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Publisher's Summary

This four-century long story begins when beautiful and accomplished Rowan Mayfair pulls the drowned body of Michael Curry from the sea and brings him back to life. She is aware that she possesses special powers, but unaware that she comes from a great dynasty of witches. He, in his brief interlude with death, has acquired sensory abilities that mystify and frighten him. Fiercely drawn to each other, the two fall in love and set out to solve the mystery of her past and his unwelcome gift. Their quest takes the listener from today's San Francisco and New Orleans to 17th-century France to an ornate antebellum townhouse in the Civil War South.

Dark dramas of seduction and death are played out as this enticing story reaches its startling climax in New Orleans on Christmas Eve - the ultimate witching hour.

The Witching Hour is Volume 1 of The Mayfair Witches series.

©1990 by Anne O'Brien Rice (P)1989 by Random House, Inc.

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The Witching Hour

I give this work one star because there is no way you can do this book justice in 3 hours. It was my fault for not checking to see if it was abridged or unabridged before I purchased it. I feel like I've wasted my credits. I will NOT do that again. I'm not sure why Audible wastes time on abridged works anyway.

55 of 56 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Different kind of regret

I should have purchased the unabridged version but I could not find it on this site. Nevertheless I loved it. I just wish that I had heard the full context of the book. There was a different voice everytime a considerable amount of the book was summarized. I have since learned my lesson never to purchase anything unabridged. I am already depriving myself of physically reading it so I might as well get the entire version.

24 of 24 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

a waste

The book itself was great but this audio book download is a waste, I am so angry that I wasted my credit on this book, it leaves out more than half of the story and I feel I was ripped off, don't download it.

42 of 43 people found this review helpful

  • Overall


The Witching Hour is such a great book! I read it years ago and wanted to listen again. THIS AUDIO BOOK IS TERRIBLE. Music at beginning and in other parts is annoying and continues too long.
Partly, it is my fault, because I didn't notice that it was abridged prior to using a credit to buy it. should not even have abridged books, but if they do, it should be specifically pointed out prior to members wasting credits on CRAP.
This was such a huge waste - I didn't even bother to finish listening because so much of what I wanted to hear was entirely left out!
If this had been my first purchase, while on trial membership, rather than later, I would have just cancelled my membership entirely. Such a huge disappointment!!!

31 of 32 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Remember that it's abridged

Remember that the full book is very large with lots of detail in the backstory. In fact, most of that book comes in the form of Michael reading the Talamasca files on the Mayfair history.

This much shorter version for me was just a quick refresher before I read the second book in the series.

It was ok for this purpose.

Certainly, it shouldn't be used to evaluate what the author's larger works are like.

Switching between the two audio talents was more distracting than helpful.

14 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Always check for Abridged or Unabridged

The rating is more on this version offered than on the content of the book.
This version of The Witching Hour is my lesson in always checking whether an audio book is abrdiged or unabrdged. Normally this book is over 1000 pages but this audiobook only took 3 hours to listen to. The story itself was interesting from what I gathered but there was obviously so much more to it that I have now missed. Honestly, I wish that I had not gotten this book. I have read other Anne Rice books and liked them, so there is potential to this series that I have missed out on.

Lesson learned.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall


I wish i would of read the reviews before downloading..i have read this book more than 30 times it one of my all time dissapointed i was with the audio..half of the book is gone...I wish i did not waste my credit on this.....

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

wasted creit

First off, the book won't even play on my iPhone, and second of all its abridged. Horrible horrible.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall


seriously, the worst audio book EVER. its a GREAT book but this is ABRIDGED which makes it ridiculous between the two different narrators. The whole essence of the story is gone with cliff note type summaries & it leaves the book sounding like it ends abruptly & at a wrong spot. PLUS i dont know if its just our download of this or not, but the 1st 45mins of the only 3hr reading WONT play. Totally ripped off! This was our 1st book & I will tell you, if this is what to expect, why would anyone join this site???? BAD BAD BAD...HIGHLY disappointed & will spread the word.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

A book that was hard to turn off

This is the first book that I have read by Anne Rice and it kept me on mhy toes. The plot has alot of twists and turns in it to make you not want to stop it. It is the first out of three books and this one was so good I bought the other two to see what happenes in the story. I would diffently rank this book up there with books that are worth the money that you pay for them. The only thing that I had a small problem with was it was read mostly by a female voice and then out of the blue a male voice starts to read, I jumped the first time I heard the mans voice.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • tesskrose
  • 07-03-10

A Poor substitute

Having read the actual book, I found this to be a poor abidged version. Not only is the female author unable to pronouce some of the names (Deirdre, Graeme), there is also a male voice that occassionally interupts the narrative with a 'summary' - this is done to link different sections of the book and is not actually made up of content from the book - the result is a very false e.g. ('Rowan and Michael were immediately attracted to each other' or 'Rowan and Michael had sex all night'.

The gothic of the book is completely lost, instead you get something like a 'Mills and Boon' romance between Michael and Rowan that feels this way because neither's charachterisation is included. Lasher's history is barely developed - you are left completely unable to appreciate the power of the spector at all, and consequenly loose one of the main draws of the book.

I am aware that this is an abidged version, but it is too abidged. This is a large book, whose abidged version needed to be longer in order to build up any of the books themes.

Don't waste your money, I wish I hadn't. I brought this in order to have a summary prior to reading the next book in the stort, Lasher, having not read this first book for a year, but it even failed in that!

Poorly done.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Justin
  • 08-05-12

why would you abridge the witching hour???

Really wish I had read this review before buying. I just got excited by the prospect of having this amazing story read for me and bought without thinking. It wasn't till afterwards that I noticed it was only 3 hours long and thought, huh? Did I realise it was abridged! What a waste of money I will not be listening to it now. Next time I'll be more careful.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • K.
  • 04-11-13


I love this book, couldn't wait to have it read to me... it was heartbreakingly disappointing. The best part of the story is the history of the witches, which has been reduced to a brief summary - mon dieu!!! The listener is unable to appreciate the power and nature of the Mayfair Witches, and I'm afraid the reader doesn't do it justice. Really need an ''unabridged'' version for the entire trilogy - preferably read by Simon Vance (he did a wonderful job with the vampire chronicles).

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Miss
  • 09-25-12


I have to admit I didn't read the fact that this was abridged before I used one of my precious monthly credits on it. I only realised this when a males voice suddenly stepped in and glossed over massive and crucial parts of the book. I was gutted! I felt no attachment to any of the characters. My fault I guess for not reading the 'Abridged' bit before I bought. I have no idea why you would abridge a book in any case but why on earth you would abridge a story which is meant to be devoured and enjoyed over time I have no idea!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • bonnylad9
  • 12-23-12


First time I've listened to an audio book

I was really impressed with the accents and acting.

Very good

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Shelly
  • 10-22-15

only 4 hours

the story is wonderful, I've read it before. I purchased this not realising that it is only 4 hours of audio. I know.there is so much more to the story. I was disappointed. Perhaps it should be made more clear on purchase page.