AudioBook Review: Fascia, A Collection Of Short Stories by Ashley Murray

AudioBook Review

I’m an admitted fan of short stories, I enjoy the format, and I do very much appreciate the layering and complexity that emerge in a well-crafted story.  Ashley Murray has managed to bring relationships to light with her clever crafting with emotionally enticing settings and events.

Produced with inclusions of original music, this is an audiobook unlike many that I have heard: personally while I enjoyed the music I did find it was emotionally invasive at times: guiding an emotional response from the listener, when in truth the writing does stand beautifully on its own encouraging that response.  Some will, however, appreciate the mix of spoken work and music, and find the unique presentation more to their taste. 

Narration-wise, the stories were competently performed the narrators took care to enunciate and not over-dramatize voicing or emotion, and I particularly appreciated the mixture of male and female narrators used, providing a mix that keeps the recording fresh.  This is a production that felt very unlike others: I can only attribute that to the fact that focus and production were from a musically-inclined ear, which added to the lyrical presentation above and beyond the author’s words.

The writing here, for a debut offering is quite unique and very unusual.  Ashley Murray has a style that flows and uses a rhythm mixes an almost poetic feeling pace with the quicker and faster interior dialog that is constantly running in your head If you are quiet enough to hear it.  With the ability to craft a lovely sentence, and the gentle layering of elements to build a complete setting and word picture for the listener, this is a talent that deserves to be heard and seen by many.

Overall: this was a clever version, and I can see many people appreciating the audiobook version of this collection, both for the words and the beautiful flute melodies that wind throughout the recording.

 Stars:  Overall: 4 Narration; 4 Story  5

AudioBook Review: Fascia, A Collection Of Short Stories by Ashley Murray

Title: Fascia: A Collection of Short Stories
Author: Ashley Murray
Narrator: Anna Castelaz, Austin Milne, Liam Singer, MaSovaida Salemo Morgan, Shea Hall
Published by: Palaver Press
Source: AudioBook Jukebox
Pages: 149
Audio Length: 4 Hours: 8 minutes
Rated: four-stars
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See this Title on Goodreads

Fascia: n. pl. fas·ci·ae 1. Anatomy A sheet or band of fibrous connective tissue enveloping, separating, or binding together muscles, organs, and other soft structures of the body. 2. The debut collection of short fiction by Ashley Donielle Murray.

Like the tissues binding the heart to its arteries, the Southern vignettes in Murray’s collection describe the threads, sometimes thin, sometimes strong, that connect daughter to father, husband to wife, and ourselves to our own histories. This collection explores the interconnection of individual lives to the world around them. From a girl’s quest for fame in the silent film era to a daughter’s conflicted feelings about her father to the interaction between a nurse and an old man with dementia, the characters in these stories try to distinguish themselves by the very things that bind them together.

This work is presented in audio format for the first time, alongside original flute music composed by Bird Radio. Murray’s short interludes, appearing in between each story to serve as emotive thematic connectors, are kept intact with ambient, breathy flute sounds and concise narrations by Jeremy Young.

First published in print by Green Lantern Press in 2009.

A copy of this title was provided via AudioBook Jukebox for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

About Ashley Murray

Ashley Donielle Murray is the author of Fascia (The Green Lantern Press), a collection of stories drawn from southern vignettes focusing on a delicate web of familial and communal relationships that intersect, overlap, and impede on the landscape. She was raised in Texas and North Carolina, which both serve as a backdrop for the stories in this collection. A graduate of the MFA creative writing program at Columbia University, she now lives in Charlotte, NC. She is currently at work on a project about Civil War women spies.


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