Listen free for 30 days

The Magic Cottage

Narrated by: Kris Dyer
Length: 12 hrs and 18 mins
Categories: Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Horror
4 out of 5 stars (348 ratings)

£7.99/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime

Editor reviews

A young couple finds a dilapidated but still-idyllic cottage in Hampshire's New Forest and quickly move into their dream home. However, before long, strange occurrences begin to disturb their little paradise: ominous sounds from the attic and shadowy figures lurking among the trees. Narrator Kris Dyer builds an easy rapport with listeners as Midge and Mike settle into their home, then slowly infuses tension and anxiety into his performance as the couple cross paths with a cultish group with sinister intentions. Listeners will continue to feel the chill of this horror story long after they have turned it off.

Summary

The nightmare home. We thought we'd found our haven, a cottage deep in the heart of the forest. Quaint, charming, maybe a little run-down, but so peaceful. The woodland animals and birds couldn't have been more neighbourly. That was the first part of the Magic. Midge's painting and my music soared to new heights of creativity. That was another part of the Magic. Our sensing, our feelings, our love for each other - well, that became the supreme Magic. But the cottage had an alternative side. The Bad Magic.

What happened to us there was horrendous beyond belief. The miracles, the healings, the crazy sect who wanted our home for themselves, the hideous creatures that crawled from the nether regions, and the bats - oh God, the bats! Even now those horrible things seem impossible to me. Yet they happened...

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 best-selling 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.

©1986 James Herbert (P)2013 Audible Ltd

What members say

Average customer ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    184
  • 4 Stars
    82
  • 3 Stars
    59
  • 2 Stars
    12
  • 1 Stars
    11

Performance

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    150
  • 4 Stars
    89
  • 3 Stars
    45
  • 2 Stars
    21
  • 1 Stars
    27

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    184
  • 4 Stars
    78
  • 3 Stars
    44
  • 2 Stars
    16
  • 1 Stars
    8

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

The Magic Cottage

Firstly I must say the narrator did a good job overall. His voice for Midge who is supposed to be an attractive young lady, unfortunately sounded a bit like Julian Clarey. This image whilst comical in my mind, detracted from the story for me a bit but eventually i got wrapped into the story again.

The audiobook transports you back to what feels like the 1980s. You can smell the forest, see and feel the idyllic location. The young couple living what can be described as a dream that most people would want to live. Having grown up in a cottage with so many similarities to that within the book, I feel a connection to the book that is deeper than mere entertainment.

The story becomes more fast paced and exciting at the end and is a good story. I would recommend this book or audiobook to anyone reading this.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

performance not good

a good story hard to put down and fill of mystery, the reader made all females sound like Julian Clarey which spoiled it slightly.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great book let down by poor narration !

I read this book in paperback form 25 years so knew it was a great story and read but was intrigued to listen to the audio version having forgotten most of the plot line. The good news is that the story still stands up after all these years as you'd expect from James Herbert. The bad news is that Kris Dyer's interpretation of the leading female starts as Julian Clary and ends up being David Mitchell. The fact that the character is called Midge makes this worse as I ended up hearing it as "Mitch" further enhancing the vision I had listening to it of David Mitchell ......seriously, as amusing as this is (for a while) it becomes increasingly more irritating and eventually starts to ruin the story. Sorry Kris, I have listened to you before and your reading has been good but on this occasion you just got it badly wrong ....!

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great story, spoiled by the Narrator

Any additional comments?

I love this story, I've already read the book, but the narrator's voice for Midge is so annoying that I find it hard to imagine anyone save a deaf person would find her attractive. not a great opinion to have of one of the chief protagonists and someone you are supposed to care about. It did spoil the story for me.

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Good first two-thirds

Unfortunately, let down by a weak finish, overabundance of hyperbole in an attempt to scare.
Narration excellent and helped sustain interest.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Brilliant story but narration let it down.

Where does The Magic Cottage rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Its the only one.

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

Although the narrator was very good when speaking in a man's voice, he was very annoying and sometimes comical, when speaking as his wife. The audiobook should have had at least two narrators.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

The voice!

I’m a fan of James Herbert, and after reading the mixed reviews thought I would make up my own mind. The start of the story is fair enough, but the voice of midge, is dreadful. The voice was ridiculously awful, I tried to get past it by her description, enough said make up your own mind. As expected the story start to evolve, not bad quite acceptable and enjoyable. As we continue the story could have been written by a different author, it becomes totally stupid.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

I could t believe how bad this was

just abysmal from beginning to end
I've never felt the need to review before but would feel guilty if some other poor soul came upon this drivel

and to think this was the same guy who brought us the rats and the fog !

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Totally loved it.

This is definitely something a little bit different from JH. I lost myself in it xx

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

The British Stephen King

James Herbert has been compared to Stephen King and it's not an unfair comparison. I've always been a Herbert fan and this, I think, is his best. It's a shame we shall have no more.

1 person found this helpful

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Kelly Broomhall
  • Kelly Broomhall
  • 25-09-17

Enjoyable

I really enjoyed this book. No one was an idiot or obtuse. My one negative comment is that I wasn't a huge fan of the narrator's voice for the main female character but not annoying enough to really bother me.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for naelene
  • naelene
  • 31-10-13

liked it! just a nice fun story.

To me it was a good fairly predictable story with a good ending.
But beware of the bats and crazy cultists.Mitch was a bit annoying, when she was seeking answers from her dead parents, but thank god! She saw the light just in time.kept me listening which is good as I don't always finish a book.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for azideen
  • azideen
  • 20-11-19

Not as aggressive as his earlier books .

I found the narrator voice for midge displeasing and it took me out of the book quite often.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 17-07-19

Voice for female character made me cringe.

I read this book a long time ago and loved it. The story is good. I listened to a sample, but it did not include the narrator's voice for the female character or else I never would have wasted a credit on this. It's nasally, whiny, and almost mocking. It's the kind of voice you would use for someone unlikeable. Perhaps it's only me, but I just couldn't get past it. So I can't really give a review to the rest of the book.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for KandyMay Poff
  • KandyMay Poff
  • 18-11-17

Slow

This was a slow moving book, I kept waiting for more to happen but it didnt. however it was well written and I appreciated that.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for C. Roxanne Cheley
  • C. Roxanne Cheley
  • 17-07-15

It pulls you in

Great book to listen to with words that easily create the back drop in your imagination. The narrated is amazing.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 16-07-14

Disappointment

What disappointed you about The Magic Cottage?

The story never really got going till the very end. The ending seemed rushed. After listening to The secret of crickety hall by Herbert, which was great, this was a disappointment.

What do you think your next listen will be?

I will in the future give James Herbert another try.

Would you listen to another book narrated by Kris Dyer?

Yes, his narration was good with emotions.

What character would you cut from The Magic Cottage?

several, did not care for the story line.

Any additional comments?

will return