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It is September, the start of hunting season in Michigan, and I listened to Ambrose Bierce as I skinned squirrels and made a stew. My son had shot the squirrels, and he was quite proud of it. I had been with him, and watched as they fell from the trees. I watched one squirrel, looking as he fell as if he was quite confident that he could handle it, that he would survive if he could just negotiate the branches... the ground broke his fall, and his neck. He had looked so competent, so eager, so certain of his survival. I mourned him as I listened to this collection of short stories. Ambrose Pierce is a great read if one is wanting to look at the thin line between now and, what happens last. The quality of the reading was great. The sound effects in the background stabilized the stories, where, without sound effects, you might have become lost. The production quality was quite good. It is funny to see that Ambrose Bierce wrote tales of death and the macabre well over 100 years ago. He expresses the same emotions I felt as I watched that squirrel hurdling at terminal velocity with punctured lungs, still saying to himself "I can do it!" The sadness and futility of life in its final moments are eloquently examined.
12 of 16 people found this review helpful
I had never encountered Bierce until recently when I got a quote of the day from Bierce???s Devil???s Dictionary, so I started looking for some Bierce. These stories are very good and I really enjoyed the listen. There is an interesting mixture of agelessness and datedness throughout these stories; a mixture of almost modern humor and existentialism mixed with somewhat quaint themes. The stories all share a dark outlook with very dark humorous twists. The sound effects were a bit much for my tastes but did not detract much. The narration is quite good.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful