There will be an audience for horror as long as sleep contains nightmares. Poe illuminates the darkest circumstances. Lieberman enjoys his task. After the appropriate musical prelude, he launches into each tale with gusto, savoring each grisly word and moment, even overplaying at times. He holds us spellbound with awe while at the same time frightening us. Young and old may enjoy this recording. Eerie music sets the mood and space between tales, and there are satisfying chills aplenty.
In Ambrose Bierce's Civil War story "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge", the execution of a Southern planter provides one of the classic scences from all Civil War fiction. Not merely stories of suspense and horror, these are stories of honor and the struggle for justice. Here Grendel the night stalker, the scourge of his time, is challenged and defeated by Beowulf, who tells us he has "driven the [unjust] from the face of the earth." Howard Levy's original music complements these horror stories.
For Ages 10 to Adult
©1991 Syd Lieberman; (P)1995 Syd Lieberman
"Noted storyteller Syd Lieberman's dramatic use of pace and dialogue...will please school and public library patrons wanting their stories gruesome and gory." (Booklist)
The Narrator of this book did an amazing job of giving some life to the characters. It makes me think back to my youth when my father and mother would attempt to breath more life into a story by speaking more in character. To build interest by making the story memorable.
In the Tell-Tale Heart, he takes you along with his character, giving you means to feel what he feels. In giving these character's more life, the Narrator pays homage to the authors of the original stories. I was pleasantly surprised, as I had originally expected to get a monotone diatribe of someone rambling on in a half-asleep state. Much to my joy to find this was not the case.
I don't believe so.
When listening to 'spooky or scary' stories my tastes run to a more seasoned performer. In my opinion, when listening to short stories such as these, the mood that should be established is half the enjoyment of the listen. Syd misses the mark.
Actors such as Derek Jacobi, Vincent Price, and Christopher Lee possess the 'voice' and 'stage presence' to lift average tales to remarkable, and the remarkable to the incredible.
To be fair, Syd Lieberman's performance was energetic at times and he endeavored to 'lift' the stories through his interpretation of the material. Unfortunately, it didn't produce the desired atmospheric effect for myself, or for my wife and children.
The tales are classics, and though they may seem 'tame' compared to the fiction (and for that matter, fact) we are exposed to today, they are good stories nevertheless.
If you are looking for a little more atmosphere, I recommend you keep looking.
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