Painter, musician, bibliophile...
This second collection of "Great Classic Stories" is just as rewarding as the first, with something for everyone, including comedy, tragedy, suspense, and romance.
From Huxley's brassy lunchtime companion to the sad teller of Gilbert's love story, nearly every story reveals an unforgettable character or two, and the narrators are first-rate. I particularly enjoyed Bill Wallis and Simon Vance.
Here are the stories in order:
YOUNG GOODMAN BROWN by Nathaniel Hawthorne
THE CASK OF AMONTILLADO by Edgar Allan Poe
COUSIN WILLIAM by Harriet Beecher Stowe
HOW I EDITED AN AGRICULTURAL PAPER by Mark Twain
A PIECE OF STRING by Guy de Maupassant
ANGELA, AN INVERTED LOVE STORY by W. S. Gilbert
THE NIGHTINGALE AND THE ROSE by Oscar Wilde
THE STORY OF AN HOUR by Kate Chopin
A JURY OF HER PEERS by Susan Glaspell
ARABY by James Joyce
THE MARK ON THE WALL by Virginia Woolf
THE INTERLOPERS by Saki
HEAD AND SHOULDERS by F. Scott Fitzgerald
THE STRANGER by Katherine Mansfield
THE BLIND MAN by D. H. Lawrence
NUNS AT LUNCHEON by Aldous Huxley
There is no list of stories on the description, so I hope this helps. Here we have:
THE BRUTE (1906) "Strange are the instruments of providence," Conrad says, as he relates the story of a very odd ship.
THE LAGOON (1897) While traveling through a rainforest, a man must stop for the night. There he hears a story of filial deception and betrayal.
YOUTH (1898) Veteran sailors sit drinking as Marlow looks back to a time a couple of decades earlier when he was a second mate on a ship called the Judea.
THE INFORMER (1906) Our narrator is introduced to "Mr X" through a friend in Paris. While Mr. X espouses anarchist ideals, he is nonetheless steeped to the bone in self-indulgent luxury. He shows his host how the two seemingly contradictory things can dovetail quite neatly when the circumstances are right.
Richard Mitchley is a pleasant narrator of British stories. (He's very good on the trio of Bram Stoker stories, too).
As ever, one wonders at Conrad's skill both at telling a compelling tale and in writing in what was his third language (after Polish and French).
Having done German to English and English to German translations myself, I particularly appreciated the late Joachim Neugroschel's brief explanation of the challenges he faced in translating Mann. As he said, "Each author has his melodies, and each style, each language, its own music." (Those who are not interested in this can easily chapter-skip to the first story!)
The collection includes: The Will for Happiness, Tristan, Little Herr Friedemann, Tobias Mindernickel, Little Lizzie, Gladius Dei, The Starvelings, The Wunderkind, The Harsh Hour, Tonio Kroeger, The Blood of the Walsungs, and Death in Venice.
Mann is not an easy author to read, and these stories and two novellas are not the light entertainment provided by some collections of short pieces. However, whether or not one likes what he has to say, he is a thought-provoking writer and rarely leaves one unmoved.
His characters are unlikely to be forgotten. Since I first read the stories many years ago, I have never forgotten the tragic figure of Friedemann , the incestuous twins Sieglinde and Siegmund Aarenhold, the religious zealot Hieronymous, or Kroeger, the "artist who must die to everyday life."
Paul Hecht's narration is wonderful, both in his characterizations and pronunciation of German. He was a joy to listen to from start to finish.
Mann in translation on audio is not easy to find, so if you've been curious about his writing, make this collection your introduction. Don't be put off by the reams of literary interpretations and speculations out there. Listen to the stories for yourself. You may be surprised at what you find.