20
Mar
08

Listen to “The Classic Tales” for Audio Books and Short Stories

When portable media devices such as the iPod began gaining market share and popularity in the early 2000’s, it is doubtful that many could foresee the revolution in consumer media consumption that was happening. Many undoubtedly felt that the advent of iTunes and the iTunes Music store in 2003 was amazing, but that was just the beginning. After this came podcasts. These user-created free programs exploded in popularity because of the diversity of topics and formats available. Podcasters began also making free video content. Finally companies like audible.com have made it easy for consumers to enjoy audio versions of modern and classic works of fiction and nonfiction.

Now the latter two have been joined at the hip to create a great source of entertainment: short story podcasts. The foremost of which is The Classic Tales podcast by B.J. Harrison. Harrison’s purpose is to bring short works of fiction into the limelight again. Harrison’s productions are completely unabridged and unaltered from the original work. His voice work on these stories is exceptional. His tone always fits the mood of the story and his voice characterizations are outstanding. His diverse skill in voice performance has been demonstrated by his portrayal of a french inspector (“The Blue Cross”), a Scottish medical student (“The Body Snatcher”), a southern black jazz musician (“The Offshore Pirate”), and a British aristocrat (“Berenice”). The characterizations go a long to way in moving the story along and engaging the listener. Though it may sound trite, it does seem like you are really there. Furthermore the beginning of each episode included a short biography of the author and interesting facts about the story lending useful background and insight into the mindset of the author and the inspiration for the story. But perhaps one of the best features of The Classic Tales podcast is that Harrison takes requests!

Users can download this free podcast from The Classic Tales website or subscribe through iTunes. Via these two sources listeners can download and listen to the four most recent stories which currently include “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, “The Body Snatcher” by Robert Louis Stevenson, and “The Blue Cross” by G.K. Chesterton. All past episodes of The Classic Tales podcast are available for download at Harrison’s page at Audible.com for a nominal cost of $0.69. For that small price you can get Harrison’s production of stories like “The Offshore Pirate” (Fitzgerald), “The Man Who Would Be King” (Kipling), various Sherlock Holmes stories (Doyle), and “The Most Dangerous Game” (Connell). Harrison has also created a great three-part production of Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” which was released during the 2007 Christmas season. This production is also available at Audible.

Classic works such as those produced for The Classic Tales podcast are the forerunners of modern literature. They can be helpful in understanding our past and what attitudes existed then and how they have shaped our modern culture. B.J. Harrison with The Classic Tales has served to remind us of these great writings and allow us a new way to “walk the paths so often trod, but so soon forgotten.”

Josh H.

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