The Willows - by Algernon Blackwood - Classic Tale of the Supernatural - BBC Audiobook - cheops

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Category   Audio
Date   February 6, 2008 9:09:21PM

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The Willows - by Algernon Blackwood - Classic Tale of the Supernatural - BBC Audiobook - cheops

"After leaving Vienna, and long before you come to Budapest, the Danube enters a region of singular loneliness and desolation, where its waters spread away on all sides regardless of a main channel, and the country becomes a swamp for miles upon miles, covered by a vast sea of low willow-bushes...."

Algernon Blackwood is regarded as the Twentieth Century’s foremost British writer of supernatural fiction, and ‘The Willows’ has often been rated as the finest single supernatural story in English. One of Blackwood’s foremost admirers, H.P.Lovecraft, said of him: ‘he is the one absolute and unquestioned master of weird atmosphere …can evoke what amounts almost to a story from a simple fragment of psychological description. Above all others he understands how fully some sensitive minds dwell for ever on the borderland of dream, and how relatively slight is the distinction betwixt those images formed from actual objects and those excited by the play of the imagination’.

‘The Willows’ (written in 1907) builds up an atmosphere of almost unbearable suspense from the simple situation of two friends on a canoeing trip down the Danube, who decide to spend the night on a small island in a remote stretch of the river between Austria and Hungary. Little by little, they realise that malevolent supernatural forces, embodied by the island’s ubiquitous rustling willow trees, are at work against them, and what at first promises to be a straightforward camping expedition escalates into an ordeal of survival against a powerful agency from another dimension.

Four episodes of 30 minutes each read by Roger Allam.
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