The Cypress House Audiobook | Michael Koryta | Audible.com
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The Cypress House | [Michael Koryta]

The Cypress House

Arlen Wagner has an awful gift: he can see death in the eyes of men before it strikes. He's never wrong. So when Arlen awakens on a train one hot Florida night and sees death's telltale sign in the eyes of his fellow passengers, he tries to warn them. Only 19-year-old Paul Brickhill believes him, and the two abandon the train, hoping to escape certain death. They continue south, but soon are stranded at The Cypress House - an isolated Gulf Coast boarding house run by the beautiful Rebecca Cady - directly in the path of an approaching hurricane.
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Publisher's Summary

Arlen Wagner has an awful gift: he can see death in the eyes of men before it strikes. He's never wrong.

So when Arlen awakens on a train one hot Florida night and sees death's telltale sign in the eyes of his fellow passengers, he tries to warn them. Only 19-year-old Paul Brickhill believes him, and the two abandon the train, hoping to escape certain death. They continue south, but soon are stranded at The Cypress House - an isolated Gulf Coast boarding house run by the beautiful Rebecca Cady - directly in the path of an approaching hurricane.

It doesn't take Arlen and Paul long to realize that the storm isn't the only approaching danger - a much deadlier force controls the county and everyone living in it. But Paul refuses to abandon Rebecca to face the threat alone, and Arlen's eerie gift warns him that they'll never leave.

From its chilling beginning to its terrifying end, The Cypress House is a story of relentless suspense from (as Michael Connelly says) "one of the best of the best".

©2011 Michael Koryta (P)2011 Hachette Audio

What Members Say

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3.8 (442 )
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  •  
    Michele Santa Clarita, CA, United States 01-28-11
    Michele Santa Clarita, CA, United States 01-28-11 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great book read by a great narrator!"

    I generally stay away from supernatural books; not my thing. However, this one piqued my interest and I decided to give it a try. It's a great book!!!! Fantastic story development, it moves at a good clip and the narrator is amazing. I'll definitely look for more books narrated by Robert Petkoff; he managed to make the characters distinct without any of them sounding like caricatures. I absolutely loved this book!!

    29 of 29 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jim CYPRESS, TX, United States 02-19-11
    Jim CYPRESS, TX, United States 02-19-11 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
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    3
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    4
    Overall
    "Suspenseful and enjoyable"

    Just finished this one and enjoyed it very much. The characters were rich and believable and had complex motivations that kept me interested. The paranormal elements added some flavor to a good story and but did not overpower it.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Deborah west plains, MO, United States 01-28-11
    Deborah west plains, MO, United States 01-28-11 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    51
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    34
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    5
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    "Loved it!!"

    Very nice book, I loved the charaters. It was written very well with bring past experiences into present and yet not leaving me confused. I would love to read another involving these charaters!!

    16 of 18 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lisa Federal Way, WA, United States 02-07-11
    Lisa Federal Way, WA, United States 02-07-11 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    20
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    "impressive"

    I usually don't enjoy the sound of most male narrators and have passed on many a good book due to the way most male narrations grate on my ears.(To be fair, plenty of female narrators are just as irritating) This book, however, sucked me in from the very first word. This book is a symphony of indepth, rawly human, complex characters who are differentiated beautifully by Robert Petkoff. I thourougly, thuroughly enjoyed every word in this book. The "other-wordly" aspects of the story were earily believeable while the human condition was layed out for all to see and feel and experience right along with the characters. Thanks MIchael Koryta! This was my first Michael Koryta book but I k it

    10 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul Krasner 07-22-11 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Agonizing to finish"

    Usually the reviews of other listeners are correct about a book; some are positive, some are negative. This book received almost unanimous approval. I hated it. I mean I really hated it. It was agonizing to finish it. It was trite, the characters were hackneyed, it was repetitious and the background music, UGH! The author telegraphed every single plot twist. There wasn't a single surprise. Not one. In fact, the only reason I kept listening was to see if Koryta could come up with a single original character or plot scene. He couldn't. The author couldn't decide if he wanted to be Stephen King or Nora Roberts. The paranormal stuff made absolutely no sense. The protagonist could see who would die by the look in the person's eyes. But sometimes he couldn't and then sometimes he could but then they wouldn't die and he could speak with the dead and sometimes they would help him and sometimes they wouldn't. Sometimes the dead would be really good people and sometimes they would remain their nasty human selves. I mean, come on, stupid is as stupid does. My advice, don't be lured by the book description. This book really, really stinks. If you want a good romance thriller, read a Harlequin novel. At least, with them you get what you expect. I listen to hundred books a year. This one was #99.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    D. Sullivan Southampton, MA 02-21-11
    D. Sullivan Southampton, MA 02-21-11 Member Since 2009

    I'm That Guy

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    "Enjoyed the suspense"

    A very enjoyable listen. Had some good twists and plenty of suspense. Went through it faster than I usually go through books because it kept my interest and kept me wanting to know how the next situation turned out. A little corny in places, like when the narrator kept whispering the word "dead", but all in all a good story with an excellent narrator.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tiffanie Parker, CO, United States 03-19-11
    Tiffanie Parker, CO, United States 03-19-11 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
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    "Hmmm"

    I honestly don't know how I feel about this book... I am always intrigued by this genre. I enjoy supernatural/fantasy/suspense books. This is certainly that. I don't know if I would say it is dark...maybe heavy??? I don't know.... If you are looking for a quick, light read, this is not for you. However, although this isn't one I would read again, I am glad that I read it. It kept me interested.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard Dallas, TX, United States 02-01-11
    Richard Dallas, TX, United States 02-01-11 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Well, It was a good premise!"

    I did like the underlying premise of seeing/talking with the dead as it was unusual for this genre but would have been interesting in a science fiction story as well as a mystery. The mysterious boarding house at a remote Gulf Coast seaside in the mid 30's was also quite nice and added to the drama. What I found frustrating, and at times quite so, was the seemingly out of character response/reactions of the lead character. I recall shutting down the Ipod while listening to the story on my trip only to have to turn it back on again because I hadn't loaded another book. My mistake! I don't know if the responses might have "sounded" more realistic had a different tone been used by the narrater but even if that were true it would not have made up for some of the reactions scripted by the author for the main character. Overall, in my mind the book had a much better than average premise and location but a main character who did not seem to react in character much of the time.

    6 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bruce E. Hawkins DFW, TX 02-12-11
    Bruce E. Hawkins DFW, TX 02-12-11 Member Since 2002

    solaris7

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Well written, suspenseful"

    This is one of my favorite audible books to date. The narrator did a nice job with the plot and characters. Kept my interest though out and kept me guessing.Highly recommended.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jane Chicago, IL, United States 03-05-13
    Jane Chicago, IL, United States 03-05-13 Member Since 2010
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    "2 ½ stars. Bad subject matter for me."

    Artificial secret keeping, stupidity, too much helpless victim feel.

    This was not entertaining or fun. I was not surprised or delighted. I liked the beginning, but the longer I read the more annoyed and frustrated I felt. The biggest problem was subject matter. The second problem was people keeping secrets for no good reason.

    SECRETS:
    Secrets were used to create mystery and conflict. They did not make sense. Some were stupid. Several times I wanted to shake a character and say “tell them.”

    Arlen loves Paul like a son and does things to help and protect Paul. At the end of the book, Paul has been given a gift from an anonymous source. Arlen is the source but does not tell Paul he did it. Why keep that secret? It was the end of the book and I was ready for some happy feelings, but instead I get another secret. I was annoyed.

    Many of the secrets were Rebecca not telling Arlen what was going on. Arlen also kept secrets from Paul. I liked Envy the Night by this author. In that book characters didn’t tell all they knew, but it fit their motivations.

    SUBJECT MATTER - METAPHOR STYLE:
    Two guys are looking for work and accidentally walk into a nest of poisonous snakes. Instead of running away like sane people, they stay because of a pretty girl. The leader of the snakes tells the girl he will kill her brother if she doesn’t do what he wants. The brother is tied up. She thinks as soon as he gets untied they can leave. But when he is no longer tied, he wants to stay. She doesn’t tell him the snakes are poisonous. And she continues to NOT tell him. Most of the story is about snakes threatening good guys.

    In contrast, in Envy the Night by Koryta, thugs come to town and have no idea that two very skilled and talented good guys will cause problems for them. That was fun because the good guys had some control. That is also what’s going on with the fabulously successful Jack Reacher series (by Lee Child). Thugs have no idea what they’re up against when they meet Reacher. In Cypress, the good guys have no power and suffer.

    I feel helpless when I think about corruption in the world around me. I read fiction to feel good. I want to see someone with control. Books like this pull me down rather than up.

    ACTUAL STORY BRIEF:
    Arlen was a soldier in WWI who is now traveling with Paul looking for work during the depression. They pass through a town where the judge and sheriff are part of a drug organization. When Arlen and Paul arrive, the judge and sheriff put them in jail, beat them, and take all their money. When they get out of jail, instead of leaving they hang around.

    A secondary story is Arlen’s psychic gift. He sees smoke in the eyes of people who will die. His father had a psychic gift of talking to people after they died.

    OPINION ABOUT THE PSYCHIC TALENTS:
    The story was good in the beginning about Arlen’s gift. And the ending climax scene had some of this which was very good. But the main story would have been better if it focused more on this gift - having more psychic things happening during the middle of the book.

    Another annoyance: Arlen kept insisting that his father was insane which was not true. And Arlen did not believe his father had a psychic ability. Because Arlen had his own psychic gift, it did not make sense that he disbelieved his father’s.

    MY FAVORITE PART:
    Paul was fun to watch and think about. He was a 19-year-old engineering genius. He was in control when it came to machines and structures.

    NARRATOR:
    The narrator Robert Petkoff was pretty good. But I have mixed feelings about his southern drawl for Arlen.

    Genre: paranormal mystery suspense

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
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