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Publisher's Summary

Unlike the other arts, American literature has been a powerful, influential, and leading aspect of American culture. By turns sedate and mercurial and possessing a moral mind set of various social values, the American short story reveals in its pages the psyche of a growing, sprawling nation whose sense of destiny has always been larger than life. Here are seven masterpieces that will make you smile, make you frown, and leave you pondering the mystery that surrounds the soul of a great nation.  
Selections in Volume 1:
"A Journey" by Edith Wharton - A woman tries to conceal the death of her husband on a train trip.
"Impulse" by Conrad Aiken � After a lifetime of pushing his luck, a man pushes it a little too far.
"Only the Dead Know Brooklyn" by Thomas Wolfe � A lonely man with a map tries to understand a little piece of the earth.
"A Christian Education" by Robert Penn Warren � A troubled farmer recalls the life and death of a retarded boy.
"Barn Burning" by William Faulkner � In prose as fully mature and beautiful as anything he ever wrote, this is one of the most searing indictments of revenge ever put on paper.
"Paul's Case" by Willa Cather � A youth decides to put his life of fantasy and that of the real world on a collision course.
"The Devil and Daniel Webster" by Stephen Vincent Benét � This beautiful, riproaring tall-tale embraces all that is good in American life.
©Public domain; 1950 Conrad Aiken; 1935 Thomas Wolfe; 1945 Robert Penn Warren; 1939 William Faulkner; 1936 Stephen Vincent Benét (P)2004 Audio Connoisseur
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Critic Reviews

"Charlton Griffin is dazzlingly good, with regional accents, with the change in timbre from a boy's voice to a woman's and a man's, and most of all with his nuanced understanding of how to deliver the narrative from writer to reader without getting himself in the way." (AudioFile)
"With its flawless technical recording values and masterful presentation, this first volume in the Audio Connoisseur Classic American Short Stories series will leave the listener eagerly awaiting a second volume!" (Midwest Book Review)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By James on 07-08-05

Beautifully performed!

The stories in this collection represent probably the best writing that has been accomplished in American literature. This is the good stuff, much of which you may have already come across in high school or college. In the hands of Charlton Griffin, these stories have been transformed into audible works of art. I didn't find these magnificent pieces depressing at all, and I must say that hearing them performed so well was a revelation. America has made a great contribution to world literature and hearing this collection will make you realize this. An educated person needs to hear this one.

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18 of 18 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Jacob on 11-30-08

brilliant reading

I can't imagine a better reader--with the possible exception of Richard Brown, who narrated many of the O'Brian novels (Master and Commander, etc). The sound effects (trains, subways, old-time fiddle music) transform the reading--brilliant in itself; Griffin does an immense range of voice and accents--into something even greater. One reviewer complained that the stories are dark. Well, sure, most of them are dark. What else is new?

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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