Free Audiobook

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.

TA0115: The Mark on the Wall

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The Mark on the Wall

WRITTEN BY:
Virginia Woolf

NARRATED BY:
Michael Scott

What Picasso was to art, Virginia Woolf is to writing. The Mark on the Wall is an unspoiled example of Virginia Woolf’s unfettered stream of consciousness writing. Her ability to suddenly change mental tracks and spin in a new direction, while at the same time maintaining continuity to the story, speaks to her accomplished literary artistry as a writer. Her witty, sharp, intellectual style as an individual ushered in a modern era as we know it today.

Virginia Woolf unleashes freedom of spirit as the guiding force of expression, riding on storied trains of revelry, allowing the reader to share in her freedom. Her sentence structure and cadence allow for a seamless, yet intellectual ride, with emotions following in hot pursuit. Her ending in the Mark on the Wall foretells the Hollywood Studio’s troupe of surprise endings well before their time.

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ThoughtAudio PDF Transcript: TA0115_MarkontheWall_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.

 

 

 

 

TA0116: A Dream Within a Dream

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A Dream Within a Dream

WRITTEN BY:
Edgar Allan Poe

NARRATED BY:
Michael Scott

In this short poem, Edgar Allan Poe sets out to describe the boundaries of a human soul and looks beyond the reality of the immediate values of his own era. Even though A Dream Within a Dream appears to have delusional aspects, in actuality, it is the reflection of modern society. The poem presents how an existential reality, before understood by society as a whole, appears to be a delusion. It is a reality within another reality, a dream within a dream, that is only invalid because it is not yet a concrete absolute.

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Poe

Edgar 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.

TA0106: The Machine Stops

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The Machine Stops

WRITTEN BY:
E.M. Forster

NARRATED BY:
Michael Scott

The electricity went out throughout the San Francisco Bay Area this week. It was not an act of nature, the will of God, or an unexpected disaster befalling the geographic region. The cause was that the electric company decided it was best for everyone concerned that they shut down their machines. The imposed loss of electricity was jarring. As the final review of these audio segments was taking place during the shutdown, it did not take a leap of imagination to appreciate the genius of E.M. Forster’s THE MACHINE STOPS.

Remember, in 1909, telephones were in place, but radio was still in its early stages. Television or the transmission of images from one location to another was not even a pipe dream. Yet, each passage of this premonitory short story rings true, as if it was written yesterday. Our civilization assumes it is creating a technological utopia to make our individuality a place of comfort and joy. Yet, if we pierce the veil of our own creation, a stalking dystopian world of despair awaits. THE MACHINE STOPS is one of the best novellas ever written about the world we live in today. It provides a basis for deep reflection of our core values as a global civilization. It illustrates how fragile the world we created hangs on the premise that the machines never stop. 

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ThoughtAudio PDF Transcript: TA0106_MachineStops_EMForster.pdf

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emforsterE. M. Forster

Edward Morgan Forster was an English novelist, short story writer, essayist and librettist. He is known best for his ironic and well-plotted novels examining class difference and hypocrisy and also the attitudes towards gender and homosexuality in early 20th-century British society. Read more on Wikipedia.

TA0109: The Prophet

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The Prophet

WRITTEN BY:
Khalil Gibran

NARRATED BY:
Michael Scott

In this short story containing 26 poetic essays, Al Mustafa is traveling to the harbor in Orphalese, to board a ship that will carry him back to the isle of his birth. When he enters the city, many people come to meet him and beseech him to speak to them and tell them all that has been shown to him during his twelve-year stay in their city. And so the Prophet speaks to them.  

Mustafa’s speeches are presented in individual sections, dealing with a variety of subject matters including love, marriage, work, crime, pain, and many other topics. At the end of the book, Mustafa bids a final farewell to the people, boards the ship, and vanishes into the mist.

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ThoughtAudio PDF Transcript: TA0105_Prophet_KhalilGibran.pdf

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Kahlil Gibran

This Lebanese-American writer, poet, and painter, is primarily known for his 1923 book The Prophet. Many of Gibran’s writings deal with Christianity, especially on the topic of spiritual love. During the last 20 years of his life, he lived in the United States, where his works gained recognition and influence within the American popular culture.

 

 

TA0103: Kubla Khan, or, A Vision in a Dream: A Fragment

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Kubla Khan, or, A Vision in a Dream: A Fragment

WRITTEN BY:
Samuel Taylor Coleridge

NARRATED BY:
Michael Scott

A poem written by Samuel Taylor Coleridge after awaking from an opium induced dream of Xanadu, the summer palace of the Emperor Kublai Khan. A much more extensive poem came to him upon awaking, but he was interrupted while writing it down and then could not remember the remaining lines.

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ThoughtAudio PDF Transcript: TA0103_Kubla-Khan_Samuel-Taylor-Coleridge.pdf

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coleridge

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

An English poet, literary critic and philosopher who was one of the founders of the Romantic Movement in England. He was instrumental in introducing the German idealist philosophy to English-speaking cultures.

TA0104: The Prussian Officer

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The Prussian Officer

WRITTEN BY:
D. H. Lawrence

NARRATED BY:
Michael Scott

This classic short story is a fleeting look at the relationship between a Prussian Captain and his orderly. While the Captain exhibits sexual tension towards the young orderly, the feeling is not reciprocated. As a result, the psychological pressure between the two men escalates to an explosive and devastating conclusion.

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ThoughtAudio PDF Transcript: TA0102_PrussianOfficer_DHLawrence.pdf

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D.H. Lawrence

This English writer embodies a collected work that represents an extended reflection on the dehumanizing effects of modernity and industrialization. Like many of his writings, The Prussian Officer includes sexual overtones that were quite explicit for the times, culminating in a British obscenity trial for his novel Lady Chatterley’s Lover. The jury decision to allow publication of the novel is considered a turning point in freedom of expression.

TA0073: Steep Trails (Excerpts)

Steep Trails (Excerpts)

WRITTEN BY:
John Muir

NARRATED BY:
Michael Scott

These four excerpts, from the writings of John Muir, document his naturalist studies in a number of different settings. These highly descriptive stories detail his expeditions in the rugged outdoors. His documented studies led him to an awe of the natural splendors of the earth, and eventually to a position of preservation. His direct activism helped to save the Yosemite Valley and other wilderness areas.

Four Excerpts are included:

  1. A Geologists Winter Walk
  2. A Perilous Night on Shasta Summit
  3. Nevada’s Dead Towns
  4. People and Towns of Puget Sound

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ThoughtAudio PDF Transcript: TA0073_SteepTrails_JohnMuir.pdf

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JohnMuirJohn Muir

John Muir is the most famous and influential American naturalist and conservationist. The Sierra Club, which he founded, is now one of the most important conservation organizations in the United States.