Here are all of Edgar Allan Poe’s great short stories in one 16-hour collection. Also includes "The Raven". Stories included are:
(P)2011 Trout Lake Media
You can't go wrong with this collection. There is a story for every mood or occasion. The stories are often funny, wonderfully horrific, and sometimes beautiful. I was very impressed with Mr Thomley as a narrator, with his a soothing and sophisticated voice, he could not be more perfect for Poe. Worth so much more than what I paid.
First, the reader, Bob Thomley is excellent. Second, Poe is strange. If one is not familiar with Poe other than some of his popular works like The Pit and the Pendulum, then you will find these stories weird, crazy and some are hilarious like Toby Dammit. Bob Thomley makes it all work.
There are books of the same chemical composition as dynamite. The only difference is that a piece of dynamite explodes once, whereas a book explodes a thousand times. ― Yevgeny Zamyatin
Nothing can spoil Poe, his dark macabre stories with Gothic and often ironic aura. But there's one thing that was offputting: the narrator got French and Latin words all wrong. This is amateurish and unprofessional. Please, don't get me wrong. I'm not talking about the accent. But when I think of the way he pronounced the words 'idea' or 'sentiments' in French, it makes me cry.
All in all, Bob Thomley managed to convey Poe's mysterious and spooky mood. He has a powerful voice and a rich timbre, but should have double checked those foreign words.
The reading is excellent, as is the quality of the stories. It's Poe, you know. The only quibble I have is that the title says "The Complete Short Stories" and this collection is far from complete. But it's a good collection and thoroughly enjoyable.
Painter, musician, bibliophile...
Poe is a favorite of mine, so I've heard a lot of great actors narrate his stories over the years: Christopher Lee, Basil Rathbone, Vincent Price, to name a few.
I wasn't expecting a narration of that level, though. I was just looking for a complete collection of the short stories. Sadly, the narration makes it almost impossible to enjoy listening to it.
Thomley's narration is flat and without any affect, more suited to the reading of a dry history than masterful tales of suspense, mystery, and humor.
Also, his mispronunciations are like fingernails on a chalkboard. Poe is strewn with Latin, French, and German. It is not unreasonable to expect a narrator of Poe to be able to pronounce the words with basic proficiency.
But for three dollars, you do get all the stories, including some of those rare treats that hardly appear in other collections, such as his humorous tales. I particularly love "The Angel of the Odd." Poe's twisted sense of fun is all too often eclipsed by his more macabre works.
You be the judge. It is a bargain of sorts, but don't expect too much.
This was a bargain I picked up while waiting for my next month of credits to kick in, and it should be seen as such: filler. The fact that this collection of Poe's short stories is not complete, despite the title's indication to the contrary (I knew this going in, having glanced through reviews before making the purchase), is not the issue. The sampling of stories is fine. The problem, however, is the reader. Bob Thomley is, and I mean this without a hint of sensation, horrible. He is choppy, confused, almost fumbling at times, making prose that is generally fluid and fast sometimes almost incomprehensible, as if he is just trying to survive. He has a tendency to read sentences in short, broken, syllabic bursts, as if he's limited by a governor to 6-8 words at a time before a pause is necessary. At times he overacts, working the language into an exaggerated fury made all the more absurd by his pitter-patter style. It's as if he's only sometimes aware of what he's reading, a problem which creates something of an intermediary distance between listener and work--you are never able to lose yourself in the story because Bob Thomley is there like an annoying tourguide, saying too much and doing too little. Still, as this collection seems to be the most extensive of Poe's works currently on offer through Audible and will only set you back a few dollars, it is slightly better than nothing and Thomley, bad as he is, cannot completely destroy a writer as good as Poe.
I've been dying to read Edgal Allan Poe's work for some time. Before I had only read sporadically and mostly when I was in High School. The stories are great. Other reviewers have complained of the antiquated language but that didn't bother me at all. It sounds pretty modern to me. The reader on the other hand was hard to listen to. Its not that he has a bad voice but that he seems to pause in the wrong places, seems to stress the wrong things and seems, at every turn, to be reading with no practice or preparation. His reading of "The Raven" was horrendous. I would love to hear this same book read by Wayne June.
The narrator had good material to work with, but he just reads, delivering a flat performance. A little involvement in the stories would be appreciated.
Lou Diamond Phillips would do a good job. I haven't heard too many other narrators to make any further suggestions.
Mr. Thomley might be a perfect reader for other works but he is completely inappropriate for Poe. His voice is too ordinary and flat and the numerous mispronunciations are annoying.
love the book, not the narrator, they could have had a better narrator, his characters sounded far too similar and his voice is too nasally. But the structure and the stories were great
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