Author Archives: ThoughtAudio Team

TA0030: The Philosopher King

The Philosopher King

WRITTEN BY:
Plato

NARRATED BY:
Michael Scott

The philosopher king is a hypothetical ruler in whom political skill is combined with philosophical knowledge. The concept of a city-state ruled by philosophers is first explored in Plato’s Republic, written around 375 BC. Plato argued that the ideal state – one which ensured the maximum possible happiness for all its citizens – could only be brought into being by a ruler possessed of absolute knowledge, obtained through philosophical study.

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ThoughtAudio PDF Transcript: TA0030_PhilosopherKing_Plato.pdf

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Plato

Plato was a Greek philosopher born in Athens during the Classical period in Ancient Greece. He founded the Platonist school of thought and the Academy, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world.

Plato is widely considered a pivotal figure in the history of Ancient Greek and Western philosophy, along with his teacher, Socrates, and his most famous student, Aristotle. He has often been cited as one of the founders of Western religion and spirituality, Western political philosophy, and greatly influenced Christianity.

 

TA0026: Madonna of the Future

Madonna of the Future

WRITTEN BY:
Henry James

NARRATED BY:
Michael Scott

This story represents one of the archetypal and sorrowful dilemmas of an artist, which is the inability to live out their creative life on a realistic plane. As we follow the story we find the artist talking grandiosely about his magnificent artwork ideals, the values of what encompasses great works and his intimate studies of the great works as it relates to his own life. Sadly we find out that execution was not a part of his romantic plan. Then as you follow this modern tragedy what you will find is the enduring quality of the artistic soul as it clashes with the reality of modernity.

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ThoughtAudio PDF Transcript: TA0026_Madonna_HenryJames

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Henry James

Henry James was an American-born British author who is regarded as a key transitional figure between literary realism and literary modernism. James relocated to Europe as a young man, and eventually settled there, finally becoming a British citizen in 1915, a year before his death. James was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1911, 1912, and 1916.

TA0092: The Judgment

The Judgment

WRITTEN BY:
Franz Kafka

NARRATED BY:
Michael Scott

This is a short story about Georg Bendemann and his relationship with his aging father. While Georg is telling his father about his friend in Russia his father goes into a rage, ridiculing and degrading his son. Then at the end of his rant, he issues his final judgment – death by drowning.

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ThoughtAudio PDF Transcript: TA0092_Judgment_FranzKafka

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kafka2Franz Kafka

Franz Kafka was a Czechoslovakian writer who lived from 1883-1924. Though virtually unknown during his lifetime, Kafka has come to be known as one of the most influential writers of his century. His writings have been recognized as symbolizing modern man’s anxiety-ridden and grotesque alienation in an unintelligible, hostile, or indifferent world.

TA0122: 2BR02B

2BR02B

WRITTEN BY:
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. 

NARRATED BY:
Michael Anthony Scott

The idea of perpetual youth has always been part of human mythos epitomized by the Spanish explorer Juan Ponce De Leon searching for the Fountain of Youth in 1513. As age descends on us all, every individual looks back at their youth as the golden age of life. Every person wishes that science would develop a miracle cure for aging so they could live their youthful days in perpetuity. There is never a thought given to the downside of perpetual youth. Kurt Vonnegut takes a nose shot at the youthful mythos in The Big Trip Yonder.

The original story is set in 2185 A.D., 102 years after the invention of a medicine called Anti-Gerasone, which halts the aging process and prevents people from dying of old age as long as they keep taking it. As a result, generations are crammed into one apartment, where the only sense of space is Gramp’s bedroom. Somehow the idyllic concept of perpetual youth takes a nosedive as the futuristic story unfolds.

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ThoughtAudio PDF Transcript: TA0122_2BR02B_KurtVonnegutJr.pdf

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Kurt Vonnegut Jr. 

Kurt Vonnegut Jr. was an American writer known for his satirical and darkly humorous novels. In a career spanning over 50 years, he published 14 novels, 3 short-story collections, 5 plays, and 5 nonfiction works; further collections have been published after his death.

 

TA123: The Big Trip Yonder

The Big Trip Yonder

WRITTEN BY:
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. 

NARRATED BY:
Michael Anthony Scott

The idea of perpetual youth has always been part of human mythos epitomized by the Spanish explorer Juan Ponce De Leon searching for the Fountain of Youth in 1513. As age descends on us all, every individual looks back at their youth as the golden age of life. Every person wishes that science would develop a miracle cure for aging so they could live their youthful days in perpetuity. There is never a thought given to the downside of perpetual youth. Kurt Vonnegut takes a nose shot at the youthful mythos in The Big Trip Yonder.

The original story is set in 2185 A.D., 102 years after the invention of a medicine called Anti-Gerasone, which halts the aging process and prevents people from dying of old age as long as they keep taking it. As a result, generations are crammed into one apartment, where the only sense of space is Gramp’s bedroom. Somehow the idyllic concept of perpetual youth takes a nosedive as the futuristic story unfolds.

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ThoughtAudio PDF Transcript: TA0123_TheBigTripYonder_KurtVonnegutJr.pdf 

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Kurt Vonnegut Jr. 

Kurt Vonnegut Jr. was an American writer known for his satirical and darkly humorous novels. In a career spanning over 50 years, he published 14 novels, 3 short-story collections, 5 plays, and 5 nonfiction works; further collections have been published after his death.

 

TA0125: The Call of Cthulhu

The Call of Cthulhu

WRITTEN BY:
H.P. Lovecraft

NARRATED BY:
Michael Anthony Scott

In the modern world, humanity places itself at the top of the pyramid of creation, and civilization as its crowing jewel of supremacy. H.P. Lovecraft begs to differ. In The Call of Cthulhu he creates worlds that go beyond human existence, rendering humanity weak compared to the powers that lurk outside of world in time, and inside of our world in space.

Lovecraft’s philosophy of “cosmic indifferentism” demonstrates that human beings do not understand they are subject to powerful beings and other cosmic forces that are not malevolent but totally indifferent toward humanity.

The Call of Cthulhu has made it on the mainstage of modern folklore and demonstrates why H.P. Lovecraft is the father of horror fiction.

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ThoughtAudio PDF Transcript: TA0125_CallofCthulhu_HPLovecraft.pdf

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H.P. Lovecraft

Howard Phillips Lovecraft (August 20, 1890 – March 15, 1937) was an American writer of weird, science, fantasy, and horror fiction. He is best known for his creation of the Cthulhu Mythos.

He began to write essays for the United Amateur Press Association, and in 1913 wrote a critical letter to a pulp magazine that ultimately led to his involvement in pulp fiction. He became active in the speculative fiction community and was published in several pulp magazines, and later became the center of a wider group of authors known as the Lovecraft Circle. He would remain active as a writer for 11 years until his death at the age of 46.

TA0119: The Time Machine

The Time Machine (Excerpt)

WRITTEN BY:
H.G. Wells

NARRATED BY:
Michael Anthony Scott

The Time Machine is one of the greatest science fictions stories of all time, addressing the basic concepts of Time and Space, the impacts of societal evolution, and the basic emotions that humans share over time. The story starts with the Time Traveler with a group of people that gather for dinner every week at his home.

He begins by questioning basic assumptions of how Time is viewed and suggests it may have unexplored dimensions. He demonstrates a prototype time machine, and then shows the group his new Time Machine. The next week at dinner, the group is waiting for the Time Traveler to show his presence, when he walks in, disheveled, and after cleaning up he begins to tell his tale of Time Travel into the future to the year 802,701 AD. The story weaves through living with Eloi, meeting the dreaded Morlocks, and eventually making his way back home in a harrowing series of events. Eventually, the Time Traveler continues his journey but is never heard from again.

EXCERPT NOTE: This audio book is missing several chapters. 

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ThoughtAudio PDF Transcript: TA0119_TimeMachine_HGWells.pdf

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Herbert George Well

H.G. Wells was an English writer. Prolific in many genres, he wrote more than fifty novels and dozens of short stories. His non-fiction output included works of social commentary, politics, history, popular science, satire, biography and autobiography. Wells is now best remembered for his science fiction novels and has been called the “father of science fiction.”

In addition to his fame as a writer, he was prominent in his lifetime as a forward-looking, even prophetic social critic who devoted his literary talents to the development of a progressive vision on a global scale. A futurist, he wrote a number of utopian works and foresaw the advent of many modern technologies of today.

TA0122_The Masque of the Red Death

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The Masque of the Red Death

WRITTEN BY:
Edgar Allan Poe

NARRATED BY:
Michael Anthony Scott

The test of a true literary masterpiece is its relevance throughout history, enduring because it assaults the core foundations of the human condition. THE MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH transcends a mere macabre horror fiction but delves into the nature of human beings as it reacts to perennial invasions of a deathly disease. This is a story about the NOW, modern civilization’s reaction to the unavoidable contagions of death, exposing the frailty of human restriction. It’s a story about human arrogance, illustrating the notion that modern civilization thinks it has more control over nature than it in fact has, that wealth and power can avoid disease, and the reliance on the powerful psychological transformation of fear into indulgent festivities as a shield against microscopic invasion. The rich discard the poor, running to private enclaves of safety.
However, the revelry of humanity is an illusion. Nature exhibits “Radical Egalitarianism,” an unwillingness to accept differences in talent, power, money, and aptitude as a mitigating factor to its onslaught. Regardless of the beauty of a metaphorical castle, the luxuriance of the setting, or the strength of will possessed by the enthroned, no mortal can escape the creeping death of contagion.
THE MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH continues Poe’s macabre Gothic horror fiction style of storytelling. Poe makes every word count, every symbolism explode with a multiplicity of meaning, and as always sets an ominous mood that does not disappoint.

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ThoughtAudio PDF Transcript: TA0122_TheMasqueoftheRedDeath.pdf

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PoeEdgar Allan Poe

This American poet and writer is best known for his tales of mystery, horror and sheer terror, at least for the Victorian Age of the mid-1800s, which was his early audience.

TA0118: Notes from the Underground

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Notes from the Underground

WRITTEN BY:
Fyodor Dostoyevsky

NARRATED BY:
Michael Scott

It is no wonder that Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s Notes from the Underground was at the forefront of Existentialism. It is difficult to get past the main character’s anti-social, antagonistic personality at first. They were then, as they are now, seen as deviant and destructive characteristics exhibited for no other reason than to wreak havoc on those around him. However, reading past his persona lies a deeper and more abstract version of the early industrial revolution’s impact on people living in the emerging cities of that time. The character reflects his alienating environment rather than a destructive personality. The themes of the story reflect the destruction of values educated people at the time cherished, and now missing with the advent of the loss of individuality and identity. The core value the story unveils is nature and prevention THE MOST ADVANTAGEOUS ADVANTAGE. The emergence of science threatens a person’s Free Will, and when lost, the destructive means taken to retrieve individuality over scientific understanding of the nature of people.

We undertook the adaptation of Notes from the Underground to clean away the tangential distractions in expression, and to reveal the story in a more understandable way. We did not change the meaning of essential thoughts of the main character but enhanced the readability of the story. We felt the often confusing grammatical structure is why so many people walked away from the novel with an unsavory taste or in an overall confusion of the deeper issues. Notes from the Underground is a modern story still taking place today. Modern mental ailments, addictions, and violence have a large part of their source in people living in a modern underground.

There are two parts to Notes from the Underground. We produced Part I because we felt it conveyed more of  Dostoyevsky’s theory. Part II delves more into the character’s lonesomeness and alienation that sadly expresses itself in situational interactions with people. We have queued the production of Part II and hope to have it available online soon.

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ThoughtAudio PDF Transcript: TA0118_NotesfromtheUnderground_FyodorDostoyevsky.pdf

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Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Dostoyevsky was a Russian novelist and philosopher, whose works explore human psychology in the troubled political, social, and spiritual atmosphere of 19th century Russia. In addition to Notes from the Underground, his other popular works include Crime and Punishment, The Brothers Karamazov, The Idiot, and Demons.

TA0117: A Haunted House

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A Haunted House

WRITTEN BY:
Virginia Woolf

NARRATED BY:
Michael Scott

A Haunted House reflects Virginia Woolf’s ability to move into the ethereal and bring it back to earth. Her articulate use of words provides a poetic love theme as well as a narrative outlook on her present day. The genius of Virginia Woolf is her abstract expressionistic literary form expressing the essence of humanity, in this case the undying “light of the heart” that the couple in the short story is ultimately looking to find.

This short story by Virginia Woolf carries the theme of struggle, loss, connection, love, and acceptance. The couple is searching for something they cannot find. They move throughout the house as ghosts, yet with the breath of life inside of them. Though the house is hundreds of years old, it is a symbolic representation of the couple’s long standing love for each other, even into the afterlife.

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ThoughtAudio PDF Transcript: TA0117_AHauntedHouse_VirginiaWoolf.pdf

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Virginia Woolf

Virginia Woolf was an English writer who used a nonlinear approach to narrative. She is recognized as one of the most innovative writers of the 20th century. Besides her writing, Woolf had a considerable impact on the cultural life around her. The Hogarth Press, was a publishing house she ran with her husband Leonard Woolf, and included books by writers such as T S Eliot, Sigmund Freud, Katherine Mansfield, E M Forster.