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Editor reviews

The mass suicide of seven thousand king penguins is just the first of many ominous "portents" in best-selling thriller writer James Herbert's tale of escalating natural disaster. The very Earth itself seems to be fighting humanity like an immune system defending itself against a foreign virus, but there seems to be more at work, as magic, strange orbs of light, and children with psychic abilities come into play. Jonathon Keeble performs the audiobook, the gravity of his theatrical delivery bringing the full weight of this epic thriller down to the surface of our fragile planet.

Summary

The end is beginning. The time is just a few short years from now. But already the signs of global disaster are multiplying. Freak storms, earthquakes, floods volcanic eruptions are sweeping the earth. The last violent spasms of a dying planet. Then a series of ominous events signal the emergence of new and terrifying forces.

While scuba-diving on the Great Barrier Reef a diver watches fascinated as a tiny light floats past him towards the surface. Moments later he is torn to pieces as the reef erupts with shattering power. In the Chinese city of Kashi, travellers bring back reports of a strange light seen shining above the endless dunes of the Taklimakan Desert. And as the city's inhabitants watch for its return the desert rises up like a vast living thing to engulf them in a colossal tidal wave of sand. All have seen a portent: a sign of unimaginable powers about to be unleashed. A sign that something incredible is about to begin.

James Herbert was one of Britain's greatest popular novelists and our #1 best-selling writer of chiller fiction. Widely imitated and hugely influential, he wrote 23 novels which have collectively sold over 54 million copies worldwide and been translated into 34 languages. Born in London in the forties, James Herbert was art director of an advertising agency before turning to writing fiction in 1975. His first novel, The Rats, was an instant best-seller and is now recognised as a classic of popular contemporary fiction. Herbert went on to publish a new top ten best-seller every year until 1988. He wrote six more bestselling novels in the 1990s and three more since: Once, Nobody True and The Secret of Crickley Hall. Herbert died in March 2013 at the age of 69.

©1992 James Herbert (P)2013 Audible Ltd

Critic reviews

"Herbert was by no means literary, but his work had a raw urgency. His best novels, The Rats and 'he Fog, had the effect of Mike Tyson in his championship days: no finesse, all crude power. Those books were best sellers because many readers (including me) were too horrified to put them down." (Stephen King)
"There are few things I would like to do less than lie under a cloudy night sky while someone read aloud the more vivid passages of Moon. In the thriller genre, do recommendations come any higher?" (Andrew Postman, The New York Times Book Review)
"Herbert goes out in a blaze of glory" ( Daily Mail)

What listeners say about Portent

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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Not Herbert's best

Reader was too loud at times, and his attempt at women - meh! Story OK but very dated

1 person found this helpful

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Jonathan Keeble brings this audio book to life

Loved it. Brilliant story by Herbert brought together by the wonderful English voice of narrator Keeble. Kept me wanting more and more as I listened. Now looking to purchase another Herbert/Keeble book

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Not one of his best

Jonathan Keeble always narrates well and gives the story some depth but this story was disappointing. Very long winded but having read a number of James Herbert's books I do wonder how he came up with so much horror.

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Decent listen to be fair

An unusual storyline which was s little hard to link but came good in the end.

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Awesome

One of my most loved books. I have read it several times over the years and will surely do so again. Jonathan Keeble did a fantastic job which really brought it to life

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gripping

it was fabulous. it was read with real intensity and as the book went on I couldn't stop listening.
James Herbert was a unique writer of horror and haunts.

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fantastic

wow what a fantastic audiobook from the pen of James Herbert and brilliantly narrated by Jonathan Keeble, I love his writing xxxxxxx

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Great book

this is my favourite book off all time I love the story the gritty reality of the story ,as it relates to the world today. But a bit if sci fi thrown in . Love it love it. I reread it every few years .

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Dreadful.

I bought this because I like Keeble as a narrator but what a waste of time this book is. Its complete rubbish and wouldnt even make a channel five movie...oh no wait it would make a channel five movie because at least then no one would watch it.

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Profile Image for Cheryl Williams
  • Cheryl Williams
  • 05-11-20

I hated this book!!

The author was blatantly racist against black people. His descriptions of them were cringe worthy! I mistook this book for The Portent by Marilyn Harris, a much more entertaining, creepy story. Unfortunately that book is unavailable on Audible. And if the reader referred to gushing mounts of water as "geezers" rather than geysers one more time, I think I would have thrown my phone against a wall.