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What Moves the Dead

What Moves the Dead

by T. Kingfisher

Narrated by Avi Roque

Unabridged — 5 hours, 11 minutes

T. Kingfisher

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From T. Kingfisher, the award-winning author of The Twisted Ones, comes What Moves the Dead, a gripping and atmospheric retelling of Edgar Allan Poe's classic "The Fall of the House of Usher."

When Alex Easton, a retired soldier, receives word that their childhood friend Madeline Usher is dying, they race to the ancestral home of the Ushers in the remote countryside of Ruritania.

What they find there is a nightmare of fungal growths and possessed wildlife, surrounding a dark, pulsing lake. Madeline sleepwalks and speaks in strange voices at night, and her brother Roderick is consumed with a mysterious malady of the nerves.

Aided by a redoubtable British mycologist and a baffled American doctor, Alex must unravel the secret of the House of Usher before it consumes them all.

A Macmillan Audio production from Tor Nightfire.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly


Hugo and Nebula Award winner Kingfisher (The Hollow Places) returns to the horror genre with this powerful, fast-paced retelling of Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Fall of the House of Usher.” As a child, Alex Easton, who uses the pronouns ka and kan, befriended twins Roderick and Madeline Usher and went on to serve with Roderick in the recent war. Now Madeline writes to tell Alex that she’s ill and Roderick believes she is dying, and Alex must come at once to their family home in remote Ruravia. There, Alex finds a moldering mansion full of fungal rot and strangeness and two Ushers who are terribly, irreversibly changed. Alex must unravel the dark secret that is consuming the house of Usher—before it consumes Alex as well. Kingfisher adds wonderful dimension and tangibility to the classic Poe story, filling it in with standout character work and scenic descriptions that linger on the palate, while fleshing out the original plot with elements as plausible as they are chilling. It’s thoroughly creepy and utterly enjoyable. (Jul.)

From the Publisher

A grotesque romp! It takes up residence beneath your skin and refuses to leave." – Caitlin Starling, USA Today bestselling author of The Death of Jane Lawrence

"Thoroughly creepy and utterly enjoyable." -- Publishers Weekly

“Creepy, claustrophobic, and completely entertaining, What Moves the Dead left me delightfully repulsed. I adored this book!”—Erin A. Craig, NYT bestselling author of House of Salt and Sorrows

“T. Kingfisher spins biting wit, charm and terror into a tale that will make your skin crawl. Poe would be proud!”—Brom, author of Slewfoot

Dissects the heart of Poe’s most famous tale and finds a wholly new mythology beating inside it. …Pure fun.”—Andy Davidson, author of The Boatman's Daughter

What Moves the Dead is a must-read, period.”—Jordan Shiveley, author of Hot Singles In Your Area

“A gothic delight!"—Lucy A. Snyder, author of Sister, Maiden, Monster

“A fluid technicolor reimagining of Poe's "House of Usher" that takes no prisoners…Not to be missed." – Brian Evenson, author of Last Days

"Perfectly hair-raising in all the right ways." -- Premee Mohamed, author of Beneath the Rising

Library Journal


A lone, tired man on horseback encounters a mushroom that resembles the severed muscles of dying soldiers as he approaches a decaying manor house, the home of his dear friends, Madeline and Roderick Usher. He has traveled quickly at the behest of Madeline, who is near death. As he reaches for the intriguing mushroom, a traveling mycologist stops him, for this mushroom is not only rare, but also releases a foul odor. So begins Kingfisher's (Nettle & Bone) retelling of Edgar Allan Poe's "The Fall of the House of Usher," filling in much of what was left unsaid in the original story with intensely unsettling, claustrophobic fungal details. Told exclusively from the perspective of narrator Alex Easton, Kingfisher's story moves forward briskly, ratcheting up the dread with every sentence. Readers will be rapt as the tension builds to near bursting levels and the true meaning of the title comes into full, skin-crawling view. VERDICT Retold Gothic classics and fungus-themed horror are both having a moment, and Kingfisher's well-paced, immersive novella will satisfy those seeking read-alikes for Silvia Moreno-Garcia's Mexican Gothic. Also suggest Moreno-Garcia and Orrin Grey's excellent anthology Fungi and the nature field horror of Jeff VanderMeer.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940175725361
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Publication date: 07/12/2022
Edition description: Unabridged

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