• Something Rich and Strange

  • Selected Stories
  • By: Ron Rash
  • Narrated by: Christian Baskous
  • Length: 15 hrs and 3 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (103 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

From the acclaimed, New York Times best-selling, award-winning author of Serena and The Cove, 30 of his finest short stories, collected in one volume.

No one captures the complexities of Appalachia - a rugged, brutal landscape of exquisite beauty - as evocatively and indelibly as author and poet Ron Rash. Winner of the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award, two O Henry prizes, and a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award, Rash brilliantly illuminates the tensions between the traditional and the modern, the old and new south, tenderness and violence, man and nature. Though the focus is regional, the themes of Rash’s work are universal, striking an emotional chord that resonates deep within each of our lives.

Something Rich and Strange showcases this revered master's artistry and craftsmanship in 30 stories culled from his previously published collections Nothing Gold Can Stay, Burning Bright, Chemistry, and The Night New Jesus Fell to Earth. Each work of short fiction demonstrates Rash's dazzling ability to evoke the heart and soul of this land and its people - men and women inexorably tethered to the geography that defines and shapes them. Filled with suspense and myth, hope and heartbreak, told in language that flows like "shimmering, liquid poetry" (Atlanta Journal Constitution), Something Rich and Strange is an iconic work from an American literary virtuoso.

©2014 Ron Rash (P)2014 HarperCollins Publishers

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

What the ...?

Any additional comments?

I have been trying to make my way through this book now for several weeks, but the faux-hillbilly affectations of Christian Baskous have made some great fiction tortuous. Mr. Baskous is a fine narrator and does a bang up job on other works, which makes me wonder what the producers were thinking when they steered him in this direction. Five hours to go ...

17 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Exceptional short stories very poorly narrated

Ron Rash is a master of the short story form. It is unfortunate that the very poor performance of this audio collection detract from what is written.

The problem is the reader's over-the-top attempt at dialect. To my ear it is egregiously exaggerated and inauthentic. His attempt at narrating female speech is also way off the mark. Don't the producers of audiobooks review the performance? Isn't there anyone who can convince the overembellisher to dial it back?

13 people found this helpful

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Exhibit #1

Ron Rash writes great short stories set in Appalachia. This is a selection of his best from prior volumes.

As in the Midwest and Northeast, a variety of Southern accents exist from region to region within the South. For example, the accent and dialect in the hills of north Alabama differ from those along coastal Alabama and the Florida panhandle, which are considerably different from those in south Louisiana, and so on.

What they do NOT have in common is a bumbling and idiotic drawl in each and every person.

This narrator Christian Baskous (a Juilliard grad, so his site says) may be okay on some audiobooks, but he should be banned from reading books set anywhere in the South. His faux Southern accent is like none I've ever heard in my 40+ years in the South, but rather it sounds like an amalgamation of every stereotypical dufus he's ever seen depicted on film and in the media. The absolute worst faux Southern accent I've heard. Think Forrest Gump in Deliverance. And, I have no problem with the use of such an accent for some of the characters or the stories. But, EVERY STORY?? EVERY CHARACTER???? It's an insult to every Southerner generally and to Ron Rash specifically.

PLEASE buy the book in print. Skip this ruination.

31 people found this helpful

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Great stories, narration OK

I've been enthralled with Western North Carolina, and have been to Asheville area twice in the last year. When at Malaprop's bookstore I ran into Ron Rash in the Regional section of the bookstore. I read the title story while standing up at the rack and was mesmerized and impressed.

It turns out all the stories, which are quite varied as to time, but all take place pretty much in Western NC, are all gems.

The narration comes off a bit like Cleetus in the Simpsons at times, and it appears the narrator is not from the South as he has a little too much fun with the accents. He has a good voice at least and knows how to present a story. I didn't let his characterizations of accents ruin the story, which is good because the stories are well worth your time.

4 people found this helpful

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Depressing stories

I really had a hard time finishing this book.The stories were very depressing to me.

1 person found this helpful

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Captivatingly 'Rich and Strange' in Story & Sound

A great read and a great listen. Once again Ron Rash invites us to peer into the strange, complex lives of everyday people living in Appalachia. One of Rash's strengths is his ability to capture something basic about the human psyche and let us glimpse at it through his characters and the situations they face--some sad, some humorous, and some unsettling. Also noteworthy in these stories are the incredible passages in which Rash describes nature and the settings of the stories. And of course, Audible provides the sound of Appalachia through narrator Christian Baskous and his near-perfect Appalachian drawl; Baskous captures the mountain talk and song-like sound that is the signature of this area of our country. Enjoy!

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Beautiful Book

This book was VERY visual and reminded me of each of the towns I have been to in NC.

The characters are wonderful and so well developed.

Christian Baskous did an EXCELLENT job with the narration.

I was voluntarily provided this review copy audiobook at no charge by the author, narrator, and/or publisher.

I voluntarily left this review.

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Rich and Strange

I love these wonderful stories which tell of a corner of the country from many angles and eras.
The narrator Christian Baskous is perfect - consistently engaged, empathic and authentic.
(Anyone who thinks his accent is inauthentic has never lived in the south)

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Totally enjoyable

Most entertaining, insightful & heartwarming. As in any short story collection, some were better than others. I found myself connecting to something in all of them.

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Great stories

I really enjoyed these stories. The narrator did a great job bringing the stories to life. Highly recommended