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Publisher's Summary

The tale of a man who unwittingly angers a sorcerer, who is assumed by some Monty scholars to be based on the self-styled 'Great Beast,' occultist Aleister Crowley.

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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall

Stylishly written short story

Occult elements and mysterious actions make this story interesting while being creative. I enjoyed this look back into the past.

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An interesting story worth reading

An interesting story. Cat and mouse game mixed with a bit of a mystery . Well written and very entertaining.

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Suchet Warm Bath

Amazing narration by the great David Suchet. Like a warm bath. Looking forward to more!

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Supernatural fun

Short, not graphic, mildly creepy, great narrator. For fans of English Goths or Victorian atmosphere. Fun! Made cleaning kitchen cabinets entertaining, and you can't beat that!

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Suchet does M.R. James so well

I think i have five different versions of M.R. James stories, each with a different read. I love Derek Jacobi. But David Suchet really nailed this and the other James stories on Audible. I heard things in the stories i had not heard before.

This story was the basis of the excellent B horror flick from the 1950s, Curse of the Demon (Night of the Demon) with Dana Andrews. Really suspenseful film with decent effects for the time. Love the short story more. Has an academic air. I guess James was an Oxford (?) don. Comes thru. But he is a master of psychological horror. Can see how he might have influenced Lovecraft.

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  • Kaggy
  • 12-07-14

An encounter with evil

Yet another brilliant tale from M R James and told with perfection by David Suchet. This is about an encounter with an evil man hell bent on revenge. It is also fascinating to hear that the character is based on one of M R James's contemporaries. This must have ruffled a few feathers in its day!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Pamela Matthews
  • 01-14-18

Strange never thought I was thick

Not my cup of tea and I struggled with it. I didn't always understand it

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  • JillB
  • 12-25-17

Excellent narration of a ghostly tale

M.R. James' ghost stories are wonderfully atmospheric and creepy and David Suchet's narration brings them wonderfully (horribly!) to life. The characters are well defined with different voices / tones and when put together with D.S.'s lovely voice made the whole listening experience great. I will be listening to this again but I will also be hunting out more books/ stories narrated by David Suchet as his voice is lovely and his narration very skilful and engaging; even without seeing his expression, the feelings of the characters came through brilliantly. Loved it.

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  • Su L
  • 11-03-17

Intrigue and Mystery!

A good bedtime story for me. I can see exactly the references to the early Pagan movement which was sadly tainted by one individual. This tale tells of the dangers of ego and greed, and the power of the mind.
I did not feel that David Suchet was at his best in this narration, but that may well be because of the length of the tale- just under an hour.
I enjoyed it but felt that it needed more atmosphere - created by descriptive writing which was absent in this story.

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  • Nike
  • 09-07-17

A bit short

I missed it. But good writer so I will buy others by him. Thank you

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  • Mary Yelland
  • 07-01-17

too silky

I love David Suchet, but for this one I am really wanting a bit more of the sinister undertones. This is after all story of the supernatural, and I was expecting to feel a little but of bit of a thrill. Suchet delivers with class and poise but it's far too relaxed for the spooky matter at hand.
Coded allusion to The Great Beast drew me to this tale, but alas I found the narrative cinstructiion a bit '3rd person' and bitty . Compared to MRJ's other classic works (which I love) I just wasn't feeling this. Perhaps I'll go and seek out a BBC version (must be one out there) for better results.

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  • derecett67
  • 01-01-17

Excellent Supernatural Tale

Having seen the movie, "Night of te Demon" several times, I decided that I should read or listen to the original story. The tale is really good in both versions and in the audio book, wonderfully read by David Suchet. Great all round product which I recommend whole heartedly.

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  • sha
  • 10-29-16

Winter afternoons by the fireside listening

Nothing better than a mug of hot chocolate, dark afternoons and evenings sitting in front of cosy fire listening to a chilling tale. This is a particular favourite online.

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  • AReader
  • 01-04-15

Classic spooky story, great reading.

The BBC used to do one of these stories every Christmas and though I was able to get them on DVD, they were rather dated productions. The stories themselves seem less dated and this particular reading is just right. David Suchet is somehow classic without being dated or mannered. Sit your family down and play them this one dark winter night.

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  • Paul D
  • 01-17-14

Classic spook tale

If you could sum up Casting the Runes in three words, what would they be?

Classic ghost story

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

Ok, no great suprises or "ah" moments. A natural ending to a very typical 19th C (18th?) ghost story.

What does David Suchet bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

A very good reading in appropriate classic style

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

No

Any additional comments?

Interesting and different listen. Made a pleasant change to listen to a short. Nice appetizer but dont think i could manage a whole meal.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful