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Editorial Reviews

A young couple finds a dilapidated but still-idyllic cottage in Hampshire's New Forest and quickly move into their dream home. However, before long, strange occurrences begin to disturb their little paradise: ominous sounds from the attic and shadowy figures lurking among the trees. Narrator Kris Dyer builds an easy rapport with listeners as Midge and Mike settle into their home, then slowly infuses tension and anxiety into his performance as the couple cross paths with a cultish group with sinister intentions. Listeners will continue to feel the chill of this horror story long after they have turned it off.

Publisher's Summary

The nightmare home. We thought we'd found our haven, a cottage deep in the heart of the forest. Quaint, charming, maybe a little run-down, but so peaceful. The woodland animals and birds couldn't have been more neighbourly. That was the first part of the Magic. Midge's painting and my music soared to new heights of creativity. That was another part of the Magic. Our sensing, our feelings, our love for each other - well, that became the supreme Magic. But the cottage had an alternative side. The Bad Magic.

What happened to us there was horrendous beyond belief. The miracles, the healings, the crazy sect who wanted our home for themselves, the hideous creatures that crawled from the nether regions, and the bats - oh God, the bats! Even now those horrible things seem impossible to me. Yet they happened...

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 bestseller 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 best-selling 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.

©1986 James Herbert (P)2013 Audible Ltd

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • naelene
  • wanganui, New Zealand
  • 10-31-13

liked it! just a nice fun story.

To me it was a good fairly predictable story with a good ending.
But beware of the bats and crazy cultists.Mitch was a bit annoying, when she was seeking answers from her dead parents, but thank god! She saw the light just in time.kept me listening which is good as I don't always finish a book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Slow

This was a slow moving book, I kept waiting for more to happen but it didnt. however it was well written and I appreciated that.

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

Enjoyable

I really enjoyed this book. No one was an idiot or obtuse. My one negative comment is that I wasn't a huge fan of the narrator's voice for the main female character but not annoying enough to really bother me.

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

It pulls you in

Great book to listen to with words that easily create the back drop in your imagination. The narrated is amazing.

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

Disappointment

What disappointed you about The Magic Cottage?

The story never really got going till the very end. The ending seemed rushed. After listening to The secret of crickety hall by Herbert, which was great, this was a disappointment.

What do you think your next listen will be?

I will in the future give James Herbert another try.

Would you listen to another book narrated by Kris Dyer?

Yes, his narration was good with emotions.

What character would you cut from The Magic Cottage?

several, did not care for the story line.

Any additional comments?

will return

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Nathan Carr
  • 04-11-16

Great story, spoiled by the Narrator

Any additional comments?

I love this story, I've already read the book, but the narrator's voice for Midge is so annoying that I find it hard to imagine anyone save a deaf person would find her attractive. not a great opinion to have of one of the chief protagonists and someone you are supposed to care about. It did spoil the story for me.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • John Hollingsworth
  • 03-08-16

performance not good

a good story hard to put down and fill of mystery, the reader made all females sound like Julian Clarey which spoiled it slightly.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Barbara
  • 02-12-18

Brilliant story but narration let it down.

Where does The Magic Cottage rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Its the only one.

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

Although the narrator was very good when speaking in a man's voice, he was very annoying and sometimes comical, when speaking as his wife. The audiobook should have had at least two narrators.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Alison Rasey
  • 11-26-18

Good book<br />

I enjoyed the story but the terrible voice for the female character made it quite difficult to listen to.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • CHRIS
  • 11-20-18

Great book let down by poor narration !

I read this book in paperback form 25 years so knew it was a great story and read but was intrigued to listen to the audio version having forgotten most of the plot line. The good news is that the story still stands up after all these years as you'd expect from James Herbert. The bad news is that Kris Dyer's interpretation of the leading female starts as Julian Clary and ends up being David Mitchell. The fact that the character is called Midge makes this worse as I ended up hearing it as "Mitch" further enhancing the vision I had listening to it of David Mitchell ......seriously, as amusing as this is (for a while) it becomes increasingly more irritating and eventually starts to ruin the story. Sorry Kris, I have listened to you before and your reading has been good but on this occasion you just got it badly wrong ....!

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • MR SIMON BUTTON
  • 11-06-18

Better in book form

I don’t usually read horror story’s these days but read all of James Herberts books as a youngster with this then being my favourite. So I thought I’d re visit as an adult . The book does not transfer as an audible Reading seems to evoke the imagination more and the book is so much better for that . Also the narrators interpretation of the female was was terrible

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Robert Ward
  • 09-14-18

Narrator Absolutely Rubbish

I must admit to being a big James Herbert Fan, I have read almost every book he wrote, also i have most of his audio books but on Cassette or CD including this one (Narrated by Robert Powell), so i joined Audible to update my collection..... This is in my opinion one of the worst Narrators I have heard and spoiled an otherwise very good book.... Very disappointed

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Messalina
  • 09-10-18

HORRENDOUS NARRATOR

Fantastic story spoiled by the narrator, who kept putting on a Julian Clarey voice and peppered it throughout with weird pauses. Totally ruined it.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • hayley bennett
  • 09-08-18

Amazing

Brilliant book and great narrator, James Herbert always thrills and surprises the listener , well read

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-02-18

could of been better

hard going, voice sometimes annoying and didnt do the writer's work justice in my opinion

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  • J0n66
  • 05-03-17

Good voice-overs, except for Midge's...

The story is a Herbert classic, and Dyer's voice-overs work for the characters telling the story is good, except for the main female character, Midge. His rendering of her voice is cringeworthy, and there's not much difference in voice vs the Vicar character. Shame, as otherwise it's well told - definitely worth a listen