The story tells the tale of an introverted academic who happens upon a strange whistle while exploring a cemetery on the East Anglian coast. When blown, the whistle unleashes a supernatural force that terrorises its discoverer.
Montague Rhodes James was a noted British mediaeval scholar and provost of King's College, Cambridge (1905–1918) and of Eton College (1918–1936). He is best remembered for his ghost stories which are widely regarded as among the finest in English literature.
One of James' most important achievements was to redefine the ghost story for the new century by dispensing with many of the formal Gothic trappings of his predecessors, and replacing them with more realistic contemporary settings.
"Montague Rhodes James has an intelligent and scientific knowledge of human nerves and feelings; and knows just how to apportion statement, imagery, and subtle suggestions in order to secure the best results with his readers." HP Lovecraft.
Actor David Suchet is best known for his definitive portrayal of Hercule Poirot, the Belgian detective created by the legendary mystery author Agatha Christie, in a number of international television productions. He narrates his story in Poirot and Me.
©1904 M. R. James (P)2013 Audible Ltd
Absolutely. I enjoyed the story and the narration was excellent.
This was my first of his books.
This was my first time listening to him.
Really fun, highly recommended.
The best part of this book by far was the narration by David Suchet. His voice is very expressive and he uses it to full effect, able to give each character their own nuances. In fact Mr. Suchet's performance is the only reason I rated this book 3 stars and if I had just been reading it myself it would have only gotten 1 star.
I disliked most of the story and found the main character to be a one dimensional, boring scholar. The story was lacklustre to me and did not engage me at all. If this hadn't been a short story at only 50 minutes I most likely would not have continued listening to the story.
The premise of the short story was interesting but it fell very flat and I don't know what the author could have done to make it more interesting for me.
I don't think it needs a follow up book, and even if one was written I would not read it.
I will be looking for more novels read by Mr. Suchet in the future as I found his performance excellent.
I don't think anyone can complain about a free audio book of any sorts. And David Suchet does a good job of narration. Free stories seem to be short stories, and therefore not enough meat to get your teeth into. Listen and delete,,, and in time forget
Absolutely. I'll listen many times, I think:)
David Suchet creates marvelous characterizations and is particularly good at distinguishing character voices from his own.
He has a wonderful cadence and tone for this type of story, for me at least.
The production quality is wonderful: clean, crisp and clear.
The whole experience was delightful and I look forward to having many more of Suchet's readings!
I enjoyed it, but I liked Margaret Oliphant's The Open Door and The Portrait so much better, and I also greatly prefer Casting the Runes by M R James. This story does have a seductive feeling of intimacy--you really immerse yourself in the experience of bed, going to bed, haunting images dominating you as you drop off and then in your dreams, and above all how you interact with the sheets. Also you experience the little Inn and its guests and maids and its routines on a daily basis. M R James is always strong on atmosphere. There is a nice subtext about dogmatism and how it gets crushed by real experience: the main character's dogmatic rejection of the supernatural and the Colonel's loathing of the Catholic Church. M R James ridicules both and then shows them completely inadequate to events.
I would compare it to other ghost stories of the uneasy, disturbing but not terrifying or sensationalistic genre: others by M R James and also Margaret Oliphant.
I got a kick out of the Colonel who is such an egotistical bigoted buffoon but who rises to the occasion with courage and good sense when the chips are down. If we consider the old and mysterious whistle as a character (it does have agency and it shapes events), it would be a favorite.
I already love and appreciate Victorian ghost stories. I highly recommend Audible.com's The Good Lady Ducayne by Mary Elizabeth Braddon.
It is very well read by David Suchet, and Audible has generously made it available for free. I enjoyed it.
Excellent, classic ghost story. Fantastic narration by David Suchet, I could listen to him all day. A lot shorter than I expected, but a good quality, creepy story that sticks in the mind. And free!
"Academic Finds Strange Whistle in Coastal Cemetary"
Yes. This is a short story of the highest quality.
M.R. James is a former provost of King’s College, Cambridge and scholar of medieval history. Those who are familiar with his writing know what to expect as his ghost stories are so well written and effective. I am such a fan. This 45 minute story is perfect for this time of year.
Set in the author's familiar territory of Cambridge and East Anglia, the story tells the tale of an introverted academic who happens upon a strange whistle while exploring a cemetery on the coast. The whistle, when blown, releases a supernatural force that terrorises its discoverer rather like the worst form of ‘stalker’.
Scary, but in a good way.
I’ll say it again that some actors make for wonderful narrators and David Suchet’s narration is excellent. He gives the story the ‘spine tingling’ edge it deserves. Enjoy.
"Creepy Short Story"
This is a classic Christmas ghost story. I downloaded an audio copy, which had been specially created by Audible and read by David Suchet (actor of Hercule Perot etc.). I loved it!
Professor Parkins is a young man, who goes on a golfing holiday and finds a strange whistle that when blown, unleashes a horrifying event. As this was a short story, I couldn't get a good enough impression of his character. However, I did like him.
This is a short story, but it was well told and the suspense and mystery was chillingly built. Written in the traditional ghost story manner, the story swept me away and kept me entertained for just under an hour. Narrated by David Suchet, the story was given a creepy feel by his interpretation. I loved the way how he gave the different characters their own voice, and how he paced the tale. Neither too fast nor too slow, the story built until the climax at the end of the book. I was a little disappointed by how it ended, but it did make me feel a little scared! The only thing I have a quibble about was the origin of the whistle and why it called the specter.
Nevertheless, the story was extremely entertaining and I would definitely consider reading/listening to more of the works by this author.
M. R. James may have published this is 1904, but the contemporary feel of the story made it feel as if it had been written this year. His attention to detail brought the characters to life and his writing style flowed wonderfully.
There is no violence or horrific gore, so I recommend this book to younger readers who are looking for a small scare, and to adults who love classic ghost or horror stories. - Lynn Worton
"A nice way to spend an hour"
The problem with short stories... you just wish they were longer. This was a nice diversion for a dreary commute into London.
The story was compelling but David Suchet's voice almost lulled me to sleep so comforting was it.
MR James was apparantly the King of the Chillers. I'll be sure to try other stories.
Another thrilling ghost story from M R James told with exactly the right level of spookiness and humour by David Suchet. These stories set the gold standard by which all other supernatural tales should be judged.
This one never leaves my phone! My all time favourite MR James story. David Suchet is simply fascinating to listen to, he thoroughly acts the story rather than just reads it. This really is the place to start if you've not experienced an MR James ghostly tale before.
"A match made in heaven."
I love M. R. James' ghost stories, and I couldn't think of a better reader than David Suchet. A treat.
"Well worth a few pence!"
Deliciously creepy with superb narration from David Suchet. If you've enjoyed The Woman in Black, treat yourself to this spooky little tale and then check out The Waiting Room by FG Cottam.
Suchet has the perfect voice for conjuring up the fear and atmosphere that the author wishes to convey . You may not want to visit the seaside again.
"Intense short story"
A spooky tale that maintained my interest, if a little slow to start with. The twist at the end was not fully unexpected.
Report Inappropriate Content