Author Archives: ThoughtAudio Team

TA0005: The Camel’s Back

The Camel’s Back

WRITTEN BY:
F. Scott Fitzgerald

NARRATED BY:
Michael Scott

The Camel’s Back is a whimsical story written in the spirit of the Jazz Age where everything always ends up celebrated in the end. When Perry Parkhurst decides that his long-time engagement with Betty Medill has gone on long enough, he presents her with a marriage license and an ultimatum to get married immediately or end the relationship. Unfortunately, the two end up parting ways, and to drown his sorrows, Perry decides to attend a costume party with his pal dressed as a dowdy camel. As it happens, Betty is also at the party. From here a series of events turn topsy-turvy and all ends well.

In the short introduction to this short story, Fitzgerald wrote, “I suppose that of all the stories I have ever written this one cost me the least travail and perhaps gave me the most amusement.” The story, he confessed, was written “with the express purpose of buying a platinum and diamond wristwatch which cost six hundred dollars” and took seven hours to finish. Though it was the least-liked story by Fitzgerald in the volume, it was included in the O. Henry Memorial Collection of the O. Henry Award of 1920. Fitzgerald claimed the story was based on an actual incident that occurred in St. Paul, Minnesota, in 1919. “Three friends called up during the evening to tell me I had missed some rare doings,” Fitzgerald later recalled, “a well-known man-about-town had disguised himself as a camel and, with a taxi driver as the rear half, managed to attend the wrong party. Aghast with myself for not being there, I spent the next day trying to collect the fragments of the story.”

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ThoughtAudio PDF Transcript: TA0005_TheCamelsBack_FScottFitzgerald.pdf

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F. Scott Fitzgerald

Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald (September 24, 1896 – December 21, 1940) was an American novelist, essayist, and short story writer. He is best known for his novels depicting the flamboyance and excess of the Jazz Age—a term he popularized. During his lifetime, he published four novels, four story collections, and 164 short stories. Although he achieved temporary popular success and fortune in the 1920s, Fitzgerald received critical acclaim only after his death and is now widely regarded as one of the greatest American writers of the 20th century.

TA0134: The Irritated People


The Irritated People

WRITTEN BY:
Ray Bradbury

NARRATED BY:
Michael Scott

The Irritated People appeared as one of the short stories in THRILLING WONDER STORIES in December 1947. This futuristic story starts with Charles Crossley, President of American Jet-Propelled Ships, devising various irritating strategies to stop the European Tri-Union from making bombs in secret that violate the treaty governed by The World Organization. Of course, not to be outdone, the Tri-Union devises counter irritants to combat the waves or irritations brought on by Charles Crossley and the United States. At first reading, the story sounds childlike as the proponents begin to irritate each other’s countries with outlandish annoyances. Yet, in The Irritated People Ray Bradbury again uses the magic of futuristic science fiction, mixed with unconventional humor, to provide a comical account of the type of political games countries play with one another to establish dominance. This delightful story is another enticing look at human nature in all its nonsensical glory.

The idea is to only irritate others.

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ThoughtAudio PDF Transcript: TA0134_TheIrratedPeople_RayBradbury.pdf
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Ray Bradbury

Ray Bradbury (1920-2012) stands as a literary giant, renowned for his groundbreaking contributions to science fiction and fantasy. Born in Illinois, his career spanned seven decades, producing a rich body of work that left an indelible mark on the genre.

“Fahrenheit 451,” a masterpiece published in 1953, remains one of Bradbury’s most celebrated creations. This dystopian tale chillingly depicted a future society where books were banned, and firemen burned them. It served as a stark warning about the dangers of censorship and the power of literature to ignite minds.

“The Martian Chronicles,” published in the 1950s, was a collection of interconnected stories exploring humanity’s colonization of Mars. Through its imaginative narratives, Bradbury delved into themes of loneliness, cultural clashes, and the resilience of the human spirit in the face of the unknown.

Bradbury’s poetic prose and ability to blend science fiction with profound philosophical and societal insights set him apart. He explored the impact of technology, the human condition, and the enduring importance of storytelling itself. His influence transcends generations, inspiring writers and readers alike to contemplate the boundless possibilities of the imagination. Ray Bradbury’s legacy continues to thrive as his works continue to shape the literary landscape and provoke contemplation on the human experience and the mysteries of the universe.

TA0019: American Indian Stories

American Indian Stories

WRITTEN BY:
Charles A. Eastman (Ohiyesa)

NARRATED BY:
Michael Scott

“Old Indian Days” is a collection of short stories written by Charles A. Eastman, a Native American writer and physician. The stories are based on his personal experiences and traditional stories he heard from his Ojibwe and Sioux elders.

The book highlights the rich culture and history of Native Americans and portrays their struggles and triumphs. The stories depict the ways in which Native Americans interacted with their environment, spirituality, and the changing world around them. They also shed light on the impact of colonization, assimilation, and the loss of traditional ways of life on Native American communities.

The importance of “Old Indian Days” lies in its role in preserving Native American culture and history. The book serves as a valuable resource for those interested in learning about Native American culture and provides a rare glimpse into the daily lives, beliefs, and values of these communities. Additionally, the book has contributed to the recognition and celebration of Native American literature, which was previously marginalized in the Western literary canon. It has influenced subsequent Native American writers, such as Louise Erdrich and Leslie Marmon Silko, and has paved the way for the emergence of Native American literature as a distinct genre.

Short Stories Included:

  • The Grave of the Dog
  • The Famine
  • The Chief Soldier
  • The Singing Spirit
  • The White Man’s Errand
  • The Madness of Bald Eagle
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ThoughtAudio PDF Transcript: TA0019_AmericanIndianStories_CharlesEastman.pdf
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CHARLES EASTMAN (Ohiyesa)
Charles A. Eastman (1858-1939), also known by his Native American name Ohiyesa, was a Santee Dakota physician, writer, and activist who worked to promote understanding and appreciation of Native American culture and traditions. He was born in Minnesota and raised in a traditional Dakota Sioux family but later attended Dartmouth College and Boston University to pursue a career in medicine.

Eastman became an important advocate for Native American rights and worked with the U.S. government to improve the conditions of Native American reservations. He was also an author and wrote several books, including “Indian Boyhood” (1902), “The Soul of the Indian” (1911), and “From the Deep Woods to Civilization” (1916). These books provided insight into his experiences growing up as a Native American and his perspective on the challenges faced by his people as they were forced to adapt to the changing world around them.

Eastman’s literary contributions have helped to increase awareness and understanding of Native American culture and experiences. “Old Indian Days,” in particular, is widely regarded as a pioneering work in th field of Native American literature. It was one of the earliest collections of short stories written by a Native American and was well-received by both Native and non-Native readers.

Eastman’s writings also played an important role in promoting the rights of Native Americans. He advocated for the preservation of traditional ways of life and the recognition of Native American sovereignty. He served as a representative for the Sioux at the Wounded Knee massacre hearings and was involved in efforts to secure greater legal protections for Native American communities.

Eastman’s life and works have continued to inspire subsequent generations of Native American writers and activists. His legacy has contributed to the recognition and appreciation of Native American literature and culture in the broader American society.

TA0133_Second Variety

Second Variety

WRITTEN BY:
Philip K. Dick

NARRATED BY:
Michael Anthony Scott

“Second Variety” by Philip K. Dick is a gripping sci-fi story set in a post-apocalyptic world devastated by nuclear war. The United Nations and the Soviet Union are engaged in a deadly battle against advanced robotic killing machines known as “claws.” When underground artificial intelligent agents continue to develop a series of human-like robots that infiltrate and sow distrust among soldiers, UN Major Hendricks must navigate a treacherous landscape where identifying friends from foes becomes increasingly difficult. Forming an alliance with four Soviet soldiers and a young woman, Tasso, Hendricks struggles to survive and uncover the true enemy hidden among them.

The story’s importance in literature lies in its exploration of the timeless theme of man versus machine. Through the lens of science fiction, Dick delves into the complexities of human relationships, trust, and the consequences of unchecked technological advancement, and the potentially devastating circumstances the human race may find itself in if the development of smart machines is left unscathed. “Second Variety” serves as a cautionary tale, warning readers about the potential dangers of creating weapons beyond human control. The narrative challenges our understanding of identity and the boundaries between humanity and machines, raising profound questions about the ethical and damaging implications of technological innovation. By portraying a world where paranoia and deception prevail, Dick invites readers to reflect on the fragility of trust in a war-torn society and the urgent need for responsible stewardship of technology. In this way, “Second Variety” not only entertains but also provokes thought, making it a significant and enduring contribution to the science fiction genre.

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ThoughtAudio PDF Transcript: TA0133_SecondVariety_PhilipKDick.pdf

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Philip K. Dick

Philip K. Dick (1928-1982) was a prolific and visionary American writer, known for his contributions to modern literature and his significant impact on the science fiction genre. Born in Chicago, Illinois, he led a tumultuous life marked by personal struggles and financial hardships, which often found their way into the themes of his works.

Dick’s writing style was characterized by a unique blend of science fiction, philosophy, and metaphysical themes. He was fascinated by the nature of reality, identity, and the blurred lines between what is real and what is artificial. This fascination is evident in his most famous work, “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” which served as the inspiration for the iconic film “Blade Runner.”

One of the hallmarks of Philip K. Dick’s writing was his ability to create complex, multi-layered narratives that challenged readers’ perceptions and delved into the psychological depths of his characters. His works often explored dystopian worlds, authoritarian regimes, and the human struggle for freedom and autonomy, earning him the reputation of a visionary writer ahead of his time.

Dick’s impact on modern literature and the science fiction genre cannot be overstated. He broke away from the conventional narratives of his era and pushed the boundaries of speculative fiction, introducing new themes and ideas that have resonated with readers and influenced subsequent generations of writers. His explorations of artificial intelligence, virtual realities, and the nature of humanity anticipated many contemporary discussions about the intersection of technology and society.

Moreover, Dick’s influence extended beyond literature, permeating popular culture through film adaptations of his works and references in various media. His ability to pose profound questions about the human condition and the potential dangers of unchecked technological advancements made his stories relevant and timeless.

Philip K. Dick’s biography reveals a troubled yet visionary writer who left an indelible mark on modern literature and the science fiction genre. His exploration of complex philosophical themes, combined with his ability to craft intricate narratives, set him apart as a literary luminary. Today, his works continue to captivate audiences, and his legacy lives on through the enduring impact he has had on literature, film, and the broader cultural landscape.

TA0131_The Jelly Bean

The Jelly Bean

WRITTEN BY:
F. Scott Fitzgerald

NARRATED BY:
Michael Scott

The Jelly Bean is a short story written by F. Scott Fitzgerald that was first published in the literary magazine “The Metropolitan” in the May 1920 issue. It was later included in his 1922 collection of short stories, Tales from the Jazz Age. The Jelly Bean follows the life of Jim Powell, affectionately known as Jelly Bean, in the small town of Tarleton, Georgia. Jelly Bean is a young man who lives a carefree life, spending his days attending parties and socializing with friends. When he falls in love with Nancy, a wealthy young woman engaged to a successful businessman, Jelly Bean becomes obsessed with winning her heart and dreaming of a life of luxury and comfort. However, his dreams are shattered, and he is forced to confront the limitations of his own life and the harsh reality of the world around him. The Jelly Bean explores themes of the conflict between youth and ambition, and class and social mobility, and its enduring relevance has made it an important example of Fitzgerald’s early work and literary legacy.

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ThoughtAudio PDF Transcript: TA0131TheJellyBean_FScottFitzgerald.pdf

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F. Scott Fitzgerald

F. Scott Fitzgerald was an American novelist, short story writer, and essayist who was born in St. Paul, Minnesota in 1896. He is considered one of the greatest American writers of the 20th century and is known for his novels, such as “The Great Gatsby” and “Tender Is the Night,” which explore the themes of the Jazz Age, the Roaring Twenties, and the American Dream. Fitzgerald’s writing is characterized by his vivid prose, his exploration of the complexities of the human psyche, and his examination of social and cultural issues of his time. His life was tumultuous, marked by personal struggles with alcoholism, financial difficulties, and a tumultuous marriage. However, despite these challenges, Fitzgerald’s literary legacy has endured, and his work continues to be celebrated for its beauty, insight, and enduring relevance.

TA0132_Let’s Get Together

Let’s Get Together

WRITTEN BY:
Isaac Asimov

NARRATED BY:
Michael Anthony Scott

Let’s Get Together” is a science fiction short story by American writer Isaac Asimov originally published in the February 1957 issue of Infinity Science Fiction. The story describes a world that has experienced a century of peace and has forgotten what war is like, although world tensions still exist, they reside in the background of everyday politics. A secret agent arrives in America from Moscow with the story that robots identical to humans in appearance and behavior have been developed by Them and that ten have already been infiltrated into America and if they combine will explode and cause catastrophic disaster in America.

The story remains relevant today, as nuclear proliferation and tensions between nations continue to pose a significant threat to global security. Every day we look outside the window and watch as world powers spend enormous budgets to improve their arsenals through the use of advancing technologies. The question that remains is whether humanity remains master over its technological creation or if machines will become our masters through their ability to invisibly outsmart us at every move.

The story is a testament to Asimov’s ability to use science fiction to explore complex ideas that impact the world we live in as they continue to leave a lasting influence on literature.

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ThoughtAudio PDF Transcript: TA0132_LetsGetTogether_IsaacAsimov.pdf

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Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov was a prolific writer who had a significant impact on literature and popular culture. He is best known for his pioneering work in science fiction, in which he focused on the social and scientific implications of technology. Asimov’s science fiction was notable for its emphasis on logic and rationality and has influenced many contemporary writers and popular culture. He was also a prominent author of non-fiction, particularly in the field of popular science, where he made complex scientific concepts accessible to a wide audience. Asimov’s contributions to other genres, such as mystery, were also notable for their intricate and clever plots. Finally, Asimov was a prominent thinker and commentator on social and political issues, making him a significant figure in 20th-century literature and culture.

TA0006: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

WRITTEN BY:
F. Scott Fitzgerald

NARRATED BY:
Michael Scott

“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” is a short story written by F. Scott Fitzgerald and published in 1922. The story is about a man named Benjamin Button who is born with the physical appearance and characteristics of an old man, but as he ages, he grows younger instead of older. As a child, he is rejected by his own father who believes he is a monster. As a young man, he falls in love with a young woman named Hildegarde, but their relationship becomes complicated as Benjamin grows younger and their ages begin to diverge. Eventually, Benjamin becomes a baby and is taken care of by his own son, who is now an old man.

The story is significant for its exploration of themes related to aging, mortality, and the passage of time. It is also an allegory for the human experience, as Benjamin’s unusual life journey reflects the inevitability of change and the impermanence of life. Fitzgerald’s use of magical realism in the story, in which a fantastical element is introduced into a realistic setting, serves to underscore the surreal and unsettling nature of Benjamin’s condition and to highlight the existential questions that arise as a result. Overall, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” is a powerful meditation on the human condition and a poignant commentary on the transience of life.

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ThoughtAudio PDF Transcript: 0TA0006_BenjaminButton_FScottFitzgerald.pdf

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F. Scott Fitzgerald

Scott Fitzgerald is considered one of the most important and influential American writers of the 20th century. His literary significance lies in his ability to capture the spirit of the Jazz Age, a period of post-World War I prosperity and excess, in his novels and stories. His writing explores themes of wealth, class, love, and loss, and his characters are often flawed and complex, struggling to find their place in a rapidly changing world.

Fitzgerald’s prose style is characterized by its lyricism, elegance, and vividness. His writing is known for its use of symbolism, metaphor, and imagery, which are often used to convey deeper meanings and to illuminate the psychological and emotional lives of his characters.

Some of Fitzgerald’s most famous works include “The Great Gatsby,” a novel that has become a cultural touchstone and is considered one of the greatest American novels of all time, and “Tender Is the Night,” a novel that explores the breakdown of a marriage and the disintegration of the American dream.

Fitzgerald’s writing continues to resonate with readers today, as it offers a powerful commentary on the human condition and the complexities of modern life. His legacy as a writer remains strong, and his work continues to be studied, analyzed, and celebrated by scholars, critics, and readers alike.

TA0036: The Nightingale and the Rose


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The Nightingale and the Rose

WRITTEN BY:
Oscar Wilde

NARRATED BY:
Michael Scott

This story is from the book The Happy Prince and Other Stories by Oscar Wilde. In this series of sad short stories, Oscar Wilde looks for a way to save one’s soul in front of the misery of the world. The characters manage to obtain their salvation from their upper-class blindness, by opening their eyes to misery and suffering and by doing what they can to repair these pains and evils.

In this particular story, Oscar Wilde explores themes of love, sacrifice, and the price of beauty. Wilde uses the symbolism of the nightingale and the rose to explore the idea of true love and the sacrifices that one must make to achieve it. Through the story, Wilde highlights the lengths people will go to for love, emphasizing the idea that true love often comes at a great cost. Furthermore, the story touches on the idea of sacrifice, as both the nightingale and the rose make great sacrifices in the name of love and beauty.

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ThoughtAudio PDF Transcript: TA0036_TheNightingaleandtheRose_OscarWilde.pdf

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Oscar Wilde

Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde was an Anglo-Irish playwright, novelist, poet, short story writer and Freemason. Wilde was one of the most successful playwrights of late Victorian London, and one of the greatest celebrities of his day, known for his barbed and clever wit.

Wilde wrote prose, his most famous collection of fairy tales being The Happy Prince and Other Tales. His only novel was The Picture of Dorian Gray. But his fame as a dramatist began with a string of successful plays and culminated with his masterpiece The Importance of Being Earnest. His final writing was the famous poem The Ballad of Reading Gaol.

TA0028: The Communist Manifesto


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The Communist Manifesto

WRITTEN BY:
Karl Marx and
Friedrich Engels

NARRATED BY:
Michael Scott

The Communist Manifesto, written by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels in 1848, is considered one of the most influential political documents in modern history. The manifesto outlines the basic principles of communism, a political and economic ideology that advocates for a classless society in which the means of production are collectively owned and controlled by the workers.

It was written during a time of great political and economic change and helped to define and shape the communist movement that would go on to have a major impact on world events in the 20th century. The ideological influence of The Communist Manifesto has had a profound impact on political and economic thought and has inspired countless political movements and organizations around the world. It critiques capitalism and argues that it creates poverty, inequality, and exploitation. This critique remains relevant today as concerns about income inequality and the concentration of wealth in the hands of a few continue to be pressing issues and outlines a vision of a classless society in which everyone has equal access to resources and opportunities. This idea continues to inspire political and social movements aimed at creating a more equitable and just world.

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ThoughtAudio PDF Transcript: TA0028_TheCommunistManifesto_MarxEngels.pdf

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Karl Marx (1818-1883) was a German philosopher, economist, sociologist, journalist, and revolutionary socialist. Born in 1818 in Trier, Germany, he is best known for his ideas about the nature of society and its relation to economics, which form the basis of Marxist theory. Marx’s most famous works include “The Communist Manifesto” (co-written with Friedrich Engels) and “Das Kapital”. He believed that history is shaped by class struggles and that capitalism, which he saw as a system of exploitation, would eventually give way to communism, a classless society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the workers. Marx’s ideas have had a significant impact on the political and economic landscape of the 20th century, particularly in countries such as the Soviet Union and China.

Friedrich Engels (1820-1895) was a German philosopher, economist, and political theorist. He was a close collaborator and friend of Karl Marx and co-wrote “The Communist Manifesto” with him in 1848. Engels was born into a wealthy family in Germany and initially worked in the family business, but he eventually became involved in political activism and writing. In addition to his work with Marx, Engels wrote several influential books, including “The Condition of the Working Class in England” and “Anti-Dühring”. His ideas and writings played a key role in the development of Marxist theory and the socialist movement.

TA0121: The Gospel of Judas


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The Gospel of Judas

WRITTEN BY:
Based on the Coptic text of Codex Tchacos

NARRATED BY:
Michael Scott

The Gospel of Judas is a non-canonical Gnostic gospel. The content consists of conversations between Jesus and Judas Iscariot. Given that it includes late 2nd-century theology, it is widely thought to have been composed in the 2nd century by Gnostic Christians*, rather than the historic Judas himself. The only copy of it known to exist is a Coptic language text that has been carbon dated to 280 AD, plus or minus 60 years. It has been suggested that the text derives from an earlier manuscript in the Greek language.

*Addendum: Gnostic Principles PDF

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ThoughtAudio Transcript: TA0121_TheGospelofJudas.pdf

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Based on the Coptic text of Codex Tchacos

Codex Tchacos is an ancient Egyptian Coptic papyrus, which contains early Christian gnostic texts from approximately 300 AD: the Letter of Peter to Philip, the First Apocalypse of James, the Gospel of Judas, and a fragment of the Book of the Stranger.