• Oh Whistle and I'll Come to You, My Lad

  • By: M. R. James
  • Narrated by: David Suchet
  • Length: 50 mins
  • 4.2 out of 5 stars (683 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The story tells the tale of an introverted academic who happens upon a strange whistle while exploring a cemetery on the East Anglian coast. When blown, the whistle unleashes a supernatural force that terrorises its discoverer. 

Montague Rhodes James was a noted British mediaeval scholar and provost of King's College, Cambridge (1905–1918) and of Eton College (1918–1936). He is best remembered for his ghost stories which are widely regarded as among the finest in English literature. 

One of James's most important achievements was to redefine the ghost story for the new century by dispensing with many of the formal Gothic trappings of his predecessors, and replacing them with more realistic contemporary settings. 

'Montague Rhodes James has an intelligent and scientific knowledge of human nerves and feelings; and knows just how to apportion statement, imagery, and subtle suggestions in order to secure the best results with his readers.' HP Lovecraft. 

Actor David Suchet is best known for his definitive portrayal of Hercule Poirot, the Belgian detective created by the legendary mystery author Agatha Christie, in a number of international television productions. He narrates his story in Poirot and Me

©1904 M. R. James (P)2013 Audible Ltd

What listeners say about Oh Whistle and I'll Come to You, My Lad

Average Customer Ratings
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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AND HERE'S A SIX PENCE

Unless Audible pays you to listen to it, it is not worth your time. Suchet is excellent, but I could not get into the story.

Time is money.

17 people found this helpful

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Good old-time terror

excellent story, excellent narration. recommended. David Suchet is a treasure and does this classic supernatural horror story justice.

3 people found this helpful

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Christmas Scarecrows?

Great story. It's a bit antiCatholic but it can be overlooked since it's over 100 years old and from Britain after all. Get it. You'll be creeped by whistles and scarecrows ever after.

2 people found this helpful

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Really something special

A perfect reading of a satisfying Victorian ghost story. Treat yourself to this lovely recording.

2 people found this helpful

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Not great, not bad....

A ghostly tale...not a bad story, but I have heard better. The narration was good.

2 people found this helpful

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Supposed holiday classic

What did you like best about Oh Whistle and I'll Come to You, My Lad? What did you like least?

The best part of this book by far was the narration by David Suchet. His voice is very expressive and he uses it to full effect, able to give each character their own nuances. In fact Mr. Suchet's performance is the only reason I rated this book 3 stars and if I had just been reading it myself it would have only gotten 1 star.

I disliked most of the story and found the main character to be a one dimensional, boring scholar. The story was lacklustre to me and did not engage me at all. If this hadn't been a short story at only 50 minutes I most likely would not have continued listening to the story.

What could M. R. James have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

The premise of the short story was interesting but it fell very flat and I don't know what the author could have done to make it more interesting for me.

Do you think Oh Whistle and I'll Come to You, My Lad needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

I don't think it needs a follow up book, and even if one was written I would not read it.

Any additional comments?

I will be looking for more novels read by Mr. Suchet in the future as I found his performance excellent.

2 people found this helpful

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Hey, its free

I don't think anyone can complain about a free audio book of any sorts. And David Suchet does a good job of narration. Free stories seem to be short stories, and therefore not enough meat to get your teeth into. Listen and delete,,, and in time forget

2 people found this helpful

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Chilling Horror Tale

I loved this chilling little tale of be careful what you bring home and mess with it could have dire consequences. The story is creepy, engaging and intriguing and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who loves suspense and horror. David Suchet did a marvelous job as narrator bringing the creepiness to life as well as the characters. This is my honest unbiased review.

1 person found this helpful

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Creepy but not entirely satisfying

Creepy story but not James' finest. David Suchet is excellent and his narration makes up for the less than punchy storyline.

The story leaves a lot of unanswered questions but not in the good way.

1 person found this helpful

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A Wee and Precious Gem

Would you listen to Oh Whistle and I'll Come to You, My Lad again? Why?

Absolutely. I'll listen many times, I think:)

David Suchet creates marvelous characterizations and is particularly good at distinguishing character voices from his own.

He has a wonderful cadence and tone for this type of story, for me at least.

The production quality is wonderful: clean, crisp and clear.



Any additional comments?

The whole experience was delightful and I look forward to having many more of Suchet's readings!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Simon
  • 10-15-15

An Intense Hour

This is a nice way to spend an hour. A deliciously spooky story narrated in perfect fashion by the excellent David Suchet. If you're "between books" and want a short filler this may well fit the bill..

12 people found this helpful

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  • Lynn Worton
  • 03-29-14

Creepy Short Story

This is a classic Christmas ghost story. I downloaded an audio copy, which had been specially created by Audible and read by David Suchet (actor of Hercule Perot etc.). I loved it!

Professor Parkins is a young man, who goes on a golfing holiday and finds a strange whistle that when blown, unleashes a horrifying event. As this was a short story, I couldn't get a good enough impression of his character. However, I did like him.

This is a short story, but it was well told and the suspense and mystery was chillingly built. Written in the traditional ghost story manner, the story swept me away and kept me entertained for just under an hour. Narrated by David Suchet, the story was given a creepy feel by his interpretation. I loved the way how he gave the different characters their own voice, and how he paced the tale. Neither too fast nor too slow, the story built until the climax at the end of the book. I was a little disappointed by how it ended, but it did make me feel a little scared! The only thing I have a quibble about was the origin of the whistle and why it called the specter.
Nevertheless, the story was extremely entertaining and I would definitely consider reading/listening to more of the works by this author.

M. R. James may have published this is 1904, but the contemporary feel of the story made it feel as if it had been written this year. His attention to detail brought the characters to life and his writing style flowed wonderfully.

There is no violence or horrific gore, so I recommend this book to younger readers who are looking for a small scare, and to adults who love classic ghost or horror stories. - Lynn Worton

8 people found this helpful

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  • Kaggy
  • 04-27-15

Bed dread

Another thrilling ghost story from M R James told with exactly the right level of spookiness and humour by David Suchet. These stories set the gold standard by which all other supernatural tales should be judged.

6 people found this helpful

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  • R. Hunter
  • 12-22-13

Fantastic stuff

Excellent, classic ghost story. Fantastic narration by David Suchet, I could listen to him all day. A lot shorter than I expected, but a good quality, creepy story that sticks in the mind. And free!

6 people found this helpful

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  • Dinah
  • 12-24-13

Academic Finds Strange Whistle in Coastal Cemetary

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes. This is a short story of the highest quality.

What did you like best about this story?

M.R. James is a former provost of King’s College, Cambridge and scholar of medieval history. Those who are familiar with his writing know what to expect as his ghost stories are so well written and effective. I am such a fan. This 45 minute story is perfect for this time of year.

Which character – as performed by David Suchet – was your favourite?

Set in the author's familiar territory of Cambridge and East Anglia, the story tells the tale of an introverted academic who happens upon a strange whistle while exploring a cemetery on the coast. The whistle, when blown, releases a supernatural force that terrorises its discoverer rather like the worst form of ‘stalker’.

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

Scary, but in a good way.

Any additional comments?

I’ll say it again that some actors make for wonderful narrators and David Suchet’s narration is excellent. He gives the story the ‘spine tingling’ edge it deserves. Enjoy.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Matt
  • 04-14-15

Classic!

This one never leaves my phone! My all time favourite MR James story. David Suchet is simply fascinating to listen to, he thoroughly acts the story rather than just reads it. This really is the place to start if you've not experienced an MR James ghostly tale before.

3 people found this helpful

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  • M Mahoney
  • 12-22-13

A bit disappointing

Free is Free, so thanks very much Audible, but it's not much of a story really. David Suchet does the sort of competent job you'd expect from him but i can't help but think that this is 45 minutes or so of my life which i can never get back.

2 people found this helpful

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  • JBo
  • 10-31-19

Lovely & creepy!

I do enjoy M.R. James's stories; they're wonderfully creepy and just right to listen to when you only have a small spot of time free. This story is particularly effective because I have walked along a long beach at twilight when it's difficult to make out what's in the distance behind you, so it's very easy to feel disquiet.
The narration is excellent from David Suchet - I only wish he'd done more of James's work than the small selection I've come across.
The language is of its time, appropriate to the age in which it was written, and aiming to unnerve rather than give a fright.
I will listen to this at Christmas as no Christmas Eve is complete without a good ghost story, and I will try some of the others that have been narrated by others.

1 person found this helpful

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  • K
  • 09-17-17

My favourite MRJames

A typical James tale but my absolute favourite. Eerie enough to bring uncomfortable mental images to mind and wonderfully narrated by David Suchet. This does have tongue in cheek moments and is wrought by utilising a few stereotypes. Nevertheless, underlying this is a very serious moral which shows us to always keep an open mind to whatever may occur.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Mr. ANTHONY GRAHAM SMITH
  • 08-08-16

chilling!

read by a legend, in a very haunting way.
very good value with all the intensity needed in a ghost story

1 person found this helpful