The Hill of Dreams

Read by Mark Nelson

(3.6 stars; 20 reviews)

The novel recounts the life of a young man, Lucian Taylor, focusing on his dreamy childhood in rural Wales, in a town based on Caerleon. The Hill of Dreams of the title is an old Roman fort where Lucian has strange sensual visions, including ones of the town in the time of Roman Britain. Later it describes Lucian's attempts to make a living as an author in London, enduring poverty and suffering in the pursuit of art. Generally thought to be Machen's greatest work, it was little noticed on its publication in 1907 save in a glowing review by Alfred Douglas. It was actually written between 1895 and 1897 and has elements of the style of the decadent and aesthetic movement of the period, seen through Machen's own mystical preoccupations. - Summary by Wikipedia (7 hr 6 min)


Chapter 1 1:04:07 Read by Mark Nelson
Chapter 2 51:51 Read by Mark Nelson
Chapter 3 1:00:40 Read by Mark Nelson
Chapter 4 52:38 Read by Mark Nelson
Chapter 5 50:26 Read by Mark Nelson
Chapter 6 1:02:49 Read by Mark Nelson
Chapter 7 Part 1 53:31 Read by Mark Nelson
Chapter 7 Part 2 29:59 Read by Mark Nelson


(5 stars)

I love this novel, which at times is almost a prose poem, but not everybody can identify. Also, you have to embrace an aesthetic that puts atmosphere and musing about life first, character second, and plot a distant third. This is like a mix of Pictures of Dorian Grey and Flowers of Evil--it oozes fin de siecle decadence. It is not horror, but Machen's horror sensibilities do shine through.

great reader made the best of a boring story

(2 stars)

only got about half way through before I gave up hope that it might ever get better

(0.5 stars)

good if you like vivid animal cruelty and 40 minutes of narration at a time before it’s broken by dialogue

(3 stars)

Three stars because of the great reading by Mark, but the story got a bit boring.