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
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"Slow but atmospheric, thoughtful horror."
Listening to this story I was getting bored at parts however, after a few hours I was hooked. Character development is brilliant. This is an old fashion ghost story. Slow build up and great atmosphere, the dread builds throughout until its explosive conclusion. If you are looking for death mayhem and action this is not a book for you. This is a thoughtful, spooky horror tale (eg "woman in black").
"Top notch spookiness!"
Starts in a dreary world of grinding poverty, disillusionment and disappointment for the main character, turns into a bit of a Boys' Own adventure and finally morphs into a (partly) psycological horror. Thrown in along the way are dashes of class tension, a suggestion of homo-eroticism and some genuinely chilling writing.
Thoroughly enjoyed this over a week of cold, dank, wintery dog walks. Highly recommended!
"A chilling yet tender story beautifully read"
This story covers issues such as class, solitude and, above all, an incredibly described sense of impending terror. This is not a story full of action and plot twists, but if you enjoy a beautifully read evocation of the chill and terror of having to confront malevolence alone and in the dark, then I cannot recommend this highly enough. Jeremy Northam has a wonderfully measured voice for putting across this dark tale. Don't listen to it in the dark!
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, Jeremy Northern the reader, brought the journal entries of Jack to life superbly. This is the best audio book I've had. The story is compelling, I enjoyed the setting and also fell for Issack!
Even though I was listening to the last part of the book while I made soup in a sunny kitchen, the air seemed to become heavier and the room darkened...
"Very dark indeed"
Very well written, I felt cold throughout the reading. I live in Sweden and the description of Norway's climate is indeed correct. The way the mind of the character is affected little by little is amazing, very well depicted. I never got scared, mostly very curious to know what was haunting the place in the end. A little bit predictable, just as any ghost story is I suppose. I recommend this one!
"Great ghost story"
Very well written and read, thoroughly enjoyed listening to this. Characters are brought to life and I couldn't wait to listen to the next installment of it. Maybe not one to listen to on a dark winters evening on your own - things do go bump in the night!
"A Dark and Gripping Story"
A little slow to start but necessary in order to establish the characters. It reminded me of a story that should be told around a campfire on a very dark, windy night. Be careful where you listen to this tale! Deliciously creepy!
"Dark Matter indeed"
Wow. I bought this title having been truly gripped by Michelle Paver's Chronicles of Ancient Darkness trilogy that my sons devoured. And I was not disappointed. Others have commented on the story line, which I found sneaked up on me so that, from about halfway through the book, I found it hard to unplug myself and get on with my work. The narrator is excellent, generating a fantastic sense of atmosphere, and reflecting perfectly the state of mind of the story teller, Jack. Recently I have listened to a number of audiobooks which have been ruined by the narration, but in this case the story was definitely enhanced by the skill of the narrator. I have passed this book onto my 15 year old son and await his verdict...
This book is a very enjoyable 'listen' with a great narrator whose delivery really enhanced Michelle Paver's strong descriptive powers. I quickly became absorbed in the atmospheric ghost story while out walking with my dog in the quiet, cold and dark early mornings - not quite arctic conditions but I did have to look over my shoulder a couple of times!
"The Best Kind of Horror"
This book's supernatural bent was so compelling and gripping because it seemed so grounded in reality. The writing and narrating made you feel that yes, this could happen and did happen. An otherworldly place like the Arctic is the perfect place for such a ghost story. At one point, I caught myself on the train, eyes wide, staring in terror at nothing as one of the creepier passages played out in my ears. One of the best audiobooks I've ever listened to.
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