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Summary

A young librarian receives a request for an obscure Hebrew book from a sinister gentleman, unaware of its contents.

Montague Rhodes James was a noted British mediaeval scholar and provost of King's College, Cambridge (1905–1918) and of Eton College (1918–1936). He is best remembered for his ghost stories which are widely regarded as among the finest in English literature.

One of James' most important achievements was to redefine the ghost story for the new century by dispensing with many of the formal Gothic trappings of his predecessors, and replacing them with more realistic contemporary settings.

"Montague Rhodes James has an intelligent and scientific knowledge of human nerves and feelings; and knows just how to apportion statement, imagery, and subtle suggestions in order to secure the best results with his readers." HP Lovecraft.

Actor David Suchet is best known for his definitive portrayal of Hercule Poirot, the Belgian detective created by the legendary mystery author Agatha Christie, in a number of international television productions. He narrates his story in Poirot and Me.

©1911 M. R. James (P)2013 Audible Ltd

What members say

Average customer ratings

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    3 out of 5 stars
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not engaging enough

5 stars for David Suchet reading, but the story really didn't hold my interest enough.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Em
  • 29-12-13

LIGHT ON FRIGHTS, BUT WORTH A LISTEN

What did you like best about The Tractate Middoth? What did you like least?

The Tractate Middoth is one of the least scary of M. R. James's tales and it's to David Suchet's credit that he has resisted the temptation to ham it up. His precise, understated delivery ensures that such disquieting moments as the story has do not leap out at the listener but slide insidiously into his or her mind.Only the burst of music at the start of this recording strikes the wrong note. It's neither eerie nor ominous - just irritating!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Ghost story typical of the 19th genre

Would you listen to The Tractate Middoth again? Why?

Possibly, if i had a little time to kill. Nothing in the story to warrant a rereading but classical stye writing and a good reading would stand repeating ( Since the book is well under an hour long)

If you’ve listened to books by M. R. James before, how does this one compare?

Read several of the authors shorts, this one is very typical. I wonder why they are published as seperate books rather than as a collection - i have five and in total they do not add up to even a short novel, under four hours.

What does David Suchet bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Suchet is unobtrusive, i read to myself unobtrusively ergo . . .

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Necessary to listen to in one reading due to it nature and length

Any additional comments?

Good classic style writing and fine reading. Very typical of the genre and the other stories by James. This review to be attached to each of the other short stories by the autor, vis a vis their reviews to this. Ah.. had they be published as a collection i would only have to write one!

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Great M. R. James story.

Read wonderfully well by David Suchet who, as is usual, brings the tale magically to life.
I have always enjoyed the stories that were written by M. R. James and this was no exception and what excellent value!

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Excellently-creepy story

A crisply narrated story. This is a well written Victorian ghost tale. Worth a listen.

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    5 out of 5 stars

The tractate midohte

David suchet has a wonderful voice that is perfect for conveying the sinister air of this one of M R James greatest ghost stories.

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Ghostly tale

A short story originally published in 1911 is brought to life by David Suchet. I thoroughly enjoyed the story as well as the narration.

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A different type of mystery

What about David Suchet’s performance did you like?

David Suchet is excellent - a character actor who brings atmosphere to the narration.

Any additional comments?

Very enjoyable. 42 minutes was exactly right.

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A match made in heaven

What did you like most about The Tractate Middoth?

I love M. R. James' ghost stories, and I couldn't think of a better reader than David Suchet. A treat.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Didn't chill

Would you try another book written by M. R. James or narrated by David Suchet?

Yes. It was bit-sized at less than n hour and the story was okay if really quite nt up to modern "spook" tastes.

Would you ever listen to anything by M. R. James again?

Yes. I bought several at Christmas but I'll only try 1 more if its as tame as this one.

Did David Suchet do a good job differentiating each of the characters? How?

Yes, very good. He reads well and has a voice tha's easy to listen to.

If this book were a film would you go see it?

No.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Ellenaeddy
  • 08-08-15

Fun ghost story about relatives no one wants.

There are relatives no one wants to have. What's even worse is if they can't quite manage to die. This is very fun and very much a case of that. Enjoy.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Ashley
  • 08-08-18

what an Incredible Book

this was an amazing story. you really need to pay attention because what you think and what happens are very different.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • happyjo
  • 07-03-18

Short spooky story

I was pleasantly surprised with this story. It was interesting and a nice retreat into a world from our past. Ghostly experience!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Quatermass Lives
  • 30-01-18

James and Suchet - a winning combination

Any additional comments?

Having watched Mark Gatiss's TV adaptation of this story recently, and found myself very underwhelmed, I turned to the master and all is again right with the world. There are many TV, radio and audiobook adaptations of James's stories, but Suchet's are definitely among the best. His voice possesses just the right amount of suspense - close your eyes and you can imagine yourself in the presence of James himself, reading one of his own stories.

It's a short listen, but a thrilling one.