Winner of the 2014 AUDIE award for Best Original Work
In early 20th Century England Hamilton James Macaulay relates the tale of how he found himself in a Scarborough Bric-a-brac shop. The owner of the shop has 13 long playing records that each contain a hidden track at the end, that tell strange tales of future times. These 13 tales of terror will change Hamilton James Macaulay's life forever and he will leave the shop a murderer.
Thirteen is a portmantaeu audio anthology, harking back to the classic horror albums of the 1970s.
Written by Scott Harrison, George Mann, Mark Morris, Kaaron Warren, Martin Day, Gary McMahon, Cavan Scott, Dan Abnett, Alasdair Stuart, Kim Newman, Mark Wright, Simon Clark and Johnny Mains.
Stories read by Barnaby Edwards, Greg Wise, Jilly Bond, Trevor White, Arthur Darvill, Stephen Rashbrook, Michael Maloney, John Banks, Frances Barber, Lalla Ward, Samuel West, Gemma Arterton, Jeff Harding and Steven Cree.
©2013 Spokenworld Audio/Ladbroke Audio Ltd (P)2013 Spokenworld Audio/Ladbroke Audio Ltd
"A great collection of supernatural tales - those who like their spines chilled will be very pleased. 9/10" (Starburst Magazine)
"A deliciously dark collation. 8/10" (SciFiBulletin)
"The structure of the framing narrative calls to mind an audio version of the portmanteau films of Amicus studios. If you're a fan of classic, spine tingling horror then that should be reason enough to listen to Thirteen." (GeekPlanetOnline)
"Nicely assembled...not a bad story or bad vocal performance amongst them. 3.5/5" (SFX Magazine)
A collection of 13 flash stories with an intriguing frame narrative. Flash fiction is an interesting medium, and this collection shows the broad range, from the O Henry to the Conte Cruel to the Shaggy Dog. It really started landing its punches with me about the halfway mark.
The three I liked best:
HALF LIFE by Dan Abnett is the first one that really hit me. It’s an interesting take on haunting and how we continue to inhabit homes long after we've left them. It also includes a fascinating device of the Victorian mourning ring.
TABULA RASA by Alasdair Stuart felt like the B Reel story of an episode of Doctor Who in all the right ways.
ONE HIT WONDER by Kim Newman does a great job of exploring the haunting of both ghosts and failures. Is the damage caused by almost succeeding worse than that of always being a failure? Nice and impactful.
An enjoyable nostalgic idea, to hark back to the story albums. As with any short story collection, there is a chance that some will be good, and others not so good. This is the case here. The readings are on the whole strong.
just one more book lover
I loved the concept of this book. That is why I picked it up. Thirteen tales of horror linked by the frame story of a man who goes into a bric-a-brac shop. There he encounters the mysterious proprietor with his collection of thirteen 78 records, each containing a hidden track.
The book plays out as the store owner plays each of the oldies but chillys.
Overall, I found the stories satisying. Some stories hit me more than oathers. That is always the case with an anthology. There is a tale of a dead mother who sends letters from beyond the grave. Another has a jealous boyfriend tracking a rival to a salon, but the stray hairs in his girlfriend's sheets can't be solved with a trim on the top. Schoolboys are stranded in an underground maze. Then there is the mystery of the records. Where did they come from? What are these hidden tracks?
The production was excellent with some great Gramaphone SFX and incidental music. The readers were top-notch, with some Doctor Who alumni doing readings.
A really unique read. Concept very cool. Wish I could find another like this.
"A great collection of short horror stories"
I'm always hungry for collections of good short stories, especially horror, and often disappointed by what gets released. Thirteen, though, has everything I look for in a collection - good stories and great narration, with excellent sound effects and music as a very welcome (and effective) bonus.
The stories themselves are pretty diverse in terms of content, and while some are inevitably stronger than others, none of them are less than enjoyable to listen to, delivering genuine scares and a lingering atmosphere of building tension throughout. The collection even includes a modern-day retelling of the much-loved "the monkey's paw" and, though personally this is my least favourite tale, I have to admire the effort to bring the classic to a new audience.
The narration is excellent, as diverse as the stories themselves, and none of the actors involved deliver anything less than a brilliant performance. So many audio books suffer from poor narration, which, for me, can sometimes ruin a decent story entirely - I'm delighted to say that Thirteen doesn't fall in to this group.
Overall - it's definitely worthy of a place in any horror fan's collection, and I only wish it was called 14 or 25 or 62. Really hoping for a Thirteen volume 2 in the near future.
"Sending shivers down your spine"
Thirteen is one of the first audiobooks from Spokenworld Audio I've ever listened to. And I should say - that's a great start! Fab collection of spine tingling tales becomes even creepier thanks to the structure of the framing narrative that captures your attention right from the beginning. 5/5
Hamilton James Macaulay (the narrator of the frame story) has become my absolute favourite character not just because he's keeping you in suspense till the end of the story (you know from the beginning that he's going to become a murderer but don't know the reason yet), but also and mostly because of the brilliant performance by Barnaby Edwards. The owner of the shop is performed by him as well - in such a different way that you almost forget it's also Barnaby Edwards speaking.
Every tale in this collection is well performed and has its peculiar uncanny mood. Thirteen is definitely a must-listen for all classic horror lovers.
"Great for Halloween"
I loved the atmospheric music throughout the stories. It gave me chills in places.
All the narrator's were excellent.
I found the story with the child in the nursery and the story with the mp3 player particularly spooky.
I enjoyed most of the stories, but there are 13 so some of them I didn't enjoy as much.
"dreadful rubbish. Don't waste your time"
I quite enjoy a good horror story. The only horror involved was my gradual realisation that these authors were getting paid for such moronic tosh.
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