I produced this audiobook for Blackstone Audio a couple of years ago. It is divided into three major parts: What I call “YA Poe” – works Poe wrote when very young and narrated by Kirby Heyborne; “New Adult Poe” narrated by Ray Chase with two shorts narrated by Cassandra Campbell; and “Adult Poe” narrated by Donald Corren. There are also two posthumously published essays read by Grover Gardner:
001 POEM Tamerlane
002 POEM Song
003 POEM Dreams
004 POEM Spirits of the Dead
005 POEM Evening Star
006 POEM A Dream
007 POEM The Lake To
008 POEM Alone
009 POEM Sonnet – To Science
010 POEM Al Aaraaf
011 POEM To – “The bowers whereat…”
012 POEM To the River
013 POEM To – “I heed not that my…”
014 POEM Fairyland
015 POEM To Helen
016 POEM Israfel
017 POEM The Sleeper
018 POEM The Valley of Unrest
019 POEM The City in the Sea
020 POEM A Pæan
021 POEM Romance
022 TALE Loss of Breath
023 TALE Bon-Bon
024 TALE The Duc De L’Omelette
025 TALE Metzengerstein
026 TALE Tale of Jerusalem
027 POEM To One in Paradise
028 TALE The Assignation
029 TALE Silence – A Fable
030 TALE MS. Found in a Bottle
031 TALE Four Beasts in One
032 TALE Berenice
033 TALE King Pest
034 POEM The Coliseum
035 POEM To F-s S. O–d
NEW ADULT POE
036 POEM Hymn
037 TALE Morella
038 TALE Unparallelled Adventure of One Hans Pfall
039 TALE Unparallelled Adventure of One Hans Pfall (Continued)
040 TALE Lionizing
041 TALE Shadow – A Parable
042 POEM Bridal Ballad
043 POEM To Zante
044 ESSAY Maezel’s Chess-Player
045 TALE Magazine Writing – Peter Snook
046 TALE Narrative of A. Gordon Pym
047 TALE Narrative of A. Gordon Pym (Continued)
048 TALE Narrative of A. Gordon Pym (Continued)
049 TALE Narrative of A. Gordon Pym (Continued)
050 TALE Narrative of A. Gordon Pym (Continued)
051 TALE Mystification
052 TALE Ligeia
053 TALE How to Write a Blackwood Article (Cassandra Campbell)
054 TALE A Predicament (Cassandra Campbell)
055 TALE Why the Little Frenchman Wears his Hand in a Sling
056 POEM The Haunted Palace
057 POEM Silence
058 TALE The Devil in the Belfry
059 TALE William Wilson
060 TALE The Man that was Used Up
061 TALE The Fall of the House of Usher
062 TALE The Business Man
063 TALE The Man of the Crowd
064 TALE The Murders of the Rue Morgue
065 TALE The Murders of the Rue Morgue (Continued)
066 TALE Eleonora
067 TALE A Descent into the Maelstrom
068 TALE The Island of the Fay
069 TALE Never Bet the Devil Your Head
070 TALE Three Sundays in a Week
071 POEM The Conqueror Worm
072 POEM Lenore
073 TALE The Oval Portrait
074 TALE The Masque of the Red Death
075 TALE The Pit and the Pendulum
076 TALE The Mystery of Marie Rogêt
077 TALE The Mystery of Marie Rogêêt (Continued)
078 TALE The Domain of Arnheim
079 TALE The Gold-Bug
080 TALE The Gold-Bug (Continued)
081 TALE The Tell-Tale Heart
082 TALE The Black Cat
083 TALE Raising the Wind (a.k.a. “Diddling”)
084 TALE A Tale of the Ragged Mountains
085 POEM Eulalie
086 POEM Dream-Land
087 POEM The Raven
088 TALE The Spectacles
089 TALE The Premature Burial
090 TALE The Balloon Hoax
091 TALE The Oblong Box
092 TALE The Purloined Letter
093 TALE Mesmeric Revelation
094 TALE The System of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether
095 TALE Thou Art the Man
096 TALE The Angel of the Odd
097 TALE The Literary Life of Thingum Bob, Esq.
098 TALE Some Words with a Mummy
099 TALE The Thousand-and-Second Tale of Scheherazade
100 POEM In Youth I Have Known One
101 POEM To F-
102 TALE The Imp of the Perverse
103 TALE The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar
104 TALE The Sphinx
105 POEM A Valentine
106 TALE The Cask of Amontillado
107 POEM To M. L. S.
108 POEM Ulalume
109 POEM To – “Not long ago, the writer of these lines . . .”
110 POEM An Enigma
111 TALE Mellonta Tauta
112 TALE The Quacks of Helicon – A Satire
113 POEM The Bells
114 POEM Eldorado
115 POEM For Annie
116 POEM To My Mother
117 POEM Annabel Lee
118 POEM A Dream within a Dream
119 TALE Landor’s Cottage
120 TALE Hop-Frog
121 TALE Von Kempelen and His Discovery
122 TALE X-ing a Paragrab
123 TALE Review of Stephens’ “Arabia Petræe”
124 TALE Astoria
When the CDs, MP3-CDs, and digital copies were originally released, a table of contents was not included so there are copies out there without this helpful guide. I hope this helps.
Car Talk Science: MIT Wants Its Diplomas Back
Witten and performed by Ray Magliozzi and Tom Magliozzi
Ⓟ 2016, Highbridge Audio, A Division of Recorded Books
1 hour, 1 minute
RADIO | SCIENCE | CARS
Ray and Tom Magliozzi were two brothers who co-hosted NPR’s weekly talk show, “Car Talk” from 1987-2012. “Car Talk” was a call-in show wherein the public would phone into the station with questions about their cars, and the brothers would use their expertise to answer those questions. In the beginning, the questions were pretty technical; but over time, the questions became frequently more tangentially related to cars; and coupled with the brothers’ sense of humor and their Everyman approach in talking to the callers, the show became more entertaining. In 2012, the show ended its run (though NPR continued to air re-runs); and in 2014 Tom Magliozzi died due complications of Alzheimer’s Disease.
Ray Magiozzi has pulled together a few clips from the original show’s run that highlight Q&As that drew upon the brothers’ scientific knowledge (both were graduates of MIT.) That said, the callers and listeners were not subjected to some dry, academic explanations; but rather to some commonsense and comic responses. As always, hearing “Click and Clack, the Tappet Brothers” is fun, guaranteed to bring a smile to your face; but admittedly, hearing the prolonged laughter of the two brothers starts to wear thin within the short duration of the audio. In the end, it’s basically recycled material that pings on listener nostalgia.
OTHER: I purchased a digital download copy of Car Talk Science: MIT Wants Its Diplomas Back (written and performed by Ray Magliozzi and Tom Magliozzi) from Audible.com. I receive no monies, goods, or services in exchange for reviewing the product and/or mentioning any of the persons or companies that are or may be implied in this post.
Car Talk Science: MIT Wants Its Diplomas Back (written and performed by Ray Magliozzi and Tom Magliozzi) is a finalist in the 2017 APA Audie Awards in the Original Work category.
The Adventures of Tom Stranger, Interdimensional Insurance Agent
By Larry Correia
Narrated by Adam Baldwin
Ⓟ 2016, Audible Studios
2 hours, 4 minutes
SCIENCE FICTION | SPACE | COMEDY
Tom Stranger is a top-rated insurance agent who offers policies across alternate dimensions*, and in this fast-paced and furiously funny novella, travels to alternate Earths to settle claims. Alternate worlds with their one-eyed, one-horned, flying purple people eaters and other assorted transgressors cross rifts, inflict damage, and create chaos on each other; so it is good to know that a man dedicated to customer satisfaction is on the job!
Larry Correia, renowned as the author of the Monster Hunter series and Grimnoir Chronicles, is also infamous as the founder of the Sad Puppies campaign which sought to influence the Hugo nominations toward his and Brad R. Torgerson’s works – which Correia felt were not fairly recognized in favor of more progressive or politically correct titles. This is worth mentioning here only because Corriea makes it clear he views liberal polices and persons as inferior and weak, making stabs at both in this short piece: Joe Biden is portrayed as a drunken clown; Obama is dissed for golfing; ACA “makes no sense;” and Tom Stranger’s intern, an inept young man is skewered for having a Gender Studies degree, for having been an Occupier, and having Twitter skills… The humor is biting, sharp and refreshing; but there is a pettiness and meanness to it too which detracts from the whole.
Listeners cannot afford to be distracted for even a beat lest they miss a great comic line delivered by Adam Baldwin (the American actor & narrator, not the POTUS – which is is on some alternate Earth.) Baldwin does a great job in setting a blistering pace and keeping the energy levels up throughout the piece. The Adventures of Tom Stranger is packed with references to US pop culture icons and ideas: Chuck Norris is, well Chuck Norris, but this time an arbitrator; R. Lee Emery is a Secretary of Defense; and Larry Correia himself is a head of a high-tech conglomerate when he’s not an author suffering the fate of comic-cons… Baldwin’s character voices are distinct; and his celebrity impersonations of R. Lee Emery and Barrack Obama in particular are strong. Baldwin is also to be commended for vocalizing a manatee as a character (Though oddly, it sounds like a whale calls and not a manatee, but whatever.)
The Adventures of Tom Stranger is like a blast of cold winter air on your face: refreshing, but at the same time a little biting. Fans of Correia will not be disappointed.
- The alternate dimensions concept is predicated on Stephen Hawking’s “Many-Worlds” interpretation wherein “all possible alternate histories and futures are real,” each alternate world born of the moment any decision is made in any of the realities, thereby creating millions of possible other worlds.
Wikipedia, Many-Worlds interpretation, Accessed March 8, 2017
OTHER: I listened to a digital download copy of The Adventures of Tom Stranger, Interdimensional Insurance Agent (by Larry Correia; narrated by Adam Baldwin) which was available free during the month of May, 2016 from Audible.com. I receive no monies, goods, or services in exchange for reviewing the product and/or mentioning any of the persons or companies that are or may be implied in this post.
The Adventures of Tom Stranger, Interdimensional Insurance Agent (by Larry Correia; narrated by Adam Baldwin) is a finalist in the 2017 APA Audie Awards in the Original Work category.
The Themis Files, #1
By Sylvain Neuvel
Narrated by a Full Cast:
Andy Secombe, Eric Meyers, Laurel Lefkow, Charlie Anson, Liza Ross, William Hope, Christopher Ragland, Katherine Mangold, and Adna Sablyich
Ⓟ 2016, Random House Audio
8 hours, 28 minutes
SCIENCE FICTION | TECHNO-THRILLER | ROBOTS
The pieces of a giant exotic robot have been discovered on the planet. Where did it come from? How does it work? What is its purpose? The story is told through reports and raises a number of questions about service, loyalty, love, bias and cost in the name of science and politics. Most reports are interviews with an unnamed interrogator and a player in the action. The book does end with a bit of a cliffhanger; but the substance of the the story is filling enough to tide the listener over until the next installment, Waking Gods (release date April 4, 2017.)
Though there is no cast list to indicate who plays which role(s) in the production, the narrators are perfectly cast, capturing the personalities, moods, and nuances of the written characters as well as conveying the tensions and atmosphere of each scene. Their individual and collective performances paint the story in vivid detail to the point where a listener may feel s/he has actually seen the events described! This is a testament not only to the writing, but to the excellence of the acting.
OTHER: I purchased Sleeping Giants (The Themis Files, #1; by Sylvain Neiuvel; narrated by a Full Cast) from audible.com. I receive no monies, goods, or services in exchange for reviewing the product and/or mentioning any of the persons or companies that are or may be implied in this post.
Sleeping Giants (The Themis Files, #1; by Sylvain Neiuvel; narrated by a Full Cast) is a finalist in the 2017 APA Audie Awards in the Science Fiction category.
The Book of the Unnamed Midwife
The Road to Nowhere, Book #1
By Meg Elison
Narrated by Angela Dawe
Ⓟ 2016, Brilliance Audio
9 hours, 14 minutes
SCIENCE FICTION | POST APOCALYPTIC
This is the story of a P.A. (Physician’s Assistant) in San Francisco who wakes up one day to discover that the city, the country, perhaps the world have been wiped out by “the Women’s Plague.” The virus causes babies to be stillborn, the mothers to die in a raging fever during delivery, and 98% of the males to succumb as well. As the eponymous character moves though the post-apocalyptic landscape, she does what she needs to do in order to survive and search for meaning in this life.
The novel is heavy with import; but it suffers from a surfeit of story, in particular the passages regarding another character’s journey; and some underdeveloped ideas, like hives (a single-female-led colony of male acolytes.) The author also includes a couple of “off-camera” scenes – passages which describe action that could not be known to the main character or others, which can be immediately gratifying to the reader/listener, but breaks the integrity of the narrative.
Angela Dawe takes a while to hit her stride, and her male characterizations are not strong. Her near-neutral delivery mutes the intensity of the scenes of rape, murder, and death; and she flirts dangerously close to melodrama at times when she is clearly more invested in the story. On the whole, however, Angela Dawe keeps her performance within credible range, i.e. listeners will believe that the narrator is “the unnamed midwife.”
The blogger, The Guilded Earlobe also listened to and reviewed this title; and gave it an “A”rating! Check out what he had to say about it HERE.
OTHER: I purchased The Book of the Unnamed Midwife (by Meg Elison; narrated by Angela Dawe) from audible.com. I receive no monies, goods, or services in exchange for reviewing the product and/or mentioning any of the persons or companies that are or may be implied in this post.
The Book of the Unnamed Midwife (by Meg Elison; narrated by Angela Dawe) is a finalist in the 2017 APA Audie Awards in the Science Fiction category.
EDIT: Added line and link to The Guilded Earlobe’s blog post/review.
By John Scalzi
Narrated by Zachary Quinto
Ⓟ 2016, Audible Studios
2 hours, 19 minutes
SCIENCE FICTION | URBAN FANTASY
Taking place in the near future, “a time of miracles and wonders,” the murdered are inexplicably returned to life – safe, healed (and naked!) in their homes. Dispatchers are those that expedite certain death; and Tony Valdez is a dispatcher who has been brought in on a case involving the disappearance of a co-worker.
Instantly compelling, Quinto’s performance is fantastic – handling voice characterizations of both sexes and different ethnicities with fluency and seeming facility. Character delineations are clear so there is no ambiguity during dialogues as to whom is speaking.
This is an audio-first story produced under the auspices of Audible Studios. Though a print edition of this novella will be available in May of 2017, at the time of this writing, there do not appear to be any plans for expanding the Dispatcher concept. Too bad, as it certainly whets the appetite for more!
OTHER: I listened to a digital download copy of The Dispatcher (by John Scalzi; narrated by Zachary Quinto) which was available free during the month of October, 2016. I receive no monies, goods, or services in exchange for reviewing the product and/or mentioning any of the persons or companies that are or may be implied in this post.
The Dispatcher (by John Scalzi; narrated by Zachary Quinto) is a finalist in the 2017 APA Audie Awards in the Science Fiction category; and a finalist in the 2017 APA Audie Awards in the Original Work category.
EDIT: Added “and a finalist n the 2017 APA Audie Awards in the Original Work category.”
By Han Kang
Penguin Random House | Hogarth
Release Date (Paperback): February 02, 2016
This is a lit-fic novella which won the author the ManBooker International Prize. Set in South Korea, the story features a married woman who suddenly decides to become a vegetarian. This sets up a chain reaction of strange, and dramatic responses from her husband, father, brother-in-law, and sister. At first, the story feels alien and weird even given the foreign setting; but once the reader becomes acclimated to the style and tone, the material is thought provoking. This is somewhat of a modern re-telling of Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” (And no surprise, it is published by Hogarth!)
By Han Kang
Penguin Random House | Hogarth
Release Date (Paperback): January 17, 2017
In 1980, in a Southern Korean province, a democratic uprising against the tyrannical government was brutally quashed by soldiers. Known as the Gawngju Uprising, its violence and toll in human lives was shocking: An estimated 2,000 people were summarily executed. Amongst the casualties was a fifteen-year old boy named Dong-Ho; and his death is the centerpiece of Han Kang’s sophomore effort. The author utilizes the Roshomon Effect in driving the plot forward though the years, revealing events though six sections told from various POVs: That of Dong-Ho himself; Dong-Ho’s friend; An editor; A prisoner; A factory girl; and Dong-Ho’s mother. There is an Epilogue, which is not part of the story; but an actual statement form the author regarding her connection to the fictionalized account that she has written. The events recounted are unflinchingly savage, its effects scarring the survivors mentally and physically for years after the uprising itself. Han Kang’s writing is tighter and more grounded than it is in The Vegetarian, perhaps owing to a more concrete set of events at hand (history) as opposed to the performance-piece-like style of her debut novel in the West. That said, there were a few places where the translation or style felt a little awkward: The shift from third-person omniscient to first-person accusatory was disconcerting; and replacing South Korean vernacular with Yorkshire idiomacy was jarring. Overall, however, the novel was powerful; and intentional or not, relevant in today’s political climate in asking the question, “How far would you go to be on the right side of history?”
OTHER: I purchased a hardback copy of The Vegetarian (by Han Kang) from Barnes & Noble in Medford, OR and; I received an Advanced Reader’s Edition of Human Acts (by Han Kang) through the LibraryThing Early Reviewer program. I receive no monies, goods or services in exchange for reviewing the product and/or mentioning any of the persons or companies that are or may be implied in this post.
Shylock is My Name
By Howard Jacobson
Penguin Random House | Hogarth
Release Date (Paperback): October 11, 2016
Shylock is My Name starts off with a sort of colloquy between Simon Strulovitch and Shylock as they discuss Jewish identity, humor, and families (especially the relationships between fathers and daughters.) Then the story kicks into gear as Simon lives out the 16th century play, The Merchant of Venice against the backdrop of an upscale neighborhood in 21st century England.
It is not clear whether Shylock is a literary revenant incarnate and/or an alter ego made manifest under the pressure Simon is under. The initialism of the novel’s title, “SIMN” serves as a possible allusion to the schizophrenic nature of the heroic element; but the double-protagonist scheme does not break down so it is possible that Howard Jacobson simply created a contemporary Shylock, complete with fedora. The conversations tend to be excessively neurotic and introspective, often encumbering the overall story line even as the action line surfaces. The comic elements feel a bit forced; and the humor dry and subtle.
Highly recommend reading William Shakespeare’s, The Merchant of Venice beforehand. Those with an affinity for Jewish literature may also find this more rewarding than those who do not.
OTHER: I received an Advanced Reader’s Edition of Shylock is My Name (by Howard Jacobson) through the LibraryThing Early Reviewer program. I receive no monies, goods or services in exchange for reviewing the product and/or mentioning any of the persons or companies that are or may be implied in this post.
By Margaret Atwwod
Penguin Random House | Hogarth
Release Date: October 11, 2016
“The Tempest is a play about a man producing a play – one that comes out of his own head…”; and ‘Hag-Seed’ is a novel about Felix Phillips, the former artistic director of the Makeshewig Theater Festival, who finally gets to mount a production ofThe Tempest, albeit with the Fletcher Correctional Players instead of a professional acting company. Felix is also using the play to enact his own real-life drama of revenge. Atwood constructs an interesting meta form: The novel is the re-telling of The Tempest; The director has the players re-write Shakespeare’s Comedy; and the director himself is living out an alternate version… Depending on how involved the reader is in the novel, it could be argued that Atwood has added another layer into the story by capturing the reader as the audience.
Atwood uses this re-telling as exposition of her own understanding of the play; and cleverly up-cycles the Bard’s material both in structure and content. Felix becomes the avatar for Atwood’s research, teaching a class about the play to the would-be actors and the readers of the novel too. The FCP’s re-constructed Tempest raps out lines from the play and re-interprets the figures into modern understanding. The book itself is set up into five parts, mirroring the five acts of Shakespeare’s play.
If there is to be any quibble, it is only this: There is no magic. The original play contains mostly unlikable characters. With the exception of Ariel and Gonzalo, they are best described as manipulative, incredibly naive, homicidal, rapacious, scheming, lying… The appeal of much of the play are the spells that Prospero casts, casting illusions on epic scale. With ‘Hag-Seed’, that magic is reduced to special effects, which shears off the glamour of the story.
The novel is well executed and deserving of study alongside the Classic play, especially in discussions about modern or contemporary relevance and revisionist Shakespeare.
OTHER: I received an Advanced Reader’s Edition of Hag-Seed (by Margaret Atwood) through the LibraryThing Early Reviewer program. I receive no monies, goods or services in exchange for reviewing the product and/or mentioning any of the persons or companies that are or may be implied in this post.