Thursday, November 3, 2011

"Pigeons from Hell" by Robert E. Howard

Source: Gremlin Radio (mp3)
Length: 1 hr
Reader: various

The story: Robert E. Howard is best known for his Conan the Barbarian stories (previously reviewed here), but he was also a great horror writer. He also wrote the Solomon Kane stories, featuring a roving Puritan hunting monsters, but this is one of his stand-alone stories. This is one of Howard's scariest stories and a favorite of Stephen King.

When two New Englanders visit the South, they make the mistake of camping out in a deserted antebellum mansion. Despite the title, the pigeons play little direct role in the story - this is not The Birds. Rather, this is a creepy nightmare, full of atmosphere and building suspense. Even though Halloween is over, there's still good reasons to scare yourself silly.

Rating: 8 / 10

The readers: Although I love this story, I'm less enthralled by the audio production. Gremlin Radio went with an old-time style audio theater production for this story. The additional sound effects and music are redundant to a well-crafted piece of prose. The asides voiced by the actors are even more intrusive and have the cheesy effect of doubling the narration with dialog (A paraphrased example: "He wondered where he was. 'Where am I?'"). The distracting effect lessens as the story proceeds, but I wish they had just stuck with Howard's words.


jesse willis said...

Theyb made a great story unlistenable. :(


Great story.