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In this novella set in 1924 London, ex-boxer Harry Stubbs is on the trail of a mysterious legacy. A polar explorer has died, leaving huge debts and hints of a priceless find. His informants seem to be talking in riddles, and Harry soon finds he isn't the only one on the trail - and what he's looking for is as lethal as it is valuable. The key to the enigma lies in an ancient Arabian book and it leads to something stranger and more horrifying than Harry could ever imagine.
Harry may not be an educated man, but he has an open mind, the bulldog persistence and fists like pile drivers - useful assets when you're boxing the darkest of shadows.
The story of mystery and horror draws on H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos and is inspired by Ernest Shackleton's incredible real-life adventures.
Harry Stubbs, Great War vet and former boxer, works for a prestigious London law firm, collecting debts and doing some investigative work for them. While looking into collecting large debts from the estate of famed explorer Ernest Shackleton, Harry approaches Shackleton's brother, a low end antique shop owner, to see if he had any ideas about any hidden assets. Harry gets a cold reception, and is let in on the fact that Shackleton spent money like water, and was always in debt. He also mentions he is the last person Ernest would confide in, since he has a criminal background, and Ernest had grown distant from him. Harry realizes this is a dead end and goes into work to update his employers about his progress.
Later that night, after a night at the pub, harry is attacked by four Irish ruffians. Harry beats them using his skills, but realizes he might be onto something, since they let it slip this is about his latest case. This leads him onto a wild chase, as he tries to track down one lead after another. The speed of discoveries picks up, and Harry is drawn into a conspiracy older than history. The revelations about what Shackleton really discovered are mind boggling, and it brings into question humanity's place in global pecking order! The secrets of our deep past are revealed, and its certain not to be a good revelation.
All in all, this is a very well written book. Exciting fight scenes, a mystery older than written history and engaging characters really help. The characters are well drawn out, especially Harry. His past as a boxer and soldier are both brought into play effectively, as are his investigative skills and all around tenacity. The other characters are well drawn out as well, although Harry is definitely the star of the show. The setting is well described, and you get a real feel for what 1920's London society felt like. You can really get behind and root for Harry.
The narration is handled by Brian Gill in a memorable performance. He really nails the various British accents, and brings all various characters to life. His narrative style is smooth and steady, and he has great pacing. He can really suck the listener into the story. Top marks on this work.
Any reader that is into Brian Lumley's Titus Crow, Matthew Davenport's Andrew Doran or Ari Marmell's Mick Oberon books should take a look at this series. You won't be disappointed.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Would you listen to The Elder Ice: A Harry Stubbs Adventure again? Why?
Yes, i absolutely loved this book. It was a great mix of adventure, historical reference and horror.
Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?
the story had a great pace, interesting from start to finish. so many times Lovecraft themed adventure stories are either too b-moviesque or too dull. not this series, it is just right.
What about Brian J. Gill’s performance did you like?
every character had a very distinct voice. I believe he did Arthur best, i pictured Bob Hoskins playing the role, and the voice did not disappoint.
If you could rename The Elder Ice: A Harry Stubbs Adventure, what would you call it?
i wouldn't, that is insulting to the author.
Any additional comments?
this i a great series and a very welcome addition to the mythos.
Fast-paced, laugh out loud humerous, respectful but not imitative of the source material, The Elder Ice: A Harry Stubbs adventure is a treat both in print and on Audible. I will be searching for more books by Hambling and more narrations by Brian J. Gill.
Having already read the ebook of this I had some idea what to expect. I'm a big fan of Harry Stubbs and his world, and the alleys, pubs, and parlours of Edwardian London make a very cosy, intimate setting for an audio adaptation. The story is still great, and the narration does a good job of bringing out some of the subtleties in the writing. The reader's accent is, at times, a little uneven, and I found it took a few minutes to acclimatise to his rendition of Harry (though the accompanying / incidental characters are very nicely rendered.) However, once immersed in the story all such concerns pretty much drifted away. Overall, I cheerfully recommend this adaptation, either to newcomers or as an alternative to re-reading the book yourself, and I look forward to the sequel, Broken Meats, getting the same treatment.
What did you love best about The Elder Ice: A Harry Stubbs Adventure?
The story was well crafted. I was able to immediately get into it.
What did you like best about this story?
Great historical choices.
Which character – as performed by Brian J. Gill – was your favorite?
Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
Any additional comments?
Try it. It is fun to listen to.
The book was good and the narrator was great my only complaint would be that the book is short hopefully book two will grow.
What made the experience of listening to The Elder Ice: A Harry Stubbs Adventure the most enjoyable?
A well written tale with believable characters and evident research on the historicla and scientific topics touched upon in the story.
What did you like best about this story?
There were enough twists in this short tale to keep it interesting. The mythos was present, but not overused. key to a good mythos tale.
What three words best describe Brian J. Gill’s performance?
The accent of the reader jars with a native of the British Isles on the pronunciation of some words, and the Welsh and Irish accents erred on the side of comically stereotypicla, but was otherwise well done.
Any additional comments?
Disclaimer: I received a copy from the author in exchange for a fair review.
Excellent little supernatural tale with HP Lovecraft leaning and an unusual protagonist in the lumpen shape of Harry Stubbs, ex boxer, debt collector and now work for, what he thinks is respectable law firm, lucky for us this is not the case.
Hope to hear more of Harry's adventures soon.
This was my first foray into the world of the Lovecraft Genre and I really enjoyed it, the story was engaging and easy to follow. I would read listen to this author again.
The only mar on an otherwise excellent listen was the readers slightly dodgy English regional accents and his mispronunciations of basic words, almost as if he was from New England USA.
Excellent audio book!y