Audiobook Review: The Reaping by Bernard Taylor

This book is pure madness and you know how much I love pure madness!

The Reaping by Bernard Taylor

Released October 2019

Dark Fiction  |  Goodreads  |  Amazon 

Source: Received for review consideration & self purchase
When Tom Rigby is commissioned to paint a young woman's portrait at Woolvercombe House, the offer is too lucrative to refuse. But from the moment of his arrival at the secluded country mansion, strange and inexplicable events begin to transpire.

Soon, he is drawn into an impenetrable maze of horror, and by the time he discovers the role he is intended to play in a diabolical design, it will already be too late. For, the seeds of evil have been sown, and the time to reap their wicked harvest is nigh!

A classic novel by '70s and '80s horror master Bernard Taylor, The Reaping (1980) is now available as an audiobook. 

My 2 Cents For Free!

I received this book as part of Valancourt’s “Paperbacks From Hell” subscription plan and I also received it in for review consideration as an audio and I have NO regrets!

I am so thrilled Valancourt Books exists and that they are bringing these dusty old tomes back from the dead! Many of these books were first released in the 70’s and early 80’s and I have such gaps in my horror history because I missed so much. When I was kid I read Koontz and King and McCammon but didn’t branch out much further than Barker and Brite until many years later.

The Reaping is a classic late 70’s/early 80’s story. I believe it was first published in 1980 but it has the feel of a late 70’s horror flick. The plot reveal is SO ridiculous and I LOVED it.

Tom is a 40 something artist with 4 kids and a deceased wife. He hasn’t been able to pursue his art due to family obligations but don’t feel too bad for him. He has a successful business, a hot young 20-something girlfriend and a sister who takes care of all of those kids and seems quite happy to do it without complaint. She is very unlike me, haha. Anyhow, after a lackluster art showing, Tom receives an offer to paint a portrait of some eccentric old lady’s young relative. He balks at first because he’s supposed to go on a trip with his girlfriend. When the girlfriend ditches him for a job, he decides to accept the commission and heads out to a secluded old mansion where he is to stay for a week or two. This is when things start to get weird.

He hears strange sounds in the night, there are young ladies wandering the property in nun’s habits and the old lady is a prickly creature who is rude and very creepy. But Tom doesn’t let it bother him. He does his job and does some other stuff which I shall not reveal and then heads back to his life. But his time at the mansion will follow him home!

This starts off a little slow but it’s most definitely worth sticking it out through all of Tom’s pre-mansion day to day events and girlfriend woes. I liked the slow build and the mundane day in the life bits. These things are sorely missing from a lot modern day books. It helps you understand Tom before the madness begins. I also liked the fact that the kids weren’t involved in most of the scenes. When I learned that he had four little kids I probably groaned a little out loud because I feared hearing all of those kid voices for hours on end. But no worries because this was a tight little story about Tom and the mess he finds himself in.

I figured out one major thing before it was revealed and I bet everyone else who has seen a few early horror movies will too but the why, the what’s and the wtf’s that followed made it such a joy to read. None of it makes a heck of a lot of sense but somehow it all works out in the end due to the fantastic storytelling. You’ll have to go with the flow with this one and don’t ask pesky questions like “how the heck would that work?!”

Easy recommend if you’re looking for some crazy horror fun. I listened to the audiobook narrated by Hannibal Hills (and isn’t that the best name?!) and it truly enhanced my enjoyment of the story. He has a gently accented voice that I could probably listen to all day long. His women and children voices aren’t totally cringy which is something I appreciated and his male voices are perfection. I’ll definitely be on the lookout for his name again.

4 out of 5


  1. Ooh this sounds like fun! It's been a while since I've read any "old school" horror so I'll keep this in mind😁

  2. Sounds good to me. And that cover is creeptastic!

  3. That does sound like it has a dose of crazy in it.

  4. Sorry if you get my comment double. Something wacko is going on with my blogger account. I think I need this book. Even some of the best narrators make me cringe narrating women and children. This sounds really great.

    1. My blogger account is acting up too. I had to switch browsers to answer comments.

      This was a fun one. I hope you get to read it.

  5. I love the sounds of this one. It's definitely going into my Retro Horror project!

  6. Nifty cover! I like the swaying figures effect!

    1. It fits the book too! I love it when that happens.

  7. This sounds fun. I wonder what kind of mess Tom found himself in? I am not sure I would want to be in his shoes.

    1. He is in an unbelievable mess. The absolute worst kind of mess, haha.


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