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The Haunting of Timber Manor

Memoirs of the Human Wraiths
Narrated by: Tony Stone
Length: 7 hrs and 27 mins
3 out of 5 stars (4 ratings)

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Summary

While recovering from the recent loss of his parents, Daniel Donnelly receives a phone call from his estranged aunt, who turns over control of the family fortune and estate, Timber Manor. Though his father seemed guarded about the past, Daniel's need for family and curiosity compels him to visit.

Located in a secluded area of the Northwest, Timber Manor has grown silent over the years. Her halls sit empty, and a thin layer of dust adorns the sheet-covered furniture. When Daniel arrives to begin repairs, strange things happen. Nightmares haunt his dreams. Memories not his own disturb his waking hours. Alive with the tragedies of the past, Timber Manor threatens to tear Daniel apart.

Sheriff Hale Davis grew up working on the manor grounds. Seeing Daniel struggle, he vows to protect the young man who captured his heart, help him solve the mystery behind the haunting, and confront the past - not only to save Daniel's life, but to save his family, whose very souls hang in the balance.

©2013, 2018 Frederick E Feeley Jr (P)2018 Frederick E Feeley Jr

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Very poor overall

With much promise I anticipated starting this trilogy but quickly found myself struggling with the poor quality of the audio, often unintelligible voices and mispronunciations.

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Profile Image for Jason Moses
  • Jason Moses
  • 21-12-18

Delightful and Wonderful

It’s rare to get a horror/suspense story with the main character being a gay man. It was a wonderful story, and I loved being twisted between the suspense of the haunting and the love story of the main character. I absolutely loved this book! I’m excited to start the next in the series.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Zell Oakley
  • Zell Oakley
  • 07-04-20

Good story, good narrator, needed an editor

It's always a joy to read (or hear) a "gay" novel that doesn't focus overmuch on the central relationship. The Haunting of Timber Manor has the perfect balance of romance and plot, and the romance is well developed and sweet. It also focuses on other characters, not just the protagonist and his lover, which is nice. In fact, I could have done with a little less focus on the other characters, particularly the character of Francine. It's not that I didn't like her, and I like that the story went into her background, but it got a little TOO detailed at points--sometimes in her flashbacks, the story would go off on a tangent about a minor character and we'd end up with a sort of flashback Inception, where the flashbacks had flashbacks. I don't need details about characters that are tangential to an already tangential character. On the whole, though, the story is very strong, suspenseful, and creepy.

Tony Stone, the narrator, seems to have only narrated this book and nothing else, at least on Audible. Which is a shame, really, because I very much liked his voice. He sounds age appropriate--a rare treat--and handsome. I particularly liked his voice for Hale, even though the vaguely Texan twang he gives him doesn't make a lot of sense for someone born and raised in Oregon. His voices for the female chapters aren't quite as successful, though to be fair it's always odd listening to a male narrate a female character in first person, particularly one with such a masculine voice. Carol ends up sounding a bit like Margaret Dumont, especially in the beginning, and Francine's Creole accent sounds fine to me but I can't help thinking it's a bit inauthentic. Still, altogether I liked the narration. Stone's voice for the evil characters was surprisingly fantastic and creepy. He threw himself into it and it paid off.

The biggest problem I had was the lack of editing. I don't know the process for creating an audiobook, so I don't know who is at fault here, but there are a LOT of errors in this production, particularly pronunciation issues. I don't know if it was the fault of the narrator or if the errors were written into the book itself, but we end up with "uninformed" officers (instead of "uniformed"), characters sleeping "fistfully," and a host of other examples. And the narrator pronounces the word "library" oddly consistently through the entire book. All of this could have been avoided with a quick edit, so I'm not sure who dropped the ball here. The most egregious error is that one chapter toward the end of the audiobook is repeated verbatim a few chapters later, and in fact appears to take the place of another chapter, since there's an odd jump in the plot and when the repeated chapter is over, characters are no longer where we left them. Luckily it's easy enough to fill in the blanks.

I don't mean to give the impression that I didn't enjoy the book; I did. The writing was generally superb, the narration good. I'd recommend it to anyone, with a few caveats, and I went ahead and bought the second and third books in the series as well. It's a shame F.E. Feeley Jr. doesn't have many audiobooks to his name on here, and it's a shame that Tony Stone doesn't appear to have narrated anything after this.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Shannon Vess
  • Shannon Vess
  • 10-08-18

good way to spend a day

loved the story. Tony's different voices brought this to life for me. there are a few glitches that came up but all in all a good way to spend a day.

1 person found this helpful

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Profile Image for R. Neil
  • R. Neil
  • 10-08-18

Story is really good; Narrator needs to slow down!

The story is good and hauntingly eerie! Voice effects lend to the overall scary tone of the story. I see that this is the first story the narrator has done, at least on Audible, and is shows at times. In my opinion, he should at times slow down and let the listener immerse in the story. There are times when he's racing through dialogue, that you can't distinguish which character is talking and it becomes extremely frustrating trying to catch key pieces of dialogue. There are some moments/chapters when the pacing is actually very good and enjoyable. In these moments, Mr. Stone slows to a pace where he does employ distinguishing voices for the different characters, which makes the overall book bearable to continue listening. On the production side, there are some chapters which sound like the narrator is talking in a cave (very noticeable echo), and other times when Mr. Stone sounds like he's speaking from an old AM portable radio.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Kindle Customer
  • 02-03-20

such potential destroyed by a piss poor production

narration was the worst I've ever heard. there is punctuation for a reason. audio effects were in no way needed. the story itself was decent. Have listened to several F E Feely jr. titles and been pleased. this time.... Not so much

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for joseph stimac
  • joseph stimac
  • 09-12-19

good story, bad audiobook

I enjoyed the book a lot more than I expected I was going to.

it's a bit extra in some instances, but it's to be expected, given the circumstances the characters are put through. the language is a but redundant in some places, too, and I thought I had skipped to a previous chapter I had already heard before. hardly a deal breaker though.

The actual audio may be a deal breaker. it's just not of quality. the microphone the narrator used has feedback that you will eventually get used to after a while, but you shouldn't have to. one chapter is completely missing and is replaced with a chapter from before, so you completely miss it unless you also have the book. At one point, there's a random computer sounds (the sound on a device is disconnecting from a Windows PC). I doubled checked to confirm. Silly.

The narrator --- I appreciate his effort, but his voices should have been scaled back. I've never heard a worse creole accent.

the book itself is very satisfying, has some sexy moments, you hate the antagonist as much as the characters. nicely done.

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Profile Image for Kathryn M
  • Kathryn M
  • 17-05-19

Haunting...

The Haunting of Timber Manor by F.E. Feeley Jr. Is the first book in The Memoirs of the Human Wraiths series but canbe read/listened to as a stand alone. The book is a horror/suspense story with a blossoming romance between two gay men, mysterious occurrences and a chilling family history to uncover. I was fully captivated by the tale and definitely recommend.



The story is narrated by Tony Stone. Overall, the performance was good. I felt that the voice matched the feel of the story well and I was mostly able to get lost in the experience of the story. There were a few editing issues like other reviewers pointed out that did come up. But I would definitely listen to another book with this narrator.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for A.K.
  • A.K.
  • 14-05-19

The writing and story were awesome

Wow wow wow.

I love a good suspense and this was so fun. Ghosts and hauntings and wolves. Things going bump in the night.

This story was told through many different POV's which actually added to the overall experience. I found myself getting sucked in to the mystery, sweetened by the romance and anxious for the HEA.

The writing was very descriptive and foreboding, keeping the reader/listener on the edge of their seat until the very end. Very well done.

The narration left a bit to be desired, in my opinion. Some of the narrative seemed rushed, some words mispronounced. Parts repeated and skipped. Overall, the spookiness of 'It' and the hypnotic tone used for 'Danny' was engaging.

Totally recommended.

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Profile Image for Jovan
  • Jovan
  • 04-12-18

Good Story, Audio Needs Work

"The Haunting of Timber Manor" is an enjoyable paranormal story and romance. As Daniel is trying to wade through his grief and shock at the sudden death of his parents in a boating accident, he sees an offer from his estranged aunt to come visit the family estate, Timber Manor, as a lifeline. Not only is it a way to connect with the only family he has left, it’s an opportunity to learn more about who his father was. However, instead of a calm respite, Daniel is soon confronted with tales of “freaky things”, terrible nightmares and pieces of a dark puzzle of madness, despair and evil.

Upon arriving, Daniel quickly connects to his Aunt Carol and the handsome sheriff, Hale. As the weeks go by and Hale and Daniel spend as much time together as possible, they fall into an easy friendship with the promise of more from their mutual attraction. As the events in the house morph from bad dreams to footsteps in the dark and definitive paranormal activity, Hale and Daniel’s relationship grows into love—a love that becomes integral to Daniel’s ability to survive the darkness growing within the house.

There were many things to like about the story. . . and a few things to dislike. Story-wise, there were some inconsistencies in the memories/history of events or character portrayals that made the story a bit jagged in places. Moreover, the fact that even when the paranormal activity becomes visible and prevalent, Daniel and Hale make no mention to Carol, who is a believer, until a big emotional scene. It felt a bit contrived for the sake of the plot, but as a ghost/horror-type story, the reader is prepared to give it a pass for it.

However, I really liked the family history and background. I found the idea of the family being cursed not only by the inherent evil of a person but by their own bad choices, well done and engaging. Feeley does an excellent job creating a picture and ambience of the house and making it almost a sentient character in its own right. Moreover, he does a great job giving emotional weight to all the secondary characters and creating an increasingly tense and dread-filled atmosphere. Daniel and Hale were also very sweet as a couple, and I enjoyed how seriously Hale took forging an emotional connection to Daniel. Most of my issues came from the audio aspects of the book.

With audio, sometimes a narrator’s acting choices and delivery play a large role in enjoyment of the story. For the most part, Tony Stone does a good job. There are times when it is clear he hasn’t learned how to differentiate inner-monologue from dialogue, making it easy for a reader to get lost, and at the beginning, his voice for aunt Carol was more “Lady Macbeth playing for the rafters” rather than the genteel aristocrat he was going for, but he eventually managed.

Additionally, just like with a written book, with audio there will be a few errors to ignore, but there comes a point when the errors are so numerous or large that all you can think is, “This needed a good editor,” and unfortunately, this audiobook was in dire need of one. You had minor errors that occurred with a high enough frequency to have a cumulative effect—from mispronunciations and incorrect character voices to repeated takes and inconsistent sound levels. Then you had large errors such as the fact that chapters 41 and 43 are repeated late in the story, when the action is beginning to come to a head, as chapters 52 and 54, wrecking the flow of the action along with being confusing.

However, the reason I can say the audio of this book is not a total loss is that Stone’s voice work for Daniel and Hale is really good and the time and effort Stone took to fully maximize the eeriness inherent in Feeley’s words was exceptional. Scenes and dialogue that are creepy on their own are chillingly well acted and incorporated with sound effects for a realistic, immersive feel. So, depending on what you want from a story or how you like to consume books, this audio version may or may not work for you.

Reviewed for The Novel Approach Reviews

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Dana Piazzi
  • Dana Piazzi
  • 26-10-18

Spooky story, but poor production.

I usually shy away from ghost/horror stories; I really don’t do scary books or movies. I couldn’t even watch more than a few episodes of Supernatural before I knew that my yellow belly couldn’t take it. 😉 Hearing others talk about the book, though, made me want to read it. I had the ebook for some time waiting to work myself up to it, and when we were offered an audio code, I decided to jump in. I will admit that I had to stop listening at times, especially in the evenings. Overall, the story wasn’t so scary that I couldn’t finish it so I count that as a win for me. The author also won, I feel, because the story definitely has significant chills and thrills.

I want to shelve this story in the Gay Fiction genre even though there is a romance blooming in this book. It has it’s sweet and sexy moments, but with the switching pov’s from Daniel to Hale to Daniel’s Aunt Carol to Francine, a spirit woman, to It, the voice of evil, there is a lot more going on and the romance is secondary. I have a little complaint about the way the chapters are announced in the book, noting who’s viewpoint it is, and assigning a number to the amount of times they have talked. If you like switching from the audio to ebook, this might be a problem. Also, the story told is the first version so if you have the newer edition it will be difficult to follow along with the audio.

This is minor, though, in comparison to the storytelling. For years, Daniel’s family has been living in fear. His dad left home and never brought his wife or Daniel back to where he grew up. A malevolent ancestor in life and death, had it out for Daniel’s dad and now that Daniel has come to visit, the darkness has reawakened. Add to that, a group of timber wolves (who the manor are named for) stand guard outside the house. Spirits cannot rest and the living are having a difficult time, too. After a few “unexplained” deaths (murders) in the house, Daniel and Hale find themselves having to fight off the evil presence with the help of Francine and some other surprise characters. If they manage to win, there is also the matter that Daniel is only visiting, so there are some decisions that he and Hale will have to make in regards to their relationship also.

I already feel like I gave too much away, but hopefully, I didn’t. The story is really best read without too much other information. As far as the story goes, I would definitely recommend it.

The narration – As for voicing the characters, I think the narrator did a great job. There isn’t a lot of difference in the “voices” for Daniel and Hale, to be honest. I had to rely on context to figure out whose part I was listening to if I didn’t pay attention to the chapter heading. The tones and accents he used for Carol, Francine, and It, were excellent, though. I definitely could see myself listening to the narrator again.

The production has some problems, though. Lines were repeated frequently. I went to the ebook to see if it was a repeated thought and not an error and that is when I realized that the audio reflected the first edition. I don’t want to sound like a broken record, but I keep wondering why they didn’t use the second edition to narrate the book since it shares the same cover. Chapter 52 of the audiobook is also a repeat of Chapter 41. I thought my audible app had skipped back on me or that I somehow rewound my audio. The Chapter 52 from the book is missing completely. I don’t know if this error is fixed or if it’s being fixed, but my audio copy hasn’t changed.

There were some frustrations in listening to the book, and I felt I had to mention them. However, I really did enjoy the story. I’m not sure what percentage I’d use to recommend the audiobook. If you’re willing to read the missing chapter from the book, and you happen to have the first version to find out what is actually missing, then I’d say it’s just a bit of a hiccup. If you only have the newer edition of the book then it might be better if you just read it, because I think the author is a really good storyteller.