My Family

  • by Matt Shaw
  • Narrated by Chris Barnes
  • 2 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Warning: This is an extreme horror novel. There is gore. There is bad language. There are scenes of a sexual nature. But hidden underneath it all is also a chilling story. Please do not purchase this book if you are easily shocked, disgusted, or offended. This book is not for you.
Would you give up your child if a stranger asked? No? What if they offered money? Still no? What if they threatened the rest of your family? Give your child up or lose your entire family in the most horrific way possible. What would you do? How would you protect those you love and at what price?

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Splattery fun, much improved by the narration.

Any additional comments?

An ordinary family is up late one night, kept awake by the terrible storm, when there is a knock at the door. A stranded and wet couple ask to use the phone to call a recovery service for their broken down car. The family invites the in the strangers, who seem very taken with the five daughters of the house.

This is the start of what turns into a nightmare for the titular family. It escalates pretty quickly from the merely creepy to extremely nasty. And it’s pretty effective, mostly, to the extent that I was annoyed when work forced me to stop listening at a crucial point.One for fans of splatterpunk and torture porn.

There were problems however. The prose in general is a little clunky, with a constantly shifting POV - a more limited POV from one character would have made this a lot better. There’s quite a lot of repetition in the prose, the dialogue, even the violence. One eye-gouging is shocking; using it twice diminishes the effect.

The narration is very good. Chris Barnes’s steady delivery works well with the gruesome subject matter to the extent that he became almost invisible, serving the story and bringing the characters to life.

Overall, the story was quite fun, but could have been better – I most likely wouldn’t have read this to the end in any other format. The narration saved it, injecting character and compensating for a lack of care in the writing.

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- Stewart Horn

A chilling performance for a dark tale.

What did you like most about My Family?

When I first read the story I described the pacing as a linear construction of tension followed by an exponential ride through a scene of madness, torture and gruesome acts of dispicable nature. Finally the story brings the reader to a chilling and slightly saddening conclusion that will leave you panting for breath. This pacing is not lost in the audiobook and you will find yourself stopping whatever else you are doing whilst the story takes hold of your thoughts.


What did you like best about this story?

Is this not a repeat of the above question? I guess I'll give another reason that I liked the tale. As a parent, this is more than a nightmare. I cannot imagine a day when I will ever stop worrying about my girls or ever stop experiencing parent guilt. You know, that feeling where your kids are stuck in your thoughts and you worry that they need something from you whilst you're not there. Many parents would say that they'd rather die than make any of the choices offered in this book. But what if the choices were 'horrible' or 'really horrible'? What if death wasn't an option put on the table? How would you deal with that situation? I defy any parent not to hug their kids tightly after reading this.


Have you listened to any of Chris Barnes’s other performances? How does this one compare?

How do you make a Matt Shaw tale even darker? Get Chris Barnes to read it. His gritty scottish tongue amplifies the steadily dominating sense of dread that Shaw worked so hard to create. The mannerisms that Barnes gives to his interpretation of the antagnonist is terrifying. You really get a sense that the bad guy has no awareness of his own evil and has almost childlike thought processes. Think Marc Warren as Mr Teatime in 'The Hogfather' and you'll get what I mean. This was highlighted most when I heard the line: "Waste not, want not". Pure horrifying evil. I have never had the pleasure of experiencing a performance by Barnes before. However, based on this production, I'll be sure to try some of his other audio books.


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

I finally had the chance to find a quiet spot in the lab, put my headphones on and project strong "LEAVE ME ALONE" vibes to those sat around me. I have never had to stop what I was doing for an audiobook before. Having read the book previously, I knew what was coming and I wanted to experience how those sequences were performed. This is not a book you can dip in and out of. It'll grab you by the short and curlies and accelerate you into a gruesome scene of madness and terror. Do not listen to this story (at least the second half) in bed, unless you like insomnia.

My favourite audiobook of all time is Librivox's version of Moby Dick. This is a close second. Congratulations Shaw and Barnes; I rate you almost as highly as a classic work of literature. You should be very proud of yourselves.


Any additional comments?

A confession, My name is James Hudson and I commisioned this novella from Matt Shaw as a christmas gift to my wife, Cathy. I can forgive you if you believe my opinion is biased, heck, I'd think the same thing too. I have tried to approach this review as a fan of audiobooks who is new to the dark world of Shaw and Co. I just want to assure you that I have had nothing to do with this particular production and saved up my monthly credit when I heard it was coming out, to purchase the audiobook. Therefore, as a paying customer, I believe my opinion is as valid as the next person.

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- James Hudson

Book Details

  • Release Date: 23-02-2015
  • Publisher: Matt Shaw Publications