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Publisher's Summary

It’s Christmas Eve, and Lara anxiously anticipates the arrival of her sister, Cleo, so she can reveal a shocking family secret that has been haunting Lara since their mother’s death. By confronting revelations about their grandfather’s shameful past, Lara is hopeful that she and Cleo can make reparations and exorcise this ghost from their lives. The ghost, however, won’t be appeased so easily....

Alexandra Wood’s new play - twisty, suspenseful, and written exclusively for audio - will convince you that you really can’t escape your past.

Playwright Alexandra Wood was awarded a commission through the Audible Emerging Playwrights Fund, an initiative dedicated to developing innovative original plays driven by language and voice. As an Audible-commissioned playwright, she received funding and creative support to develop Descent.

This audio play features immersive audio techniques; to maximize the listening experience, headphones are recommended.

©2021 Alexandra Wood (P)2021 AO Media LLC

About the Creator

Alexandra Wood is a playwright from London. Her plays include The Tyler Sisters (Hampstead Theatre); Never Vera Blue (Futures Theatre); The Human Ear (Paines Plough); Ages (Old Vic New Voices); a translation of Manfred Karge’s Man to Man (Wales Millennium Centre); Merit (Plymouth Drum); The Initiate (Paines Plough, winner of a Scotsman Fringe First); The Empty Quarter (Hampstead); an adaptation of Jung Chang’s Wild Swans (Young Vic/ART); The Centre (Islington Community Theatre); Unbroken (Gate); The Lion's Mouth (Rough Cuts/Royal Court); The Eleventh Capital (Royal Court) and the radio play Twelve Years (BBC Radio 4). Short plays include Invitation Interrupted (Donmar/Writing Wrongs); The Driving Rage (Paines Plough/National Trust); Pope's Grotto (Paines Plough/Come to Where I’m From) and My Name is Tania Head (Decade/Headlong). Alexandra is a past winner of the George Devine Award and her plays have been shortlisted for the Susan Smith Blackburn Award and the Patrick White Playwrights Award. She was the Big Room Playwright-in-Residence at Paines Plough in 2013.

Featuring

What listeners say about Descent

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Very clever


Anyone who doesn’t like this story because it is a “jumbled mess,” something “without any kind of resolution,” etc., are likely young, poorly read, and/or blissfully ignorant of what this storyteller(s) is actually attempting to relate.

Anything more, would ruin what “that is,” but rest assured you’re in good hands. If it were that bad, the storyteller would not have received a grant to develop and distribute it on Audible, in the fantastic spatial audio formats.

10 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Fantastic

A ghost story that touches on the nature of dealing with elderly dementia and will leave you pondering while full of existential dread.

9 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Babbling nonsense

Absolutely terrible. What was the point? There’s no story here. No beginning, no end and just no point in general. Why try to tell a story with no resolution?!?

6 people found this helpful

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Excellent!!

Excellent story!
Excellent narration!
Excellent sound effects!
Excellent!!
Highly recommended!!
Go And Listen Now !!

6 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

terrifyingly realistic

The story itself initially felt like your general supernatural horror, but then became more. Thoughtfully expressing the terror one must feel with Alzheimer's, and such realistic performances. A great listen.

5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Good and creepy

I love a short story. This was interesting and scary in the best way. Creepy voices in foreign languages always get to me. Highly recommend.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Creepy

Original. Difficult to hear at times but stick with it. Sharp writing and smart dialogue.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Cool effects!

The sounds that are accomplished using headphones is amazing. Literally looked over my shoulder and jumped a few times! Fun and entertaining listen.

2 people found this helpful

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Definitely worth a listen!

This was my first time listening to an audible play and I was thoroughly captivated throughout. The tension in the story was palpable due to some fantastic performances. The sound effects were brilliant and really enhanced the storytelling. The story itself is wonderfully nuanced, taking you from thrilling 'ghostly' moments, to reflection on sisterly relationships, to issues such as dementia addressed in an abstract manner.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Just use both earbuds/headphones

Any issues with audio that other reviews reference can be explained by not using both earbuds. I was thoroughly spooked by this short story, but wanting more. There were parts of the story that could—and should— be fleshed out further.

2 people found this helpful

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  • S A Kluvitse
  • 11-03-21

Excellent.

Excellent. creepy, enticing, impossible and yet, somehow, all too real.

I inhaled Descent, it hasn't yet left me & I suspect it'll be with me for a long while.

2 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Heinz57
  • 12-21-21

Proceed with caution ⚠️

I can imagine that the short story of this could be quite enjoyable to read but Mon Dieu, the central female performance in this Audible production is dire. It reminded me of Shelly Duvall from The Shining where all she does for the second half of the film is wail hysterically to the point of tedium The production is only an hour long but even this was a struggle.

To be fair, the other cast members found here weren't altogether bad. Nothing really mentionable though other than its good to see Max Von Sydow reprise his role as Ming the Merciless at the end of the tale.

Some stories are best left on the page.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Heisenberg
  • 11-19-21

Excellent ghost story

An entertaining ghost story starring Tara Fitzgerald.
Well acted and atmospheric and at just over an hour, ideal for a short car journey.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Chips
  • 11-07-21

Stays with you

I’ve seen a few of this writer’s stage plays and they’ve stayed with me. This is no different. A few weeks after listening and I’m still thinking about it. A haunting piece, with excellent sound design and performances, I was totally swept up in it.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Bianca
  • 10-26-21

Intriguing family drama with a twist

Different to what I usually listen to but I liked the relationship between the sisters and the binaural effect is cool.

1 person found this helpful

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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
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  • Sam Phillips
  • 10-26-21

Gripping, intense listen

A really engaging story and listen, with a gut-punch end, but definitely recommend listening with headphones on to get the whole experience.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Janey Day
  • 09-13-22

I’m confused

I didn’t really get what was going on and got quite confused. I like a ghost story but found this not a ghost story and more a descent into dementia by the main character.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Glen
  • 08-29-22

Excellent ghost story

I loved this story. Straight away you see it has great production values. You listen to sound effects, music, and the characters each have their own voice actor. If you have Audible plus then this story is included with it.
I thought this was an amazing ghost story up until the final 2 minutes. I wasn't that fond of the ending, but everything else was a fantastic experience.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Atenea Berumen
  • 08-07-22

Strange yet good

It was a strange story, but I found myself wanting to listen to more to know what would happen, plus I stopped doing what I was just to pay more attention to it.
It was unnerving at some points, but the performances were great! I hated the main character at some points too but i guess that was a reflection of how good the performance was.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Carol B
  • 07-09-22

Poor

Poor quality sounding very muffled job to hear verbal speaking annoying background noise and I did get the gist of the story but got fed up with straining to hear what was going on.
Bit of a waste of time struggling with this could have spent the time listening to another audio, but at least I did not have to pay for it as it was in the included list.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-30-21

Unsettling

This story has left me unnerved; it is gripping and intriguing with an unexpected finish. From start to finish, it is very well performed. Well done!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Teena
  • 11-21-21

Weird, I couldn’t understand it

I loved the sounds, so real through my headphones and the performances were good. But I couldn’t understand the story and found it disturbing. Not to my taste.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Rae
  • 11-06-21

Quick engaging read

Love the way the audio is done on this
Decent story good performances
Short story good for a train ride

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