This collection of eerie stories explores the darkest regions of the mind. Included in the selections are Bierce's most famous tale, "An Occurrence At Owl Creek Bridge", "A Watcher By the Dead", "The Death of Halpin Frayser", "A Cold Greeting", "A Wireless Message", "An Arrest", "The Isle of Pines", "A Fruitless Assignment", "At Old Man Eckert's", "The Spook House", "The Other Lodgers", "The Thing At Nolan", "The Difficulty of Crossing a Field", "An Unfinished Race", "Charles Ashmore's Trail", "Science to the Front", "The Famous Gilson Bequest", "The Night Doings At' Deadman's'", "A Jug of Syrup", and "The Middle Toe of the Right Foot".
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The narrators vocal quality ( or choice? of narration voice - this could be a character choice) is odd enough, coupled with insufficient preparation and thus mishandling of the material and so as to make the stories unlistenable.
First off, I am a huge fan of the Weird Tales and Horror genres that started in the latter part of the Nineteenth Century, and Ambrose Bierce's stories are some of the best in both categories. However, I found that while an able reader, Flo Gibson wasn't up to the task of evoking the stories ambiance(s). She has a good voice, and likely would do well with other books, just not in stories such as these, or in the two above mentioned genres, especially since so many are written in the first person, and the teller of the tale is male. However, that aside, I loved this audio book version of some of my favorite tales. As a predecessor of such greats as Howard and the giant himself, Lovecraft, Bierce is fantastic at both storytelling and at invoking both horror and the Weird feelings that the former two would become so well known for doing in their tales. Anyone who loves the Weird Tales from the 1920's - 1930's (and that continue still, such as by Stross) should get this book.
My one great disappointment with this book, though, is that one of Bierce's finest (possibly the finest) "Weird Tale" was left out - his "That Damned Thing". Off-hand I don't recall which one, bit one of the nine Doug Bradley's (yes, Pinhead) "Spine Chillers" anthologies has the story. I highly recommend both the series, and the volume that contains this story.
All in all, a good solid book of Bierce's horror work. He has many more stories in this genre, but those selected are some of his best. Perhaps one day Audible.com will come out with a comprehensive anthology of all his Horror stories, and should they, I will be the first to buy it.
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