The Willows Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
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H.P. Lovecraft considered The Willows to be "the finest supernatural tale in English literature", and its appeal is obvious. In his tale of an adventurous duo who embark on a seemingly innocuous river trip down the Danube, Blackwood personifies the desolate willows to be ominous, alive, and menacing. The river itself brims with human passions, and the elemental winds and heavenly forces all combine to create a sense of a supernatural intelligence orchestrating it all.
The result is a splendid novella that paved a significant path in the world of weird fiction and cosmic horror. You don't want miss this unparalleled trip down the ancient, haunted Danube.
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|Listening Length||2 hours and 22 minutes|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||October 11, 2021|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #253,324 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#933 in Ghost Horror Fiction
#3,659 in Supernatural Thrillers (Audible Books & Originals)
#4,161 in Ghost Thrillers
Top reviews from the United States
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Have you ever sat around a campfire at night and thought you saw things rising from the smoke and flames... making it appear things were in the swaying treetops?...
Our Narrator and his canoeing companion The Swede are traveling down the Danube heading for the Black Sea...
They are miles downriver from the nearest village and decide to make camp for the night on the sandy bank of a small island surrounded by marsh willows...
They pitch their tent, gather driftwood for a fire and cook their dinner... afterward they go into their tent to sleep...
During the night the winds whip up, the willows sway and clatter together... Narrator leaves the tent to look at the willows and...
... sees them furiously bending in the wind... he suddenly feels unwelcome on the little island... the willows seemed to be watching him, waiting, listening, unfriendly...
The next morning the Swede tells Narrator that he felt the same way and when the two decide it's time to leave the island ... they find strange funnels in the sand and...
... one of their paddles is missing... and their canoe has a mysterious hole scratched in its bottom... and some of their food provisions have been taken...
Their courage has been reduced to zero... they realize that it's deliberate: the paddle, the canoe, the lessening of food...
It seems the willows are looking for a victim... They know the campers are on the island, they just haven't found them yet...
This was a very creepy tale. I was so scared reading it into the night that I ended up sleeping with the lights on. Try reading this story on Halloween night.
The tale begins with two men on a canoe trip down the Danube. Their destination barely comes into play in this most elegantly written masterpiece of sustained atmosphere. The farther they get along the rising river as a storm approaches, they each begin to realize something is wrong. In these remote wilds, an eerie foreboding sets in that the protagonist conveys to the reader in elegant prose. The willows along the river manifest strange movements, independent of the fierce winds assaulting the small island where he and the Swede have camped for the night. The howls are sounds outside of humanity, and the protagonist fights the feeling that they have somehow stumbled into a border between the known world, and one which is unaware of them — as yet.
This is so fabulous it is difficult to give readers a sense of how good it is. Nor do I want to give away some of the surprises or the ending. While the Swede is painted as practical and perhaps not as bright as his companion at first, eventually their roles become reversed. The narrator discovers the Swede has accepted the supernatural circumstances they’ve found themselves in, and knows they must not be discovered, lest they become a sacrifice. Truly a tale of the supernatural, and the boundary between this world and another, you’ll probably never read anything else like The Willows. I would not say that The Willows is scary, nor does it contain any shocking moments, rather it is a quiet and meticulously crafted tale of being alone and isolated, cut off from the rest of the world, and finding something in the darkness, in the surroundings, that is alive.
I can’t recommend this highly enough. I suspect many modern readers might not enjoy it, but those who love great writing and a memorable tale will. A masterpiece.
Could’ve been written yesterday or 110 years ago. It doesn’t matter it’s just a wonderful little story.
Top reviews from other countries
They arrive, vulnerable, naive and full of expectation, though unaware of their subsequent fate. In his usual style, the author managed to create enough trepidation, fear and confusion to a final tense conclusion, though this was eloquently dismissed in ambiguity wrapped in possibility and unfortunately, ended abruptly, conveniently leaving gaping holes of "what"?......Or what?.