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August 31, 2012 / Leslie

Review – Audiobook – Shadow Show: All-New Stories in Celebration of Ray Bradbury

Shadow Show: All-New Stories in Celebration of Ray BradburyShadow Show: All-New Stories in Celebration of Ray Bradbury
Edited by Sam Weller and Mort Castle
Narrated by George Takei, Edward Herrmann, Kate Mulgrew, F. Murray Abraham, Neil Gaiman, Peter Appel, James Urbaniak and cast

Genre: Science Fiction, Mystery, Horror
Publisher: Harper Audio
Publish Date: July 10, 2012
Format: Audio, 14 hours | 11 minutes
Audio Listening Level: Easy – Intermediate
Rating: 4½ of 5

Ray Bradbury is probably best known for writing Fahrenheit 451 and The Martian Chronicles, but many of his stories were not science fiction; some were mysteries, others horror or even fantasy. He had a gift for storytelling, writing in a lyrical, engaging fashion that influenced readers and writers throughout the world over his seven decade career.

It is this influence that brought about a collection of new short stories, from a diverse group of twenty-six of today’s authors, as a tribute to Bradbury. Although it was published shortly after his death, he was aware of the project and even wrote an introduction where he expressed how proud he was of the contributors and declared that, “This book reads like a transcript of my own nightmares and daydreams”. Most of these stories were inspired by one that Bradbury wrote and some were even written in the spirit of a Bradbury story. Each was followed by an afterword where the author explained the influence or inspiration. It’s always enlightening to hear what the author was thinking and it added a level of understanding to the story.

In most anthologies there are good and bad stories. Not so with this collection. They were all good. Some better than others, some more to my liking, but all enjoyable. I confess, I will abandon a short story after about 5 minutes if it’s going nowhere, and I was only tempted to quit on one story in this collection.

A few of my favorites were Sam Weller’s The Girl In The Funeral Parlor, where we are haunted by a man who finds the woman of his dreams after she has already died, Charles Yu’s Earth: (A Gift Shop), a satirical take on a future earth that is now a tourist attraction and in John McNally’s The Phone Call, we revisit the futility of trying to change the past. I especially enjoyed the afterward by Harlan Ellison, a lifelong friend of Bradbury. I remember it more than the short story he contributed, which at the moment slips my mind!

The audiobook was narrated by an ensemble cast with many familiar names. All were a pleasure to listen to. The only problem I have with audio vs print is the short story format itself. Most were about 45 minutes long so I hesitated to listen for short periods preferring to complete each story without stopping. On the other hand, this is the perfect format for those who want to try an audiobook but don’t want to commit to 14 hours of listening.

Overall a wonderful collection. Highly recommended, even for those not entirely fond of short stories.

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[Click HERE for a preview of the book and a list of the stories and authors.]
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Source: Review copy.
© 2012 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.

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14 Comments

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  1. sagustocox / Aug 31 2012 4:05 am

    This sounds fantastic! I love Ray Bradbury’s short stories….and the stories he’s known for. This sounds like something I should pick up!

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    • Leslie / Aug 31 2012 7:35 am

      Fans of Bradbury will especially enjoy this collection. Having the afterword where the author talks about the story that inspired them was helpful. I haven’t read Bradbury for years and I didn’t always pick up the connection.

      Like

      • sagustocox / Aug 31 2012 7:38 am

        This sounds so good. I hope to get a copy soon. Thanks for the awesome review

        Like

  2. Mary / Aug 31 2012 6:08 am

    Great list of narrators – such distinctive voices! Glad you enjoyed this one.

    Like

    • Leslie / Aug 31 2012 7:38 am

      I only had a hard time with one narrator and that was Kate Mulgrew. She played Captain Janeway on one of the Star Treks and I kept thinking Star Trek: Voyager as I was listening. It was a little distracting.

      Like

  3. BermudaOnion / Aug 31 2012 6:23 am

    Wow, a collection of stories that are all good?! This sounds fantastic! I’m going to tell my son about it.

    Like

  4. Alyce (@AtHomeWithBooks) / Aug 31 2012 1:45 pm

    I’ve been reading through this book too, and definitely need help seeing the connections to Bradbury’s works since I haven’t read many of them other than F. 451. I agree that they are very good, and some quite powerful (the phone call and the funeral parlour esp.). My favorite so far though was the one with the underground eden that the kids find. I so much wanted to know more about what happened to the kids – to get the rest of their life stories.

    Like

    • Leslie / Aug 31 2012 2:22 pm

      I liked the underground eden too. That’s one of my problem with short stories, some of them could be developed into novels or novellas and leave me wanting more. I also liked Light, the Marilyn Monroe story, although I never did make the connection on that one.

      Like

  5. Mindy / Aug 31 2012 3:26 pm

    I have just added this to my audible wishlist. sounds like a great listen

    Like

  6. Suko / Aug 31 2012 5:06 pm

    This sounds like a terrific collection! Thanks for another wonderful review, Leslie. I am in awe of how many audiobooks you mange to listen to!

    Like

    • Leslie / Aug 31 2012 6:08 pm

      Sometimes I feel like I have earbuds permanently attached to my head!

      Like

  7. Laurie C / Aug 31 2012 9:04 pm

    This sounds good! I have such a backlog of audiobooks to listen to, though. Even with a fairly long commute, I don’t have enough time!

    Like

  8. stacybuckeye / Sep 2 2012 8:58 pm

    I’m not a short story fan, but might be tempted if I see it at the library now.

    Like

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