Thirty-eight extraordinary stories from award-winning author Jonathan Carroll.
For more than 30 years, Jonathan Carroll’s writing has defied genre conventions. Known for his novels—including The Land of Laughs, Bones of the Moon, Sleeping in Flame, and many other compelling and often surreal stories—Carroll has also created an eloquent body of short fiction. The Woman Who Married a Cloud brings his stories together for the first time. In the title story, a matchmaking effort goes awry and leads one woman to a harrowing moment of self-discovery. In "The Heidelberg Cylinder", Hell becomes so overcrowded that Satan sends some of his lost souls back to Earth. And in "Alone Alarm", a man is kidnapped by multiple versions of himself.
By turns haunting, melancholic, and enchanting, Carroll’s richly layered stories illuminate universal experiences, passions, and griefs. Described by NPR’s Alan Cheuse as "so richly imaginative, so intellectually daring," The Woman Who Married a Cloud is essential for Carroll fans and short-story lovers alike.
©2012 Jonathan Carroll (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
This fantastic collection of short stories has two narrators, a male (Robin Bloodsworth) for stories written from the perspective of male characters, and Suehyla El Attar for female. Mr. Bloodsworth's performance is spot-on, and a joy to listen to. However, I found Ms. El Attar's voice irritating in the extreme: overly breathy and excited like someone trying to sell you something on late-night TV, and employing several grating vocal tics including extensive use of "creaky voice" (rattling your vocal chords, especially at the end of sentences) and the "California Vowel Shift", substituting one vowel sound for another instead of using standard pronunciation ("Bast Aver" = "Best Ever", "Rast" instead of "Rest", etc). It's probably my age and that I am particularly sensitive to slight variations in sounds in general, but women who speak this way all sound like teenage girls to me and I'd prefer more standard elocution.
One of the better short story collections - and certainly one of the best collected works of any author - on audible. I listened in the car, on the walk into town, to the grocery store, between classes, while washing dishes... you get it. These stories reminded me of what I love about the genre of magic realism, speculative fiction and contemporary fantasy: not only are Jonathan Carroll's metaphors and language gorgeous on their own, but when they separate from the "real world," you forget that it could be any other way because what is being narrated is so full of truth and beauty and momentum. The narrators also do a wonderful job, capturing pace and inflection of the characters in each story. I'm genuinely sad that it's over. Oh wait, I can listen again...
I have only listened to a few of the stories so far, but I wanted to share my enthusiasm! So far, the stories have been delightful, interesting, and haunting and both of the narrators are nice to listen to. I will update my review when I have finished all of it, but there are no other audible reviews for this book and I don't think it's getting the credit or interest it deserves!
"Very enjoyable collection"
A mix of of short stories from novella-length to vignettes. A bit over half of them are of a magic-realist type that are, in style, tone, and quality, exactly like a collection of good Twilight-Zone episodes. Most are melancholy or with a touch of horror, but I didn't find them depressing, more like a campfire-shiver; there's a good dose of humour as well. Interspersed with the fantasy stories are some straight stories in the same mood. Read with energy by alternating male and female readers, both of whom are excellent. One of the most enjoyable long books I've had from Audible in a while.
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