Cover Image: Reality, and Other Stories

Reality, and Other Stories

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Member Reviews

I've really been trying to read (listen to?) more audiobooks, and what better than a bunch of horror stories? The narrators chosen for these tales were all great, really immersing you in the story. While I wouldn't call most of these stories horror exactly, a couple did have decidedly creepy elements. The narration certainly added to this eeriness in some of the stories.
While none were overly scary, the stories in this collection were all interesting. They were modern, revolving around the internet and technology in some instances, making them relevant and relatable. I would have liked more of a fear factor, but that's just personal preference really.
Each story was relatively short, making it easy to listen to one or two a night. I gave 4 stars to this audiobook!
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Like most compilations there are some good stories and some not so good. On the whole though this was an enjoyable read.
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In Reality and Other Stories there are eight spooky tales with four narrators each narrating two stories. First of all I have to admit I really am a scaredy-cat! To be honest this hasn’t always been the case. When I was younger you would usually find me watching a horror film. Nowadays, not so much! So I guess I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I first started listening to the stories. I did wonder if they any of these stories would give me a chill. For me Signal, Cold Call and Reality stood out a little bit more than the others in the creepiness factor. However none of these stories particularly creeped me out. So if you are expecting a more chilling experience you might be disappointed. Even though the twists in these stories were kind of easy to work out it was still pretty fun seeing them play out. There was something in each tale that grabbed my attention whether it was unlikeable characters or the unusual technology aspect of each story that made them interesting.

Confession time… I will pretty much listen to and buy any audiobook that Richard Armitage narrates. So I was very eager to download a copy of this audiobook especially as I loved the sound of the stories too. Then when I saw Hugh Quarshie was a narrator, I was one happy little bunny! 😂

Even though to begin with I may have been drawn to those two particular narrators. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I enjoyed every single one! As with all short story collections some stories can be hit and miss. With some being stronger than others and I did find that this was definitely the case with Reality and Other Stories. However I am so glad that I picked the audiobook version because even if some of the stories were a slight miss for me, I still really enjoyed the narration. With Richard Armitage, Emila Fox, Anthony Boyle and Hugh Quarshie bringing each of these stories to life. It felt as if all of the narrators had been cleverly chosen to help draw the listener into the story.

I do love short story collections and it was my first experience of listening to a collection via audiobook. Reality and Other Stories is a mix of unusual and modern ghostly tales and it was fun to spend a few hours with. Even though the collection wasn’t perfect I do think Reality and Other Stories is an audiobook I will listen to again in the future!
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I tried four of the stories and found that I zoned out on at least two. The narration was very monotonous, and the couple of stories that stuck were underwhelming.
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An interesting collection of short stories, all with great tension but none amounting to very much. An enjoyable listen though!
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(2,5 stars) I always love a creepy audio book, and I was looking forward to these suspenseful modern day horror stories with such a stellar cast doing the narration. 

Several of the stories are okay, and they were good company on my walks, but unfortunately the stories overall did not hit the spot for me. They are supposed to be a comment on our increasingly technologically dependent society, and I guess there’s a certain horror in that, but most of the stories felt old-fashioned and out of date (who has a dvd library anymore? And if you can’t sort out phone reception/WiFi in your house, just put in a repeater!) and the spooky factor was tame at best. 

Most of the protagonists (and I think the audience) are middle age or older, which makes me suspect the author is preaching to the choir in terms of the perceived horrors of internet, the search for a good phone connection and audio books (!) but it does just signal to me that he’s out of touch for a younger audience (and I’m not that young!)

The stories are clearly well written and have a very varied starting points and cast of characters, even though the overarching theme is the same. 

This should be great for fans of the author, but for the rest of us I do feel there’s better stories tackling our modern world than these, unfortunately. 

What I loved about the collection were the narrators, they are all favourites of mine and did a great job trying to bring life to the stories! 

Thank you NetGalley for letting me listen to the audio book in exchange for an honest review.
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I really enjoyed these creepy short stories based on technology gone bad. Short stories can always be a little hit or miss and I don't think I've ever read a collection where I liked every story but this one was pretty good overall. The choice of narrators was excellent, especially Emilia Fox and Richard Armitage who really added an extra bit of flare to their stories. Their was a creepiness that ran throughout and the atmosphere was great. It's testament to the writers ability that he could make a selfie stick scary.
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A superb set of short stories for audio book, perfect for commutes, and expertly narrated. Unnerving and dark, these stories differ from usual horror; although retaining some classic elements each story felt completely new, and not a rehash of something done before. Full of suspense and dread, and set in contemporary times, a perfect combination. 

Many thanks to NetGalley, WF Howes Ltd and John Lanchester for the opportunity to listen to and review this audiobook.
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This was an interesting and fun collection of short stories. It brought classic ghost stories into the modern era in an attempt to comment on our society's reliance on technology. Do I think it was entirely successful? Not really. There is something a bit out-dated about the way technology is being viewed here. It feels out-of-touch. Kind of like a bad copy of Black Mirror but without much of a grounding in current technology trends.

It doesn't have the impact that I think it wanted to have and I don't think it had an awful lot to say about modern life. At least when it comes to younger readers. This is like a boomer's version of Black Mirror rather than Black Mirror itself. Instead of thinking about the far-reaching consequences of technology, this collection concentrates on selfie sticks and mobile phones. I found it a bit too preachy and nostalgic.

However, it's not a terrible collection and there is certainly some fun to be had. Some stories work better than others but that's to be expected in a book of short stories. You won't be scared senseless but there are few unnerving elements here. It's a quick listen and, though it won't necessarily change your worldview, it's worth a listen.
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I enjoyed the premise of the stories in this book - at times they reminded me of the black mirror Netflix series in that they explored modern issues in an interesting way eg/ social media, reality tv etc...
The female narrator was great however the male narrator has a monotone quality to his voice which gave zero impact to the story. 
As I personally find with most short stories I enjoyed some more than others but overall a nice little collection of modern, creepy tales
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Thoroughly enjoyed this as an audiobook. If you like black mirror style stories then you’ll love this.
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I received the audiobook version of this title via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

This is a short story collection of eight horror stories all based around the theme of technology. I have never read anything by this author before but was hoping for a good scare. I think that the author may be trying to appeal to fans of Black Mirror. I personally have only seen a couple of episodes. As with all short story collections some were better than others. My most favourite story is one called cold call about a woman who has to deal with absurd phone calls from her Father-In-Law who lives alone and cannot look after himself properly. I think that my least favourite was the one about audiobooks As I listened on audiobook I cannot remember all the titles. All the narrators did a great job. This book was just okay in my opinion. If you like your horror with the theme of technology and a twist at the end then maybe this is the book for you.
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I’m a real sucker for short story compilations, and have read and listened to many in the past, so when I saw this I had to request it. Thankfully W.F.Howes Ltd and NetGalley gave me permission to listen to the audiobook and I’m very glad that they did as I enjoyed it immensely. 

There are eight stories including one about a reality tv scenario, one involving a charity shop donation and one about a barrister and her father in law. Each story is as good as the previous one, the plots are very clever and they are superbly done. The narrators include Richard Armitage and Emilia Fox amongst others and their voices only add to the excellence of the collection. In short, this is a very fabulous collection of short stories.
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From traditional ghost stories to Black Mirroresque tales, each story is deliciously creepy and focuses on an aspect of modern life, from reality shows to selfie sticks. As you’d expect, some stories are stronger than others, but overall, it’s a decent collection to keep your occupied through these long winter nights.
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I found this book enthralling and full of food for thought. Ghost stories that features a lot of technological aspects and plenty of social commentary.
Some are quite terrifying, all of them have got the right creepy factor.
The author is a talented storyteller and I loved his style of writing.
A fascinating read that I strongly recommend.
I loved the voices of the narrators and they added something special to the stories making them more fascinating and creepy.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine
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I admire the short story writer. Having recently got to the end of an MA in longform fiction, I tip my hat to anyone who can start and end a complete, fulfilling narrative in less than 20,000 words; a skill I'd dearly love to conquer.
This is Lanchester's first venture into the form, and achieves that elusive, hybrid thing: tales of modern life sliced through the middle with a good dose of good old-fashioned supernatural horror.
My favourite story in the anthology is the first, entitled Signal., Our narrator, his wife and children head up north to celebrate the New Year with a wealthy friend in his amazingly hi-tech mansion. When his children start talking about the Tall Man, an unaccounted-for guest of the party, things get strange and, for readers well initiated in the ghost story genre, delightfully familiar. It's this crossing of the old ways and the new that thrilled me about Lanchester's imagination.
I also loved Coffin Liquor, featuring a high-brow professor who makes a vital - and incredibly MR Jamesian mistake. He thinks he knows better, and boy is he going to find out he doesn't.
As with any anthology, there are stronger and weaker points (which mostly comes down to personal taste). While the tales aren't your straight-up spook stories, and are definitely not for the readers among us who prefer theirs in more traditional veins, there's humour and otherness galore to be had here. 
The audiobook - with it's variety of personable narrators - kept me thoroughly entertained over a handful of autumn evenings.
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This was such a delightfully creepy and satirical collection of stories, all about the horror prevalent in modern day life. With stories ranging from comic horror, as a farming family must fend for themselves when their 'unit' breaks down, through to the philosophical, as a group of intellectuals ponder the existence of a reality simulacrum whilst drinking their frothy coffees in a trendy local cafe, down to the out and out horror of the title story, which features a particularly vicious reality T.V show. Each story was absolutely fantastic and I cannot recommend this collection highly enough, particularly as we enter spooky season.
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.
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This wasn’t a bad collection of short stories but I didn’t fall in love with them either. If anything they all felt sort of the same, or perhaps on the same level, apart from one or two.
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My thanks to W.F. Howes Ltd Whole Story Audiobooks for a review copy via NetGalley of the unabridged audiobook edition of ‘Reality, and Other Stories’ by John Lanchester in exchange for an honest review.

It is narrated by Richard Armitage, Anthony Boyle, Emilia Fox, and Hugh Quarshie with a running time of 4 hours, 58 minutes at 1x. Two stories were allocated to each narrator. 

This is a collection of eight short stories with themes of horror and the uncanny. As with most short story collections, I enjoyed some more than others.

In the choice of narrators, all four are actors known for their work in theatre, film, and television, with Armitage and Fox also having strong reputations as audiobook narrators. 

Richard Armitage could read his shopping list and I would be happy to listen to it. He is my favourite audiobook narrator and I have taken chances on authors unknown to me simply due to his involvement. He reads ‘Signal’ and ‘Coffin Liquor’, the first about a family visiting a haunted mansion and the second about a snooty academic, who encounters haunted audiobooks (quite fun when listening on audio). Both were strong tales with supernatural aspects.

Hugh Quarshie is a noted actor, who only has a few audiobook titles to his CV, though has a very rich voice. He reads the Kafkaesque, ‘Which of These Do You Want?’ and ‘We Happy Few’, in which a group of lecturers are snarky and contemplate the nature of reality over coffee. Both of these stories were philosophical in nature.

Emilia Fox is another actor whose work on audiobooks I admire, she has a beautiful voice. She reads the title story, ‘Reality’, about six people taking part in one of those reality shows where impossibly beautiful singles are isolated together, and ‘Cold Call’, which was very clever in identifying the tyranny of the phone call. Here both stories were fairly realistic though had interesting twists.

The last two stories focused on objects and were read by actor Anthony Boyle. ‘The Kit’ was my least favourite in the collection with its predictable twist.  ‘Charity’, which featured a sinister selfie stick donated to a charity shop, was quirky and dark. However, I found Doyle’s accent tended to take centre stage and distracted me some from the narrative. 

While I wouldn’t class all of these stories as horror, they were an interesting mix of Twilight Zone-like weird fiction. Perfect reading as the nights begin to draw in.

Overall, I felt this collection worked especially well as an audiobook as the length of the stories allowed it to be listened to in handy sections.
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More of a literary collection of darkly humorous Black Mirror episodes than true horror stories, I found this entertaining if somewhat slight and repetitive.  Like any collection, there are highs and lows - with the final story "Charity" being the strongest for me, featuring a cursed selfie stick.  The short story format does seem to suit Lanchester, and he creates some rich characters in the limited space - I particularly enjoyed his playful skewering of the liberal middle class, where Lanchester feels more at home than some of the 'horror' scenarios.

The audiobook is excellent and an easy listen, with varied narrators delivering strong performances.
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