Selected Shorts

  • by Evelyn Waugh, Molly Giles, Ray Bradbury, Italo Calvino, Adam Haslett
  • Narrated by Tony Roberts, John Shea, Leonard Nimoy, Blair Brown, Rochelle Oliver
  • 3 hrs and 12 mins
  • Performance

Publisher's Summary

A boon for booklovers, this audio set features funny, fantastical and poignant stories about people with unique and passionate connections to the written word.Tony Roberts reads a hilarious Walter R. Brooks story about how Ed - a talking horse - became a voracious reader of adventure tales and mysteries. In a story by Italo Calvino, read by John Shea, a man tries to make the most of his beach holiday by reading and making love at the same time. Leonard Nimoy performs a dark, vintage Evelyn Waugh tickler about a stranded jungle explorer forced to read Dickens aloud. Plus more memorable stories by Ray Bradbury, Molly Giles and Adam Haslett, read by Rochelle Oliver, Blair Brown and Isaiah Sheffer.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Really delightful collection of stories

Stories about reading - all read aloud to an audience (I enjoyed laughing along with the crowd) by a very able cast. I really enjoyed all of the stories and would find it hard to pick favourites, although the Calvino really stood out for me.

I will definitely seek out more of these.
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- Helen

The horror! The horror!

Any additional comments?

I don't think I will ever hear Dickens referred to again without recalling, with a shudder, the voice of Spock calmly telling a tale of the utmost horror, set in the Brazilian jungle. And it all starts so promisingly. What could be more innocent, after having been rescued from a failed expedition, that your kind host asking you to read to him from his complete Dickens collection for a couple of hours every evening? This is surely one of the best stories ever written: genuinely chilling, memorable, pitiful. It was my favourite in the collection, but others followed close behind:"Notes to my Biographer", an alternately sad and funny, but awfully accurate tale of bipolar disorder, is written from the point of view of one with the diagnosis who - predictably - rejects it. The narrator describes the joyful and bruising ups, and the abysmal downs, as well as his perception of the impact of his illness on his son. The word "poignant" I know is overused, but I can't think of one better to describe "The Night Bookmobile" which left me with a lump in my throat. Comedy is patchily represented in the collection too, with "Ed Has His Mind Improved", a laboured, rather lengthy tale of a horse with a thirst for literature, but questionable morals; much better is "The Writers' Model" in which Molly Giles reverses the microscope under which females in books are often placed by monomaniac male authors (the stuff on breasts is especially accurate). Finally, in "The Adventure of a Reader", a woman sunbathing breaks off to solicit the attentions of a man reading on a beach and is sorely disappointed by the attention he pays to his book throughout their amorous activities. This really is a funny and original story: surreal, interesting and one of those tales where you keep wondering what is going to happen next.

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- Barbara

Book Details

  • Release Date: 13-11-2008
  • Publisher: Symphony Space