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Publisher's Summary

Hovern Bog. People live in terror of it - especially the residents of Fenchurch St. Jude, the little village located at its edge. They think of it as a living being. They've seen it reach out with sinewy tentacles... to take, entangle, and digest.

When 2,000-year-old bodies are recovered from the bog, perfectly preserved, it is the discovery of a lifetime for archaeologist David Macauley. But close examination of the corpses reveals a curious fact: all were cruelly, mysteriously murdered, gnawed to death by some unimaginable creature. Soon it becomes apparent that whatever tortured and killed the bodies from ancient times still roams the bog, and no one in Fenchurch St. Jude - especially David and his family - is safe.

In The Bog (1986), Michael Talbot (1953-1992), author of the vampire classic The Delicate Dependency and the chilling haunted house novel Night Things, delivers an exciting mix of science and the supernatural that will keep listeners guessing until the horrific climax.

"One of the better horror novels.... odd and risky mingling of pure science with fairy lore and gnashed bodies.... terrific." - Kirkus Reviews

"Exciting!" - Publishers Weekly

"Convincingly original!" - Ocala Star-Banner

©1986, 2017 Michael Talbot (P)2017 Valancourt Books, LLC

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
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Magic and Monsters

A pretty good tale about a Leviathan sort of monster that roams a bog where an archaeologist found a well-preserved body from Roman times. It has some creative plot twists, but is, for my taste, a little saccharine in its character development and family relationships. Entertaining, and well presented.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Intriguing!

Such a unique story! I could totally picture it in my head. Not predictable like some horror stories can be. I highly recommend!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Compelling first half, excellent narration

From what I see on Amazon, this story was originally published in the mid-1980s. Thinking back to horror films and novels that I passed the time with during the late 70s and 80s, listening to this story brought me right back to that time.

I give the story 3.75 stars because, like some other reviewers, the plot veered into directions that I thought were... unusual. Reading the book description, I knew that the theme would be supernatural/paranormal. I really, really enjoyed the build-up during the first half of the story. I'm a faculty member at a post-secondary education institution, and the dialogue and personal interactions (e.g., between David and his grad student) seemed authentic to me. I liked how the various tensions became apparent and I liked the gothic mystery of the local aristocrat and his companion, the missing dog, the close-minded locals, the strange housekeeper, and a bog that can swallow a person who takes a misstep.

I think that where things bogged down (argh) a bit for me was because there were perhaps too many different supernatural elements in the plot line, which strained my suspension of disbelief. I don't want to go into spoiler territory, so I won't list all of the supernatural plot/character elements... but there are definitely a few of them!

One of the main reasons why I'm happy to give this story 3.75 stars is because I have a soft spot in my heart for campy horror (such as the Hammer films) and for some reason this story reminded me of the 1992 'Turn of the Screw' film (with Patsy Kensit) or 1976's 'Omen' in terms of atmosphere and visuals. The Bog turned a bit surreal in the second half, but that's okay because the menacing atmosphere in the first half of the story had me hooked. I'm not a professional film or book critic; I enjoyed the story because of how it fit within my personal warm memories of horror in the 70s and early/mid 80s, so it scores nostalgia-points for me.

The other reason why I reduced the rating a bit was because of a few minor details that seemed to jar me out of my emotionally tense groove. With this genre, I relish the thought of being immersed emotionally as the story progresses and I'm willing to suspend disbelief. However, it's often the banal little details that knock me out of my stupor and say to myself, "Meh. This is fake." For this story, the details that knocked me out of that stupor were related to David's eyesight while in the bog at night. There were a few times where it seemed like he had super-human vision (e.g., being able to see a creature's nictitating eye membrane blink...from a distance... behind the bushes... in a bog... at night). He also was really good at finding a piece of jewelry that had been flung out a window at night. Little details like that are like a hypnotist snapping his fingers and waking the subject up. Weird, but true.

As for the narration, I thought it was absolutely great. Matt Godfrey was an excellent choice for this story. The only reason why I took a star off for narration was because I thought that his voice for the grad student was a wee bit too diffident for my taste. I'd most definitely listen to a Matt Godfrey-narrated horror story again in the future.

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Great listen!

Been forever since a book kept my attention. Actually looked frwd to listening 😊
Worth a credit👍🏻

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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The Bog

The Bog is the kind of story that I would recommend to anyone that enjoys a good deal of histrofiction (patent pending ;o). I loved the archeological science, the historical bits, the way history was altered, the fantastical, and emotional parts of the book. I could easily imagine myself in this area being creeped out by the locals. It is tricky playing with such powerful characters, but Michael Talbot did a great job of balancing the respective aspects of light and dark so that even thought the story is wondrous, it didn't feel forced. I really enjoyed the way the story played out and almost all of the ending. And, as always, I thought Matt Godfrey killed it with his narration. Good job, guys.

This book was given to me for free at my request for my voluntary and unbiased review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Opening gambit, needlessly sacrifice family pet

I stopped listening when in the 3rd chapter the faithful family dog was needlessly sacrificed.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Unfocused

This book skipped between so many genres that the depth of the story suffered. I felt as if it had more than one story line and never completing some of them. It was hard to finish this story. I wasn’t really “ pulled” into the story. It’s hard to listen to a book that doesn’t really have an identity.

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  • James
  • Powderly, KY, United States
  • 01-25-18

Excellent story

Very good story, good blend of supernatural, fantasy, and scary. The story got a tad too fantastical at the end, but was really good. Great narration too!

“I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.”

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  • love2read
  • Baltimore, MD United States
  • 01-24-18

A decent read, somewhat predictable.

The worst thing was the narrators voice for Melanie. The accent was very badly done.

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Loved the weirdness

This was definitely a slow build. It didn’t really hook me till halfway through. Still the story is well written. Loved the characters. And the general weirdness is definitely my thing. The narrator was fantastic, he really brings the story to life.

This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review.