Narrator: Matt Godfrey
Published by Valancourt Books on 14 December 2017
Length: 11 hrs and 45 mins
Genres: Fantasy, Horror
Source: Narrator, Submitted
Hovern Bog. People live in terror of it - especially the residents of Fenchurch St. Jude, the little village located at its edge. They think of it as a living being. They've seen it reach out with sinewy tentacles... to take, entangle, and digest.
When 2,000-year-old bodies are recovered from the bog, perfectly preserved, it is the discovery of a lifetime for archaeologist David Macauley. But close examination of the corpses reveals a curious fact: all were cruelly, mysteriously murdered, gnawed to death by some unimaginable creature. Soon it becomes apparent that whatever tortured and killed the bodies from ancient times still roams the bog, and no one in Fenchurch St. Jude - especially David and his family - is safe.
In The Bog (1986), Michael Talbot (1953-1992), author of the vampire classic The Delicate Dependency and the chilling haunted house novel Night Things, delivers an exciting mix of science and the supernatural that will keep listeners guessing until the horrific climax.
"One of the better horror novels.... odd and risky mingling of pure science with fairy lore and gnashed bodies.... terrific." - Kirkus Reviews
"Exciting!" - Publishers Weekly
"Convincingly original!" - Ocala Star-Banner
©1986, 2017 Michael Talbot (P)2017 Valancourt Books, LLC
ABR received this audiobook for free from the Narrator, Submitted in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect our opinion of the audiobook or the content of our review.Buy from Audible Buy from Amazon.comAdd to Goodreads
The Bog is an old-school work of 1980s quiet horror. Michael Talbot slowly sets the stage, introducing archaeologist David Macauley and his family living abroad in the UK on a research grant. David specializes in studying bogs, particularly the corpses found preserved within. In a small English village, David uncovers not just a spate of bog bodies, but colorful legends – legends that point toward the true nature of an ancient evil responsible for the death of the bodies he is now unearthing. As readers slowly settle in for what first appears to be a creature feature, Talbot serves up a few interesting twists alongside a couple doses of personal tragedy and plenty of foreboding dread.
One of the things I most appreciated about The Bog was Talbot’s plotting. Even the most seemingly insignificant plot points and character beats play into the larger narrative and receive certain payoffs as the story resolves. A character’s veganism, a child’s fascination with the word ‘moxie’, a tavern’s clienteles apprehension over the appearance of a moth all lead to larger elements within the story, and the introduction of these minor points help to, in various ways, bring The Bog full-circle by book’s end. Throughout the story, Talbot introduces a number of concepts that I enjoyed quite a bit, particularly in regards to the nature of the evil infecting the small hamlet Macauley and his family find themselves inhabiting, which dovetails nicely with David’s work as a historian and scholar.
Reissued by Valancourt, The Bog is narrated by Matt Godfrey. I’ve only recently become familiar with Godfrey’s work, but he’s quickly earned with me the reputation of being a solid reader. I can expect a natural delivery complemented by subtle performances and distinct voice-work for each of the characters. In that regard, The Bog meets expectations. Each of the male and female characters presented here is clearly delineated and unmistakably unique. Listening to this book through my car’s audio system during my daily commute, I could not detect any flaws in the audio production, and the sound is crisp, clean, and well-modulated.
Readers looking for some high-end 80s horror should find a lot to enjoy in Talbot’s work. While The Bog is a bit of a slow-burn, it is ultimately quite enjoyable. Patient readers will be greatly rewarded by the way certain puzzle pieces of the plot align and snap into place as the story progresses.