Audio Review - Focal Point

Focal Point

Susan Omand plunges into the darkness and reviews the short audio Focal Point by Neil Gardner and our friends at Spoken World...

I have been immersed in darkness recently. Not physically but literally, as I've been re-reading H P Lovecraft and Edgar Allan Poe, and it was with this mindset that I approached Focal Point.

Narrated by a nameless man, this is an account of how, when searching the night skies for something, or some “thing,” using his telescope, he discovers that thing or, rather, it discovers him. The darkness manifests and uses the telescope as a conduit to enter the physical realm to terrorise the man, physically and mentally, although whether the terror was intended or not is not clear.

As a horror story it put me in mind of Poe’s The Pit and the Pendulum as it had that same visceral feel conjured up by that fear of the unknown that evolves into an even bigger mental trauma once the unknown becomes known. The way the story was told too, as a look back having survived the event, was also very reminiscent of the Gothic style and captured the mood very well. The only slight negative in the story for me was the moralising of the ending, although it was exactly as I would expect a Gothic narrative to conclude.

As ever the audio production is top quality, with suitably eerie music, and the choice of Geoffrey Beevers to read was very, very good! His voice has a really chilling and unsettling quality in this recording and his delivery was almost Olivier-like at times, suiting the tone of the story incredibly well.

If you like your horror to be psychological and you enjoy the nightmare-like complete experience of Gothic, then you must listen to this.

Image - Spokenworld Audio.

Focal Point is available from Spokenworld here.
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