• Portent

  • By: James Herbert
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Keeble
  • Length: 12 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • 3.9 out of 5 stars (18 ratings)
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Publisher's Summary

The end is beginning. The time is just a few short years from now. But already the signs of global disaster are multiplying. Freak storms, earthquakes, floods volcanic eruptions are sweeping the earth. The last violent spasms of a dying planet. Then a series of ominous events signal the emergence of new and terrifying forces.

While scuba-diving on the Great Barrier Reef a diver watches fascinated as a tiny light floats past him towards the surface. Moments later he is torn to pieces as the reef erupts with shattering power. In the Chinese city of Kashi, travellers bring back reports of a strange light seen shining above the endless dunes of the Taklimakan Desert. And as the city's inhabitants watch for its return the desert rises up like a vast living thing to engulf them in a colossal tidal wave of sand. All have seen a portent: a sign of unimaginable powers about to be unleashed. A sign that something incredible is about to begin.

James Herbert was one of Britain's greatest popular novelists and our #1 best-selling writer of chiller fiction. Widely imitated and hugely influential, he wrote 23 novels which have collectively sold over 54 million copies worldwide and been translated into 34 languages. Born in London in the forties, James Herbert was art director of an advertising agency before turning to writing fiction in 1975. His first novel, The Rats, was an instant best-seller and is now recognised as a classic of popular contemporary fiction. Herbert went on to publish a new top ten best-seller every year until 1988. He wrote six more bestselling novels in the 1990s and three more since: Once, Nobody True and The Secret of Crickley Hall. Herbert died in March 2013 at the age of 69.

©1992 James Herbert (P)2013 Audible Ltd

Critic Reviews

"Herbert was by no means literary, but his work had a raw urgency. His best novels, The Rats and 'he Fog, had the effect of Mike Tyson in his championship days: no finesse, all crude power. Those books were best sellers because many readers (including me) were too horrified to put them down." (Stephen King)
"There are few things I would like to do less than lie under a cloudy night sky while someone read aloud the more vivid passages of Moon. In the thriller genre, do recommendations come any higher?" (Andrew Postman, The New York Times Book Review)
"Herbert goes out in a blaze of glory" ( Daily Mail)

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What listeners say about Portent

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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Hasn’t aged well

Can’t put my finger on it but whether it’s the narrator or the author, it just hasn’t made the jump over to the new century.

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I hated this book!!

The author was blatantly racist against black people. His descriptions of them were cringe worthy! I mistook this book for The Portent by Marilyn Harris, a much more entertaining, creepy story. Unfortunately that book is unavailable on Audible. And if the reader referred to gushing mounts of water as "geezers" rather than geysers one more time, I think I would have thrown my phone against a wall.

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  • Dirtyangelmichelle
  • 01-11-21

Jonathan Keeble brings this audio book to life

Loved it. Brilliant story by Herbert brought together by the wonderful English voice of narrator Keeble. Kept me wanting more and more as I listened. Now looking to purchase another Herbert/Keeble book

4 people found this helpful

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  • Miss S.
  • 02-28-21

Not one of his best

Jonathan Keeble always narrates well and gives the story some depth but this story was disappointing. Very long winded but having read a number of James Herbert's books I do wonder how he came up with so much horror.

1 person found this helpful

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  • JoolsR
  • 02-04-21

Not Herbert's best

Reader was too loud at times, and his attempt at women - meh! Story OK but very dated

1 person found this helpful

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  • Nichola Conway
  • 06-30-21

Took too long

Couldn't stick to the timers I set, just had to go back a chapter to listen again as I wasn't able to follow it, was sometimes confused, eventually after two months I managed to finish. disappointed with the ending.

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  • Satisfied Customer
  • 06-13-21

Best avoided

A depressingly lazy piece of writing. It’s plot details seem to result from the kind of simple google search one would expect from a participant on a weekend creative writing course. The plot is inconsistent and the characters one dimensional. The most irritating aspect was the self serving, horrendous racism with laughable, caricatured, cardboard cut-out villains (black) described in the ugliest language and innocent, pure, upper-middle class good guys (white) described in sympathetic, positive language. Even for something written in the nineties, this book is so regressive. And yes, I did listen all the way to the end. The narration is terrible. The reader has no skill for the creation of any voice other than that of a middle class white male. His attempts at females, children and black voices are hideous and he appears to believe that tension can best be conveyed by speaking hysterically loud and fast. My question to audible: why does this production not carry a warning with respect to the racist language used and the depiction of black people?

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  • D with a J and a W
  • 06-07-21

Would make a great film

in my opinion not his best, better film than book but no matter still good still enjoyed and look forward to more

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-02-21

not my favourite

I love James Herbert, but this book didn't do it for me, had to play the last chapter twice to find out it ended. Was disappointed.

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  • Ella
  • 04-10-21

Hard to get into but glad I stuck with it

I almost gave up listening to this in the first few chapters and found it difficult to get into, but after the introductions it's actually a good book

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  • M/R
  • 03-21-21

Tedious

I made it to the end, but it really felt like a chore. There's little in the narrative to hold you, particularly the multitude of chapters where we sit through the musings of characters whose sole purpose is to die as soon as they've been introduced. Our hero is irksome but the the less said about our random villainess, Mama Pitie, the better. Truly dreadful.

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  • Paul MC CANN
  • 02-08-21

Decent listen to be fair

An unusual storyline which was s little hard to link but came good in the end.