Something Rich and Strange

  • by Ron Rash
  • Narrated by Christian Baskous
  • 15 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

From the acclaimed, New York Times best-selling, award-winning author of Serena and The Cove, 30 of his finest short stories, collected in one volume.
No one captures the complexities of Appalachia - a rugged, brutal landscape of exquisite beauty - as evocatively and indelibly as author and poet Ron Rash. Winner of the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award, two O Henry prizes, and a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award, Rash brilliantly illuminates the tensions between the traditional and the modern, the old and new south, tenderness and violence, man and nature. Though the focus is regional, the themes of Rash’s work are universal, striking an emotional chord that resonates deep within each of our lives.
Something Rich and Strange showcases this revered master's artistry and craftsmanship in 30 stories culled from his previously published collections Nothing Gold Can Stay, Burning Bright, Chemistry, and The Night New Jesus Fell to Earth. Each work of short fiction demonstrates Rash's dazzling ability to evoke the heart and soul of this land and its people - men and women inexorably tethered to the geography that defines and shapes them. Filled with suspense and myth, hope and heartbreak, told in language that flows like "shimmering, liquid poetry" (Atlanta Journal Constitution), Something Rich and Strange is an iconic work from an American literary virtuoso.

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Exhibit #1

Ron Rash writes great short stories set in Appalachia. This is a selection of his best from prior volumes.

As in the Midwest and Northeast, a variety of Southern accents exist from region to region within the South. For example, the accent and dialect in the hills of north Alabama differ from those along coastal Alabama and the Florida panhandle, which are considerably different from those in south Louisiana, and so on.

What they do NOT have in common is a bumbling and idiotic drawl in each and every person.

This narrator Christian Baskous (a Juilliard grad, so his site says) may be okay on some audiobooks, but he should be banned from reading books set anywhere in the South. His faux Southern accent is like none I've ever heard in my 40+ years in the South, but rather it sounds like an amalgamation of every stereotypical dufus he's ever seen depicted on film and in the media. The absolute worst faux Southern accent I've heard. Think Forrest Gump in Deliverance. And, I have no problem with the use of such an accent for some of the characters or the stories. But, EVERY STORY?? EVERY CHARACTER???? It's an insult to every Southerner generally and to Ron Rash specifically.

PLEASE buy the book in print. Skip this ruination.
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- W Perry Hall

What the ...?

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I have been trying to make my way through this book now for several weeks, but the faux-hillbilly affectations of Christian Baskous have made some great fiction tortuous. Mr. Baskous is a fine narrator and does a bang up job on other works, which makes me wonder what the producers were thinking when they steered him in this direction. Five hours to go ...

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- John

Book Details

  • Release Date: 11-04-2014
  • Publisher: HarperAudio