• by James Herbert
  • Narrated by Damian Lynch
  • 15 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Upon a time. Remember the faery stories you were told as a child? Tales of tiny, magical, winged beings and elves, wicked witches and goblins. Demons... What if one day you found they were true? What if, when you became an adult, you discovered they were all based on fact? What if you met the fantasy and it was all so very real? That's what happened to Thom Kindred.
The wonders were revealed to him - but so were the horrors; for not far behind the Good, there always lurks the Bad. And the Bad had designs on Thom. The Bad would show him real evil. He would see the 'hellhagges' and the demons. He would be touched by perverted passion. And corruption. And he would encounter his own worst nightmare. The Bad would seek to destroy him. And only the magic of the little beings would be able to help him.
James Herbert was one of Britain's greatest popular novelists and our #1 best-selling writer of chiller fiction. Widely imitated and hugely influential, he wrote 23 novels which have collectively sold over 54 million copies worldwide and been translated into 34 languages.
Born in London in the forties, James Herbert was art director of an advertising agency before turning to writing fiction in 1975. His first novel, The Rats, was an instant bestseller and is now recognised as a classic of popular contemporary fiction. Herbert went on to publish a new top ten best-seller every year until 1988. He wrote six more bestselling novels in the 1990s and three more since: Once, Nobody True and The Secret of Crickley Hall. Herbert died in March 2013 at the age of 69.


Audible Editor Reviews

A thrilling combination of the romance and fantasy genres, Once tells the story of a man named Thom who discovers a world of fairies and elves he's long considered children's stuff. This is dark fantasy, written with ornate descriptive detail. James Herbert describes each scene minutely, as if his tool was not the pen but a magnifying glass. The book's plot is less important than its supernatural characters and their various interactions. The world Herbert creates in always sensual and often blatantly sexual. Listeners should turn on this audiobook prepared to indulge their fantasies of all kinds. An epic 15 hours and 28 minutes of fantastic adventures are waiting to be had.


What the Critics Say

"Herbert was by no means literary, but his work had a raw urgency. His best novels, The Rats and The Fog, had the effect of Mike Tyson in his championship days: no finesse, all crude power. Those books were best sellers because many readers (including me) were too horrified to put them down." (Stephen King)
"There are few things I would like to do less than lie under a cloudy night sky while someone read aloud the more vivid passages of Moon. In the thriller genre, do recommendations come any higher?" (Andrew Postman, The New York Times Book Review)
"Herbert goes out in a blaze of glory" (Daily Mail)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful


Another brilliant story written by James Herbert. I found this one very spiritual and loved the way it was so full of fairies,, elves and even an evil witch. His books were always interesting. He is truly missed, gone from this planet, fat too soon.
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- Fran Sandling

Not the best performance but a great story

If you could sum up Once in three words, what would they be?

Pure brilliance

What was one of the most memorable moments of Once?

The ending was the beginning

Did Damian Lynch do a good job differentiating each of the characters? How?

he was ok. I've heard the Robert Powell version and preferred Robert's version - although it may be than I am just liking the one I heard first.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

its real even if you don't believe.

Any additional comments?

Fantastic story by Herbert. I've heard people saying they didn't rate it because of the Sex. To me while the sex is an integral part of the story it is not smutty , rather just a very important aspect of this form of ritual magic. To remove it would be like running a world war 2 story without Germany. The story has depth and flows brilliantly. There is a god bit of mystery and suspense and the bad guys are believable because of their own vulnerabilities. I also just love the concept James paints in the story which I have never really come across. I recall my first listening was like watching a 2d black and white film turn into 3D colour as the true story emerges. There are broad philosophical metaphors which Herbert seems to work around - for instance how close is what we perceive of the world against what the world really is if only we could see straight, and are bad people bad or just duped by badness etc. For me its a unique piece of art and for that I think it will always remain one of my favorite stories of my life.

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- Kindle Customer

Book Details

  • Release Date: 15-10-2013
  • Publisher: Audible Studios