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The Classic Tales Podcast

Author: B.J. Harrison

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Every week, join award-winning narrator B.J. Harrison as he narrates the greatest stories the world has ever known. From the jungles of South America to the Mississippi Delta, from Victorian England to the sands of the Arabian desert, join us on a fantastic journey through the words of the world's greatest authors. Critically-acclaimed and highly recommended for anyone who loves a good story with plenty of substance.
89 Episodes
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How could Arséne Lupin possibly steal 50,000 francs in France, when he was apparently in New York at the time? Maurice Leblanc, today on The Classic Tales Podcast. Welcome to The Classic Tales Podcast. Thank you for listening. The Classic Tales Podcast is listener supported. If you enjoy listening to The Classic Tales, please consider becoming a supporting member. It helps support the podcast, and it’s a great way to build out your library of classics. By making a monthly donation of just $5, you’ll receive a corresponding thank-you code for an $8 discount off any audiobook order. Donate $10 a month or more, and you get a $17 discount. You win, and we get to keep going strong. Go now to www.classictalesaudiobooks.com and become a member today. You can also purchase our app, or shop for t-shirts and other merchandise. Links can be found in the notes to today’s episode. If you have the Classic Tales App, check your special features for more Meditations of Marcus Aurelius. We’d also like to thank Spotify for being a partnering sponsor. I’ve gotten slammed with work this week, and I wasn’t able to get any of Hunchback recorded. I’ll let you know how next week goes. I apologize for the delay. While recording Hunchback is one of the highlights of my week, it unfortunately has to take a back seat to the work that pays. And if you like today's story, I have the first two audiobooks of the Arséne Lupin series available at the website. www.classictalesaudiobooks.com   And now, The Infernal Trap, by Maurice Leblanc   Tap here to go to www.classictalesaudiobooks.com and become a financial supporter!   Tap here to get early access to the Airr app, and share your favorite snippets of the episode with your friends! Share on Twitter @bjharrisonaudio, and your clip might be on the show!    Tap here to purchase Huckleberry Finn – the first Hybrid Audiobook     Tap here to go the The Classic Tales Merchandise store!    Hear us on roku:    
How can The Four Just Men accomplish their nefarious plan – in spite of the herculean precautions of Scotland Yard? Edgar Wallace, today on The Classic Tales Podcast. Welcome to The Classic Tales Podcast. Thank you for listening. The Classic Tales Podcast is listener supported. If you enjoy listening to The Classic Tales, please consider becoming a supporting member. It helps support the podcast, and it’s a great way to build out your library of classics. By making a monthly donation of just $5, you’ll receive a corresponding thank-you code for $8 discount off any audiobook order. Donate $10 a month or more, and you get a $17 discount. You win, and we get to keep going strong. Go now to www.classictalesaudiobooks.com and become a member today. You can also purchase our app, or shop for t-shirts and other merchandise. Links can be found in the notes to today’s episode.  If you have the Classic Tales App, check your special features for more Meditations of Marcus Aurelius.  We’d also like to thank Spotify for being a partnering sponsor. The Hunchback of Notre Dame is coming along. I’ve been a little under the weather this week, and I only got half an hour recorded. But I’m back at it. I’d like to send out Part One next week, so keep an eye on your inboxes. I still have a few more hours to record until we are finished.  Please make sure your membership status is current, as I will be sending the completed audiobook out to all current financial supporting members. I’m going to be at the Fan X Comic Con in Salt Lake City! I’ll be on a panel called: The Life Changing Magic of Embracing your Inner Nerd. It will be on Saturday the 7th at noon. Apparently, I’m a bit of an authority on nerding loud and proud. If you’re in town, drop by. I’d love to see you, and I have stickers!   And now, The Four Just Men, part 4 of 4, by Edgar Wallace.   Tap here to go to www.classictalesaudiobooks.com and become a financial supporter!   Tap here to get early access to the Airr app, and share your favorite snippets of the episode with your friends! Share on Twitter @bjharrisonaudio, and your clip might be on the show!   Tap here to purchase Huckleberry Finn – the first Hybrid Audiobook     Tap here to go the The Classic Tales Merchandise store!   Hear us on roku:    
Will the Four Just Men be caught when they deliver their final threat in person? Edgar Wallace, today on The Classic Tales Podcast. Welcome to The Classic Tales Podcast. Thank you for listening. The Classic Tales Podcast is listener supported. If you enjoy listening to The Classic Tales, please consider becoming a supporting member. It helps support the podcast, and it’s a great way to build out your library of classics. By making a monthly donation of just $5, you’ll receive a corresponding thank-you code for $8 discount off any audiobook order. Donate $10 a month or more, and you get a $17 discount. You win, and we get to keep going strong. Go now to www.classictalesaudiobooks.com and become a member today. You can also purchase our app, or shop for t-shirts and other merchandise. Links can be found in the notes to today’s episode. If you have the Classic Tales App, check your special features for more Meditations of Marcus Aurelius. We’d also like to thank Spotify for being a partnering sponsor.  The Hunchback of Notre Dame is coming along. I’m going to release this in two shots, as a Part One and Part Two, since it runs around 20 hours. So keep an eye open for Part One. Please make sure your membership status is current, as I will be sending the completed audiobook out to all current financial supporting members.  I’m going to be at the Fan X Comic Con in Salt Lake City! I’ll be on a panel called: The Life Changing Magic of Embracing your Inner Nerd. It will be on Saturday the 7th at noon. Apparently, I’m a bit of an authority on nerding loud and proud. If you’re in town, drop by. I’d love to see you, and I have stickers! And now, The Four Just Men, part 3 of 4, by Edgar Wallace. Tap here to go to www.classictalesaudiobooks.com and become a financial supporter!   Tap here to get early access to the Airr app, and share your favorite snippets of the episode with your friends! Share on Twitter @bjharrisonaudio, and your clip might be on the show!   Tap here to purchase Huckleberry Finn – the first Hybrid Audiobook     Tap here to go the The Classic Tales Merchandise store!   Hear us on roku:    
Why is one of the Four Just Men being treated as a prisoner amongst his fellow conspirators? Edgar Wallace, today on The Classic Tales Podcast. Welcome to The Classic Tales Podcast. Thank you for listening. The Classic Tales Podcast is listener supported. If you enjoy listening to The Classic Tales, please consider becoming a supporting member. It helps support the podcast, and it’s a great way to build out your library of classics. By making a monthly donation of just $5, you’ll receive a corresponding thank-you code for $8 discount off any audiobook order. Donate $10 a month or more, and you get a $17 discount. You win, and we get to keep going strong. Go now to www.classictalesaudiobooks.com and become a member today. You can also purchase our app, or shop for t-shirts and other merchandise. Links can be found in the notes to today’s episode. If you have the Classic Tales App, check your special features for more Meditations of Marcus Aurelius.  We’d also like to thank Spotify for being a partnering sponsor. The Hunchback of Notre Dame is coming along. It’s tricky to try and sneak in a few hours to record over the weekend. I’m going to release this in two shots, as a Part One and Part Two, since it runs around 20 hours. So keep an eye open for Part One. Please make sure your membership status is current, as I will be sending the completed audiobook out to all current financial supporting members. And now, The Four Just Men, part 2 of 4, by Edgar Wallace.   Tap here to go to www.classictalesaudiobooks.com and become a financial supporter!   Tap here to get early access to the Airr app, and share your favorite snippets of the episode with your friends! Share on Twitter @bjharrisonaudio, and your clip might be on the show!   Tap here to purchase Huckleberry Finn – the first Hybrid Audiobook    Tap here to go the The Classic Tales Merchandise store!   Hear us on roku:  
How does a vigilante group styling themselves The Four Just Men raise the stakes against an inflammatory act of Parliament? Edgar Wallace, today on The Classic Tales Podcast. Welcome to The Classic Tales Podcast. Thank you for listening. The Classic Tales Podcast is listener supported. If you enjoy listening to The Classic Tales, please consider becoming a supporting member. It helps support the podcast, and it’s a great way to build out your library of classics. By making a monthly donation of just $5, you’ll receive a corresponding thank-you code for $8 discount off any audiobook order. Donate $10 a month or more, and you get a $17 discount. You win, and we get to keep going strong. Go now to www.classictalesaudiobooks.com and become a member today. You can also purchase our app, or shop for t-shirts and other merchandise. Links can be found in the notes to today’s episode. If you have the Classic Tales App, check your special features for more Meditations of Marcus Aurelius. We’d also like to thank Spotify for being a partnering sponsor. This week we have another sponsor: AudioFile Magazine. They have an amazing podcast that highlights the best of the best in audiobooks. Their episodes are frequent, and run around 5 minutes long. Continue listening after the story to hear an entire episode of their podcast: Behind the Mic with AudioFile Magazine.  The Hunchback of Notre Dame is coming along. I’m running a little behind this week. It’s tricky to try and sneak in a few hours to record over the weekend. I’m going to release this in two shots, as a Part One and Part Two, since it runs around 20 hours. So keep an eye open for Part One. Please make sure your membership status is current, as I will be sending the completed audiobook out to all current financial supporting members. Today’s story is Edgar Wallace who co-wrote the groundbreaking story of King Kong with Merriam C. Cooper. Wallace was a prolific author, and at the time of his death, was known as “The King of Thrillers”.  When Wallace finished writing The Four Just Men, he was sure he had a hit. The problem was, nobody else thought so. He couldn’t get it published. So, he self published it, and decided to advertise the novel on an unprecedented scale. He came up with a bold advertising gimmick: a £500 reward was offered to any reader who could guess how the murder in the novel was committed. Wallace was working for The Daily Mail newspaper at the time, and here he published the serialized version of the story along with the competition. Well, it didn’t work out quite like he’d anticipated. While the book did well, it didn’t do that well. Furthermore, Wallace wasn’t quite as clever as he thought. Some people were guessing the ending. After three months, Wallace still hadn’t recouped his advertising investment, and he had more contest winners than he was planning for. So, the official list of winners kind of went unpublished, which kind of made a lot of people lose trust in The Daily Mail, which is really a bad thing when you’re, you know, a news source. In the end, Wallace had to borrow £5,000 from his boss, so the newspaper could save face with their readers. Wallace’s working relationship with the paper soured after that, when it became evident that Wallace was in no hurry to pay the money back. But while the publishing of The Four Just Men was a bit of a fiasco, it did establish Wallace’s name as a writer. The reason I chose this story was because while I was reading it, I was constantly fighting with myself. This was Wallace’s intention. Of The Four Just Men, he said, “The most lawless of us would hesitate to defend them, but the greater humanitarian could scarcely condemn them.” We aren’t supposed to be completely for or against them. The story takes place before the two World Wars, when anarchists were big news in Europe. Today, we would likely dub them terrorists. They are vigilantes, who seek their own version of justice from the world. I hope you like it. Warning: there are a couple offensive racial epithets in today’s episode, including the “n” word.  And now, The Four Just Men, part 1 of 4, by Edgar Wallace.   Tap here to go to www.classictalesaudiobooks.com and become a financial supporter!     Tap here to get early access to the Airr app, and share your favorite snippets of the episode with your friends! Share on Twitter @bjharrisonaudio, and your clip might be on the show!   Tap here to purchase Huckleberry Finn – the first Hybrid Audiobook   Tap here to go the The Classic Tales Merchandise store!   
What misfortune occurs when an ancient watchmaker pits his two protégés against each other? Lydia Maria Child, today on The Classic Tales Podcast. Welcome to The Classic Tales Podcast. Thank you for listening. The Classic Tales Podcast is listener supported. If you enjoy listening to The Classic Tales, please consider becoming a supporting member. It helps support the podcast, and it’s a great way to build out your library of classics. By making a monthly donation of just $5, you’ll receive a corresponding thank-you code for $8 off any digital audiobook download. You win, and we get to keep going strong. Go now to www.classictalesaudiobooks.com and become a member today. There are many other ways you can also support the podcast, through purchasing our app, merchandise, or telling your friends about us. Links can be found in the notes to today’s episode. If you have the Classic Tales App, check your special features for more Meditations of Marcus Aurelius. That’s still a thing. You and also rate and review us at Spotify or Apple Podcasts.  And the items in our FREE category have been changed, so head on over to the website for some free audiobooks. The Hunchback of Notre Dame is coming along. I’m actually using a combination of several translations to record this audiobook, as I’m using three at the same time. The one from J. Carroll Beckwith is the main one, but I’m also using the traditionally used anonymous translation as well as another audio version for additional reference. I have around four more hours to record. Please make sure your membership status is current, as I will be sending the completed audiobook out to all current financial supporting members.  Today’s story is by Lydia Maria Child, who lived from 1802 to 1880. She was best known for her stand against slavery and for her promotion of the rights of Native Americans. The musical version of her Thanksgiving poem, “Over the River and Through the Woods”, is still sung by children today. Her story, “The Rival Mechanicians” has been lauded as one of the finest science fiction tales from the first half of the nineteenth century. The Western Literary Messenger declared it to be “above praise”, when it was first published in 1847. There are so many diverse and profound elements to the story, however, I think I’ll let it speak for itself. And now, The Rival Mechanicians, by Lydia Maria Child.   Tap here to go to www.classictalesaudiobooks.com and become a financial supporter!   Tap here to get early access to the Airr app, and share your favorite snippets of the episode with your friends! Share on Twitter @bjharrisonaudio, and your clip might be on the show!    Tap here to purchase Huckleberry Finn – the first Hybrid Audiobook    Tap here to go the The Classic Tales Merchandise store!    Hear us on roku:
How can Khemsa’s dying words about following a golden thread possibly help Conan defeat the evil Master of Yimshah? Robert E. Howard, today on The Classic Tales Podcast. Welcome to The Classic Tales Podcast. Thank you for listening. The Classic Tales Podcast is listener supported. If you enjoy listening to The Classic Tales, please consider becoming a supporting member. It helps support the podcast, and it’s a great way to build out your library of classics. By making a monthly donation of just $5, you’ll receive a corresponding thank-you code for $8 off any digital audiobook download. You win, and we get to keep going strong. Go now to www.classictalesaudiobooks.com and become a member today. There are many other ways you can also support the podcast, through purchasing our app, merchandise, or telling your friends about us. Links can be found in the notes to today’s episode. You and also rate and review us at Spotify or Apple Podcasts. And the items in our FREE category have been changed, so head on over to the website for some free audiobooks. I’m very excited to announce that Annie, from the Join Us In France podcast, has agreed to write a special introduction for the Classic Tales Audiobook edition of The Hunchback of Notre Dame. She is a licensed historian and tour guide, and her insights into the history of the Notre Dame cathedral will deepen the experience of the audiobook. After searching many different translations, the one I landed on by J. Carroll Beckwith was only published in a very limited edition of only 1000 copies. But it is by far the best I’ve come across. Please make sure your supporter status is up to date, so you don’t miss out on this amazing production. Once it’s done, I’ll be sending the entire 20 hour-long audiobook to all current supporters. This week we finish our story of Conan. It’s got some pretty gruesome violence, and the misogyny is back, too. The violence is pretty obvious, but parents might also want to stop and talk about the misogyny. If we point it out and talk about it, we can make sure it stops. And now, The People of the Black Circle, Part 4 of 4, by Robert E. Howard.   Tap here to go to www.classictalesaudiobooks.com and become a financial supporter!   Tap here to get early access to the Airr app, and share your favorite snippets of the episode with your friends! Share on Twitter @bjharrisonaudio, and your clip might be on the show!    Tap here to purchase Huckleberry Finn – the first Hybrid Audiobook      Tap here to go the The Classic Tales Merchandise store!   Hear us on roku:    
How can Conan possibly prevail against the wizards of the Black Circle? Robert E. Howard, today on The Classic Tales Podcast. Welcome to The Classic Tales Podcast. Thank you for listening. The Classic Tales Podcast is listener supported. If you enjoy listening to The Classic Tales, please consider becoming a supporting member. It helps support the podcast, and it’s a great way to build out your library of classics. By making a monthly donation of just $5, you’ll receive a corresponding thank-you code for $8 off any digital audiobook download. You win, and we get to keep going strong. Go now to www.classictalesaudiobooks.com and become a member today. There are many other ways you can also support the podcast, through purchasing our app, merchandise, or telling your friends about us. Links can be found in the notes to today’s episode. If you have the Classic Tales App, check your special features for more Meditations of Marcus Aurelius. That’s still a thing. You and also rate and review us at Spotify or Apple Podcasts. And thank you, Spotify, for featuring us again on your curated Mind Massage playlist. Hunchback is coming along nicely, and I’ll be recording another episode on Saturday. I’d like to get it done by the end of September. So, please make sure your supporter status is up to date, so you don’t miss out on this amazing production. Once it’s done, I’ll be sending the entire 20 hour-long audiobook to all current supporters. And now, The People of the Black Circle, Part 3 of 4, by Robert E. Howard.   Tap here to go to www.classictalesaudiobooks.com and become a financial supporter!    Tap here to get early access to the Airr app, and share your favorite snippets of the episode with your friends! Share on Twitter @bjharrisonaudio, and your clip might be on the show!   Tap here to purchase Huckleberry Finn – the first Hybrid Audiobook   https://www.amazon.com/author/bjharrison   Tap here to go the The Classic Tales Merchandise store!    Hear us on roku:      
Will Conan and Yasmina escape the magical machinations of the man in the green turban? Robert E. Howard, today on The Classic Tales Podcast. Welcome to The Classic Tales Podcast. Thank you for listening. The Classic Tales Podcast is listener supported. If you enjoy listening to The Classic Tales, please consider becoming a supporting member. It helps support the podcast, and it’s a great way to build out your library of classics. By making a monthly donation of just $5, you’ll receive a corresponding thank-you code for $8 off any digital audiobook download. You win, and we get to keep going strong. Go now to www.classictalesaudiobooks.com and become a member today. There are many other ways you can also support the podcast, through purchasing our app, merchandise, or telling your friends about us. Links can be found in the notes to today’s episode. If you have the Classic Tales App, check your special features for more Meditations of Marcus Aurelius. That’s still a thing. You and also rate and review us at Spotify or Apple Podcasts. And thank you, Spotify, for featuring us again on your curated Mind Massage playlist. Hunchback is coming along nicely, and I recorded another episode today. Wow, that is an amazing story. I have 6 hours left. I’d like to get it done by the end of September. So, please make sure your supporter status is up to date, so you don’t miss out on this amazing story. As with other titles we’ve done in the past, today we’re going to run into some things that are problematic. We haven’t run into this much misogyny before, but I simply can’t let this go without calling it out. There is a part in the story where Conan is way out of line, and decides to give himself liberties without Yasmina’s consent. I don’t want to get all preachy, but parents, this is a good chance to pause the story and talk to your kids, maybe.   And now, The People of the Black Circle, Part 2 of 4, by Robert E. Howard.   Tap here to go to www.classictalesaudiobooks.com and become a financial supporter!   Tap here to get early access to the Airr app, and share your favorite snippets of the episode with your friends! Share on Twitter @bjharrisonaudio, and your clip might be on the show!   Tap here to purchase Huckleberry Finn – the first Hybrid Audiobook   Tap here to go the The Classic Tales Merchandise store!   Hear us on roku:  
Will Conan the Cimmerian help Yasmina avenge her kingly brother’s death? Robert E. Howard, today on The Classic Tales Podcast. Welcome to The Classic Tales Podcast. Thank you for listening. The Classic Tales Podcast is listener supported. If you enjoy listening to The Classic Tales, please consider becoming a supporting member. It helps support the podcast, and it’s a great way to build out your library of classics. By making a monthly donation of just $5, you’ll receive a corresponding thank-you code for $8 off any digital audiobook download. You win, and we get to keep going strong. Go now to www.classictalesaudiobooks.com and become a member today. If you have the Classic Tales App, check your special features for more Meditations of Marcus Aurelius. If you’d like to share a snippet of today’s show with your friends, join us in beta testing the Airr app. Links can be found in the show notes. We also have a merchandise store where you can get shirts and tote bags with your favorite Classic Tales Covers. Again, links are in the show notes. And check us out on Spotify – our new podcast partner. We’re still chipping away at Hunchback. It’s on its way. Be sure you don’t miss is, and become a monthly supporter. Once it’s ready, I’ll send an email out to all of our current supporters. If you’ve let your membership lapse, be sure and resubscribe. And by the way, the only reason I’m being skittish about announcing a release date for Hunchback is simply because I don’t know how much more of my time I can throw toward it. I’m not trying to be like an enigmatic jerk, but at this point, it’s kind of what I can commit to. I can get it done in the near future, send it out to the supporters and move on. I hope you don’t mind. If you have any suggestions, feel free to send me an email at support@thebestaudiobooks.com Today we are dipping our toe into the world of Conan the Cimmerian. Now, I decided to do this book for a couple reasons. 1) Howard’s Conan series was a very important chapter in the history of fantasy. Many authors continued the series after Howard’s death – over 50 novels and dozens of short stories of Conan were written by authors other than Howard. 2) This method of story telling, using the cycle of the hero and using larger than life archetypal characters, is something that we have largely moved away from. I’ll explain it in Star Wars:          So, in the original trilogy, you had the archetypal characters: The hero, the damsel in distress, the adventurer, the evil villain. This collection of characters are seen in millions of stories, and resonate with something deep within us. This is how storytelling has been done for centuries. This Conan story is a fantastic example of this method. Today, we tend to demand that our characters are more nuanced, complicated, and multi-faceted. The stories that follow the same traditional pattern, using the archetypal characters, seem to not do too well. And so this Conan story is an interesting look at how it used to be done, and hopefully if parts ring a bit shallow, we can realize that we’ve become more developed in our storytelling nowadays. And now, The People of the Black Circle, Part 1 of 4, by Robert E. Howard.   Tap here to go to www.classictalesaudiobooks.com and become a financial supporter!    Tap here to get early access to the Airr app, and share your favorite snippets of the episode with your friends! Share on Twitter @bjharrisonaudio, and your clip might be on the show!    Tap here to purchase Huckleberry Finn – the first Hybrid Audiobook    Tap here to go the The Classic Tales Merchandise store!   Hear us on roku:    
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Comments (21)

mostly dead

Nice, more of Shiel's short stories need to be avaiable in audio.

May 8th
Reply

Marcus Grant

The Agatha Christie, l just can't believe how brilliant he did the English accent of 1920. Fair enough not the most difficult for the posh characters, but the more obscure accents was impressive. Being a English man, l know how difficult it can be. A brilliant voice actor really brought the whole story to life. He is a joy to listen to.

Jan 19th
Reply

Larry Peninger

much love to B.J. Harrison

Jan 1st
Reply

Hetta

N

Dec 10th
Reply

Audiobook Sorcery

great show.

Dec 3rd
Reply

Ezra Fickov

this one may have a broken source. bummed.

Oct 10th
Reply

Ezra Fickov

Harry Harrison is the man! deathworld is a fave!

Sep 22nd
Reply

David Kear

Brightens up my daily dog walk. I would like to become a $5/month supporter but the website doesn't work on my android phone.

Aug 22nd
Reply

Raktim Pal

anyone knows how I can find some older episodes? it starts at ep 503.

Aug 22nd
Reply

Larry Peninger

lovely story so far

Jul 17th
Reply

Kelly Marie

it's not Welsh rabbit... it's Welsh rare bit ... just so you know (posh cheese on toast 😂)

Jul 3rd
Reply

Ezra Fickov

secret adversary is just so soooo good! 🌟🌟🌟🌟

Jun 29th
Reply

Camille Diola

Love this podcast! Voice is a winner.

Feb 18th
Reply

Nancy Nuzer

Best voice for the classics I am glued to the player from start to finish.

Feb 8th
Reply

Raven Crawford

I would like to know how I could find some older episodes

Nov 20th
Reply

wen

Raven Crawford Podcast Addict app has episode 503 to 593

Feb 13th
Reply

Rissa JD

Raven Crawford same. it said eps 555 but it was 53 episodes only.

Jan 1st
Reply

iTunes User

I'm always impressed when someone takes their huge talent and a large chunk of their time and gives it away for free. B.J. Harrisson has a beautiful voice and does a wonderful job of bringing to life all the characters in these classic stories. Some I've heard, some are new to me, but they are all wonderful. Thank you for upping the turn-out to once a week! This is right up there with Wait-wait and This American Life on my list of the podcasts I most look forward to every week. You will not be disappointed!

Aug 30th
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iTunes User

Great selection of literature, that is flawlessly read by Mr. Harrison. Mr. Harrison's enthusiasm and character voices draw you in, and every podcast leaves you well entertained. His purpose is to bring back those classic stories,and it is being acheived outstandingly. You will be surprised, as was I, when you listen to how well this podcast is produced.

Aug 30th
Reply

iTunes User

The selection of tales is nearly perfect for what is available. People who have complained need to realize a few things: 1) Mr Harrison has to choose short stories from the public domain. It just so happens that most "classic tales" are already there. 2) Many classic tales are, uh, by definition OLD. Complaining about the narrator's "accent" makes little sense. Mr Harrison has to choose a voice that doesn't sound like it's someone from 2008. Some people have wondered why he sounds British--well, urm, a few centuries ago many Americans were only a few generations removed from England, and most of the authors showcased in this podcast are from nineteenth-century America or else actually from England. Does Mr Harrison's accent sound phony? I don't know, I never really thought of it as an "accent" but as an effected (and effective) reading voice. I'm an American living in Britain--but like most people I'm not two hundred years old, so I've never heard "accents" from a century or a century and a half ago on either side of the Atlantic. I would imagine that genuine voices of people from those times would inescapably sound "phony" to some listeners today. Moreover, this artificial quality is sort of the point. If I'm listening to Dickens read aloud, it would displease me NOT to hear a Victorian-era voice. If I'm listening to Twain, I want to hear an old American accent much like the one Mr Harrison provides. Is his reading voice perfect? No, but I think it's very good. Do I think he puts a lot of emotion into certain passages? Yes. Too much emotion? Sometimes I think so, when I'm not particularly into the story. But I don't think he "hams it up" too much. I've never found his voice or accent to be a problem. Sometimes I want reverence and (slightly reserved) enthusiasm for the classics. Sometimes I want to hear sophistication and excitement for our American literary heritage and the heritage of many European writers from the past centuries. Not only is it escapism--to imagine how these authors lived, how they managed to write--but it is edifying. This podcast gives me that once a week. I love it. It's a shame that there aren't other podcasts like it, completing with it, being inspired by it, trying to outdo it, just as those featured writers from centuries ago were inspired by each other with each tale. ...I don't understand one reviewer's "Frasier Crane" comment. Frasier Crane wasn't British, but I guess anything "smart sounding" must be British, right? I guess "talking smart" is just an intolerable crime to some ears. Maybe when Mr Harrison reads some of these sophisticated or wordy, purple-prose authors (e.g. Poe) he should just not read the words that are there or read them in more of a Homer Simpson voice? Thank God for this podcast. It's my one hour a week of contemporary entertainment media that is actually smart, enjoyable and literary.

Aug 30th
Reply

Thomas simmons

iTunes User agreed... and well put. just a little overboard on the post... :)

Nov 9th
Reply
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