For 400 years, the curfew bell has tolled nightly from the church tower of the small country town, Crybbe's only defence against the evil rising unbidden in its haunted streets. Radio reporter Fay Morrison came to Crybbe because she had no choice. Millionaire music tycoon Max Goff came because there was nothing left to conquer, except the power of the spirit. But he knew nothing of the town's legacy of dark magic - and nobody felt like telling him....
©1993 Phil Rickman (P)2013 Isis Publishing Ltd
The horror in this story was kind of subtle and I thought well done. Not overly gory (altho I can appreciate a nice gory book!), but more thoughtful, than outright scary. I thought the characters were pretty good, if a little shallow, but overall a good read
Best - story line
Least - I wanted to get to know some of the characters in more depth.
I thought that was the only way it could have ended.
The local accents used - not knowing whether they are truly on spot or not, it still added to my listening experience.
Avoid New Age Anything! :)
The narrator was excellent.
It developed slowly. Not too many stupid decisions on the characters' parts.
If you like slow moving, British horror stories you'll enjoy this.
Every respectable author involved in writing supernatural thrillers should have a `Haunted Village story' in their armoury and this is Phil Rickman's. The author's astute knowledge of the more macabre aspects of British folklore serves him well once again as he constructs an intricate plot labyrinth to place his characters.
The basic storyline involves the small town of Crybbe, built on a nexus of converging Ley lines whose ancient protections are at long last failing just as Max Goff, an eccentric record company zillionaire launches his plans to turn the town into a New Age Mecca. As the village is besieged with well meaning alternative healers and their paraphernalia of holistic magic - dark forces come into play in the guise of Black Michael as well as a plethora of dead souls wandering around and causing havoc to the local census records. It sounds like a super hero is required to restore order. Step forward - J.M Powys (Ley Line Man) - one of my all time favourite Rickman characters - who in time honoured fashion battles supreme evil and gets the girl (along with a three legged dog).
For those few mealy-mouthed critics who point out that Curfew lacks on originality could I in turn point out that there hasn't been an original horror story written since The Bible. Let's face it, any book that has demons, Satan, Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, dead men walking, plus numerous outbreaks of plagues and pestilence just has to be a horror story. The only difference here is that the `Book of Rickman' actually makes you feel fulfilled and happy as a little sunbeam at the end. So Amen to all that.
If I owned a cap I would certainly doff it to Phil Rickman for this book.
"Like a spooky version of the Archers"
It's a good long, deep, slow burning winters evening of a book. Phil Rickman, as ever, really gets across the feel of the gray and chilly border country. The narration is spot on, Sean Barrett was born to read Rickmans novels and he does the characters perfectly.
The story is satisfying and a bit spooky..It really is like Stephen king writing the Archers...Worth a credit, but not a Pool side read, save it for the winter.
"An Enthralling Listen"
I really enjoyed this book. I was a bit hesitant about the subject matter but I need not have been. It is a story that centres on the impact of the supernatural/spirit world on a down at heel and rather grim rural town. Anyone who has ever lived in a similar community will recognise and appreciate the wonderfully descriptive way that Phil Rickman has drawn it. They will also recognise his depiction of so many of the "local" characters who are again, very well drawn. The book manages to play out the supernatural story yet weaves it around the lives of the main characters and the town.
The book is narrated by the brilliant Sean Barrett. He is one of my favourite narrators and in Curfew, surpasses himself with his excellent portrayal of a range of characters.
The supernatural element gives food for thought but Rickman’s analysis of a community that has not embraced the 21st Century will keep me thinking about how people react emotionally and intellectually in such a situation. Curfew and its characters will stay with me for some time and I can’t think of a better thing to be able to say about a book.
"Curfew and Sean Barrett"
This was my first Phil Rickman Novel and this is my first ever review. This was a definite slow builder, gradually and tantalizingly sucking me into the wonderfully creepy world of Crybbe and its inhabitants. I only came across this book because I was looking for works narrated by Sean Barrett, (I think he would make my shopping list sound good!) But the lovely descriptive narrative pinned around superstitions you feel you almost already know, was enough to make me listen to other books by the same author, which were not even read by Sean Barrett!!!
"On the lines of James Herbert"
I really enjoyed this book but it did remind me of The Ghosts of Sleath by James Herbert. Even so it took nothing away from the story. It was well written and well narrated. I have not heard of Phil Rickman before but I shall be looking out for his work in the future.
I quite enjoyed this book, partly because of the lovely writing style and partly because of the wonderful narration. Perhaps my only criticism is that the resolution is very drawn out and could have been brought to perhaps a more interesting close a few chapters earlier. I found myself downloading my next book whilst willing this one to come to a close so that I could move on. However, fairly gripping for the most and a good listen.
interesting, addictive . great
too many to pick out
brilliant , could listen to this man all the time
it was very hard to turn off,
just loved it
"Felt the story was dragged out"
I have read or listened to all the Merrily stories so I enjoy Rickman's work but didnt really enjoy this one. Some of the characters seemed very stereotyped - the Tv/radio people and the record producer boss. Gomer Parry is such a great character and held the plot together as he does in some of the Merrily books. I felt the story was dragged out far too much and would have been better half the size, was a real struggle to stay with it and finish it.
I enjoy the narrator but wonder why he and other narrators say 'okay' in such an odd way? The only time I have ever heard anyone in life say Oh- keh like that is for effect - it is annoying I do wish they wouldn't do it.
I am becoming obsessed with Phil Rickman . This book was wonderful and brought to life by Sean Barrar The fabulously creepy atmosphere, the fabulous humour and his way of drawing charactersyou really care about is deeply satisfying.
I loved this book, so much so that for the last chapter I was listening to it on my ipod in bed at 1am so I knew the outcome before I went to sleep! I particularly liked the way the town & and area were well described; you could feel the oppression and the characters were well written and the dry humour of some of them made me laugh out loud a couple of times.
As other listeners have said Sean Barrett is a master story teller his different voices both male & female are very very good; I had a picture in my mind of the characters just by them alone. Will definately be looking to read more of Mr Rickmans books and to listen to the wonderful narration of Mr Barrett Marvelous!
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