It's midnight. Turn out the lights, cuddle with your true love, and shiver to fright-meisters Edgar Allan Poe, Robert Louis Stevenson, and H. P. Lovecraft. Quicken your pulse with the elegant terror of Henry James, Edith Wharton, and Guy de Maupassant. Chortle at the black glee of H. H. Munro and Ambrose Bierce.
This volume of late-night listening is for lovers of mischief, the macabre, and literature. These 15 tales, plays, and poems, gleaned from cultures around the world, range from wickedly comic to deathly serious, from New England reserve to Gallic passion. We have even disinterred a previously unpublished tale of revenge by the neglected Bostonian Charlotte de Quincy, "Perfidy and Perfection."
Befitting this varied fare, the presentation is a witch's brew of readings and dramatizations, seasoned tastefully, and (where appropriate) not so tastefully, with music and sound effects, under the direction of Yuri Rasovsky, Peabody and Audie Award-winning producer, and his coven of 20-odd (some very odd) performers.
From Japan comes "Mimi-Nashi-Hoichi" by Lafcadio Hearn; from France, Maupassant's "The Horla"; from Eastern Europe, "Bonche the Silent" by I. L. Peretz; from Ireland, William Butler Yeats's one-act drama "Purgatory"; from Scotland, Stevenson's cadaverous "The Body Snatcher"; and from merry, or, in this case, morose, old England, Munro's catty "Tobermori", plus "Something Lies beyond the Scene" by Dame Edith Sitwell and composer William Walton.
America is well represented by Poe's intoxicating "The Cask of Amontillado" and "The Fall of the House of Usher"; Bierce's homage to lethal entrepreneurship, "Oil of Dog"; Lovecraft's necromantic "The Terrible Old Man"; and two tales of haunted real estate, "The Ghostly Rental" by James and "Kerfol" by Wharton.
Shut your eyes and give your mind a listen, if you dare.
©2003 The Hollywood Theater of the Ear; (P)Blackstone Audiobooks