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Found this while idly browsing for a quick read, and loving a good ghost story I rolled the dice. Told in a series of expository letters, this tale takes a very long time to set up. While it eventually became obvious why the author chose this method of writing, I was never able to shake my impatience that people who are so close to each other need to write detailed explanations to each other of shared experiences - as in "You will remember when we went to Paris all those years ago . . ." and then explaining every detail of that shared memory. Obviously it's a device to fill in the backstory for the reader, but to me it was the equivalent of breaking the fourth wall in a play. Also, without giving spoilers, I couldn't buy into the one brother writing to the other brother during all of the stuff he was going through. For one thing, where the heck did he find to mail it? It's an odd story when the paranormal characters behave more understandably than the humans.
The final 3rd is where the creepy stuff starts, but as creepy as it is, somehow I just didn't feel it in my gut. Again, I felt at a distance the whole time. Perhaps it was the reading, because the narrator went over the top to the point of melodrama. Was always aware I was being read to as opposed to being immersed in the story. Can't recommend.
5 of 7 people found this review helpful
Started of really well but soon degenerated into fouls language and gore. Completely spoiled what was shaping up to be a really good ghost story.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Would you try another book written by Benedict Ashforth or narrated by Ric Jerrom?
Yes I might, now I know what to expect.
What did you like best about this story?
The setting and the narrator.
Which character – as performed by Ric Jerrom – was your favourite?
Actually all of them as he did excellent voices for all the characters.
Was Abbot's Keep worth the listening time?
Not sure, bit short for my liking, more of a short story than a book.
Any additional comments?
I am just trying to be honest here and not griping for no good reason and also because I sometimes rely on reviews from others about books to judge what to buy or what I might personally like.
Although I did like this story - I mainly bought this for TWO reasons;
1. It says it is a Ghost story in the Title, (exactly what I was looking for).
2. Previous reviewers said it reminded them of MR James, especially comparing it to The Treasure of Abbot Thomas... and yes the place was called Abbot's Keep (again giveaway in the Title), and yes there was treasure... but that's exactly where the comparison ends.
I am a HUGE fan of old school Ghost stories and this was nothing of the kind.
A modern setting and twist on the aforementioned James Classic, yes could be interesting, I'll give it a go... and indeed it started really well. The setting the characters, all good so far.
But just when I felt the real tension building up WHAM, it went all too blatant and I felt the Author completely missed the underlying psychological and ambiguous build up that makes James' stories such pure Genius.
(But alas such is the format for modern retakes on old classics).
However, I am also a fan of the more Horror genre and this was much closer to that. Unsubtle, Gory, no layers upon layers, no ambiguity, but a gripping story unto itself, in this category.
So, if you're in for a quick Bloody fix, a fantastic Narration, funny characters and a good setting... this is for you.
If you want something more Haunting on a far deeper level, avoid this one. Up to you.
(It's also very short, my fault, didn't see it was not much longer than 2 hours - so more of a short story really - not a problem, just an observation).
The Narration however, as stated earlier, was excellent and I will be looking for other Audibles read by him (and I am very fussy about my Narrators!!!) So high praise indeed.
P.S. [In fact I wanted to introduce myself to this Author by reading a book of short stories but sadly Narrated by an American, who obviously missed the whole point entirely - something commented on by other reviewers - Check out Derek Jacobi reading MR James, you'll see what I mean].
1 of 1 people found this review helpful