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The Electric

Narrated by: Nigel Peever
Length: 9 hrs
Categories: Fiction, Historical
4.5 out of 5 stars (34 ratings)

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Summary

In the summer of 1985, 15-year-old Sam Crowhurst discovers an old, abandoned cinema that screens movies made by ghosts, for ghosts. 

Sam and his friends Emma and David find themselves drawn into a world where the likes of Humphrey Bogart, Lon Chaney, and Theda Bara are still making pictures, where Harold Lloyd and John Belushi team up for roustabout comedies, and Karloff and Lugosi appear in films scripted by Edgar Allan Poe. Sam comes to learn the mysteries of the Electric cinema and his part to play in its long and strange history. 

The Electric is about movies, ghosts, and that ephemeral moment in all of our lives: childhood. 

©2013 Andrew David Barker (P)2019 Andrew David Barker
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Wonderfully written and amazingly read

A compelling story about a few days in the lives of three children and an old, abandoned cinema with a secret.
The narration by Nigel Peever was flawless. He made me laugh out loud at certain parts and during the last few chapters I actually had tears in my eyes as Nigel conveyed the emotion of the main character beautifully.
Of course, the highlight was hearing the old projectionist played by the great Patrick Troughton. Well, you’d think it was the real Patrick Troughton as Nigel’s vocal skill at recreating the great man’s voice is uncannily brilliant.

5 people found this helpful

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Gloriously Creepy, but heartfelt story

The Electric by Andrew David Barker

I must admit I am partial to a well written Ghost Story but this one really was a cut above the rest. It is ingenious and fresh with a premise that draws you in almost immediately. A teenage boy finds an abandoned cinema in the wasteland near his home, where long dead stars create films and an audience of the deceased congregate to experience films from the grave.
Like Sam I am a particular fan of old films and was more likely to be watching Audrey Hepburn, Cary Grant and James Stewart than the brat-pack as a teenager. I too had a little gang who would hide in the undergrowth and play too close to the river.

The central dynamic between Emma, David and our narrator Sam through whose point of view we experience The Electric is reminiscent of those in Stephen King’s Short Story The Body (which later became cult Classic Stand By Me) or the early storyline of IT or Dreamcatcher. Tens brought together and irrevocably changed by a shared experience and whilst this is a deeply atmospheric tale, a spine tingle festival, it is actually a much more nuanced and tender tale about the callowness of youth, about grief and loss and the acceptance of those emotions and of final goodbyes.

Where stars of a Bygone age cannot let go of their need to be in Movies, and buffs just want one more thrill in those velveteen seats, where love, betrayal romance and high adventure are reflected from the screen into the lives of the viewer. Here two young souls find each other as they seek to go on after the loss of a parent.

I was profoundly moved by the story (so if you were in Waltham Abbey today and you saw a woman crying as she trudged through the wind, sorry that was The Electric Effect) and yet deeply uplifted by Story’s End. The best story allows the reader to carry on the tale and here is one where we really can do it…
Where the stars we have loved and lost are collaborating together to star again in great Dramaand other lost souls are sitting in the dark letting that story unfold before their very eyes.

A word about the Narration by Nigel Peever: This is one of the most immersive tellings of a tale I have listened to in a long time. Nigel has a knack for creating true emotion in his characterisation , anger and sarcasm and deep loss are felt as well as heard and his general narration voice is so strongly enunciated with such warmth and timbre that you cannot help but be drawn further and further into the story. Definitely added to my favourite Narrators list!!

5 people found this helpful

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Highly recommend

I was very kindly given a free copy of this book. Initially it appealed to me because I love a good ghost story. It turned out to be much more then that. It’s about growing up and dealing with loss. I won’t say anymore as I don’t want to spoil it for others! The writing was great and I would be interested to read/listen to more books by this author.
For me the performance itself was fantastic. I’ve never listened to anything quite like this before. Usually I listen to books that are simply read. This one was definitely more of a performance with sound effects. I didn’t think that it would be to my taste so I was pleasantly surprised to find that they helped me immerse myself in the story even more. One of the best narrators I have listened to!

5 people found this helpful

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Atmospheric & creepy

I wasn’t sure at 1st when I started listening but after about 45 mins the narrator got me wondering what was next! He built the creepy vibe as he went.
The story was really unusual & The Electric was a definite place I wish I’d seen & experienced. The kids weren’t annoying, like I usually find in some stories. The way they got on was sweet & innocent.
The build up to climax was very good & I wasn’t expecting the end at all.
Overall very good story & reading

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What a performance!

I totally loved this book. I'm a film buff and I loved all of the references to old and 'not so old' films. The idea behind the book is interesting and original and kept my attention all the way through.There is lots of variety with the developing relationships between the main protagonists and I thought they were sensitively and realistically portrayed.

The narrator,Nigel Peever, is an actor and it really shows.His narration is superb. The sound effects/music really added to the overall effect.

Miss this one and you'll miss out on a real treat!

5 people found this helpful

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An intriguing tale

This was a spooky read and the sound effects really bring the story alive. The narrator does a superb job of distinguishing between the characters and sounds a bit like Vincent Price when recounting the story as the main character Sam. During the summer holiday Sam discovers the wonderful Electric Cinema, a dilapidated building hidden from view. The Electric is a Picture Palace for ghosts which shows films made by ghosts. Deceased directors, writers and even well know actors have carried on doing what they do best, producing films, but this time for a ghostly audience. This is an intriguing tale with a moving finale - it would make a great film!

5 people found this helpful

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A Ghost Story Filled With Movie Memories.

This is a wonderful coming of age tale, ghost story and movie nostalgia memoir. The main, young, characters are well rounded and constantly remind the listener of their own teenage years. The story is told with empathy through great narration and background sound track. The characters, ghosts, The Electric movie house and old movies intertwine with warmth and sympathy. I was left feeling warm and nostalgic for times past but not forgotten.

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Edge of the seat

Edge of the seat all the way through. I look forward to more from Andrew David Barker. At first, I was a little uncertain about the narration but that quickly passed and was hooked by the speakers different styling for each of the many characters.

3 people found this helpful

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so atmospheric and nostalgic

What can I say apart from I recommend this book to anybody who wants to get fully engrossed in a story. It has been different to many books I have listened to because of the sound effects that make the tale so immersive . The whole book feels very nostalgic and takes you back to another time . Once I started listening I just didnt want to stop . it is definitely a page Turner and a beautiful story . You can just tell that the author has a genuine love of cinematic film and the narrator did the story justice in a magical way . I was given this book by the narrator,author or publisher free upon request for an honest review.

3 people found this helpful

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Evokes a time and a haunting place

I thought the narrator was particularly good with dialogue and the teen characters's voices, excellent in reading description and creepy narrative.

The premise of a haunted cinema, a film that was never made and a group of teen friends in the 1980s hooked me and delivered the mix of nostalgia and coming of age that I was hoping for. The teen relationships rang true, especially the boys' embarrassment and self-consciousness at Emma's precocious teasing - a timely reminder that growing up is no easier for boys than for girls.The places linger in my imagination although I finished listening two weeks ago: the Car Cemetery, where the kids hang out in wrecked vehicles, and the derelict cinema were vividly brought to life and every place felt real to me. I also found the ending well-conceived,a haunting conclusion. There was much to love but I sometimes grew irritated by the slow pace, the repetition, and being told every single emotion felt by the characters at all times.Also, the period detail came from lists and names, which worked for me as I knew most of them but more context and fewer names, whether of e.g. song hits or film stars, would have been better.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Chopsticks11
  • 21-03-19

What a Production!

The story itself was unique but the narration and sound effects added by the narrator made this such an experience. It reminded me of the radio shows my grandparents spoke of, but I never had the opportunity to listen to. I have not listened to a book before with added effects, but I will certainly seek them out in the future. Once I got used to listening with the sound effects, you came to expect them, and I was never disappointed. Every time I thought something should be there, it was. The narrator does an excellent job voicing the characters; not only do they each have their own voice, but also their own inflections and attitude. For once, I was able to tell who was speaking and often how they felt long before the dialogue tag. While I really liked the story, I am so very glad I did not read this as a book, because so much more is added by the narrator. I recommend giving this book and certainly this narrator a try.

I was provided with a free copy of this audiobook for my honest review. The views expressed here are entirely my own.

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  • Mindy H
  • 13-03-19

Phenomenal Story!

The theater style Narration of the story is incredible. Typically I listen to audiobook while I work or commute, but this one caused me to simply sit and listen. Reminiscent of the radio shows in the day befor television, the reader is left hanging in every word. The feeling of suspense is palpable and one hears the sound effects and music notes. It’s the perfect accompaniment to a story about an other world theater caught between the past and present! Bravo! I am a new fan!

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  • Shannon G
  • 12-02-19

Really Great Story!

This is an Enhanced story, so if that is not something you like then don't bother. However, if you enjoy enhanced audio books then you have to check this one out! The story itself is well written. It's told as a memory of the main character, Sam. As memories go, it does "wander" a bit but the wanderings do tie together nicely. I really enjoyed the slow eerie feeling and quiet spookiness of the tale. The narration is superb! Nigel Peever has become one of my favorite narrators! He can do so many different distinct and clear voices it's just amazing! He has a nice clear voice and knows just how to use sound effects to truly enhance the listening experience. This is a great story with excellent narration that is well worth your time and credit.

I was given this free review copy audio book at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

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  • D. Sturgeon
  • 11-02-19

Fantastic Story!

This horror tale is superbly written and the fact that it's narrated by the very talented Nigel Peever makes it even more enjoyable. If you like horror and suspense tales, then you'll love this one.

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  • patricia sterlin
  • 06-02-19

An awesome book on teenagers and ghosts

Sam has a great love of old black and white movies. a love that his father cultivate in him. When Sam happenes upon a dilapidated old movie theater strange things started to happen. He starts seeing actors like Bograt and Greta Gable in movie that had never been seen by anyone else.Sam got his friends to go with him to the old theater, they started seeing these same ghosts. the ending had me getting goose bumps. Nigel Peever was awesome in his narration of the story. I liked the plot that the author wrote. great book

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  • Ivy Moore
  • 28-01-19

just wow

I really loved this audiobook. I had to stay up all night to finish this that's how good it was. This is a reading with sound effects and atmospheric music and it really drew me in. At four am, I was making coffee so I could continue to stay up.

Writing: You may think Andrew Davide Barker's writing style is a bit meandering but this book is a reminiscence and memories are rarely a straight timeline. When we think back, we remember odd bits that may not have much to do with the main plot of our life. Stick with it if you are finding it a bit slow at first.

In this book, there is a lot of history dealing with films but it's not dry, it's woven very well into the story. Barker writes about the feelings that movies can create in us. Those feelings that make you believe in magic, make you believe in that world that exists in imaginations but is often more real than what goes on around us. It's such an indescribable feeling but Barker catches that feeling with this book.

Narration: I can't imagine the work that must go into a production such as this. That being said, wow. This performance was amazing. Nigel Peever has SUCH a wonderful voice for narration, especially for nostalgic pieces. His voice captures bygone eras brilliantly. His accents and voices for Bogart, Chaney and others were done really well. I've heard so many Bogart impressions over the years and some of them are really over the top.

Production: Very, very well done. The sound effects really drew on my memories of going to the movies. The sound the projector makes, how the film sounds as it's going through the projector, the music from the era's the movies were set in. But it also captured that idea that these were movies made by ghosts, for ghosts.

I found myself wishing I had someone to talk to after this book was done. It's going to stick with me for awhile.

Brilliant writer, narrator and production.

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  • Michael Parker
  • 22-01-19

Brilliant!

The concept of the story is brilliantly conceived and executed! A story of mystery, loss, love and the dreaded growing up. The story flows wonderfully from start to finish. The narration and production are excellent, adding even more depth to the story. I would recommend this story to anyone teen and up.

I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review.

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  • Laura
  • 13-11-19

Absolutely Fantastic - Highly Recommend!

I received this book for free. I am voluntarily posting this review and all opinions expressed herein are my own.

Wow! Just wow is this a great relatable story with incredible narration.

The Electric is about a moment in time in your childhood which changes your outlook on the rest of your life. While the main characters are teenagers - please do not think that this would only appeal to a YA audience or that as an adult there is nothing to see here. The story deals with the death of the main protagonist Sam's father and the impact that had on him one summer. But beyond that, the story is about relationships - parental, friends, first love, and growing up - and how those relationships impact your life. The relationships that the main characters have with each other and Sam, our main protagonist, has with his parents are realistic, tender, and, at times, very unrefined - meaning the inability to truly express your thoughts and feelings at a time when you really should be sharing more of yourself [something even adults are incapable of doing]. I truly enjoyed how Sam one day realized how alienated his relationship had become with his Mom, who is equally grief stricken, and thought to make her breakfast to spend a little time together as they were eating - an absolutely captivating moment.

There is a paranormal element to this story, which occurs when Sam and his friends enter The Electric cinema. The paranormal element is not creepy or frightening nor is this a horror story. The paranormal element is used in an extraordinary manner to get Sam to realize the impact his father had on his life, even though his father was only present for a very short period of time. And, in Sam, it sparks the joy of using his talents, as his father had encouraged him but he had abandoned. Further, the love of cinema, is readily apparent - how original to pair John Belushi with Fatty Arbuckle or Lon Chaney with Boris Karloff or Humphrey Bogart with Jean Harlow.

This novel draws you in, and expertly, without be overly sentimental, keeps you tuned in as three teenagers try to navigate one summer, which changes their lives. This story is worth your time and it is highly recommended!

The narrator, Nigel Peever, is absolutely fantastic. He has a very nice clear baritone voice with a slight British accent. He does voices for all of the characters - including the celebrities. In addition, there are some sound effects and music which are added - nothing too obtrusive and it really enhanced the narration - reminiscent of the radio dramas of days past. The narration and the story were just the perfect marriage.

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  • suekitty13
  • 28-10-19

Beautiful story and incredible narration!

This bittersweet tale was magical and extremely nostalgic. It was a touching coming of age story spiced up with a taste of the supernatural. Although there was a whole theater full of ghosts it wasn’t scary or creepy. The true horror for these teens is the end of summer, going back to school, and growing up in general. There is poignancy to feeling that the bonds to your childhood are being demolished, in this case quite literally, and you are reluctantly thrust on the path to becoming an adult. Childhood friends drift away and childhood pastimes become fondly remembered history. This inevitable transition and the melancholy it entails are fully relatable to every adult who looks back on that last summer of childhood with wistfulness and longing for a simpler time.

While I found this story to be quite sad it is a really fun book especially for lovers of classic movies. I am not an avid classic cinema fan but even I recognized most of the famous characters in The Electric’s special ghost movies. It’s wholly amusing to see actors from different eras appearing together in film, like John Belushi and Fatty Arbuckle providing slapstick to a haunted house tale, or Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, and Lon Chaney Sr. in a story of vengeful captive ghosts. These are movies I would most definitely watch if they existed in real life! The Electric is a wistful “if only” moviephile’s dream where Bogart meets Harlow and all the greats can make films together even if they lived in different periods of time. I really enjoy the idea that all deceased actors are still making movies in the afterlife. It’s good to stay busy, even for the dead!

This was a full experience audiobook with music and sound effects. It really was like watching a movie. The narration was excellent and a major highlight of the book. It was a very dramatic reading and fit the cinematic nature of the story perfectly. The clips from the movies featuring stars with recognisable voices like Bogart and Lugosi were exceptional and I could pretty clearly visualize these movies that never actually existed.

I received this audiobook free for review but my opinion is my own.

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  • leigh sharpe
  • 06-10-19

I see dead people!

Once again Nigel Peever has done a brilliant job narrating! I always love all his sound effects and he did not disappoint! He is such a great story teller..I can't stop listening to the books he narrates.

I loved this storyline. What I would give for just one more time! I really wish I had an ELECTRIC to go visit. The kids in this story address so many things...bullying, regret, broken hearts, great loss, and above all..lasting friendships.

1 person found this helpful