• What Moves the Dead

  • By: T. Kingfisher
  • Narrated by: Avi Roque
  • Length: 5 hrs and 11 mins
  • 4.1 out of 5 stars (323 ratings)

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What Moves the Dead  By  cover art

What Moves the Dead

By: T. Kingfisher
Narrated by: Avi Roque
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Publisher's Summary

From T. Kingfisher, the award-winning author of The Twisted Ones, comes What Moves the Dead, a gripping and atmospheric retelling of Edgar Allan Poe's classic "The Fall of the House of Usher."

When Alex Easton, a retired soldier, receives word that their childhood friend Madeline Usher is dying, they race to the ancestral home of the Ushers in the remote countryside of Ruritania.

What they find there is a nightmare of fungal growths and possessed wildlife, surrounding a dark, pulsing lake. Madeline sleepwalks and speaks in strange voices at night, and her brother Roderick is consumed with a mysterious malady of the nerves.

Aided by a redoubtable British mycologist and a baffled American doctor, Alex must unravel the secret of the House of Usher before it consumes them all.

A Macmillan Audio production from Tor Nightfire.

©2022 T. Kingfisher (P)2022 Macmillan Audio

Editorial Review

How stories sustain the living dead
I’ve been asking: Do I love the gothic because I love audiobooks, or do I love audiobooks because I love gothic literature? This genre demands to be heard, as its booming claps of thunder and haunting organs creep from its pages to prey upon the darkest corners of our imaginations. So, when I learned that T. Kingfisher, author of such atmospheric works as The Hollow Places and The Twisted Ones, had plans to resurrect The Fall of the House of Usher in all its chilling glory, I knew I had to listen. This title adds unsettling depth to the ruins of Edgar Allan Poe’s original manor, reminding us in the process that so long as we keep their stories alive, the dead never have to die. — Haley H.

What listeners say about What Moves the Dead

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

Ew

Pardon me while I go boil my skin. Can't tell if I love it or want to burn my phone. Both?

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Genuinely scary

Like the rest of T. Kingfisher’s horror books. this starts out with a reasonable main character doing reasonable things. And then we are increasingly plunged into the unreasonable and genuinely icky. You thought Poe did a number on the poor Ushers? Wait until you read what happens to them here.

2 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • SB
  • 08-01-22

ugh, nope

This was terrible...the writing, the dialogue, the narration...all of it! I wouldn't recommend this to anyone.



1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Not for EAP Fans

I was very excited for this book because “Fall of the House of Usher” is one of my favorite stories, and I was looking forward to an interesting reimagining. This isn’t so much a reimagining, though, as it is an attempt to fill in gaps in the original story that didn’t need filling in. “Usher” is a prime example of Poe’s “Unity of Effect,” and Kingfisher has destroyed that by adding in loads of unnecessary details, unnecessary characters, and unnecessary world-building. This could have been a worthwhile effort without it being explicitly tied to Poe. As is, though, it felt like I was reading a sad attempt to answer questions that Poe purposefully left unanswered. One might enjoy it if they’re not already a fan of EAP, but I would caution those who are to steer clear.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

not the best book by this author

This book was just "ok". The writing was mediocre compared to Hollow Places, and the narration was too stiff and formal. It was enjoyable enough to finish, but it didn't wow me.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Entertaining thoughts.

Great concept, but I found the characters droning on when they figured out what was going on. It just took way too long for them to actually get it after so many related incidents. Then taking action. Molasses. The back story of the soldiers was unnecessary and confusing.

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  • F
  • 11-07-22

Skip for me

Powered through finishing, because I'm behind on my Goodreads goal. The story plods along and then slaps you in the face with a very obvious twist. Narration sounds very forced and oddly pretentious. The final act managed a couple of surprises and then dragged along. Overall this wasn't my cup of tea.

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An captive, eerie imagining with a fresh twist

A fun and thoroughly Kingfisher take on an old classic—by which I mean expect lush and intimate prose, a tone that captivates as well as a good soundtrack and memorable, often very funny characters you’d love to get to know better. The viewpoint character is especially excellent, and I especially love the work of the non-binary actor giving voice to the work. Their delivery is perfect for the setting and incredibly refreshing. This book comes recommended for the spooky season especially.

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    5 out of 5 stars

Enjoyable story, but the narrator was difficult.

I enjoy the authors writing style and imagination. It was an inventive reimagining of one of Poe's stories. However, the narrator was hugely distracting. Their over-enunciation and weird pauses were very jarring on the ear and pulled you out of the flow of the story.

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    5 out of 5 stars

Another great Kingfisher horror novel

Do you like slow-burn, atmospheric horror? Do you like body horror and grotesquery? Do you enjoy gothic settings filled with decay?

I tore through this one despite my attempts to play it out. This is right up there with The Twisted Ones in terms of quality level. We have a compelling protagonist and a colorful cast of characters for said protagonist to play off of. I haven't read the Fall of the House of Usher myself, but I love what T. Kingfisher has done with the source material.

Finally, it's nice to see an author capitalize on the creepy potential of hares for a scare factor. When you read this work you'll understand why the lagomorphs are associated with witches.