David Ash, detective of the paranormal, is sent to the mysterious Comraich Castle, secluded deep in the Scottish countryside, to investigate a strange, high-profile case. A man has been found crucified in a locked room. The reports suggest that the cliff-top castle is being haunted.... Who or what is the reclusive hooded figure that Ash has seen from the window walking across the courtyard in the dead of night? What are the strange, animal-like sounds that come from the surrounding woods? And why are the castle's inhabitants so reluctant to talk about what they have seen? What Ash eventually discovers is truly shocking....
Featuring one of Herbert's best-loved characters, first encountered in The Ghosts of Sleath and Haunted, Ash is a ghost story like no other that will chill you to the marrow.
©2012 James Herbert (P)2012 AudioGO Ltd
A better story with a comprehensible conclusion.
The most disappointing thing about ASH was the story itself. The book's beginning is interesting, with characters one quickly decides are likeable and unlikeable. The book then cascades into a series of inexplicable, and wholly unbelievable, occurrences that are never connected to one another in any meaningful way despite the constant intimation that there is some common explanation. Ash, the titular parapsychologist, never explains (perhaps, never understands) what is happening. The book's casst of ridiculous characters includes Hitler's bastard daughter, all grown up and crazy as hell, and the transparent (as in one can literally see his internal organs) prematurely born son of Princess Diana who comes to take her son into her loving embrace at novel's end. Oh, and did I forget to mention Qaddafi. 'Nuff said.
Hitler's daughter and Louie, the son of Princess Diana
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I managed to get through to Chapter 7 and couldn't listen any further. Stephen Pacey is as good a British narrator as I've ever heard...but even his credible narration could not make this awful novel into something entertaining, mildly interesting or enjoyable. The author should do "graphic novels" and forget any literary ambitions, at least, in this genre. Listening to this brought back the memory of listening to another audiobook wherein the author attempted to describe his characters almost entirely, by describing or mentioning, the popular music they liked. This author, though, uses a very different method to achieve the same effect... by using untold billions of descriptive adjectives and adverbs to "flesh out" his characters, settings, etc. But every word "picture" he tries to paint seems drawn, in sets, from previous material that is ever so familiar. His literary "inventions" are so trite, so hackneyed, that, although one may not remember the exact,original source(s), one already knows them by heart, long before this author ever pasted them in. Like, "the castle". Think about every popular image you have of a dark and brooding manse, all the images that one has ever heard about, read about, seen in movies or tv, or video games, even. Now, if one selects the image one has encountered most frequently, that seems to be the most popular, the one that just pops up first, that's the one the author uses. He applied that method to the first 7 chapters of this book, at least. Call the method "Write By Numbers". The novel is supposed to be a mystery, I think. This author does not know a mystery from a flight of migrating Canadian geese.
I would recommend this book, the fact that all the bad guys from the real world turned fictional got wasted was great. All though I was disappointed with Louis's end, to have gone through all the horror with such strength even though his illness was so severe and then to not be able to be with Ash and the doctor was sad, but to have gone to his mother was good and very tearful. This was a strange book, but I liked it.
Ash dying of a flesh eating virus on 1st page.
If an author chooses to write a plot involing a medical discipline such as Psychiatry, he should have the good grace to inform himself a little on the subject.
And certainly not refer to Psychiatric patients as Lunatics.
A better book
The Mystery of Edwinn Drood by Charles Dickens
He brings the English
Middle aged sex - no thank you
"Hard to get into"
I am a James Herbert fan normally but I just couldn't get into this book at all, the story never seemed to emerge and didn't grip me. I kept fast forwarding through it to get to an interesting part but never found one.
Used to read James Herbert. This was such a disappointment. Very drawn out and actually boring. Won't try another in a hurry.
Interesting story with a couple of thrills along the way but spoilt by clumsy dialogue.
I usually enjoy James Herbert’s books and the characters he creates, but this smacked of a very tired and clichéd effort, as a result I gave up midway through the book as I really didn't care what happened next – a kiss of death for any book...
"Well Worth The Wait"
The Haunted by James Herbert was the first audiobook I listened to as part of the RNIB's Talking Book Service a few years ago, that was before audible of course and since then I've enjoyed many titles via downloads from here, when I saw that Ash was available last week I wasted no time at all in ordering and downloading it.
Well worth the wait, the anticipation of a follow up book with more from David Ash I am certainly not disappointed. The book is well written, in depth, highly descriptive, interesting main characters with brilliantly depicted supporting cast, quite thought provoking in terms of authority figures, the powerful, rich, famous and infamous, some truths thrown in to the mix so it truly is fun and interesting deciding which is which as the story unfolds, brilliant continuity between Ash and The Haunted although if you'd never read The Haunted it wouldn't really matter as Ash is a stand alone book in its own right not strictly a follow up, it is just nice that there are references to the character's past experiences in this one. James Herbert has done exceptionally well to keep me interested, every single day this week I've been excited to sit down and relax to listen to more and more, could hardly leave the book alone always wanting to listen to more.
Read by the brilliant Steven Pacey the characters, castle and surroundings are well and truly brought to life, its made to sound so real the whole experience was incredibly thrilling. Pacey and Herbert are a fantastic combination, after finishing Ash this morning its made me want more from this duo in the future, I certainly hope there is another story in the making for our psychic detective and psychologist characters, I think that would just be brilliant.
Only one small niggle about the plot, Kate does not feature much towards the end, I found that a bit disappointing and would definitely like to hear more from her character as well.
Thank you James and Steven, loved Ash and cant wait to read more.
"Its not bad"
James Herbert was the guy that got me into reading, i was hooked by him and read everything he did at that time, and I think thats the problem my reading has moved on but James books havent. Dont get me wrong the story has some depth to it and I found I cared about the main characters but it just didnt do it for me.
Brilliant couldn not stop listening love James Herbert books read other books and always enjoyed narrator brought characters to life
"A good yarn!"
I would rate Ash in my top 20 audiobooks so far.
I liked the supernatural aspect of the story but there were a few anomalies which I just ignored as it would have spoilt my enjoyment.
I really enjoyed the narration but Ash was my favourite character - he was the typically flawed character which was ok as he wasn't filled with too much angst.
I don't think I'd manage it in one sitting as its too long but I did listen to it during most of my waking moment.
"First and last"
This is the first James Herbert book I have read / listened too and it will be the last one too. I actually cringed in parts.
Do not recommend at all!!
"Goes out with a bang!"
Was really looking forward to this as I'm a huge James Herbert fan, and loved his previous books from this series, and now I'm gutted there will be no more as the great man has passed. This book was better than expected (and I expected excellence) I couldn't take my headphones out and was a little sad when the book was done. Great performance to go out on RIP Mr Herbert.
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