• by Phil Rickman
  • Narrated by Seán Barrett
  • 20 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In the ruins of a haunted medieval abbey, four musicians hope to tap into the site's dark history. The experience almost destroys them. Years later, the original group is forced to return to the abbey, to confront the old evil they discovered…


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Interwoven with the Abbey Recording.

First read this back in the 1990s, re-read it over the years, pestered Isis to bring out audio version. Brilliant then and brilliant now. Foxtara's review is correct there's lots I don't remember reading. But never missed anything listening to Sean Barratt's superb narration. Loved the way the Abbey music is interwoven throughout. The stories of Prof, Moria and Simon continue into the Merrily Series. Hopefully Isis will also publish Man in the Moss, Crybbe, Chalice and Candlelight where other Merrily characters first take to the stage.
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- Annie

Magical Mystery Tour

'The Philosophers Stone' were a folk rock super group brought together not just for their musical talents, but also for their physic abilities - to record a concept album in a haunted abbey. Inevitably the experiment goes wrong and the recording ends in tragic consequences - while at the exact same moment on a different continent, Mark Chapman's finger tightens on the trigger to gun down John Lennon. Coincidence? There's no such thing in a Phil Rickman novel. `December' picks up the story fourteen years later when the supposedly destroyed tapes turn up and the band are persuaded to reunite in order to finish what has been whispered about in musical circles as the infamous `Black Album'.

A major part of the novel deals with the dysfunctional lives the musicians have led since the original recording session. Each of them having suffered from the psychic fallout that has tainted their lives in the intervening years. This is where Rickman works like an demented anatomist in reverse, layering flesh and sinew to his characters, infusing them with a life force so strong they could walk among us undetectable as fictional personalities. Music is the dominant driving force in this novel which maybe accounts for the way the tale plays out fluidly across a score full of hair raising Glissando slides and broad chromatic sweeps across the ever changing time signature of the plot. Think of this book as `Phil Rickman the Musical' taking you on his own version of a `Magical Mystery Tour'. McCartney may have been the Beatle who sang about wanting to be a `Paperback Writer' but it's Lennon who gets the last word in this book.

In this form Phil Rickman is unbeatable. A real chart topper in every sense.
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- A. Watson

Book Details

  • Release Date: 01-12-2012
  • Publisher: Isis Publishing Ltd