in a unique effort to raise money for the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund and Artists for New South Africa, 23 narrators recorded as many African Folktales hand-picked by Mandela for this collection. The narrators ranging from Samuel L. Jackson to Whoopi Goldberg to Charlize Theron are notable actors. Half the fun of listening to these tales is trying to guess who's reading. While some voices are more distinctive than others kudos to Alan Rickman (perhaps best known now for his portrayal of Severus Snape in the Harry Potter series) who uses his pebbly baritone and stop-go cadence to full, dark effect in "The Ring of the King" all are entertaining. Also listen for "Fesito Goes to the Market", where Don Cheadle enunciates as loudly, clearly, and confidently as the best live storytellers, while giving each character a different attitude with a remarkable range of tones. Helen Mirren, too, gives a standout performance reaching the point where strength and vulnerability collide in the epic and bittersweet "The Mother Who Turned to Dust".The stories themselves are classic morality tales, including kings and children, lions and hyenas, gold and magic. Some of the lessons are straightforward, others more cryptic, but each legend is its own full and colorful world. The stories, which average about 10 minutes each, are perfect for children not that they're at all childish. The universal themes hit hard; the tales don't always end happily, but they're light and wondrous enough for children, while being deep enough for adults (or kids) who choose to look further. At under four hours, the collection is short, but there's enough here that you'll want to listen over and over again it's sure to become a favorite bedtime ritual. Kelly Marages
The audiobook was a truly international affair, recorded in Los Angeles, New York, Miami, London, and Johannesburg. The stories were chosen by the Nobel Laureate himself, from every region of Africa.
Net proceeds will benefit the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund and Artists for New South Africa, which works in the U.S. and South Africa to combat HIV/AIDS, provide comprehensive assistance to children orphaned by HIV/AIDS, advance human rights, educate and empower at-risk youth, and build bonds between both nations. Both organizations are working to address the impact of the AIDS pandemic on children in South Africa.
All the individuals and companies involved in the effort have donated their services to allow a maximum amount of proceeds to benefit the charities. In addition to waiving sales and distribution fees, Hachette Audio will donate 100% of proceeds to ANSA and NMCF, and NB Publishers has waived fees, so additional royalties can benefit NMCF. The audiobook was manufactured by Ivy Hill/Cinram, which is donating a significant portion of their services. The actors, creative director, engineers, graphic designers, attorneys, and recording studios fully donated their services, as did three-time Grammy winner Gavin Lurssen, who mastered the audiobook.
(P)2009 Hachette Audio
"In tales such as these, the dream-like, unpredictable symbology and sometimes cruel morality of myths resonate, and, in Mandela's words, the 'gritty essence of Africa' shines through in stories with universal themes." (Publishers Weekly)
We've already listened to it twice in 2 days! All the stories are fun and quite funny as well. Not too much moralising, just great stories.
The story of Kasingi taking banans and pawpaws and chickens to market. Very funny.
Whoopi Goldber's story of the Djinn.
Very good value for money, told all my friends about it.
Alan Rickman! Alan Rickman! Alan Rickman!
The stories were funny, engaging and appropriate for children and adults. The stories and performers (most of them - not all) are worth listening to repeatedly. I highly recommend this CD. Plus, purchase goes to a good cause.
Alan Rickman! There is not enough praise for him. Other readers left wonderful stories flat. Some actors are personalities and not trained actors so only their fame earned them a place with the real talent.
If you have any hesitation purchasing this CD, don't! It is an excellent compilation and well performed album for anyone of any age or gender.
Love to read, and Audible has made the two-hour daily commute enjoyable!
This was a very fun audiobook and is more performance than narration. Each story was narrated by a different person, many of them well known actors and actresses. There was lots of African music woven in which added to the whole experience.
I'd recommend to everybody. This would be a great way to fill up a few hours on a road trip.
I love Books !
These stories are amazing. They are timeless.
there are lots of stories and they have soul.
All the narrators are A+
every story is good
Yes. I found many of those stories interesting culturally.
I learned a few things from listening to this audiobook. One was that certain tales are universal. Another was that being a good screen actor did not necessarily translate into being a good voice actor or verbal story-teller. For this project, there is an impressive line-up of well-known celebrities who each took on a folk tale. For the most part, I found many of these narrations to be rather bland and uninteresting but there were a few exceptions such as Whoopi Goldberg, Hugh Jackman, CCH Pounder, and Don Cheadle. I found those to be the most interesting narrators whose different character voices, voice acting and sound effects were well done. There were also stories I liked better than others. Usually, the shorter, the better. I started losing interest and struggled to pay attention to the longer stories.
Audiobooks makes my 10+hour commutes every week alot more bearable. :)
The stories are hit and miss, but the good ones arent less than great so its all well worth the listen!
I loved this book so much that I bought the paper edition as well to learn more about the selections and sources of the stories. Each story is read by a unique voice well chosen for the particular tale. And African music is included whenever song is part of the story, transporting the listener to a culture that is beautiful and unique.
Absolutely. Stories like these are timeless, and I enjoy them every time I hear them. They're great for when you need to kill 10-20 minutes, or when you want to half-listen to something you've already heard before. I like to put them on when I'm going to sleep. And, they're fun to listen to with kids because they are short and fun to talk about.
I have not read the print version.
Can't really say.
I found many of the stories amusing and found myself chuckling at the outcome.
I love these stories as they take me back to my childhood. I love the fact that I can plug my IPhone in while I am driving and listen to the stories on my way to/from work each day. Helps to mellow me out on the drive.
The stories are brilliant, of course. Africa's colourful and moving storytelling traditions are well-represented here.
The readings are fantastic as well. Whoopi Goldberg, amongst others, brings these stories to life in a way that is hilarious, moving, and entertaining. A great selection of readers!
My one HUGE gripe is that each story begins at about 10 seconds before the end of each track. Thus when you go to the start of a chapter and press play, it starts about 15 seconds into the story, missing the title of the story, intro music and the first few lines introducing what is going on.
This makes it VERY HARD to navigate the audiobook, or to skip back and find tracks you liked to share with other people. Epic fail guys! Come on!
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