More Chilling Ghost Stories,
This review is from: More Chilling Ghost Stories (Audiogo) (Audio CD)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is BBC Audiogo's second collection of ghost stories. It differs from the first in that the two CDs in this set have different readers; Stephen Greif on disc 1, and Gareth Armstrong on disc 2. Both are effective readers; Greif has quite a sonorous tone, Armstrong I found a little more pleasant to listen to. But it's the stories that let me down somewhat. The first CD has a lengthier tale (about 45 minutes) by M.R.James called 'The Tractate Middoth'. The title doesn't exactly inspire fear, or much feeling at all, but it is very effective in gradually building up to its climax. This is followed by a short story by Dickens which is pleasant enough. Over on the second disc, there's another M.R.James' story, 'Casting the Runes' about a mysterious and deeply unpleasant character who claims to have discovered alchemical processes; it begins well, but I found this rather long-winded, not helped by the rather flowery language used in writings from the Victorian/Edwardian period. Another Dickens' tale 'The Trial for Murder' finishes the disc. Again it's pleasant enough.
But there's the rub. The earlier Ghost Stories release Chilling Ghost Stories had two absolutely cracking tales, 'The Signalman' by Dickens (made into a highly effective short BBC TV drama), and 'The Bus Conductor' by E.F. Benson, which was used as the basis for a tale in Ealing Studios' compendium 'Dead of Night' (if you haven't seen this, you really should). This second set of stories just isn't in the same league. All the tales are read unabridged, and for once I actually felt that a bit of judicious editing might have helped.
Certainly not bad, but if you haven't got the first set of ghost stories, go for that rather than this.
P.S. I've just noticed that Amazon's description of the contents of this 2 CD set is completely wrong; their description refers to the earlier collection, (the one I do recommend).