Post Script: The Cellar – Minette Walters – Audio Book

My first audio book review!

Cellar: Minette Walters, Bolinda Australia

The Cellar

Minette Walters

Narrated by Sara Powell


ISBN: 9781486287536

5 hours 21 mins




The terrifying new Hammer novella by Minette Walters, bestselling author of The Tinder Box and The Sculptress.

Muna’s fortunes changed for the better on the day that Mr and Mrs Songoli’s younger son failed to come home from school. Before then her bedroom was a dark windowless cellar, her activities confined to cooking and cleaning. She’d grown used to being maltreated by the Songoli family; to being a slave. She’s never been outside, doesn’t know how to read or write, and cannot speak English. At least that’s what the Songolis believe. But Muna is far cleverer – and her plans more terrifying – than the Songolis, or anyone else, can ever imagine …



My View:

The wicked step mother stories pale into insignificance when cast against this wicked step family!

My first audio book and audio book review! To start I would like to say how relaxing I found listening to an audio book – to sit back and close your eyes and just listen is so pleasant – even if the book you are listening to is regarded as Hammer Horror. Hammer Horror is a term I am not familiar with – I have researched and found a few references to this phrase mostly in relation to the classic horror movies made between 1950 to the 1970’s, you know the sort of thing Bride of Dracula, The Mummy, The Plague of Zombies, The Nanny (the Bette Davis classic) Fear in the Night etc. I wouldn’t class this book as Hammer Horror – there were no goose bump moments, or fear of turning off the light but instead a deep and profound sadness at the horrific things that people do to each other and to the most powerless – to children. For this is a story of horrific abuse inflicted on a young girl and the effect that abuse has on her…or is it the effect the house has on her?? There are hints of some elements of paranormal in the narrative but the implication does not really become obvious until the chilling final chapters.


I think the narrative is more chilling in this audio format – listening to the horrors that were inflicted on Muna rather than just reading about them is so powerful. In particular I found Muna’s childlike innocent naïve voice recounting her perspective of life perfect for the audio format, so many layers are added to her story; despair, fear, acceptance and guile are part of her complex story . Sara Powell does an excellent job with the narration inflecting her speech with elements of fear, anger, acceptance…deftly transforming her style with each character she is representing. Her voice is a tool she uses superbly and effectively in this narration.


My first audio book will not be my last.




NB This book was provided for review by the publisher






14 thoughts on “Post Script: The Cellar – Minette Walters – Audio Book

  1. So pleased I encouraged you to try audio books Carol and I’m pleased you weren’t disappointed! That way you can be listening to one and reading one at the same time- doubles your reading 😀

  2. Glad you enjoyed it! I haven’t read any Minette Walters for years, though I enjoyed a few way back in the mists of time. I must look into Hammer novellas – sound interesting!

    • I havent read any Minette Walters for years either – and this was a little different to those. I think the accents the narrator proved enhanced this narrative. When you read a book – do you “hear” accents in your head? I don’t.
      I think you might like Hammer Horror 🙂

      • Not usually unless they’re Glaswegian, when I get very picky about whether the dialect sounds right or wrong. But if I’ve seen a TV adaptation or listened to another book in the series, the accents are stuck in my head from them. The narrator really can make all the difference. I like being able to listen to a sample on Audible before I take a book – sometimes the book’s great but the narrator isn’t. Mind you, sometimes it works the other way round too.

      • The book trailer for The Mountains Story – got the narrator/protagonist stuck in my head, but usually that doesn’t happen without that sort of prompt. So listening to a book adds another dimension to the experience. But agree – I think listening to excepts first is a good idea. ( I saw a f/b post they other day where loads of people said they read and “hear” the accents…wondered if it was just must that hears their own voice when reading 🙂

      • I also don’t ‘see’ the characters when reading – I think my mind goes blank when they’re being described. Unless they’re really grotesque in some way, or the author makes a really big deal of it. But in general I never know whether the heroine is blonde or brunette, short or tall etc

  3. I think Minette Walters has written some excellent books, Carol, and I’m so very glad you enjoyed this one. One of the things I think she does quite well, actually is that building of eerie suspense, and I can well imagine that comes across powerfully on audio. Happy to hear you enjoyed this.

  4. I’m the same in that I don’t visualise what I’m reading about. I’m an auditory thinker apparently so guess that’s part of the thing for me. Glad you enjoyed this. I’m still an audio book virgin!

    • I think I am a bit of auditory & reading thinker – I benefit from participating in discussions/questions and my reading comprehension skills at school were one of my better skills. I think if you are an auditory thinker you might do well with audio books 🙂

  5. I love to do jigsaw puzzles while I listen Carol, they are easy to do without losing concentration on the audio. Also when cooking…as long as I am not trying to follow an involved recipe. Or in this weather, in the bath! 🙂
    Can I recommend the audio version of Elizabeth Wein’s Code Name Verity as a terrific (inmho) example of a good audiobook. Narrated so well.

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