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Summary

A young librarian receives a request for an obscure Hebrew book from a sinister gentleman, unaware of its contents. 

Montague Rhodes James was a noted British mediaeval scholar and provost of King's College, Cambridge (1905–1918) and of Eton College (1918–1936). He is best remembered for his ghost stories which are widely regarded as among the finest in English literature. 

One of James's most important achievements was to redefine the ghost story for the new century by dispensing with many of the formal Gothic trappings of his predecessors, and replacing them with more realistic contemporary settings. 

'Montague Rhodes James has an intelligent and scientific knowledge of human nerves and feelings; and knows just how to apportion statement, imagery, and subtle suggestions in order to secure the best results with his readers.' HP Lovecraft. 

Actor David Suchet is best known for his definitive portrayal of Hercule Poirot, the Belgian detective created by the legendary mystery author Agatha Christie, in a number of international television productions. He narrates his story in Poirot and Me

©1911 M. R. James (P)2013 Audible Ltd

What listeners say about The Tractate Middoth

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not engaging enough

5 stars for David Suchet reading, but the story really didn't hold my interest enough.

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Superb Story

David Suchet is a superb actor. His reading of this story was fantastic. He reads it with enthusiasm. I love his use of good characters voices. It is a short tale with much sinister content. I loved the reading.

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Ghost story typical of the 19th genre

Would you listen to The Tractate Middoth again? Why?

Possibly, if i had a little time to kill. Nothing in the story to warrant a rereading but classical stye writing and a good reading would stand repeating ( Since the book is well under an hour long)

If you’ve listened to books by M. R. James before, how does this one compare?

Read several of the authors shorts, this one is very typical. I wonder why they are published as seperate books rather than as a collection - i have five and in total they do not add up to even a short novel, under four hours.

What does David Suchet bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Suchet is unobtrusive, i read to myself unobtrusively ergo . . .

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Necessary to listen to in one reading due to it nature and length

Any additional comments?

Good classic style writing and fine reading. Very typical of the genre and the other stories by James. This review to be attached to each of the other short stories by the autor, vis a vis their reviews to this. Ah.. had they be published as a collection i would only have to write one!

3 people found this helpful

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  • Em
  • 29-12-13

LIGHT ON FRIGHTS, BUT WORTH A LISTEN

What did you like best about The Tractate Middoth? What did you like least?

The Tractate Middoth is one of the least scary of M. R. James's tales and it's to David Suchet's credit that he has resisted the temptation to ham it up. His precise, understated delivery ensures that such disquieting moments as the story has do not leap out at the listener but slide insidiously into his or her mind.Only the burst of music at the start of this recording strikes the wrong note. It's neither eerie nor ominous - just irritating!

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Well read

Wonderful narration but the story was slightly weak in comparison,, not my favourite M R James offering

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absolutely superb

extraordinary tale. wonderful - absolutely captivating from first to last. david suchet is fantastic as ever

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Great story, weird characterisations

I’m a big MRJ fan so I was always going to like the story. I’m also usually a David Suchet fan but I didn’t enjoy his vocal style on this and some of the voices he gave his characters were verging on ridiculous. This spoiled the overall experience for me.

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David Suchet narrates wonderfully

I love M.R. James's stories, they are creepy rather than scary but it's an enduring creep that has you staring down dark corridors with some apprehension.
David Suchet is a lovely narrator (although it's a shame he hasn't done all of the stories) and I enjoy re-listening to him when I'm doing a task and want something other than music on.
If you're looking for modern day horror or frights you'll probably be disappointed, but if you're looking for subtle, psycho-emotional tales then this, and others, may be right up your street. (Or up your dusk-lit, abandoned beach / semi-deserted library/ English school and so on)
:-D

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MR James Ghost stories are so atmospheric

Very well read by David Suchet - relaxing listen and perfect bedtime story. Always sends me off to sleep!

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MR James

Outstanding tale of the supernatural bone chilling to the end read by the velvet voice of David suchet

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  • Ellenaeddy
  • 08-08-15

Fun ghost story about relatives no one wants.

There are relatives no one wants to have. What's even worse is if they can't quite manage to die. This is very fun and very much a case of that. Enjoy.

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  • Elisabeth
  • 02-09-20

Fun

An entertaining little story with a bit of supernatural. The best part of this is the narration by David Suchet.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Admiralu
  • 11-01-20

Superbly Narrated Spooky Tale

This was one of the best stories in my M.R. James book. A selfish elderly man attempts to cheat a relative out of an inheritance, but fate intervenes. Suspenseful tale magnificently narrated by the superb David Suchet. I wish he had done all of the stories.

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  • Donna Deal
  • 28-07-19

Be careful in Libraries!

M.R. James uses many unusual tools for setting for his ghost stories: stately homes, trees,
churches, vicarages, and here.. a library.. with a bit of a story. He never just leaps in,
but his usual manner is a story within a story...well done again.

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  • John
  • 28-10-21

An Horrific Treasure Hunt

Enjoyed this one immensely. To say anything more than that it is vintage M. R. James, wherein evil manifests itself amid library shelves and forgotten folios, would be to spoil the fun for you.

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  • Ashley
  • 08-08-18

what an Incredible Book

this was an amazing story. you really need to pay attention because what you think and what happens are very different.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Damita Linn Pearson
  • 26-02-22

Not Agatha Christie

This story is hard to follow but the narrative is very entertaining and so I was obliged to finish. I’m glad I did.

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  • Ree
  • 02-11-21

Divine Suchet

David Suchet reads this ominous little story with a light, exquisite touch. An excellent way to pass 40 minutes.

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  • kula b
  • 15-08-21

Short but succinctly eerie

M.R. James was an exceptional talent in being to write his stories in a concise, yet exceptionally short time by knowing exactly his theme thus taking the reader to heights of unease so rapidly. I am always crushed to reach that peak of unease/spookiness and then ZAP!! the story is over. The narrator is perfect, so talented bc he must capture reader’s interest /maintain it very rapidly! Excellent duo always!! Just wish the short stories weren’t so short or why there ‘s not a better collection of same.

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  • Apryl Morris
  • 21-10-20

Love to be pleasantly surprised.

This was a nice story. The narrator was the star though. I am impressed. Thank you