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Publisher's Summary

Though dead for two millennia, he remains perfectly preserved in black peat. The Man in the Moss is one of the most fascinating finds of the century. But, for the isolated Pennine community of Bridelow, his removal is a sinister sign. A danger to the ancient spiritual tradition maintained, curiously, by the Mothers' Union.

In the weeks approaching Samhain - the Celtic feast of the dead - tragedy strikes again in Bridelow. Scottish folk singer Moira Cairns and American film producer Mungo Macbeth discover their Celtic roots are deeper and darker than they imagined.

And, as fundamentalist zealots of both Christian and satanic persuasions challenge an older, gentler faith, the village faces a natural disaster unknown since the reign of Henry VIII.

©1991 Phil Rickman (P)2015 Isis Publishing Ltd

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Barbara
  • Ventura, CA, United States
  • 10-14-15

Another creepy wonderful Rickman story

I love Phil Rickman stories, they are viscerally unnerving, immersive and wonderful. He has quite a knack of keeping secrets that he exposes throughout the story, not just at the end where you would expect them. The narration is great, my only complaint being that I wish the speaker would pause a bit when scenes change, as I found it a little hard to follow. Definitely would recommend this book to any horror fan.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Russ
  • Berryville, VA, United States
  • 05-07-16

second read and it was even better

any Phil Rickman book read by Sean Barrett is truly a wonderful experience and this is a prime example. no one is better at evoking the mood and atmosphere of the Borderlands than Phil Rickman and no one is better than Sean Barrett at bringing the characters that Phil Rickman so skillfully develops to life. I only wish bill would send Marilyn Watkins on vacation for a while and write a few more of these gems

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
  • Diane
  • Louisville, KY, United States
  • 01-03-16

Celtic Mysterium

Originally published in 1994, this stand-alone novel is classic Phil Rickman. Set in a remote and ancient village on the England/Scotland border (a setting which is just as much a character in the story as any of the human actors), the story begins with the accidental discovery of the corpse of a 2000 year old man preserved in the peat bog surrounding the village--a man who apparently was killed in a ritual 3-part Celtic sacrifice. The discovery triggers a number of events and a confrontation between Christian and pagan traditions which have long peacefully co-existed in the town--and also the intrusion of a much darker influence.
As I have said in other reviews of Rickman, he is a master of interweaving the materialistic, the mystical and the mysteries of the human psyche--never straining our credulity past the breaking point. The book is a little long but honestly I can say that I was sorry to have it end--a great story with a wonderful narrator.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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

No Earthly Idea what is going on

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

Returning it because I had no idea what was happening, something about a brewery and a bogman. Plus, the narrator did not distinguish well between characters and it was told in an overly ponderous doomsday way.

Would you ever listen to anything by Phil Rickman again?

yes, I like him generally

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Seán Barrett?

the woman who reads his other books

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

utter confusion

Any additional comments?

should have bought the book

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Very superstitious

A strange novel that is long on atmosphere and short on action. That doesn’t mean I was bored by it, but I was mystified for longer than I think another novelist would have let me be. The story starts basically by throwing you in the middle of a situation that is really weird, fraught with tension and has backstory you’re not privy to. Slowly though, and with great deliberation, Rickman pulls the threads together and lets you make connections. It’s too long and drawn out to be anything like scary, but it is creepy. Mostly it’s a story about an old group of superstitious whackos trying to get along with an even older group of superstitious whackos only to have a tribe of even nuttier whackos show up and try to oust the oldest. Battle of the superstitions!

There’s a limited cast of characters, but there are a lot of them to keep track of. Each section of the book deals with one of them primarily, but as an audio there is nothing in words to denote a switch. In print there may be a break in the text or a line or graphic, but nothing that can be read and I think that added to the confusion. Also there are some editing issues with the audio; repeated sentences.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Well written

A bit hard to understand the readers accent at times, but a well written story.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Scullywag
  • 10-10-15

I never want to leave a Phil Rickman book

What did you like most about The Man in the Moss?

As ever, I enjoyed the slow drawing of the characters and slowly starting to feel like a by watcher, perhaps seated in the corner of the pub. From the first book I read by this author, I have admired his ability to transport the reader to a rural community and embed him/her into the heart of it. I also love how the characters I meet can pop up again. In Man in the Moss, it was good to catch up with one particular character from the first book I read by the author.

What other book might you compare The Man in the Moss to, and why?

Fans of Phil Rickman will know that there are some common themes in his books. This one has some of them but is a story in and of itself. Suffice to say that the supernatural and the natural are themes.

Which character – as performed by Seán Barrett – was your favourite?

All the characters were brought to life and fully formed by the outstanding narration of Sean Barrett. One chapter in and you forget that there is only one man reading this book. I was glad to catch up with Moira but I grew very fond of the Headmaster and Ma.

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

The book provokes thought about history, religion and of the forces seen and unseen in our world. One episode made me sad but I can't say without spoiling it. There is also a level of violence and horror in the book but it is not gratuitous. Overall though, I feel like I do at the end of many books by this author.....somewhat bereft that I can't pop back to the village and see how the characters are getting on.

Any additional comments?

I liked the exploration of early Celtic practices and beliefs and how they had interwoven with the church as we know it. Mostly, I liked how the Rev Hans had long ago decided all that really matters, is a level of spirituality exists, in and for the community. I wish he was my vicar! Phil Rickman has also written as Will Kingdom for those looking for more of his work.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • E. Maxwell
  • 04-28-16

Haunting and Very Atmospheric

What made the experience of listening to The Man in the Moss the most enjoyable?

Sean Barrett's narration was superb as always. I marvel at his accents for each character and how he brings them to life.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Moira was my all time favourite, closely followed by the Headmaster and Willie

Which character – as performed by Seán Barrett – was your favourite?

Without a doubt Moira with her authentic sounding Scottish accent, from the surrounding areas of Edinburgh if my Scottish ears don't deceive me

Any additional comments?

I am hooked into all Phil Rickman/Will Kingdom books, this one is no exception. If there was one down side...I did find it a little disjointed especially at the beginning. So much so I checked my iPod several times in the first half to make sure I hadn't 'shuffled' the tracks by mistake

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Steve Woolham
  • 02-18-16

Very enjoyable

First Phil Rickman for me. Storyline sometimes convoluted but overall great. Narration absolutely superb

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Freda
  • 11-22-15

Supernatural Brillance

Another brilliant story from Phil Rickman and as always a brillant performance by Sean Barrett who makes the atmosphere come to life. His narration of the various voices great. I prefer the supernatural Rickman books to his others and have read them all but it's nice to listen to them brought to life. Wish he would write more of these kind of books his others don't have the nail biting thrill. Certainly worth a credit.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • James
  • 11-04-15

Too Long and drawn out complicated story

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

No not really , This is the worst book I have listened to The only reason I finished it is because I enjoy Sean Barrett so much

Would you be willing to try another book from Phil Rickman? Why or why not?

No

Which scene did you most enjoy?

None in Particular

Was The Man in the Moss worth the listening time?

No it should have been edited to 2/3rd its lingth

Any additional comments?

I will be returning it

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Earthymama
  • 10-06-15

Atmospheric and chilling

Having read the book I knew the story obviously.
Sean Barrett reads so well and I found this very chilling.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • John
  • 10-13-16

You'll have had yer tea!

Other than the dubious Middle class Edinburgh Scots accent, a great performance from the narrator. Story dragged on a bit but ok. At least I got a credit's worth of value. Och aye the noooooo!

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-27-17

Disjointed

What would have made The Man in the Moss better?

Can't answer this, only got to chapter 5 , before giving up.

What could Phil Rickman have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

The book started really well, first few chapters started to build characters and plot, but then it got really disjointed, jumping from one place to another. I totally lost where the book was going. I think if the book had carried on as the first few chapters gradually building plot, characters, it would have been fine. I had to stop the audiobook and go backwards several times because I thought I'd started a different book. That's how disjointed I found it.

Which character – as performed by Seán Barrett – was your favourite?

As I only got to chapter 5 can't really answer this.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Man in the Moss?

Again, I can't answer this, as I didn't finish the book.

Any additional comments?

Reading all the other reviews I think I was reading a different book to everyone else. I have read all the Merrily books and can't wait for the next one to come out. The main difference between this book and how the Merrily books are constructed, the Merrily books slowly build the story line, adding any new characters. But the big difference is in the Merrily book the side stories do not interfere with the flow of main story.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Barrie
  • 12-05-15

Phil Rickman on the top of his form!!

Where does The Man in the Moss rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This has to be one of the best audiobooks that I have ever listened to - not only for the quality of the story but also for the wonderful narration of Sean Barrett.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Man in the Moss?

When the moss bursts toward the end of the story, you are left (heart in mouth), wondering what has happened to the main protagonists! - but luckily not for too long.

Which character – as performed by Seán Barrett – was your favourite?

The main character Moira Cairns. Typically, Rickman imbues his characters (even in the darkest moments) with a dry humour and Barrett helps this to come through by the use of his fine vocal skills - his character accents & his flawless narration.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

" Be careful about what kind of wood you go down to today!!!)

Any additional comments?

Phil Rickman is a wonderful author, he has the ability to make you feel that you "know" the characters, and no matter how much tension there is in any of his books, there is always that wonderful touch of humour.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Bonita N. Jones
  • 05-26-17

Another rip snorter by the brilliant Mr Rickman

Phil Rickman has done it again. Dragged me willingly into this scary addictive story and I had to forcibly pull myself out of it at the other end. More more more please.