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62
3.9 out of 5 stars
Broken Voices (Kindle Single)
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
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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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
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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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
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 27 January 2013
This is a professional and atmospheric piece of writing and I enjoyed it thoroughly until I got near the end and realised it was simply going to peter out. It's as if the writer suddenly realised that he'd got close to his word count and had to rush to his conclusion. An insignificant death, a couple (?) of cats who are built up as characters but are actually tangential to the story; a potentially interesting quest that leads nowhere: it doesn't add up to much. The writing and the promise of the first 80% of the novella earn it 4 stars: just don't expect too much from the ending.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 21 June 2013
I have read Andrew Taylor books before but found this one a bit hard to get into. Good light reading
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on 25 January 2013
If you want more Lydmouth, this isn't for you. If you are looking for a nicely crafted ghost story with period detail and ominous portents, it is. Andrew Taylor does a lot with not very much at all - schoolboy rivalries, the consequences of the past battening on the present, topped off with Mordred, who is definitely the star of the show. Recommended.
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