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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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3.9 out of 5 stars
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on 26 December 2012
A choirboy whose voice has broken. Splinters of a shattered anthem in a dark cathedral. An unaccountably malevolent cat. Andrew Taylor ventures boldly into M R James country, geographically and metaphorically, in this quietly disturbing period piece. Like all good ghost stories, the incidents are ambivalent - was it or wasn't it? What lingers is an atmosphere laden with dread... and the dangerous memories preserved in old stones. If such things divert you, don't miss this.
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on 9 May 2013
As the heading says, it's okay. Managed to read this in less time than it takes to read the Ten Commandments. A bit of an exaggeration, but you know what I mean. For a holiday read it gets 4 stars, but I haven't had a holiday in yonks.
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There's always a risk when an author takes on a short story. Particularly when it's a short horror/supernatural story. The risk is; there's no room to develop the proper amount of tension and darkness to cause anything like a real chill factor. That's what happened here.

The story itself is easy to follow and set is East Anglia approximately one hundred years ago. There are two principle characters, schoolboys, who are reaching adulthood when they find themselves drawn into a mystery involving music and an ancient cathedral. The basic question is always 'is it or isn't it' as the reader is asked whether events are imaginary or paranormal.

Broken Voices is one to add to the growing collection of ghost stories written in the style of M. R. James.

Is it scary?. No. Broken Voices is intelligent and nicely written but there's very little here that's in any way chilling. The story doesn't live up to it's promise though I did enjoy the character of the wicked black cat who pops in and out of the plot.
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on 7 January 2013
Tautly written and atmospheric. The character that made my skin prickle most was Mordred the cat! Andrew Taylor never disappoints and this short novel is no exception.
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on 11 January 2013
As always, Andrew Taylor captures the essence of the period beautifully as in this short novel set 100 years ago of two boys left at boarding school with an elderly guardian over Christmas. However, for me the storyline felt rather predictable and as soon as the ghost stories were told, it was obvious what was going to happen and it then became an account of the boys misadventure rather than a creepy ghost story.
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on 1 October 2013
Very atmospheric. The description brings it to life remarkably well. Gothic but at the same time, convincing. A rather dark and gloomy tale.
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on 22 October 2013
I was really looking forward to reading this, I could have done with a good scare. What a diappointment! I could understand the boys being frightened as they were groping around in the dark but nothing really happened except for a vague reference to some music, and that was all. It was written very much in the style of M R James but he did it so much better. All in all, a big let down.
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on 27 August 2013
I like this author but was disappointed by this one.
Partly because it was too short though he did create a frightening atmosphere at times.
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VINE VOICEon 31 October 2014
This novella is a ghost story set before the First World War in an unnamed East Anglian cathedral city. While the ending was reasonably spooky, for the most part, this didn't really work for me, and was a little disappointing. I would try more by the author, though.
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on 11 July 2014
This book read really well for 75% of it. I enjoyed the read but then the end was a real anti-climax and I was left think "is that it??!" Felt like a wasted read and such a disappointment after the rest of the book and been really well written. If you don't mind anti0climatic endings, it's a good read.
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