Mr. Rolnick is a great storyteller. Some of the stories in Pulp and Paper explore difficult situations, deaths and an unplanned pregnancy for example, and unveil them in compelling plots with interesting, authentic characters. But the story I loved most was lighter—the fourth story, Mainlanders. I haven’t been pulled back to my adolescence like that in decades—feeling the excitement and nervousness at sighting a girl I hoped to meet, the ridiculous lengths I would go through to induce contact, and the horror when contact was made—the perfunctory hellos were over—and it was time to actually say something meaningful. This was a story that I knew well and loved hearing told through Mr. Rolnick’s voice. He nailed it. I really enjoyed each of the eight short stories in his collection.
I’m assuming that if you are reading this that you are not new to audio books so you know that the quality of the narration can vary. In this case, the voicing is very nice—the narration gives voice to Rolnick’s work such that it conveys the emotion, setting, ideas, and dialogue without adding the distraction of an external voice that takes you away from the story.
I have not purchased a collection of narrated short stories before but thought it might be nice to be able to listen to complete stories in single or double sessions. This proved to be a really nice feature—as I was able to select the story based on the amount of time I had available. When I was in the car for a moderate drive I was able to select a story that I could complete on the round trip—very nice indeed. I am inclined to purchase more short story collections based on this experience. And I will look forward to additional works from Mr. Rolnick to read and listen to in the future.
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