Made cleaning kitchen cabinets entertaining, and you can't beat that!

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Martin Wilber
  • 09-04-20

One of my favorites

The reader is excellent. I have listened to this many times. I wish I knew what the brother said in his sleep.

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  • barbara ball
  • 16-10-19

Wonderful author, wonderful story

I have reread this story a number of times with a number of performers and they all were great, now I am going to watch the 1958 movie which I saw for the first time in 1958. This is one of the best stories ever written by M.R. James.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Dashiel
  • 14-08-17

Suchet Warm Bath

Amazing narration by the great David Suchet. Like a warm bath. Looking forward to more!

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  • Donna Deal
  • 30-07-19

Chill inducing!

This was another one of James' "story within a story..' narrations that spins a terrifying spell of mystery and fear.
Don't listen late at night.. when you are alone.. in the dark. and for heaven's sake, don't reach under your pillow..
or accept slips of paper with strangers...

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  • happyjo
  • 11-02-18

Stylishly written short story

Occult elements and mysterious actions make this story interesting while being creative. I enjoyed this look back into the past.

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  • Kenneth Seyfried
  • 21-09-17

An interesting story worth reading

An interesting story. Cat and mouse game mixed with a bit of a mystery . Well written and very entertaining.