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Editor reviews

For all his fascination with the occult, supernatural, and morbidly fantastic, James Herbert is nevertheless capable of endowing his characters with qualities that are all too real, staining them with human imperfections and tragic shortcomings. Accordingly, Shrine offers listeners an adulterous journalist and a portentous priest, bound together through their mutual curiosity regarding a deaf mute girl able to miraculously heal the sick. Eloquent Brit Kris Dyer portrays all three characters, imbuing them with a raw narcissism and tragic heedlessness that matches the urgency and immediacy of Herbert’s storytelling. The young miracle-worker’s good deeds are compelled by an underlying evil that threatens Herbert’s anti-heroes, and only by setting aside their self-serving presumptions can they hope to escape a gruesome fate.

Summary

Force for evil. A little girl called Alice, a deaf-mute. A vision. A lady in shimmering white who says she is the immaculate conception. And Alice can suddenly hear and speak. And she can perform miracles. Soon the site of the visitation, beneath the ancient oak tree, has become a shrine, a holy place for thousands of pilgrims. But Alice is no longer the guileless child overwhelmed by her new saintliness. She has become the agent of something corrupt, a vile force that is centuries-old. Innocence and evil have become one.

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 bestseller 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.

©1984 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 The 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 Shrine

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Shrine Story vs Naration

I have read Shrine. However on Audible the Narrator placed upward intonation within every sentence, which ruins the books story and which I could not get past. The story is excellent the narration on this audible release was completely disruptive and damaged the story.

9 people found this helpful

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awful!

This is a great story totally ruined by the weird narration. A horror book narrated like a childs nursery rhyme.

5 people found this helpful

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One of Herbert's best

Your mileage for Herbert may vary. Personal i love him but let's be honest he writes the literary equivalent of trashy B-movies full of graphic sex, violence and overly written dialogue. But this really is a good one and my personal favorite. Performance an 8 out of 10 but overall highly recommend.

4 people found this helpful

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A classic nearly ruined.

Classic Herbert, but really awful narration. No 'weight'. Silly stereotype voices and accents. Needs to be re-done.

4 people found this helpful

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Odd and enjoyable

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes - great character development and a wonderful story. Slightly let down by a poorly crafted ending.

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

The narrator played most of the characters well, with the exception of the lead character 'Fen' who was at times over-egged.

4 people found this helpful

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Awful narrator

Excellent book which should be creepy and atmospheric but sounds more like Carry On thanks to the narrators light weight delivery and comedic accents.

2 people found this helpful

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Awful Narration

I can’t even listen past the second chapter. Not sure how this was deemed releasable

2 people found this helpful

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suitably spooky and scary.

The story was ok. The excellent narrator elevated it a bit. Its probably too long and slow to start but i liked it

2 people found this helpful

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One of the worst narrations ever

it's such a shame that a great book was ruined by choosing the wrong voice for the narration. aug you want to know what you get when you mix a children's TV presenter with British Horror, buy this book. Otherwise just avoid this.

I love James Herbert but the narration does this no favours at all.

2 people found this helpful

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spine chilling story exquisitely read

loved this title, unsurprisingly due to it being by James Herbert . Brilliantly written and wonderfully orated!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Miles
  • 04-07-21

Descriptive

Unfortunately I only made it a little over the first chapter. Maybe it gets better, but I found my mind wandering during the descriptions of seemingly every detail.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Wilfredo
  • 22-04-21

Disappointed

Don’ t get me wrong. The horror parts are magnificent, but overall is once more the story of church condemming women and disabled persons to a second place, and the forgetting all about it in a flash, lime nothing ever hapened. At the end and without spoilers ,I felt bad about the characters; just hope the movie takes a different twist r a better ending without sacrifice.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Michael
  • 01-07-20

Literally no reason to bother

This book... oh boy.... first of all, every chapter begins with a quote from another book. EVERY chapter. Come on... really? And, not only the annoyance of that - most of the times the quotes basically tells you what’s about yo happen in that chapter. The performance was great and the performer did the best he could with the story that was given. But it’s mostly a complete snooze fest with little to no excitement. Nothing you haven’t read before and a ton of character development on side characters that really had no business having the extra time involved in the story. I almost never have a negative review to give on a book. I’ve written one and it isn’t close to being a masterpiece of any kind and I know what it’s like for people to ridicule your story. That said, there were all these positive reviews and I can’t find a reason for any of them. The story was really dull and could have cared less for anyone that was introduced. I’d suggest no one else waste their time on it.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-05-22

Shrine

Author tends to be long winded BUT creepy as hell. Pretty in depth look into the Catholic Church and what really drives it. And some pretty chilling scenes and descriptions that had this old horror lover looking over her shoulder in the dark more than once. Reader is exceptional with voices!

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  • H
  • 19-07-21

enjoyable

Fun book with a decent narration. the character arcs aren't very satisfying, but it delivers well on the horror elements. major flaw of the narration is just a terrible american accent for a major character in the book's second half.

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  • Daniaell
  • 15-11-13

Narration = British Wildlife Documentary Style

As in..."and here we see a lovely gazelle as it prepares to leap from danger" in very proper upper crust English accent. Very droll darling. Story is a bit of a snoozer too so I dozed a lot during this book. I DID finish it however but was uninspired. Overall: Meh.