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  • Burnt Offerings

  • Valancourt 20th Century Classics
  • By: Robert Marasco
  • Narrated by: R.C. Bray
  • Length: 7 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,801
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,685
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 1,683

Ben and Marian Rolfe are desperate to escape a stifling summer in their tiny Brooklyn apartment, so when they get the chance to rent a mansion in upstate New York for the entire summer for only $900, it's an offer that's too good to refuse. There's only one catch: behind a strange and intricately carved door in a distant wing of the house lives elderly Mrs. Allardyce, and the Rolfes will be responsible for preparing her meals. But Mrs. Allardyce never seems to emerge from her room, and it soon becomes clear that something weird and terrifying is happening in the house.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Haunted house story more creepy than horrific

  • By Calliope on 05-03-17

BURNT OFFERING offers up quiet, disturbing terror

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-17-17

Would you listen to Burnt Offerings again? Why?

A family agrees to be caregivers to a large estate for an agreed upon period of months--soon to discover, too late, that not only are their very lives in danger, but also their souls... Sound familiar? Yes, the classic and underrated BURNT OFFERINGS by Robert Marasco, his first novel, was a major influence on Stephen King when he wrote THE SHINING. And why not?

Who was your favorite character and why?

Marasco's a fine writer who immediately envelops you into a vivid, haunting world and through the eyes of the well-rounded characters of the Rolfe's--Ben, Marian, Davey, and Aunt Elizabeth. Through the course of the novel, the pleasant family slowly lose their minds as the house grows stronger. In the wrong hands, this haunted house premise could come off as camp, but in Marasco's capable hands, it's a masterpiece.

Have you listened to any of R.C. Bray’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

The audiobook production by Blue Heron with RC Bray reading is right on target. The performance is understated and mysterious, just like the novel itself.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

If you're up for a slow burn, psychological novel that has escalating terror on every page until it's horrifying and satisfying conclusion, BURNT OFFERINGS may be the offering you're looking for.

Any additional comments?

A terrific and fairly faithful film adaptation was released in 1976 with Dan Curtis (DARK SHADOWS) and William F. Nolan (LOGAN'S RUN) adapting, and Oliver Reed, Karen Black, and Bette Davis starring.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Stephen Fry Presents a Selection of Anton Chekhov's Short Stories

  • By: Anton Chekov
  • Narrated by: Stephen Fry
  • Length: 1 hr and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 236
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 201
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 200

"Chekhov is probably better known in Britain for his plays than for his prose. For many, however, it is his short stories that mark the high water of his genius. It might at first glance be hard for those not used to his style of narrative to see what the fuss is about - and fuss there is: for most authors and lovers of literature Chekhov is incomparably the greatest short story writer there ever was."

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Good intro to Chekhov

  • By Tad Davis on 03-15-11

Remarkable

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-10-11

With clarity of voice and precision of diction, Stephen Fry brings Anton Chekov's work to life in this 1:48-minute collection. A must own!

This selection includes the following seven stories: An Avenger / A Blunder / Boys / The Huntsman / The Lady With The Dog / Misery / Oysters

24 of 24 people found this review helpful