Tales of the Supernatural
Volume Three

Author: M. R. James
Read by: Murray Melvin, Phil Reynolds and Ian Fairbairn
Fantom Films
RRP: £12.99
ISBN: 978 1 906263 04 1
Available 16 October 2007

Montague Rhodes James (1862 - 1936) was a British mediaeval scholar and prodigious writer of ghost stories, much admired by H. P. Lovecraft and often held to be the best twentieth centuries writer of ghost stories. If you're after a little more background on James, pop over to the reviews of Volume One and

Fantom Films seem to be on a role at the moment and there is no better way of proving it than to release another reading of four more unabridged stories in Tales of the Supernatural: Volume Three, this time with the vocal talents of Murray Melvin and regulars, Phil Reynolds and Ian Fairbairn.

The double CD set contains The Stalls of Barchester Cathedral, The Mezzotini, A School Story and Oh, Whistle and I'll Come to You, My Lad. Once more these further four all fall into the British tradition of macabre scares, rather than the more visceral type of story which involves less imagination and more gore. The whole thing runs to a very reasonable 135 minutes, which includes the extras, which come in the form of the second part of An Interview with Ian Fairbairn and the PDF texts of the stories.

At this point I have an apology to make to Fantom Film. In the review of Volume Two I felt that the insert booklet let the whole thing down as the biographies of the vocal actors was almost unreadable without a magnifying glass. I have to say sorry for this as I grumpily waved this around exclaiming: "How can anyone be expected to read this?" Turns out I was the only one who couldn't, so that's a red faced reviewer off to Specs Savers.

Once again all three of the vocal talents do a great job of imbuing their characters with life and running a chilly finger up your spine. Production on the discs is very professional with the audio being crystal clear.

If you're a fan of ghost stories do yourself a favour and add these volumes to your collection.

Charles Packer

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