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Publisher's Summary

Audie Award Finalist, Original Work, 2016

Based on the best-selling, award-winning graphic novel series Locke & Key - written by acclaimed suspense novelist Joe Hill (NOS4A2, Horns) and illustrated by Gabriel Rodriguez - this multicast, fully dramatized audio production brings the images and words to life.

A brutal and tragic event drives the Locke family from their home in California to the relative safety of their ancestral estate in Lovecraft, Massachusetts, an old house with powerful keys and fantastic doors that transform all who dare to walk through them. As siblings Tyler, Kinsey, and Bode Locke discover the secrets of the old house, they also find that it's home to a hate-filled and relentless creature that will not rest until it forces open the most terrible door of them all....

Featuring performances by Haley Joel Osment (Entourage, The Sixth Sense), Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black), Kate Mulgrew (Orange Is the New Black, Star Trek: Voyager), Joe Hill, Gabriel Rodriguez, and Stephen King (The Stand, 11-22-63), as well as a cast of more than 50 voice actors, this audio production preserves the heart-stopping impact of the graphic novel's astounding artwork through the use of richly imagined sound design and a powerful original score.

*Locke & Key contains explicit language and adult situations.

©2014 Joe Hill (P)2015 Audible, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"The concepts in this production, based on a graphic novel, are perfectly executed by a full cast.... Kate Mulgrew leads the way with her perfect portrayal of an ancient grandmother with an evil streak." ( AudioFile)

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    2,852
  • 4 Stars
    1,400
  • 3 Stars
    879
  • 2 Stars
    520
  • 1 Stars
    621

Performance

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    3,275
  • 4 Stars
    1,096
  • 3 Stars
    628
  • 2 Stars
    346
  • 1 Stars
    519

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    2,806
  • 4 Stars
    1,252
  • 3 Stars
    817
  • 2 Stars
    407
  • 1 Stars
    569
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

I am a Huge Joe Hill Fan

So, Please Hear Me Out
I believe I have bought and read every Joe Hill book on the market. I love the guy. It will take more books, before I know if I like him better then his dad, but he has a good start.

FREE
Right now this is free and it might not stay that way, so by all means get it.

The Graphic Version is Better.
This is a full cast with music and sound effects and that is all good. Stephen King even does a walk on. For me doing this book this way, made it sound more young adult then it is meant to be. Yes, graphic novels are not for old guys like me, but they audio version comes off as a little silly and over done. At times during the screaming (which is blood curdling) it is easy to get lost on who is doing what. Since it is not done in a novel version, there is a lot that seems missing. A novelization of this would probably work out great. Gabriel Rodriguez does the art work and it is art. The art adds a lot or is the whole story. After listening, see if you can find the book, you will see what I mean. Having the graphic novel also gives you the ability to take your time and admire the art and the story. I just feel the graphic novel is more fulfilling.

94 of 107 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

I hated this production

The story may be good. I cannot listen to enough of this to know how it turns out. This is the most juvenile sounding recording I have ever endured. The music adds nothing to it and the folks saying this is an old time radio production, which made me want to listen, must have never actually heard one. I listened for an hour and gave up.

Mind you, I like Joe Hill's writing, but this production reminds me of a high school project that pulled a D.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

terrible!

I purchased this for a long plane ride. Very disappointed! Disjointed and confusing story, bad acting, and not entertaining overall.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

I want my time back.

Struggled to finish. Boring. This is like listening to a movie rather than a book.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Insufferable acting and an overall mess

I don't know why I bought this, but even if it was free, it's not worth the time invested in listening to it.

The first problem is that the voice acting is all muddled and over the top at the same time. The director mistakes chaos for tension - a scene with heightened tension is played instead with lots of shout-acting, people talking over one another, and still with exaggerated emotions.

Scenes are also not fully described. A lot is meant to be picked up from the dialogue, but that's usually too sparse. This is obviously a radio play rather than a performance of a book. I suspect the source material is a comic book and we're getting an exact reading of the dialogue with very little added narration to help set the scenes.

All of this might be sufferable if the story were interesting, but it's trite and unsurprising, gratuitously violent, and full of flat, uninteresting characters. Plus? The main town where it all takes place is called "Lovecraft, MA." Nothing about this feels original.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Couldn't stand it

This was so bad I couldn't get past chapter 2. Not my cup of tea. I would have enjoyed it more if it had just been narrated. I would not recommend this at all

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Cynthia
  • Monrovia, California, United States
  • 11-10-15

"Searchers after horror haunt strange, far places"

I'm not a comic book/manga reader. It's probably an age thing. I don't remember any good comic books at the corner drug store that I could walk to in the small Midwestern city I grew up in. Archie, Jughead and Richie Rich just didn't do it for me. The last "comic book" I bought was Stephen King's "Creepshow" (1982), with its fantastic artwork by Bernie Wrightson - and yes, it was published before George Romero's mediocre movie of the same name was released.

With writer Joe Hill and artist Gabriel Ramirez "Locke & Key" (2008 - 2013, limited series comic books, IDW publisher; 2015, Audible Studios performance), Audible actually created a new genre: Audible Comics. At least, I think that's what they are planning to call it. Right now, it's 'uncategorized' in the book index. Whatever genre it is, it works quite well as a listen.

According to the Wikipedia entry for "Locke & Key", the director of the Audible performance is voice actor William Dufris. Wikipedia can be hit-or-miss, but the "Locke & Key" entry spawned footnotes like bunnies, and it looks credible - although I can't find a second source to confirm the director. Whoever did direct the performance did an astounding job. There are a bunch of really talented actors (about 45, plus the three top billed stars); great sound effects; and specially commissioned music.

It took me a while to get through "Locke & Key" because it demands careful attention. Miss a few important lines, and you'll miss a plot twist. It should be listened to at night, when the imagination can run wild and scared, and without the distraction of smart phones and television. Have a cup of hot herbal tea, or a glass of red wine to go with the listen. It is, after all, Lovecraft, Massachusetts, where the line between worlds is just a hidden door deep within a drowning cave; locked with key after key forged from metaphysical metal; and guarded by the echoes of loved ones, daemons from ghastly other worlds, and teenagers who ease into the supernatural like easing into driving. They'll tell you it's an awesome and frightening responsibility, but you get used to it.

"Locke & Key" is really a new form of storytelling. It relies heavily on the imagination, which makes the experience different for every listener. The production quality - the actors, the music and the effects - is so high (and probably so expensive) it will be hard for future performances of other works to meet the standards this performance sets. Enjoy the scare - it's well worth the time to listen.

The title of the review is a quote from "The Picture in the House" (1920, 1921) by H.P. Lovecraft (1890-1937).

[If this review helped, please press YES. Thanks!]

63 of 90 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Rick
  • Seattle
  • 10-06-15

OMG - This production surpasses all expectations!

What made the experience of listening to FREE: Locke & Key the most enjoyable?

Aside from the amazing story, which I was already familiar with, being a fan of the graphic novel series, the production values for the audio are akin to a blockbuster film... but without the visuals. The acting is superb, a stellar cast; sound design is rich and full, with exceptional music score; and the recording sounds like each scene was actually placed in the physical space in which it occurred... rather than a studio.

I've only finished Books 1-3 in a couple of sittings. Books 4-6 await!

Who was your favorite character and why?

All the characters, as performed by this cast, are mesmerizing. But for me, my favorites are the mom, Nina, and the 'Echo' in the well (played by the ever so talented Tatiana Mislay!).

Nina has so much depth and realism to her character, and the trials she goes through are so uncomfortably real. I hear "Every Mom" whenever she appears.

Tatiana Mislay plays the thing in the well with the most enticingly sultry voice, but that allure is tempered with a chilling danger. We're talking' the Sirens luring young ones to their doom!

Oh yeah, and Stephen King (!!!) plays a little role. He's hilarious!

What about the narrators’s performance did you like?

They're not really "narrators", but actors playing characters. They were all fully invested in their roles... not a false note among them (so far - I have the other half to get through!). It's truly like listening to a movie with a blindfold.

Any additional comments?

I listened to The Starling Project, and I loved it.

Locke & Key is heads and shoulders above that excellent production! Kudos to Audible for producing this audio feast for the ears and imagination (and to Joe Hill, as well)!

42 of 62 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Mary
  • san diego, ca United States
  • 09-28-17

Painful

Painful to listen to. I keep waiting for it to get better but it's just not happening.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Don't like this book.

I have not gotten past chapter 3. I prefer one talented performer doing all the voices and the props & sound effects are time consuming & distracting. The storyline is boring too.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • MsRanPan
  • 12-05-15

Absolutely incredible

I was unsure how this would work (being a graphic novel) and haven't listened to a book with so many voice actors for years but it worked amazing well. Occasionally, clearly, extra dialogue had been added as this would not usually be needed in the original format but it was never forced. Really interesting story and loveable characters, it worked really well as an audio book. Good pace and a little different. The reason it lost a star was there is a character who has Downs Syndrome and is both impacted by his condition as expected but is also very insightful to it (in a negative way) and a little extra sensory which I dislike in books, I like to see such people normalised as everyone else is and I didn't like this combination. That said it was really good to see such a character included as there is a real lack of 'different' characters existing in books I just would have liked him to just be.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Rsh
  • 11-01-15

Like Listening to a High Budget Film

I enjoyed listening to this audiobook but there was little in way of actual storytelling, more of characters speaking with high drama and lots of special effects. The result was dramatic and engrossing. I'm not sure I would always go for this type of audiobook, as it lacks the intimacy of a one narrator tell. But it certainly gave me an idea of what can be done with sound.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Stephen MacNulty
  • 10-10-15

Amazing!

A great twisted tale. Enjoyed this brilliant story from story from start to finish. Highly recommended to anyone who likes graphic comic audio books.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Paul
  • 10-09-15

what a FANTASTIC book !

why can't we have more fully dramatised books like that? I work on site most of the time...this book brought me to tears at the end...not a good look on site :)

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • markyb
  • 10-14-15

Good stuff

Very well put together . great story line and would recommend to anyone . will be listening to more of Joe hills books .

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • nnn63
  • 10-14-15

OH MY GOSH! Amazing! Just BRILLIANT! I LOVE IT!

What made the experience of listening to FREE: Locke & Key the most enjoyable?

The full cast. The audio book lifted audio experience to a new level.

What was one of the most memorable moments of FREE: Locke & Key?

Can't say...a few great memorable moments playing in my head.

Have you listened to any of the narrators’s other performances? How does this one compare?

Audio drama performed by full cast, only thing I will say is that I'm going to listen to it AGAIN!

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

Emotional rollercoaster indeed! I really feel for the Mother as much as the other main characters.

Any additional comments?

A great fantasy horror thrill for me.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Nigel
  • 10-14-15

An emotional rollercoaster.

Locke and Key is bought to life by a superb cast and there's also ambient noise to really put you as a fly on the wall as your mind constructs the image.

I thoroughly enjoyed the listen, it was a turbulent rollercoaster of emotions all the way through. Picture this, I'm a 6'4, 33 year old, gym loving male, I'm also foreman where I work and after 10 clock tea break, most of my delegation and other duties are pretty much done. So its around this time I pop my head phones on and work preying I won't get disturbed ( fat chance).

Now, three times this audio comic has had me fighting back tears. Its not exactly the look you wanna go for when you've 9 men to look after.

Our hero, Tyler, is a level headed young man for an 18 year old, looking after his mum and siblings in the abscense of his father, as past events spiral their life out of control in the magical Locke household that belongs to their Uncle Duncan.

The story twists and turns and comes to a conclusion you find yourself asking how you never saw it coming.

10/10. Now to treat my lovely lady to a new graphic novel I know she is gonna love.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Karole
  • 10-13-15

Excellent, amazing and original!!

Loved the plot with twists and turns and incredibly absorbing. There are some books which have captivated me and meant I would read and read and read as desperate to reach the end of it. This is the first audio book that is equally compelling! Loved the cast and dramatic presentation. The only negative found was that sometimes I struggled to understand who was who mainly because it packs so much in and jumps a little plot wise. STILL AMAZING!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Matthew
  • 10-06-15

A Masterpiece

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I will recommend this to friends as it takes audio fiction to a new level. Narrated audio books are great, but dramatised stories offer so much more, and this one was executed brilliantly. From the writing and acting, through to the music, soundscape, and production - everything is first class.

What was one of the most memorable moments of FREE: Locke & Key?

The acting in some of the intense scenes is brilliant, the cast worked extremely well together and did a fantastic job.

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

As Joe Hill himself said, you can't get scared reading a comic. I think he said that anyway...

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

The tension building and suspense has been done very well, it's an emotional rollercoaster for sure.

Any additional comments?

Amazing job all round, and can't believe this is being given away for free. I'd have paid about £25 for it.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Rory
  • 10-14-15

Wow!

This was my first experience of a graphic novel of this type/genre and also the first time I'd tried an audio book that wasn't read by one person. I struggled at first and wondered if this was for me but after around 45 mins I was hooked. superb story, interesting characters and the score/actors really brought it to life. Thoroughly enjoyed it and am now hunting for something similar. ....would definitely recommend it :-)

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Chean
  • 01-07-16

Horror, Family, Humour, Mystery in equal measures

I expected a narrative reading but was pleasantly surprised by the high quality drama performance extravaganza.

More enjoyable after reading the graphic novel first. Well done production with well thought out sound cues for going through doors... Excellent vocal performances - got me really involved in the drama.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Servelan
  • 12-22-15

Enthralling!

The music and sound effects were great. The voice actors were fantastic. This story brought me to tears.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Samantha McDermott
  • 11-23-15

riveting

great story, great characters, kept me involved till the end. couldn't stop at the end of each chapter

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • tony
  • 11-19-15

blody awsome

great story thrilling good plots loved every minute of it thank you for this audable

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Erik
  • 11-11-15

Brilliant audio drama

great story presented in an amazing fully created sound scape with a full character cast

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Adam Hodgkiss
  • 11-05-15

Enjoyable

Great story - great voice performances. There were a couple of occasions things became unclear without the aid of the visual medium (originally this was a graphic novel). Enjoyable though - worth your time.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • sally
  • 10-26-15

caaol story

it was a little hard to hear sometimes and to understand what some of the noises were

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • nigel
  • 05-02-18

great attempt

I loved the concept of what was done here, there aren't too many full production audio books around and full credit to the producers, writers and actors.
however it did get a bit confusing at times with some of the sound effects.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Tilly Hopper
  • 07-10-17

Food for the Soul

Deeply moved and decidedly impressed! Beautification combination of old school Radio Play and Audible reading.
Storytelling comes of age with this superb rendition of a Modern Fairytale.
The contradiction inherent to the concept of an Audible version of a Graphic Novel is part of what makes this tale SO compelling.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • shae
  • 03-11-16

Like listening to a TV show in the next room<br />

to be fair I didn't get very far into this... I gave up trying to figure out what was happening as for the 1st 5-10 minutes there was no narration.. just talking and sounds like how do I know what is happening or who is talking..?

1 of 3 people found this review helpful