"But the thing is," said Horley, "they didn’t know each other at all. Never heard of each other. It wasn’t about the makers. Only about the works."
On a dark winter's night in 1970, Horley and Grinstead huddle for warmth in the Senior Common Room of a college in Oxford. Conversation turns to the two impressive works of art that Horley has recently added to his collection. What the two men don't know is that these pieces are connected in mysterious and improbable ways; and they are about to be caught in the cross-fire of a story which has travelled time and worlds.
Philip Pullman is one of the most well-loved and admired British authors of the last few decades. He has written numerous novels for both adults and children, most notably the award-winning His Dark Materials trilogy. The Collectors, written exclusively for Audible, serves as a great introduction to this series, while revealing a little something extra to fans of Lyra and her world.
The Collectors is narrated by Bill Nighy, the Golden Globe and BAFTA award-winning actor whose work on stage, screen, and radio has included Love Actually, the Pirates of the Caribbean series and a multitude of TV, stage, and radio appearances.
©2014 Philip Pullman (P)2014 Audible, Ltd
"Pullman's brief story is a little marvel, and so is Nighy's reading. His narration is so natural, complete with signature Nighy stutters, and his voice so rich and resonant that listeners are immediately ensnared." (AudioFile)
An Oxford common room, a feeble fire: strangers meet over port, a tale is told, a transaction fixed, a dreadful act ensues. This is a classic 19th century horror story, told with Pullman's characteristic wit and grace. The bonus is the tangential glance at a character we grew to know well in The Golden Compass.
Bill Nighy's narration is superb, of course -- but perhaps more "actorly" than quite comprehensible. He falls into near-whispers occasionally: dramatically appropriate but hard to follow on a freeway, with a lot of ambient road noise.
A nice little appetiser to bring you back to the world of His Dark Materials. Not really the best sort of thing to introduce you to the other books, but certainly of interest to those who have read and loved them.
The low score in performance was due to the extremely bad mixing that causes the performer's voice to be nearly inaudible during a good few of the lines of one of the two main characters. I certainly hope it can be updated and fixed to better volume balance, as the performance is excellent otherwise.
This is a must especially since it's only a couple dollars. I wasn't lucky enough to get it free as some members were. However.... it was well worth it. The only con I can find is it's so short! I could've listened to this story for hours especially read by Bill Nighy! Seriously one of my all-time favorite narrated (& performed) audio books.
Eclectic reader but mostly read anything seafaring, Tolkien and American history, even Pride and Prejudice and romance stories.
I'd say it was in the top percentile, probably at the highest for now.
The ending is the payoff!
No, never have but I look forward to hearing more from him.
Made me laugh in parts but more stunned at the ending.
I need to listen to it again and 10 more times. well done. More of these would be fantasric before the BoD comes out.
Found it very interesting and liked the way that it related back to some of his other material. Was unhappy that it ended so soon. Would have liked to go further into the story.
There is a lot to love about The Collectors. The story is so well spun and so subtle with little bits of humor and irony.
I listened to this as a way to whittle away at the time before an appointment radio programme. I know Pullman's works, though I've not read them for a while (I must remedy that in the near future), and I lurve Bill Nighy.
When the pennies dropped into place it was a real 'oh!' moment, and I stopped knitting and started grinning (it's okay, no-one was watching...).
A thoroughly enjoyable read, and I'll be listening to it again and again.
Thank you Audible, this was an extremely pleasant treat!
"An unexpected Christmas present"
This story deserves multiple listens. The subject matter and the way in which the story is told is much more adult than the His Dark Materials continuity to which it belongs. Though only 30mins long, Pullman still takes care to richly describe a scene, distinguish characters and have a surprising and rewarding arch.
Bill Nighy's voice is very well chosen.
Out of all of His Dark Materials, in my mind, it is closest to Once Upon a Time in the North, an other short story that deals in conversation primarily over action and addresses ideas in a dry adult manner.
There are two scene and a denouement. I like it all.
'Art that cannot be kept apart'
Pullman introduces some new ideas of his multiple-worlds story; on first listen these stood out as alarm bells. Being a huge fan of Pullman's writing I am intrigued to know how these will fit in with the universes he has already created - but I trust him completely. Pullman does not write lightly. I look forward to The Book of Dust.
"Wonderfully dark story engagingly read"
I have listened to this story several time. Even when I know the end it still sends shivers down my spine.
Bill Nighy's languid voice that manages to be frightening and laid back at the same time
HIs timing is so good and takes you through at a leisurely pace. I'm sure I would have read a lot faster and not enjoyed it as much.
True partners will always find each other
Pullman is a master of the strange story and Nighy excels in reading this one
"Delicious and menacing"
YES. Bill Nighy's narration is not to be missed - it gives the story so much depth and dimension.
Despite not being corporeally present, Mrs Coulter and her golden monkey.
His tone of voice has the perfect creeping resonance to bring this surprisingly sinister little sliver of Phillip Pullman's writing to life.
Yes and I did!
A delightful sojourn in my day - thank you audible
"Don't read anything about this!"
I really enjoyed this, having come in completely cold and knowing nothing about the story or how it relates to Philip Pullman's previous work. If at all possible (though if you're reading this it's probably too late) I recommend doing the same. I listened because I'm a fan both of Pullman and of Nighy (who isn't?) and the reveals were all the more powerful because of it.
"Christmas freebie - thanks, Audible!"
It's a short story which does tie in with the His Dark Materials trilogy, but could also stand alone and be just as enjoyable for anyone who hasn't read the main series.
Any Pullman story is instantly improved by the inclusion of Mrs Coulter and her thoroughly evil monkey.
Yes, and I did, and I will be doing so again.
Wasn't Mrs Coulter's monkey golden in the original books?
Despite a gap of several years this "sampler" took me right back to the sheer joy i felt when reading the original Dark Materials Trilogy, need more now.
"Short, dark and sweet"
Excellent free Christmas present from Audible UK, totally enjoyed listening to it. As I listen whilst commuting, I also listen just before going to sleep and this story was ideally suited for that.
"A lovely gift, thanks Audible!"
This was a mini tale, and it was excellent. I like Philip Pullman's writing, and his 'other worldly tales. This didn't disappoint
What a lovely gift from Audible. A subtle and surprising short story, richly written and much more than the sum of its parts. A real treat to be left wanting more.
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