Regular price: $24.95

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free.
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price.
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love.
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel.
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month.
OR
In Cart

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 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    88
  • 4 Stars
    58
  • 3 Stars
    32
  • 2 Stars
    21
  • 1 Stars
    5

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    111
  • 4 Stars
    35
  • 3 Stars
    25
  • 2 Stars
    13
  • 1 Stars
    4

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    80
  • 4 Stars
    47
  • 3 Stars
    34
  • 2 Stars
    17
  • 1 Stars
    9
Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

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.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

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

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

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

Unexpected Horror

'The Bog' is a story I can't quite get out of my mind, though I've listened to several since. A mix of science, magic and monsters, this story is truly unique. Every time I thought I knew where it was going, it took a hard turn in another direction - an occurrence that is both rare and satisfying for me. Though it was somewhat of a slow burn, I found the characters and the mystery aspect to be incredibly juicy and I was dying to discover the 'secret' throughout. I will say that the first half was better than the second half but I would still recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a monster mystery. Matt Godfrey delivers a stellar performance and Talbot puts together a tight, interesting, and fun horror story!

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

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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

The Bog holds secrets

I really enjoyed the start of the book and thought it was headed to a great buildup of a creature feature style book. Didn't really go that route, more magic and wizardry than I prefer but was still a good story. Wouldn't call it horror at all but I assume for the time that this came out it was probably fairly scary. The start was more thriller and suspense with a
I have to say David started out in my mind as a jackass. Didn't like the type of father he was, dog owner, or husband really. Was actually pleased with the writing such that it could make me hate the main character. Although as the story progressed I sympathized with him more and began to root for him as opposed to just the rest of his family.
Matt Godfrey does a great job narrating. His voices are great for the characters and I'm sure my desire to keep listening to one more chapter is mainly owed to him.

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

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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

Couldn't finish it

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

4 hours left and I'm still bored

What do you think your next listen will be?

I'll find another monster book to satiate the need for a good scary book

What didn’t you like about Matt Godfrey’s performance?

Meh. Not good enough to improve the story

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

the bog bodies were very cool. Not enough time on those

Any additional comments?

Main character isn't likable.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Interesting, a bit uneven

The book was repackaged in 2017, but originally published in 1986. This explained the specific writing style and why a few elements felt dated. The author also used ly words – exhausted-ly, caressing-ly, etc. – to the point of distraction. That said, it is a well written and researched book. The story goes in crazy, wild directions. Most of these twists I saw coming, a few I did not. The hero is not flawless, which I liked. A flaw that was most unfortunate is the pacing. In the beginning, and middle it’s like a modern Gothic horror story, which is good, and is paced according-ly. But, as the climax builds, the pace does not quicken. I did finish the book, wanting to know how it would end, so it is written compelling-ly. But the story reveals did leave me feeling that this was a fun, but uneven experience.

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

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

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

Intriguing!

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

3 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

very unique and original story. loved every twist

very unique and original story. loved every twist and turn. I recommend it to all.