Friday, 22 March 2013

Short Stories: Volume 2: British and Irish Authors Read Their Own Work (The Spoken Word)


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This is a three CD set of historic recordings: authors reading their own work. W. Somerset Maugham reads one of his short stories, "The Wash Tub," in one of the audio tracks. We will look at what this CD set contains and some information about Maugham's reading.

Audio Book Recording:  Maugham's "The Wash Tub" 


Different from the last item that I mentioned, this is a collection of short stories read by their authors from the BBC Sound Archive. This volume contains three CDs, which is a very good bargain. Maugham has the honour of being the first author in the first CD, reading his short story "The Wash Tub," collected in Cosmopolitans (1936).

It is always an interesting experience to hear Maugham's voice. His story comes alive with his measured cadences. One can't help, besides seeing his characters interacting, but imagine him focussing on the text, making gestures with his free hand and the changes of his facial expressions.

Other Maugham readings are collected in the same series: The Spoken Word. Short Stories and The Spoken Word. British Writers.

One little sidetrack: the CDs come with a little booklet with a short bio of each author. For Maugham it says: "Born in Paris on Christmas Day 1874..." Certainly it is way more significant if one were to be born on Christmas Day than the feast day of St. Poppo.

The content:
Disc 1
W Somerset Maugham The Wash Tub | Beryl Bainbridge Kiss Me, Hardy | William Trevor Teresa's
Wedding | Harold Pinter The Examination

Disc 2
Rose Tremain Extra Geography | E M Forster Mr Andrews | Seán Ó'Faoláin True Friend | Osbert Sitwell Staggered Holiday

Disc 3
Alasdair Gray A New World | Alan Sillitoe On Saturday Afternoon | Fay Weldon New Year's Day | Julian Barnes Interference

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