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Thirteen

Length: 3 hrs and 36 mins
4 out of 5 stars (28 ratings)

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Summary

Winner of the 2014 AUDIE award for Best Original Work

In early 20th Century England Hamilton James Macaulay relates the tale of how he found himself in a Scarborough Bric-a-brac shop. The owner of the shop has 13 long playing records that each contain a hidden track at the end, that tell strange tales of future times. These 13 tales of terror will change Hamilton James Macaulay's life forever and he will leave the shop a murderer.

Thirteen is a portmantaeu audio anthology, harking back to the classic horror albums of the 1970s.

Written by Scott Harrison, George Mann, Mark Morris, Kaaron Warren, Martin Day, Gary McMahon, Cavan Scott, Dan Abnett, Alasdair Stuart, Kim Newman, Mark Wright, Simon Clark and Johnny Mains.

Stories read by Barnaby Edwards, Greg Wise, Jilly Bond, Trevor White, Arthur Darvill, Stephen Rashbrook, Michael Maloney, John Banks, Frances Barber, Lalla Ward, Samuel West, Gemma Arterton, Jeff Harding and Steven Cree.

©2013 Spokenworld Audio/Ladbroke Audio Ltd (P)2013 Spokenworld Audio/Ladbroke Audio Ltd

Critic reviews

"A great collection of supernatural tales - those who like their spines chilled will be very pleased. 9/10" ( Starburst Magazine)
"A deliciously dark collation. 8/10" ( SciFiBulletin)
"The structure of the framing narrative calls to mind an audio version of the portmanteau films of Amicus studios. If you're a fan of classic, spine tingling horror then that should be reason enough to listen to Thirteen." ( GeekPlanetOnline)
"Nicely assembled...not a bad story or bad vocal performance amongst them. 3.5/5" ( SFX Magazine)

What members say

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

A great collection of short horror stories

I'm always hungry for collections of good short stories, especially horror, and often disappointed by what gets released. Thirteen, though, has everything I look for in a collection - good stories and great narration, with excellent sound effects and music as a very welcome (and effective) bonus.
The stories themselves are pretty diverse in terms of content, and while some are inevitably stronger than others, none of them are less than enjoyable to listen to, delivering genuine scares and a lingering atmosphere of building tension throughout. The collection even includes a modern-day retelling of the much-loved "the monkey's paw" and, though personally this is my least favourite tale, I have to admire the effort to bring the classic to a new audience.
The narration is excellent, as diverse as the stories themselves, and none of the actors involved deliver anything less than a brilliant performance. So many audio books suffer from poor narration, which, for me, can sometimes ruin a decent story entirely - I'm delighted to say that Thirteen doesn't fall in to this group.
Overall - it's definitely worthy of a place in any horror fan's collection, and I only wish it was called 14 or 25 or 62. Really hoping for a Thirteen volume 2 in the near future.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Elvina
  • Moscow, Russia
  • 26-12-13

Sending shivers down your spine

Where does Thirteen rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Thirteen is one of the first audiobooks from Spokenworld Audio I've ever listened to. And I should say - that's a great start! Fab collection of spine tingling tales becomes even creepier thanks to the structure of the framing narrative that captures your attention right from the beginning. 5/5

Which character – as performed by the narrators – was your favourite?

Hamilton James Macaulay (the narrator of the frame story) has become my absolute favourite character not just because he's keeping you in suspense till the end of the story (you know from the beginning that he's going to become a murderer but don't know the reason yet), but also and mostly because of the brilliant performance by Barnaby Edwards. The owner of the shop is performed by him as well - in such a different way that you almost forget it's also Barnaby Edwards speaking.

Any additional comments?

Every tale in this collection is well performed and has its peculiar uncanny mood. Thirteen is definitely a must-listen for all classic horror lovers.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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

Great for Halloween

What made the experience of listening to Thirteen the most enjoyable?

I loved the atmospheric music throughout the stories. It gave me chills in places.

Which character – as performed by the narrators – was your favourite?

All the narrator's were excellent.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

I found the story with the child in the nursery and the story with the mp3 player particularly spooky.

Any additional comments?

I enjoyed most of the stories, but there are 13 so some of them I didn't enjoy as much.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Regent
  • Maidstone, Kent
  • 09-12-16

Good but certainly not Vault of Horrors

Great actors but not very inspiring stories. As an avid horror fan of both new and old genre, I found the stories a bit tepid. Probably only the story Down stands out as anything approaching atmospheric.

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  • Mr
  • Surbiton, United Kingdom
  • 30-10-16

Spooky Anthology Style Release

A selection of excellent narrators do a great job with some equally excellent horror vignettes. I preferred the stories of the first half and wish this quality had been consistent throughout, as the last two or three really failed to capture my imagination. However, I'd recommend this to anyone.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

dreadful rubbish. Don't waste your time

I quite enjoy a good horror story. The only horror involved was my gradual realisation that these authors were getting paid for such moronic tosh.

1 of 8 people found this review helpful