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Wylding Hall

Length: 4 hrs and 37 mins
4.6 out of 5 stars (17 ratings)

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Summary

In the aftermath of the mysterious death of their lead singer, the young members of a now-legendary British acid folk band hole up at Wylding Hall, an ancient English country house with its own dark secrets. There they record Wylding Hall, the album that makes their reputation - but at a terrifying cost when Julian Blake, their new lead singer, disappears within the mansion and is never seen again.

Now, years later, the surviving musicians and their friends and lovers - including a psychic, a photographer, and the band's manager - meet with a young documentary filmmaker to tell their own versions of what happened during that summer. But whose story is the true one? And what really happened to Julian Blake?

©2015 Elizabeth Hand (P)2015 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about Wylding Hall

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Atmospheric English Folk Horror

Really my only complaint about this book is that it's too short. Its themes are very reminiscent of the English Folk Horror films of the 1970s like Blood on Satan's Claw and the Whicker Man. The story is set over one hot summer in the early 70s. An almost famous folk band are sent to stay in an ancient manor house deep in the countryside to write their second album. The sense of time and place is very believable as is the dynamic between the band members - at least to a non-musician like me. It really made me want to listen to the legendary album they create! The story is told in the present day so all the narrators are potentially unreliable given the distance of time and the alcohol and drugs they were consuming at Wylding Hall. No one has the full story and we can only piece together what happened from the subjective views of each character. There aren't really any shocks or big scares but instead a pervasive atmosphere of something not being quite right. Odd things happen and are never really explained so if you get frustrated by stories that lack a big denouement and exposition you might not like this very much.

As you can see it's quite short; more of a novella and probably one to get if you have a few spare credits. I would listen to it on a hot summer day - ideally sitting outside under a tree. Just watch out for the wrens.

The narrators are uniformly excellent. Having a different actor for each part really adds to the experience of listening to the book.

I've only read one other book by Elizabeth Hand and going by this I wish there was more of her work available on audio.

2 people found this helpful

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Slow paced

Considering that wylding hall is only 4.5 hours long it feels so slow. All I can say is the ending better be worth it or I'll return it. I've never returned a book I've finished before but I deserve my credit back for having to put up with it. Please note it may get better and I will update the review if it gets better.

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  • Sarah B
  • 03-09-18

Surprisingly Delightful

I'm usually not a fan of shorter stories but I'm glad I took a chance on this one. The documentary style really drew me in and I eagerly listed to different sides of the story. I often listen to stories before bed and this one gave me nightmares - I loved it! A little mystery and atmosphere goes a long way and this writer is superb. Definitely teading/listening more from this author.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Lou Lombardi
  • 15-10-19

meh...

no story... mildly interesting characters i bought this because I thought that it was a horror novel.... it's not best part? it's short !

2 people found this helpful

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  • wisconsinclark
  • 23-07-20

Big buildup, disappointing ending

Cast was well done, pulls you in, then nothing. This story was a tease, flirts with you with tantalizing details about a missing lead singer and his ghost girl. Then it ends with no explanation, just a tiny hint.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Wesley J. Critchfield
  • 01-01-20

Nothing really happens

It's alright, nothing great though. it's mostly Atmosphere with a disappearance we are told happened at the very beginning. there are some creepy moments toward the end of the book but not really worth the journey. still it is short and good to listen to so if you're looking for something that's mostly mood I would recommend this.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Whit
  • 22-04-17

Excellent Traditional Spooky Old House Yarn

I listened to music from this era often and happily, and the capture of the moment stitched in with a deft spooky tale (told nonsequentially and expertly) kept my attention with rare spirit. What a fine piece of work! Like an old Rolling Stone oral history combined with a Diana Rigg ghost story.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Sherri L. Smith
  • 24-10-20

wonderfully creepy

this was a fantastic audiobook and it was enhanced by all the narrators! the story was wonderful and I couldn't stop listening! I would make excuses to find time to play my audible just so that I could learn what was going on in the story. I highly highly recommend this book

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  • Jessica Reyer
  • 27-04-20

Intriguing

The story wasn't overly eventful but what I liked was the scene. The scene was described well where I felt I could imagine myself there like a fly on the wall. It played out clean like a movie. The characters were developed well as each of their perspectives came together to tell a story. I liked the book. I liked the narration, each char ter brought to life.

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  • Shyam
  • 08-01-20

Great, taut horror told via VH1 Behind The Music

This was a great listen! The full cast did an excellent job and brought life to each character. Leslie's narrator always felt rushed a bit but that's okay. My only complaint is that I wanted more. It felt like it ended right as things were ramping up!

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  • dan
  • 01-10-19

wonderful performance

not as scary as I was led to believe but it was wonderful 10/10 would read again.

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  • Mimi Sauce
  • 20-10-17

Spooky, short, and fun

Modern documentary style novel. Involves fictional characters from 70's folk music scene staying in a creepy old house. I enjoyed the writing, narration, and production.