The Hill of Dreams

Read by Mark Nelson

(3.5 stars; 37 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.


(5 stars)

The book is full of wonderfully discriptive passages- of all aspects of mankind , of country and city landscapes in changing seasons and weather. The style reminds me of James Joyce - very " stream of consciousness ". I think it is totally brilliant. Lucian is looking for " the secret of words ", Arthur Machun delivered that here. It is, basically, the descent of a creative mind into insanity. I did not expect the ending.

Not sure if genius or madness

(2 stars)

I stuck with it because I'm listening to everything Mark Nelson has read. This I found dreary and frustrating. It's heavily misanthropic and for the most part I just had it on for background noise toward the last couple of chapters

Well read, but the book itself is not as strong as much of the author's other w…

(3 stars)

M R James is a genius of atmosphere, but I'm not sure it all came together here. Well read, though, and interesting enoug for a listen.

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.

Not worth the time to listen.

(2 stars)