If you love ghost stories in the gothic/vitorian vein, then this is a tale well worth reading and listening to. I believe that this "chilling" tale will become a classic. The narration is spot on and the writing is tight and well developed.
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I love the story. There's a creeping sense of unease throughout the whole thing. The more I knew about Jack the more I liked him, and that simply added to the suspense - I didn't want anything to happen to him. I knew something bad was coming but I didn't know what. It made me want to listen non-stop simply to find out what happened.
The moment with the Seal. I don't want to spoil the moment for people who have never read it, but I was deeply affected by it. It added to the atmosphere of creeping horror I felt. It made it seem more substantial.
Even though I truly enjoyed the story, what I loved most about it was the narrator. He has a pleasant, calming voice, and I love the way the narrator reads the story, it is like the main character is a real person relating his experiences to me. I don't feel like I'm listening to an audiobook at all, and the emotions of Jack shine through in his performance. When the character felt afraid, I felt afraid with him. It really felt like I was going on a journey with him. I think the narrator simply enriched what was already a good story and made it superb.
'What is it? What does it want? Why is it angry with me?'
I would recommend this story to anyone who loves ghost stories and suspense. The story, if you'll excuse the pun, is truly chilling. I wouldn't recommend you listen to it at night, like I had done, though.
The author's writing style and the narrator. It's a well written novel. It is an eerie tale set in the 30s in the Arctic Circle. It's a great "ghost" story because it is a steady build and it deals with the aspects of the paranormal that are most frightening; inexplicable feelings of dread that make one's hackles rise and sets heart to hammering, intense emotions (particularly those caused by violence, intense fear, and hatred) leaving physical imprints behind, and entities born of such events who bear such intense malice that can affect the physical world. I also like that the story is told through journal entries and that it is a "period piece." It is set in a survivalist situation where things could get bad enough without the intrusion of the supernatural. All in all it is a great tale of the uncanny.
A Ghost Story by Henry James. Because it is well written and thought provoking. Also the short story "Jerusalem's Lot" by Stephen King.
The scariest scene was the dream sequence where Jack learns what happened to the trapper.
I will definitely be looking for more novels by Michelle Paver. Also, Jeremy Northam does a great job with the narration.
This book was a total surprise for me. The author is blessed with the ability to drive the story with atmosphere and gloom. The story is simple enough on the surface: Man goes to arctic with a team, man must survive the arctic and some unknown presence. But where this novel succeeds so well is the presentation of the environment and the character's reactions to that environment. I was drawn in so completely to that world that I found myself thinking of ways to get out of the predicament. The protagonist is likeable and sympathetic. The dread slowly builds until it is almost unbearable. I am surprised by the chill I got a couple of times, as this is something rare for me. I consider myself a jaded horror lover, but, whether the writing or the narration, I was 'gotten' a few times.
I would say that the crafting of the atmosphere was similar to "The Terror" by Dan Simmons. Only a shorter, quicker read with a better payoff. The description of the cold and the hardships the men faced in that barren, secluded area only added to the desperation and sense of isolation. I found myself just as interested in the mechanics of survival in an environment most of us will never see. The dog as a companion worked well and lessened the fear that the main character was slowly going insane from freezing, cabin fever, imagination based on local legend, and oatcake overdose and that, instead, there was something really wrong. The burn was slow at first and then gained speed until it reached an, ultimately, satisfying (at least for me) ending.
I can say I loved this book. I have not read any other works by the author, but will when her historical fictions have a twinge of the supernatural. This book started slowly and some may be put off by the initial story/character setup. It is not fast paced or action driven, at least at first, but when the thrill comes, it comes out of nowhere and puts you on edge for the rest of the book.
This story kicks off with a very effective opening monologue. The first person point of view provides the story with a fantastic atmosphere. The writing style combined with a brilliant narration performance by Jeremy Northam allow the reader to become fully immersed in the story, which itself is quite creepy and realistic. The setting is realistically portrayed and allows the reader to really get a sense for the intense cold and isolation experienced by the protagonist as he progresses through the story.
I honestly cannot give enough credit to Jeremy Northam for this performance. I believe he presented the story flawlessly. Even his portrayal of the various Scandinavian accents are extremely realistic. Often narrator's attempts at various accents can detract from the story and drag the reader out of the experience, but this is most definitely not an issue in this case.
A well deserved four stars!
This story met the criteria that I was looking for at the time. Ghost story in a winter setting.
(I realize that sounds odd but I pick books that way)
In that regard this story did not let me down. At times I was pleasantly reminded of a little Lovecraft and Poe, other times I found the story to build to no avail. The writing felt like a classic does.
There was nothing wrong at all with this book. I was just left wanting more.
Yes the narration was excellent!
The whole premise of the story and the setting.
No others from Jeremy yet but I loved the narrators work on this book.
Listen to it late at night and you will not be disappointed.
Hard-core horror fans may not be enamoured with this story, as the fear slowly simmers without really boiling over. Just enough detail to imply horror, and lots of beautifully written tension. The placement of this story post-WW2 aids several plot points and adds to the feeling of displacement, or disorientation, the reader may experience. The main character is nicely developed and likeable. His story is told in an intimate, journal style. The book takes it's time getting to the "creepy parts," but the quiet, moodiness of the writing, and the character development is, in it's own way, suspenseful. Possibly not the most thrilling ending, but really, the story wraps up nicely and the denoument is quite satisfying. Definitely a mood piece. And...WOW, the narration is INCREDIBLE!!!
This terrifyingly cold book is lovely for this dark, frigid time of year. I listened to it during my evening runs in the cold and dark. The isolated, confined atmosphere added shivers to the brilliant ghost story.
Jeremy Northam gave a nuanced performance, and I will be looking for other books narrated by him.
This is a nice quick listen. Just over six hours. Perfect for a drive or just doing chores around the house on a Saturday.
You may want to pay for this out of pocket as you can digest it in one go and that way you still have your credit for the remaining 29 days.
That being said, it is still worth the listen. Jeremy Northam has given a nice performance on this story. This would be best suited for the Fall as the weather is getting worse and you seem pulled inside more. You will really feel part of this story. While I listened to it on a warm Spring day, I did have to suppress a shudder more than once. Enjoy!