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The Magic Cottage

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  5,853 ratings  ·  284 reviews
"We thought we’d found our haven, a cottage deep in the heart of the forest. Charming, maybe a little run down, but so peaceful. That was the first part of the Magic. Midge’s painting and my music soared to new heights of creativity. That was another part of the Magic. Our love for each other—well, that became the supreme Magic. But the cottage had an alternative side. The ...more
Audio CD, 1 page
Published May 4th 2007 by Pan Macmillan (first published 1986)
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Average rating 3.87  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,853 ratings  ·  284 reviews

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Mar 29, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 80-s-horror
Published in 1986, this James Herbert novel is a lot of fun.

Herbert had the talent to write very different types of stories. From flat out splatter like The Rats or The Fog, to comedic humor like the horror story Creed, I know that Herbert guarantees me a good time. The Magic Cottage was not a disappointment.

A fun, slow burning story about a loving couple wanting to get away from things and instead ending up in the middle of things. Strange happenings at their new cottage in the country, happeni
mark monday
this is not a bad book. i don't think this is a particularly good book either. easy to read and not particularly painful to get through... i read it all through one long rainy night. Herbert is a real professional: the screws are tightened expertly, our two leads are sympathetic & realistic (although one of them is a wee bit off), the mysteries unfold at a good pace, creepy supernatural goings-on abound, some enjoyable twists & turns pop up, and of course a mysterious & possibly threatening figu ...more
Leo .
Sep 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Also a very good book from the late James Herbert. A chocolate box cottage. A beautiful setting. The dream home. Magical forest and a cult. Loved this book by a great British Author.👍🐯
Nov 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was an absolute delight, a thrilling and exciting story from its nicely understated beginning straight down to its boombastic final showdown and picture perfect ending. Classic Herbert, to take on a what could have been yet another young couple buys the house in the remote area(the subject is actually referenced in a book in an awesomely meta way), all is not as it seems and make it so clever, unique original and fun. Other classic Hebert elements are present as well including well dev ...more
Aug 28, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, magic
3.5 stars. This was *ok*. It read like something out of the eighties and was a fun read.
I have never read anything by James Herbert, and was very intrigued with the premise of The Magic Cottage: A young couple are strangely drawn to a crumbling, oddly charming house in the country. On their tour of the cottage, the garden is overrun with weeds, walls are damp, moldy, and cracked, doors are warped, and the massive stone lintle over the stove is in immediate danger of falling. The former owner, an reclusive elderly lady who made herbal remedies for the community and communed with nat ...more
Jul 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was very different from The Fog. It was more subtle and was a slow read at first, but began to pick up after the halfway point. The way it was narrated, like someone telling you a story was neat. The descriptions of the quaint little cottage out in the woods with beautiful scenery was wonderful to escape to. As the story progressed, I got caught up in how fast it moved. It got quite sinister, dark, and evil. I loved it! I would definitely recommend to those who like subtle horror and a ...more
Jun 13, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I totally saw everything described in this book in great detail. Herbert captured the perfect description of a magic cottage deep in the woods. I expected more things to occur inside and around the cottage and towards the end, I was just left with a wanting.
Totally creepy story, I was creeped out by the "SYNERGIST TEMPLE" in the woods. Freaky, crazy..This is why I love James Herbert. He can make me see it, feel it, smell it, and just completely pull you along into this magical journey that usual
Vanessa Woolley
May 06, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Danielle N
Jun 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I simply adored this book. The magical setting contrasting with the darker elements worked wonderfully to create a rich and an atmospheric read. I also thoroughly enjoyed how viable the protagonist/narrator felt.
Jul 20, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I would have liked a different ending but good.
May 31, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First of all I am a MASSIVE James Herbert fan. At first this book was really slow moving and I started it over many times before finally reading it through. I have a original print form 1986 which still had spelling mistakes in. Anywho, as i said it was slow to start off but at it gets into it and the two main characters Mike and Midge begin having suspicions about the Magic (capital M for a reason) it really turns into your typical James Herbert page turner hard to put down book. I felt that it ...more
Mar 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As always.....Herbert ROCKS!!! This was my first ever Herbert. I read it nearly 20 years ago and decided to give it another go. Although I still remembered the story somewhat, this 2nd time around was so revisiting a good friend. So sad to think that there will be no more....the death of this remarkable author means that there is a lot less magic in the world. Thank goodness for his work; a beautiful legacy left behind for us to enjoy forever. Read the Magic Cottage, my friend ...more
Andrea Zuvich
Nov 25, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Terrible, hackneyed story with sometimes very poor writing. It wasn't scary, it wasn't particularly magical, and I'm genuinely shocked that some people thought Herbert's writing in this book was Tolkienesque (!) We abandoned it after the cringeworthy/disturbing line in which the main character states his wife looked "ten years old" and his thoughts were "criminal" i.e. paedophiliac- no thanks.
Deborah Foulkes
Aug 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
We all have a favourite book that we can read again and again and this is one of mine. I have no idea why I love it so much, but Jame Herbert's story telling is an inspiration to me. The Cottage in the story is my dream home and I love opening the pages and climbing straight back into that world.
Sally halliday
Jul 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The bath scene is brilliant
Keith Larkworthy
One of my top 5 Herbert books
Shirley Revill
Oct 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoyed this book.
Storytelling at it's best.
Apr 22, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I recently spent some time in hospital, and thought this work might make a good companion. From the blurb, it suggested a zippy, not thoroughly taxing read. Fair enough, I thought: I'll zip through it while waiting for day surgery and that will be that. Popcorn consumed.

So somehow, it's ten days later and I've only just finished it. And why? Because I kept feeling like I had to flog myself onwards toward a finish line that wasn't really worth it when I got over it.


The novel, Herbert's 12t
Apr 22, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The main problem I have with Kubrick’s ‘The Shining’ is that in the opening scenes, before they even reach the hotel, Jack Nicholson already appears to be quite mad. How you can empathise with a character’s descent into madness when he starts off halfway there? For the first hundred pages or so of this book I had an odd sense of déjà vu. The lead female character is so dreamily open and accepting to all the strange events happening around her, that it seems to remove a lot of the tension. Surely ...more
Jul 04, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Picked this up at a garage sale. An interesting story where a modern couple find a perfect fairytale cottage - however there is an unexplainable power within that can only be described as magical. Magic is a constant theme throughout the book and is explored well and ties in with the modern context. What is magic? The book begins with witchery and nature around the cottage, and as the cottage's neighbours are revealed, delves into references to religion, charlatans and magicians, some metaphysic ...more
Linda  Branham Greenwell
This is a story about Mike and Midge who move into their dream cottage, Gramarye - and soon begin to discover that things are not as they originally seemed. There is something off-beat and disturbing about Gramarye, Mike can feel it, Midge seems oblivious to it. Animals come into the house and eat out of their hands, they befriend a little red squirrel who comes in daily and chatters away at them. They name the squirrel, Rumbo. Wounds heal spontaneously. It all sounds pretty silly, but it is all ...more
Sep 01, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've always found Herbert a bit hit and miss. Haunted was one of the first 'grown up' books I read and I thought his whole back catalogue would be equally impressive, but many years ago when I started to tackle it I found a few books that I dropped after page twenty. Still maybe I'm older and have different taste now, so after enjoying this one I might give some of his other titles another look.

There's a slow build in this book and that's to its credit. The characters are interesting enough that
Pauline Borgeaud
Meeeeh. I'm confused.
I didn't really enjoy my first Herbert.. hope it was just a bad one and not a constant thing with him, cause I've got 10 more books in my TBR. Hhh
First, I didn't like the main characters, both of them; they were a living cliché of the artist couple. Midge was not too bad I guess, but still depicted in a way that annoyed me; the perfect, petite girl, who has childish manners... overdone and just not realistic.
And Mike, Ho G. This guy annoyed the heck out of me, at the end I j
I was quite sucked in by this story, maybe living in an old cottage myself (although not in some woods) appealed to me. These old places really do seem to have a character of their own and I'd love to know the stories they could tell. This story built up quite nicely and I have to say at one point I caught something moving out the corner of my eye, and my heart started thudding. It was in actual fact my cat having a nose round the room. My only problem with this book was the ending. It all built ...more
Feb 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: great-reads
Loved this book, even though it scared the he'll out of me.
Kelly Sumner
Good creapy book. Really enjoyed it as there was plenty about Magic one of my favourite topics. I would have prefered a different ending but you can't have everything
Jon Stasiak
Feb 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the book I wish I could have written.

My all time favourite book. I've read it many times and still love it. It's dark, mysterious, enticing.... Just a great book.

A magical book.
Jul 12, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hokey, hackneyed and cliched, but a huge amount of fun. The climactic scenes were priceless.
Feb 25, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
So, I have had this on the top of my bookcase for years (I can remember buying it in Swansea, but how many years ago, I cannot recall), waiting to be read. Given that I am trying to read the books that I already own, rather than buying more of them (I haven't bought a new book since last year), I decided that it was finally time to get around to this one. Admittedly, at only 5 pages in, I did wonder whether I should persevere with it. But, I stuck with it, mainly because it is the sort of book t ...more
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James Herbert was Britain's number one bestselling writer (a position he held ever since publication of his first novel) and one of the world's top writers of thriller/horror fiction.

He was one of our greatest popular novelists, whose books are sold in thirty-three other languages, including Russian and Chinese. Widely imitated and hugely influential, his 19 novels have sold more than 42 million

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