The Ghost Story Megapack: 25 Classic Tales By Masters.” I figured, hey, if I can find just two or three decent ghost stories in the collection, it’ll be a steal. What I didn’t anticipate was that nearly all of the stories would be from the 1800s. But I thought, “OK, these are the roots of modern horror. This is good to enjoy for its literary value and erudition and—”
No. You know what? It was boring. Beyond boring. Mind-numbing in the endless descriptions of sprawling estates and cloudy skies and on and on and just about everything except anything resembling an actual story! I took a Victorian Horror class when I was in college, and the only thing scary was how much time I blew being bored off my ass!
Maybe I’m uncultured. Maybe I’m just not smart enough to appreciate fine literature. Whatever, but I’m sorry. I just couldn’t do that to you listeners.
Instead, I stumbled across a rare treat at the library called Bradbury 13. If your library doesn’t have it, you can pick it up on Audible.com or Amazon. Before I get into it, though, I have to tell you that I’ve been a rabid audiobook fan for over twenty years. I have a huge collection, especially of sci-fi and horror, and I’d say that in the last few years, I’ve listened to ten, maybe fifteen books for every one I’ve read on paper. I listen when I’m walking to the mail, washing dishes, making coffee, and any other time I have at least a few minutes of quiet, non-social time. I keep half a dozen different audiobooks on my phone, carry a Bluetooth earpiece in my pocket, and while yes, listening is slower than reading, I get so many more listening minutes than I do minutes to concentrate on a book that I end up consuming way more literature through my ears than my eyes.
OK, end of audiobook pitch and back to Bradbury 13.
The CD version of Bradbury 13 sells for $16 and change on Amazon, $11.95 as an Audible download, and $13.95 from the publisher, Blackstone Audio, if you like supporting the little guy. Search YouTube for “Bradbury 13 The Ravine” for a free and probably not-so-legal preview. I could swear that at one point I found the individual stories available to download for three bucks each, but hell if I can locate the link now. No matter what, I can’t recommend this collection enough. It’s nostalgic, fun, inspiring, and maybe, just maybe, it’ll spark in you the same passion I have for reading by audiobook.
Until next time, this is William Van Winkle, and thanks for checking out my short shorts.