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Editorial Reviews

A young couple finds a dilapidated but still-idyllic cottage in Hampshire's New Forest and quickly move into their dream home. However, before long, strange occurrences begin to disturb their little paradise: ominous sounds from the attic and shadowy figures lurking among the trees. Narrator Kris Dyer builds an easy rapport with listeners as Midge and Mike settle into their home, then slowly infuses tension and anxiety into his performance as the couple cross paths with a cultish group with sinister intentions. Listeners will continue to feel the chill of this horror story long after they have turned it off.

Publisher's Summary

The nightmare home. We thought we'd found our haven, a cottage deep in the heart of the forest. Quaint, charming, maybe a little run-down, but so peaceful. The woodland animals and birds couldn't have been more neighbourly. That was the first part of the Magic. Midge's painting and my music soared to new heights of creativity. That was another part of the Magic. Our sensing, our feelings, our love for each other - well, that became the supreme Magic. But the cottage had an alternative side. The Bad Magic.

What happened to us there was horrendous beyond belief. The miracles, the healings, the crazy sect who wanted our home for themselves, the hideous creatures that crawled from the nether regions, and the bats - oh God, the bats! Even now those horrible things seem impossible to me. Yet they happened...

James Herbert was one of Britain's greatest popular novelists and our #1 best-selling writer of chiller fiction. Widely imitated and hugely influential, he wrote 23 novels which have collectively sold over 54 million copies worldwide and been translated into 34 languages.

Born in London in the forties, James Herbert was art director of an advertising agency before turning to writing fiction in 1975. His first novel, The Rats, was an instant bestseller and is now recognised as a classic of popular contemporary fiction. Herbert went on to publish a new top ten best-seller every year until 1988. He wrote six more best-selling novels in the 1990s and three more since: Once, Nobody True and The Secret of Crickley Hall. Herbert died in March 2013 at the age of 69.

©1986 James Herbert (P)2013 Audible Ltd

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Good voice-overs, except for Midge's...

The story is a Herbert classic, and Dyer's voice-overs work for the characters telling the story is good, except for the main female character, Midge. His rendering of her voice is cringeworthy, and there's not much difference in voice vs the Vicar character. Shame, as otherwise it's well told - definitely worth a listen

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • naelene
  • 31-10-2013

liked it! just a nice fun story.

To me it was a good fairly predictable story with a good ending.
But beware of the bats and crazy cultists.Mitch was a bit annoying, when she was seeking answers from her dead parents, but thank god! She saw the light just in time.kept me listening which is good as I don't always finish a book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • KandyMay Poff
  • 18-11-2017

Slow

This was a slow moving book, I kept waiting for more to happen but it didnt. however it was well written and I appreciated that.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kelly Broomhall
  • 25-09-2017

Enjoyable

I really enjoyed this book. No one was an idiot or obtuse. My one negative comment is that I wasn't a huge fan of the narrator's voice for the main female character but not annoying enough to really bother me.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • C. Roxanne Cheley
  • 17-07-2015

It pulls you in

Great book to listen to with words that easily create the back drop in your imagination. The narrated is amazing.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 16-07-2014

Disappointment

What disappointed you about The Magic Cottage?

The story never really got going till the very end. The ending seemed rushed. After listening to The secret of crickety hall by Herbert, which was great, this was a disappointment.

What do you think your next listen will be?

I will in the future give James Herbert another try.

Would you listen to another book narrated by Kris Dyer?

Yes, his narration was good with emotions.

What character would you cut from The Magic Cottage?

several, did not care for the story line.

Any additional comments?

will return

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Nathan Carr
  • 11-04-2016

Great story, spoiled by the Narrator

Any additional comments?

I love this story, I've already read the book, but the narrator's voice for Midge is so annoying that I find it hard to imagine anyone save a deaf person would find her attractive. not a great opinion to have of one of the chief protagonists and someone you are supposed to care about. It did spoil the story for me.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • John Hollingsworth
  • 08-03-2016

performance not good

a good story hard to put down and fill of mystery, the reader made all females sound like Julian Clarey which spoiled it slightly.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Barbara
  • 12-02-2018

Brilliant story but narration let it down.

Where does The Magic Cottage rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Its the only one.

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

Although the narrator was very good when speaking in a man's voice, he was very annoying and sometimes comical, when speaking as his wife. The audiobook should have had at least two narrators.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • patricia mckechnie
  • 13-06-2018

Another Herbert classic.

James Herbert is a master at horror writing. Every book is fantastic. I read his books over and over and never tire of them..

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Simm-pa1960
  • 12-07-2017

Magical book

Were the voices of Mike, Midge and Mycroft etc really spoken by Kris Dyer?. Outstanding!. I really enjoyed The Magic Cottage being read to me by a very talented story teller.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Fiona Anderson
  • 19-06-2017

James Herbert at his best

brilliantly read by Kris Dyer this book is a must for James Herbert fans. hard to stop listening to just as his books were hard to put down

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Karen
  • 11-06-2017

fantastic

loved it. Fantastic read as are all of his books . Enjoyed every minute of the story has you gripped from start to finish

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Aux
  • 23-05-2017

Dull

What will your next listen be?

The spear

Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Kris Dyer?

Someone who can pronounce wonder and wander differently.
And midge comes across as unlikable.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

boredom.

Any additional comments?

Far too slow to get going and when it does its quite tame and dull.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anja
  • 11-04-2017

Very good read, loved the story!

Would you consider the audio edition of The Magic Cottage to be better than the print version?

I have no idea as I haven't read the print version, I currently only listen to books

Who was your favorite character and why?

Mike, far out. He is a down to earth guy who goes through fire for his girlfriend Midge.

Which character – as performed by Kris Dyer – was your favourite?

Mike again. I didn't like how he portrayed Midge, she sounded very annoying and at times irritatingly funny. Couldn't focus on the things she said. Loved how he did the male characters though

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It was mysterious till the end. I had no idea it would turn out the way it did. It was tensive, exciting, it made me laugh at times, romantic in some ways with all the animals showing up on the doorstep

Any additional comments?

I loved how the story moved along and gave us so much information about the surroundings, the other characters. The frightening things, the lovely things. I would've loved to see Midge's artwork and visit the cottage myself. I could totally see it in my head, how lovely it would be there in the middle of the forest. Very well described, the characters are very well described. I can only recommend this book, you won't be disappointed!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Jon-Paul Jones
  • 29-12-2016

Not the narrator I would have chosen.

Would you consider the audio edition of The Magic Cottage to be better than the print version?

No. The I feel the narrator's voice was too soft for this story.

What did you like best about this story?

From beginning to end. Story held my attention.

Which character – as performed by Kris Dyer – was your favourite?

None really.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No.

Any additional comments?

I'm sorry but every time I heard "Midge's" voice, I heard Julian Clary!!!