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Publisher's Summary

Unexplained events are happening at Oxford these days. Several students have been attacked at night by some strange form of wild animal. It can scale walls with cat-like agility. Its arms are as thin and as strong as steel bands. And there is one student who conducts midnight studies in his room with certain Egyptian artifacts. The most significant of which is a 6'7" tall mummy.

Public Domain (P)2009 B.J. Harrison

What listeners say about Lot No. 249

Average Customer Ratings
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

What Sir Arthur Actually Wanted You to Read

Imagine having a sensationally successful literary creation—a figure that even today remains the most famous of all fictional detectives—and yet wanting to be rid of the fellow. It’s like trying to imagine P. G. Wodehouse bumping off Jeeves. But when, as you probably already know, Conan Doyle threw Holmes and Moriarty into the Reichenbach Falls a despondent reading public demanded that Holmes return. And so he did.

Not having dipped to any extent into Conan Doyle’s other works—the stuff he was probably referring to when he said that Holmes, “takes my mind from better things”—I was curious to hear what those better things were like. Not wanting to jump feet first into a larger time commitment (say, The White Company, a historical novel that clocks in at some 15 hours) I was glad to find “Lot No. 249” at 1 hour 18 minutes (and $0.73).

It’s a nice little spine-tingler. Old hat now, of course; reanimated mummies are the stuff of a thousand B-movies. But I always get a kick out of seeing how a genre began (listening to the full cycle of the Holmes/Watson stories, Stoker's Dracula or Shelly's Frankenstein gave the same pleasure). I was curious to see how Conan Doyle would play this particular hand. I was prepared to be indulgent, to sit back and enjoy. And I did. Thoroughly.

I’ve read other reviews calling J. B. Harrison’s performances “adequate”; I’d rate this one a few rungs higher. He’s no Patrick Tull or Simon Vance, but he gives each character in the all-male cast a distinctive voice that accords with the personality Conan Doyle assigns him. And he puts the tale across with vim. And vim is what it requires.

The usual Holmesian-Victorian atmosphere prevails; good men who live by an unspoken but universally accepted code are repulsed by the nefarious doings of men less upright than themselves. The East is mysterious, exotic and suggestively dangerous. The West is, especially as this story takes place at a fictional Oxford college, a mix of solid, ivy-covered Gothic (with an understated patina of Christianity) and keen scientific rationalism (again, much like the Holmes/Watson sagas). Though misguided, the assumed divide between faith and reason was a common piece of mental furniture in Victorian/Edwardian England (the young Winston Churchill reconciled the supposed breach by simply accepting the claims of each within their respective spheres). And it’s a noxious weed that thrives even more luxuriantly today. But I digress.

At $0.73 you really can’t go wrong. I used Lot No. 249 as a lighter, less demanding palette cleanser after a longish Dickensian trek and it worked wonderfully.

24 people found this helpful

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For Fans of Old Horror Flicks

As a Boomer, I remember how much I loved the old black & white horror flicks as a kid... The Wolfman, Dracula, Frankenstein, & THE MUMMY! If you loved them too, this is right up your alley...a scary, dark alley where you're walking quite alone, & deep shadows are keeping pace with you...just beyond the corners of your eyes. Listening to Sir Arthur's tale, for me, was just like watching The Mummy again. His descriptive scenes & well-formed plot created a movie behind my eyes every bit as good as the movie!

MM... Jade Dragon

8 people found this helpful

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Excellent story

Lot No 249 is, perhaps, my favorite story. I love it, and the style in which it is written. And this is a good reading of it. However... I think the performance of the same story by Doug Bradley on Doug Bradley's Spine Chillers Vol. 5 is, honestly, quite a bit better. And, you also get a few other good tales in that collection.

So if you're ONLY looking for Lot 249, this is a good choice (although, given the crazy low price, I'd save your credit and just buy it). But if you're a fan of weird fiction in general, I'd suggest getting this in the above mentioned collection.

6 people found this helpful

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YOUR AS WHITE AS A CHEESE

SHAKING LIKE AN ASPEN LEAF
The Mummy might have been seen up and moving around, but we are not 100% sure. Like a lot of old, so called horror books, this is about what might or could happen. Very little actually happens and this is not really worth your time.

Harrison is an excellent narrator.

36 people found this helpful

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The Mummy Strikes.

Who knew Arthur Conan Doyle the creator of Sherlock Holmes wrote the first mummy story. Uses the plot lines that would feature in latter Mummy movies. A mad man using ancient scrolls to bring a Mummy to live to seek revenge on his enemies. a good short story.

1 person found this helpful

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Loved it! Great little Halloween story!

I really enjoyed both the story and performance of this book. It was really a pretty quick listen, and I couldn't "put it down" so to speak.

I really enjoyed the performance. Good pacing. Good accents. Well produced.

The story itself was fun too. Just enough Sherlock Holmes in it to make it a bit of a sleuthing novel, but enough of the netherworld to make it a fun Halloween book. Thoroughly enjoyed it.

3 people found this helpful

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A man faces monsters, both mortal and deathless...

Obviously, most people know Doyle for his work with Sherlock Holmes. However, he was an imaginative man who delved into many corners, including the spiritual and occult. That being said, it's understandable that he wrote a story like this. Lot. No. 249 truly is one of the classic tales featuring mummies; a tale that sadly has never been adapted to film despite its simplicity. B. J. Harrison does a lovely job in the telling, and juggles all the varying English accents quite nicely. This story might not exactly be the scariest, especially by today's standards, but its enjoyable and fairly short if you have the time.

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Not Conan Doyle at his best

The story is not bad, as an early mummy short, but the obvious racism and classism, endemic to the era, are uncomfortable to the modern reader. The university cant of the late Victorian era is amusing.

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Wish it was a full length movel

Doyle’s prose gives the classic short story a true feel of mystery and awe. His talents went far beyond Holmes and Watson

Harrison is a true artist who brought Doyle’s story grippingly to life. I’ve actually looked for other titles Harrison read- he is that good. .

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Great, short, and classic

wonderfully performed a great listen at any age. worth the change to have a listen.

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  • L
  • 04-19-16

Bad narration choice

I got this as I love Arthur Conan Doyle, but this was completely ruined by the choice of narrator. Why pick an American to narrate a story set in England with British characters? He doesn't even try to do a British accent. Rubbish and utterly disappointed.

10 people found this helpful

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  • David
  • 09-04-16

Good short story

Lovely short story, well executed, good pacing and characterisation. However, the start of the audiobook is a spoiler, so skip to where the story actually begins at 1:40. (a modern audience will still deduce the "spoiler" quickly as it's a common theme these days, but still it's a bit irritating to have it so blatant in the first seconds before the story has even begun)

2 people found this helpful

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  • WRP
  • 03-12-19

A great concept for a movie

It's obviously a short story, but I did feel the action could have been a little more than what is was, however the characters were great and the setting super interesting.

Normally I find British authors (yes Scotland is in fact on the isle of Britannia), are better narrated by brits, however B.J. Harrison did a great job, I really enjoyed the performance.

The Victorian era/late 19th century was in interesting time, a time when owning an exotic pet, precious ancient artefacts or a legitimate full sized mummy were simply 'no biggie' but I wonder how this story would translate into the modern era? Could be a great movie!

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  • p23
  • 01-14-17

classic Sci-Fi pity about the dialogue

a fantasy classic spoilt somewhat by poor & inconsistent feeling dialogue. silly voice acting time

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 01-08-17

Well read but a bit of a creaky tale

This was an ok listen and was read well but it was rather a dated piece of writing and had somewhat suspect attitudes on character and race. While I know that it is a reflection of the book's age it still grated a little.