The Great God Pan and Other Weird Tales

Narrated by: Peter Wickham
Length: 12 hrs and 51 mins
3.5 out of 5 stars (97 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Dubbed the greatest horror story in English by Stephen King, The Great God Pan is an eerie and otherworldly mystery about a diabolical operation and its terrifying repercussions. After rescuing a young woman from the streets of London, Dr. Raymond uses her as a test subject for brain surgery aimed at "lifting the veil" of reality, to see the supernatural and the "great god Pan". 

The operation is a disaster and leaves the subject lobotomized. Years later, London becomes afflicted with a strange series of male suicides connected to a beautiful but sinister woman named Helen. Just who is she, and what is her connection to Dr. Raymond's failed experiment? 

First published in 1890, The Great God Pan influenced many writers of the genre, including the unrivalled master H.P. Lovecraft. It makes perfect listening for a dark and rainy evening. 

Public Domain (P)2017 Naxos AudioBooks

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Wonderful Performance of Fantastic Tales

Peter Wickham does a marvellous job bringing these weird and fantastic (in both senses of the word) tales to life. I'll always reread these stories with his characteristic "yeeesss..." in my head.

A previous review states that these stories are abridged. That is totally incorrect. I listened along with the original texts and everything is complete.

For anyone unfamiliar with Machen, this is a great overview of his "big hits" but you'll want to go further after this first taste.

35 people found this helpful

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

Introduction to Arthur Machen

So I had heard about Arthur Machen. Think I heard some of his stuff on BBC radio 4 at some point. Thought to enlarge my taste of his sort of stories on Audible. He is quite the master of a slow burn vague sense of creepiness. More unsettling than sheer stark horror. Read: Psychological, subliminal rather than blatant blood and thrills. Also, the element of Mother Nature - in her darker moods (the trees are turning on you) and fairy folk who live intimately in that milieu - is very bold in his flavor of writing. And does leave you with a keen sense of the time and place in which he lived and wrote. #Dark #Creepy #Absurd #Quirky #Tagsgiving #Sweepstakes

9 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Machen Mellow

I was disappointed when I heard Peter Wickham reading Machen’s male characters in tone of a London clubman but I had to admit that this voice did fit them. Unfortunately two of Machen’s greatest tales are narrated by women and Wickham’s female voices grated. I still enjoyed hearing the tales of the great horror innovator who conjured horrors he was (usually) too Victorian to describe.

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Victorian Mysticism at its Best

Machen's stories captured my imagination with their allusive and elusive subject matter. The nesting and interweaving of stories across the collection is masterful. Wickham's narration communicates an air of wonder and awe. He's excellent. I probably enjoyed it more read aloud than if I'd read it myself. It reminds of why Brit Lit fascinated me as a girl.

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A well-written cure for insomnia

H.P. Lovecraft is one of my favorite authors, so when I read his praise for Arthur Machen's work in a treatise he wrote about weird fiction, I was excited to listen to this. Mr. Machen was a very competent writer, but just because one can string together words eloquently doesn't mean one can write a good story. He's great at creating atmosphere, and there is some really engaging dialogue. But there are no thrills here. Not one decent scare. The stories meander on and fizzle out at the end. Sometimes a story would come to an end and another one would begin, and I thought I was still listening to the same story. The conclusions were not at all worth the buildup. I couldn't make it all the way through the book, unfortunately, though I took several breaks from it to listen to books that were actually entertaining. The only thing "weird" about this book is why Lovecraft liked it so much.

4 people found this helpful

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Yawn

I had high expectations since Stephen King names this book as an inspiration for his work. The stories may be the progenitor for modern horror, but the narration was not distinct and at time tended to drone on in a near monotone voice. I haven’t finished the audio book. This is one rare time it was easier to read the actual book.

1 person found this helpful

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  • His Three Calls to Cormac
  • 03-13-18

Great Content, Great Performance, Missing Pieces

EDIT: THE ISSUE HAS NOW BEEN FIXED

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?
Arthur Machen is legendary for a reason, and so is The Great God Pan. The stories in this collection are a great way to get a sense of Machen's work. On top of that, Peter Wickham does a great job reading, especially given Machen's proclivity for elaborate prose. HOWEVER the book is missing pieces and it makes listening an incredibly frustrating experience since chapters begin part way through the text. The result is a disorientating experience that I cannot recommend, as much as I wish I could. Please Audible, fix this and then this book would be well-worth its cost.

13 people found this helpful

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Profile Image for Carl Johnson
  • Carl Johnson
  • 11-30-19

Didn't like it

Didn't really like it. All the stories and characters were very samey. Listened a few hours most days of the week while working. Have had long audio books before and been very happy listening but only made it about 2/3rds through this one before being bored silly. Can't bring myself to finish it. Wasted a credit on it but at least I didn't pay full whack for it. Some interesting early concepts in the stories regarding the hidden/spiritual world but I've read and listened to enough fantasy novels that surpass the concepts in this book while still holding my attention. The language is modern enough to make sense to me as some older texts can lose me with their overly flowery and metaphorical writing. I'd prefer to hear collected fairy and folk tales to this book. It's the opposite of H.P Lovecraft which is cosmic horror whereas this is like fantasy/mystery horror or something. Narrator isn't bad although not an expansive repertoire of voices which didn't help with the characters monotony.