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The Willows  By  cover art

The Willows

By: Algernon Blackwood
Narrated by: Nick Sampson
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Publisher's Summary

Perhaps Blackwood's most celebrated story, The Willows was influenced heavily by his own trips down the Danube River. It tells the story of two campers who pick the wrong place to sleep for the night, a place where another dimension impinges on our own. H.P. Lovecraft considered this the finest supernatural tale in English literature.
(P)2007 Listen and Live Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about The Willows

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Short, Sweet, Creepy

A truly classic tale of the supernatural. It is more of a psychological suspense story than today's definition of horror which invariably includes blood, gore, and mayhem. It is easy to see how this story could have influenced Lovecraft. It starts a little slow, but as it is a novella, this does not last long. The narration is very unobtrusive. Do not listen to on a camping trip.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Slowly building dread.

I have very little patience for slow starters and this is most definitely a slow starter. Fortunately when it comes to audio, I can and will usually stick it out. Sometimes it pays off, sometimes it doesn’t. This time it did and it’s given me one more reason to add to my “Why I’ll Never Go Camping Again” list.

The beginning is filled with an abundance of descriptive prose. The first hour basically sets the scene for the nightmarish dreamlike conclusion.

Two friends head out on a canoeing adventure ignoring, and slightly oblivious to, all of the warning signs that they should go ANYWHERE but where they’re headed. They set up camp somewhere on a small island. Unfortunately they’ve chosen the wrong location. As the eeriness continues to settle in, I found it absorbing and a little terrifying and even slightly humorous as one of our protagonists attempts to make excuses for everything happening to them – even though we know he doesn’t really believe any of his own words.

It’s worth a listen. The narrator is very proper and keeps things moving despite the sometimes slow pace of the narrative and though it ends too abruptly for my liking it did give me a decent case of the creeps.

1 person found this helpful

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start is scary

the beginning is very scarry though it doesn't maintain till the end. well done though interesting

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Awe and disappointment

This was an exquisite story, performed so well that, through the narrator's expressiveness, some of the archaic words'meanings were made abundantly clear. The more Blackwood's stories I read, however, the more elements of his I recognize in the modern day authors' works. Now I know where the topiaries in The Shining came from. Straight out of The Willows.

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Phenomenal Atmospheric Horror

I'm a huge fan of H.P Lovecraft's work, and quite honestly found the feeling of horror in this short story far above what I've felt in any of Lovecraft's stories. Very much worth the read, and I want more like this. The audio quality varies in certain places but it's still understandable and the lower quality parts even add to the feeling of fear at times.

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Flawless Storytelling

Beautifully written. A creepy classic. Narrators voice suit story well. Would recommend to anyone looking for a short story to make you uncomfortable.

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Ones it get any better?

it is easy to see why A.B. influenced H.P.L. Must Read ASAP! There is no need for any of the modern gore or sex or outright violence. Just a well spoken, intelligent writer for intelligent people.

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Fantastic narrator good story

Enjoyed thoroughly...if this narrator was available for all audible I would join immediately. Sadly most are not as good as this.

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Pretty Good, thought it was going to be scarier.

I think I heard about this back when I listened to Bird Box, and wanted to find something similar. This was short and free so I gave it a go. Thinking about when it was wrote, I have no doubt it would have been a much scarier read back then, but the level of horror had come a long way. So it was enjoyable but just mildly scary to me.

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Wonderful story, good performance.

This will go down as one of my all-time favorite horror stories, it builds dread and suspense in a way that's seldom seen (or heard, I suppose). The performance is good, though the swede's voice is a little strange- and the audio dips in quality towards the end, but perfectly listenable.

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  • Steven
  • 10-21-20

a good listen for a short while

a fun and different weird tale from what I've read or listened to and is rightly respected, the descriptors and dialog are well written and it is performed very well.
the audio gets a little fuzzy for the last 30 minutes but doesn't harm the performance too much.
well worth a listen.