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Ghost Stories: v. 2 (BBC Audio) Audio CD – Audiobook, 8 Oct 2009


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Audio CD, Audiobook, 8 Oct 2009
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Product details

  • Audio CD: 2 pages
  • Publisher: BBC Audiobooks Ltd (8 Oct 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1405678151
  • ISBN-13: 978-1405678155
  • Product Dimensions: 14.2 x 1 x 12.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 382,537 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Levy TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 25 Nov 2009
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Firstly, there is no substitute for reading M.R.James - in my humble opinion one of the finest writers of the supernatural in the English language. At the time of publication his stories introduced a new realism into the age old art form - his tales may have revolved around characters who were educated or educators themselves but the world in which they encountered and engaged in would have been immediately recognized by readers of the time. So, yes, like any realism, whether it be the 1990's or in this case the 1900's what you are reading or listening to is dated, and if you are not willing to take an imaginative leap you won't be frightened. Like all the best horror writers, M.R.James' gift was to make the ordinary terrifying and he did this through implication and suggestion, though a Cambridge don, his use of language is deceptively simple and immediate.

Unlike Spine Chillers, which were dramatisations of M.R. James by Radio 4, complete with music and sound effects and featured Derek Jacobi as M.R. James, Ghost Stories, by comparison, features Derek Jacobi alone reading each tale as written. In fact M.R. James wrote many of his tales to be read aloud at Christmas, so for optimum effect and maximum terror, these tales are best listened to in a candle lit room or in front of an open fire, preferably alone.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Mr. M. P. Duffy VINE VOICE on 15 Dec 2009
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I've always liked M R James, and after the BBC's fantastic "A View From A Hill" adaptation for TV I was interested to see how they brought the book to life for audio. The choice of Derek Jacobi is inspired as there are only a few other actors whom I can imagine doing the stories justice, his voice has the right timbre for the job. It's also refreshing not to be confronted with gimmicky sound effects & other such nonsense; this is understated story-telling that allows you to be drawn into the story without distractions. Sat there in the dark of the evening with just a lit candle, this cd has all the hallmarks of a proper fireside ghost story, without the naff visual effects of modern so-called 'horror'. My only very small & personal gripe is that the pace at which the stories move is a little fast, whereas I prefer the slower & more pondorous pace of chiller reading. Well worth getting!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By David VINE VOICE on 17 Oct 2009
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I really enjoyed Derek Jacobi's superb reading of M R James Ghost Stories volume 1 and was eager to listen to volume 2. Needless to say I wasnt dissapointed. Derek Jacobi has a very easy voice to listen to and I have enjoyed a number of audio books read by him. The reading material is also excellent - M R James is probably my favourite ghost story author and this collection contains my all time favourite M R James story A Warning To The Curious (which was also adapted as part of BBC's classic series A Ghost Story For Christmas and starred Peter Vaughn and is well worth watching). The other stories in this 2 cd set are The Mazzotint, The Stalls Of Barchester Cathedral and The Neighbour's Landmark. All the stories are very enjoyable so why not dim the lights and let M R James and Derek Jacobi take you on a fantastic journey into the macabre.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Michael Watson TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 12 Nov 2009
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The last time I was entertained by a reading of a ghost story was nearly sixty years ago when my then housemaster read us 'The Monkey's Paw' by W.W.Jacobs so when given the chance to listen to this audio book, I didn't hesitate. Without a doubt, such readings need a necessarily perfect voice and Derek Jacobi has just such a one.

Although having had this audio around for a while, it took a cold afternoon recently, a roaring open fire, a glass of port, a couple (or more) mince pies which I'd grabbed when they were on offer (BOGOF) and I was set. Several glasses later and when the afternoon had turned into night I was more than happy with my choice. These stories have already been well-reviewed so I need only to add that if anyone likes atmosphere, likes a carefully plotted little story to bring a tingle to your spine, then listen to those of M.R.James. These stories plus the voice of the reader are excellent - I am looking out now for the first in the series and hopefully a few more in the future. And they certainly made me think of my childhood in the fifties; perhaps I'll try to find 'The Monkey's Paw' in such a format, although they do say it's better not to revist old times. Still, what's a ghost story all about if not the unexplained?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Paul M VINE VOICE on 18 Oct 2009
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M.R. James has been highly regarded as a writer of Ghost stories for over a century now, and the late Victorian prose is one of the joys of this curious collection. Images of a bygone age are easy to conjure up as Sir Derek Jacobi's flawless delivery eases the listener into a state of relaxed anticipation.

Audiobooks of classic writing work well when combined with the authority of a beloved old thespian voice, and these stories are easy to digest in a single session. Four stories are included here, A Warning to the Curious, The Mezzotint [ both on disc 1], and The Stalls of Barchester Cathedral, and A Neighbours Landmark [ disc 2 ].Each have their own nostalgic charm, and will delight anybody who enjoys this type of release.

Once again, the simple but effective production values employed by the B.B.C. mean you know exactly what you are getiing when purchasing this type of audiobook. Ghost Stories Volume 2 is the latest in a well developed product line that respects its source material, without attempting to re-interpret or , worse, re-write the work in question.
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