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The Possession of Mr Cave

By: Matt Haig
Narrated by: Mark Meadows
Length: 8 hrs and 28 mins
4 out of 5 stars (1 rating)

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Publisher's Summary

From the number one Sunday Times best-selling author.

Terence Cave, owner of Cave Antiques, has already experienced the tragedies of his mother's suicide and his wife's murder when his teenage son, Reuben, is killed in a grotesque accident. His remaining child, Bryony, has always been the family's golden girl, and Terence comes to realise that his one duty in life is to protect her from the world's malign forces, whatever that may take.

But as he starts to follow his grieving daughter's movements and enforce a draconian set of rules, his love for Bryony becomes a possessive force that leads to destruction.

©2009 Matt Haig (P)2018 Canongate Books Ltd

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-29-18

So sorry Matt Haig!

I've previously enjoyed a couple of Matt Haig books so didn't read reviews before I downl8aded, I also really like the narrator. Howver I couldn't wait for it to end, I listen commuting and 2 hours a day was a depressing start and a depressing end yo the day, I wanted to finish and tie the loose ended but I've still too many questions. I know not all endings have to be happy but it was misery from the start! Avoid if you are feeling fragile.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • K. J. Noyes
  • 06-09-18

Oh so disturbing...

Teen rebellion, parental obsession and a very dark narration.

Matt Haig does 'dark' very well, and it's hard not to read his own history of mental illness into his narrators. This is a book I'd never heard of until it's recent Audible release, and I must say the first person (and sometimes second person) narrative is made for listening to.

Antique dealer Terence Cave has lost almost everyone he loves - his wife murdered, his son a recent accidental death, his mother also dead long ago. Now it is just him and his remaining teenage daughter, Bryony. Always the achiever of his twins, he becomes ever more protective and obsessive about her safety, especially when unsavoury-looking young men begin circling...

In the midst of this emotional turmoil, a teenage girl tries to work through the usual rebellions of adolescence, and though I could see Terence's need to control, Bryony had my sympathies - all she is doing is moving on from childhood, exploring her burgeoning sexuality and trying to enjoy her youth. She is never particularly well-developed though, she's more a stereotype of a teenage girl, an archetype - this is Terence's story of his obsessions. Bryony doesn't really change or get a chance to speak to us, she's always reacting to Terence - whether lying to him about her whereabouts or railing against his unfair rules.

Terence is a character you see gradually unravelling, becoming more and more consumed with his daughter and her perfections; his own intellectual interests and rather elitist outlook makes him less likeable over the course of the book.

It's quite a gripping story, and though it's hard to feel love for the narrator, you do want to know what he is going to do.

There is a supernatural element to this story which I didn't really like, but that's a personal preference - without this then Terence wouldn't have had any way to 'find out' certain things about his son's death (as well as life). It is in the everyday slowly cranking up of a father's narrow boundaries and protective strategies that Haig gives us an intense and frightening 'smothering love' story.

I've only ever seen the 'you' narration used successfully in one other book, not surprisingly a stalker story, and thought it was used to great effect here.

Mark Meadows, as ever, makes a good 'middle class' sounding narrator of the audiobook, with a clear and benign English accent that suits Terence well and brings out the slowly escalating drama of his situation. I'd recommend this as an audio read.

With thanks to Nudge Books for the sample Audible copy.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-29-18

Great characterisation

I love Matt Haig but struggled to finish this mainly because I think the character paired with the performance felt very real and it unnerved me a little - so make what you will of that! The story itself was a little hard to follow and I think I would have preferred a paper copy to flick back in to get the details straight in my head.

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  • Franziska Thielsch
  • 07-17-18

Disappointed.

I'm a big fan of Matt Haig, so I had high expectations for this book, and I came away disappointed. Neither the story nor any of the characters were remotely credible imho.