January 1937. Jack Miller has just about run out of options. His shoes have worn through, he can't afford to heat his rented room in Tooting, and he longs to use his training as a specialist wireless operator instead of working in his dead-end job. When he is given the chance to join an arctic expedition, as communications expert, by a group of elite Oxbridge graduates, he brushes off his apprehensions and convinces himself to join them.
As the young men set sail from a gloomy Britain on the verge of war, Jack feels the overwhelming excitement of not knowing what lies ahead. Little can he imagine the horrors that await him in their destination, Gruhuken, a place that cannot escape the savage echo of its past.
©2010 Michelle Paver (P)2010 Orion Publishing Group Limited
I'm open to any book as long as it is true to itself.
As I live in the North myself, I can tell you that Paver captures the feeling of the cold and isolation extremely well. A simple premise, but Paver explores relationships between friends and man and dog effectively. Class issues permeate through the relationships between the men and the main character comes to new understandings through his experiences and is a changed man by the end of the book. A unique book which I would highly recommend. The narration was excellent.
I felt a lot more tense while listening to this than I expected to. Its pretty short so I was able to listen to it on one long evening drive which made it much more immersive. Definitely a well executed chilling ghost story.
Tell us about yourself!
I am just one third of the way through this novel and I am already going to pieces, as it is making me very giddy.. Paver is skillfully weaving a most suspense ridden story while Northam's realistic reading, makes me not want to listen to it after night falls. That is quite significant to me, as I live on sunny St. Thomas, the complete opposite of Spitsbergen. Will update later.....
...but I loved this one! The description of the book sounded right up my alley, but was out of print. I saw it was on Audible and purchased it, and the vocal performance was just incredible. A really heartfelt, atmospheric exploration of humanness, with an intriguing protagonist and some truly chilling (no pun intended) moments.
I generally need to see text to focus on a story, but this translated very well to audio and I was riveted.
Yes I would listen again. After listening to this book, I can imagine what total darkness, cold, and lack of human contact can do to the human mind...especially with something haunting your every move.
The time frame was one of my favorites. The fact that this was an expedition is also one of my favorite settings for horror.
Jack. Probably because he was there for all of the expedition, where all other characters were there only part of the time. Jack endured all the little island could throw at him until the end. He also became a dog lover in the end as well.
Inside the mind of a man, alone, literally at the end of the earth, with only darkness and a dog as constant companions. Or, is there something else out there?
I liked this book, a lot. It's descriptions of the terrible loneliness in the dark is amazing. I think this is a ghost story comparable with the Shining, which I think it's another amazing book. Highly recommended.
A suspenseful, gripping story that immediately submerses the reader in an alien world replete with hidden dangers. The narration is one of the best I have ever listened to. Don't miss it!
I found both narrative and performance completely compelling and listened to the whole thing in one session because it's the audio equivalent of impossible to put down. I hope there will be many more stories like this from Michelle Paver. This one has edged Sarah Waters' 'Little Stranger' into second place in my top ten of modern ghost stories, and I didn't think that was possible.
"Well crafted novel"
Dark matter is a well crafted and subtle novel which is hard to put down. Compelling story presented in the first person in the form of journal entries, which is a journey through a full range of emotions from anticipation, excitement, jealousy, fear obsession and paranoia. The story builds nicely. Well researched and thoroughly enjoyable!
"Chills They're Multiplying, It's Electrifying!"
Now this is a real little gem that Audible have pulled from their vaults. A short but perfectly formed ghost story of absolutely classic style. It isn’t an example of a genre-busting book, it’s strength is not in any kind of originality. Rather it’s simply pure, high quality story telling. The slow building of tension, dread and paranoia is done at what seemed to me perfect pacing. The sheer chill and bleakness of the Arctic is conveyed with petrifying effect without undue melodrama.
The sheer cold is reflected in the perfect narration by Jeremy Northam. I swear that I almost felt an icy draught at my back at times. To be fair there isn’t a huge cast for him to deal with and stretch his vocal talents but everyone from the misfit lead character to the captain of a Norwegian seal ship came across perfectly and his empathy with the narrative and descriptive text was fantastic.
All too often with books of this nature, having built up the plot and the tension the endings leave much to be desired. Not here, Paver delivers a very satisfying and convincingly human end to her story. If you like classic ghost stories then go for this one but wrap up warm before you start!
I hesitate to disagree with other reviewers but I found this book a disappointment.
The plot is just too far-fetched and very contrived, and the way the author tries to rack up the tension just didn't work for me. It's been done far better by other authors eg Richard Matheson and the great Edgar Allen Poe.
Jermey Northam is a very talented narrator and he does his best - indeed it was the only thing that kept me going to the end - but a good narrator cant make up for a mediocre book. Sorry.
"a truly chilling ghost story"
its one of my favourite ghost stories and one I recommend to people who like the genre
its just a well told story of isolation and terror.
not listened to any others I can think of.but does a good job on this one.
I am using the word too much but...CHILLING
it ranks with the best ghost stories from modern writer's
"A chilling, beautifully written ghost story"
I absolutely adored this book! I adored the story and the narrative. The reading of the book suited it perfectly. That was 'Jack's voice reading to me. I loved the way the tension and general demeanour of the main character was reflected in the reading. I couldn't wait to finish work every day and listen to it. This was horrible and beautiful and a fantastic ghost story.
Atmospheric, chilling and brilliantly performed. Not one to read alone in the dark. First class.
"Chilling story in the Arctic!"
It was a chilling tale. Left alone in an Arctic outpost the main character conjures up his own nightmares - or are they real? It's being set in 1937 means his isolation is complete.
The narration without a doubt added to the atmosphere of the tale.
The book made me want to keep reading and gave a real frisson of fear.
Couldn't stop listening, finished it in one day! Narrator has the perfect voice and rhythm. The story is wonderfully dark and ominous, chilling and subtle. All told from the point of view of Jack, you get a true sense of who he is and what he's going through. Would recommend to anyone wanting an unsettling listen!
"Wonderful ghost story."
One of the best audio books I have listened to so far, with excellent narration. Nice length to listen to in one or two sittings, and held my interest right until the end.
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