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Selected Shorts  By  cover art

Selected Shorts

By: Evelyn Waugh,Molly Giles,Ray Bradbury,Adam Haslett,Italo Calvino
Narrated by: Tony Roberts,John Shea,Leonard Nimoy,Blair Brown,Rochelle Oliver
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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.

©2008 Symphony Space (P)2008 Symphony Space

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Truly Enjoyable!

Books about books, reading and authors. A lovely concept. I especially liked The Night Book Mobile. :) And of course Italo Calvino's short story. What a writer!

2 people found this helpful

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Great Collection!

I really enjoyed listening to these short stories by some amazing writers. The theme of course of this collection is writers and readers and it's a wonderful collection which introduced to me some authors I was unfamiliar with, i.e.. Molly Giles, Audrey Niffenegger and Adam Haslett.

One criticism I have though is for the publishers who do not include a list of the the authors and their short stories in any fashion in the description of the collection when you are looking at the Audible version. Since there are only 7 chapters this doesn't seem too difficult for Symphony Space to have done. More people may read or listen to the collection if they did that.

Ch. 1 Ed Has His Mind Improved by Walter R. Brooks
Ch. 2 The Adventure of a Reader by Italo Calvino
Ch.3 Notes to my Biographer by Adam Haslett
Ch. 4 The Man Who Liked Dickens by Evelyn Waugh
Ch. 5 The Writer's Model by Molly Giles
Ch. 6 Exchange by Ray Bradbury
Ch. 7 The Night Bookmobile by Audrey Niffenegger

The collection, I found to be quite enjoyable and like most good short stories stick with you longer than it took to read or listen to the story. There are some wonderful narrators too - Tony Roberts, Leonard Nemoy, Christina Pickles, Blair Brown, John Shea and Isaiah Sheffer.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Helen
  • 03-09-15

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.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Barbara
  • 05-05-17

The horror! The horror!

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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.

1 person found this helpful