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Publisher's Summary

A young librarian receives a request for an obscure Hebrew book from a sinister gentleman, unaware of its contents. 

Montague Rhodes James was a noted British mediaeval scholar and provost of King's College, Cambridge (1905–1918) and of Eton College (1918–1936). He is best remembered for his ghost stories which are widely regarded as among the finest in English literature. 

One of James's most important achievements was to redefine the ghost story for the new century by dispensing with many of the formal Gothic trappings of his predecessors, and replacing them with more realistic contemporary settings. 

'Montague Rhodes James has an intelligent and scientific knowledge of human nerves and feelings; and knows just how to apportion statement, imagery, and subtle suggestions in order to secure the best results with his readers.' HP Lovecraft. 

Actor David Suchet is best known for his definitive portrayal of Hercule Poirot, the Belgian detective created by the legendary mystery author Agatha Christie, in a number of international television productions. He narrates his story in Poirot and Me

©1911 M. R. James (P)2013 Audible Ltd

What listeners say about The Tractate Middoth

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Fun ghost story about relatives no one wants.

There are relatives no one wants to have. What's even worse is if they can't quite manage to die. This is very fun and very much a case of that. Enjoy.

5 people found this helpful

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Fun

An entertaining little story with a bit of supernatural. The best part of this is the narration by David Suchet.

3 people found this helpful

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Superbly Narrated Spooky Tale

This was one of the best stories in my M.R. James book. A selfish elderly man attempts to cheat a relative out of an inheritance, but fate intervenes. Suspenseful tale magnificently narrated by the superb David Suchet. I wish he had done all of the stories.

3 people found this helpful

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Be careful in Libraries!

M.R. James uses many unusual tools for setting for his ghost stories: stately homes, trees,
churches, vicarages, and here.. a library.. with a bit of a story. He never just leaps in,
but his usual manner is a story within a story...well done again.

2 people found this helpful

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what an Incredible Book

this was an amazing story. you really need to pay attention because what you think and what happens are very different.

1 person found this helpful

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Short but succinctly eerie

M.R. James was an exceptional talent in being to write his stories in a concise, yet exceptionally short time by knowing exactly his theme thus taking the reader to heights of unease so rapidly. I am always crushed to reach that peak of unease/spookiness and then ZAP!! the story is over. The narrator is perfect, so talented bc he must capture reader’s interest /maintain it very rapidly! Excellent duo always!! Just wish the short stories weren’t so short or why there ‘s not a better collection of same.

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Gorgeous Writing and Marvelous Narration

This tale is more interesting than creepy.

As always, the writing of M. R. James is exquisite and the tale is captivating, though not as creepy as I was expecting it to be,

I warmly recommend this tale, for the beautiful writing, interesting story, and wonderful narration by David Suchet.

The story does have a defect of implausibility: a character steps into a train compartment and meets the female cousin of a man he had dealings with earlier in the story. It is well to suspend critical thinking and enjoy the story despite this defect.

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Love to be pleasantly surprised.

This was a nice story. The narrator was the star though. I am impressed. Thank you

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Great story...had me on the edge of my seat

while somewhat predictable plot, the story is well told and engaging. several suspenseful parts. I will try more of these audible MR James tales.

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Short spooky story

I was pleasantly surprised with this story. It was interesting and a nice retreat into a world from our past. Ghostly experience!

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-03-14

not engaging enough

5 stars for David Suchet reading, but the story really didn't hold my interest enough.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Paul D
  • 01-16-14

Ghost story typical of the 19th genre

Would you listen to The Tractate Middoth again? Why?

Possibly, if i had a little time to kill. Nothing in the story to warrant a rereading but classical stye writing and a good reading would stand repeating ( Since the book is well under an hour long)

If you’ve listened to books by M. R. James before, how does this one compare?

Read several of the authors shorts, this one is very typical. I wonder why they are published as seperate books rather than as a collection - i have five and in total they do not add up to even a short novel, under four hours.

What does David Suchet bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Suchet is unobtrusive, i read to myself unobtrusively ergo . . .

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Necessary to listen to in one reading due to it nature and length

Any additional comments?

Good classic style writing and fine reading. Very typical of the genre and the other stories by James. This review to be attached to each of the other short stories by the autor, vis a vis their reviews to this. Ah.. had they be published as a collection i would only have to write one!

3 people found this helpful

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  • Em
  • 12-29-13

LIGHT ON FRIGHTS, BUT WORTH A LISTEN

What did you like best about The Tractate Middoth? What did you like least?

The Tractate Middoth is one of the least scary of M. R. James's tales and it's to David Suchet's credit that he has resisted the temptation to ham it up. His precise, understated delivery ensures that such disquieting moments as the story has do not leap out at the listener but slide insidiously into his or her mind.Only the burst of music at the start of this recording strikes the wrong note. It's neither eerie nor ominous - just irritating!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Andy Hawk
  • 03-19-21

Superb Story

David Suchet is a superb actor. His reading of this story was fantastic. He reads it with enthusiasm. I love his use of good characters voices. It is a short tale with much sinister content. I loved the reading.

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  • Ivor Gotone
  • 01-30-20

Great story, weird characterisations

I’m a big MRJ fan so I was always going to like the story. I’m also usually a David Suchet fan but I didn’t enjoy his vocal style on this and some of the voices he gave his characters were verging on ridiculous. This spoiled the overall experience for me.

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  • JBo
  • 11-09-19

David Suchet narrates wonderfully

I love M.R. James's stories, they are creepy rather than scary but it's an enduring creep that has you staring down dark corridors with some apprehension.
David Suchet is a lovely narrator (although it's a shame he hasn't done all of the stories) and I enjoy re-listening to him when I'm doing a task and want something other than music on.
If you're looking for modern day horror or frights you'll probably be disappointed, but if you're looking for subtle, psycho-emotional tales then this, and others, may be right up your street. (Or up your dusk-lit, abandoned beach / semi-deserted library/ English school and so on)
:-D

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  • Mrs A Garrett
  • 06-27-19

MR James Ghost stories are so atmospheric

Very well read by David Suchet - relaxing listen and perfect bedtime story. Always sends me off to sleep!

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  • gavin wakeham
  • 01-21-19

MR James

Outstanding tale of the supernatural bone chilling to the end read by the velvet voice of David suchet

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  • Tim P.
  • 01-03-19

Hasn't aged well.

I've bought a few of these MR James short stories to see what they are like.

Suchet as narrator is good and adds life, but these stories have not aged well in terms of suspense or content

I personally think horror/suspense like this is better read than listened to, however, I'm not sure how much you can be concerned about characters after 40 minutes of getting to know them.

Good little twist though, and sure to pass a short train journey/commute etc. and I enjoyed more than the Ash Tree as a result.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • derecett67
  • 02-09-18

Great M. R. James story.

Read wonderfully well by David Suchet who, as is usual, brings the tale magically to life.
I have always enjoyed the stories that were written by M. R. James and this was no exception and what excellent value!