Another Strand Magazine short story on the blog today, this one written by Ray Bradbury and narrated by Graham Halstead, all about the idea of inspiration. Please read on for my audiobook review of
One More Body in the Pool
Inspiration comes in many forms, and sometimes a brash idea can lead you into unexpected directions. In this short story from Ray Bradbury, a quiet escape takes a left turn when an interruption sparks inspiration. Everything that I would expect from a writer the quality of Bradbury comes into focus in this short: tension, a strong point of view, conflict that arises from what is said or not, and plenty of ideas that spark a reader’s thoughts.
It’s less the plot of the short here that matters but the writing, and the way that with a single carefully-chosen word Bradbury can send the story in multiple directions, showing inspiration as it is, coming from anywhere and everywhere, limited only by inspiration and facility with words. I love shorts for just this reason, the placement of words that brings the most power to a single phrase or sentence is wonderful to find as a reader. This collection of short stories is a treasure trove of moments like this, full of realized potential in quick, sharp bites.
Narration for this story is provided by Graham Halstead, the second I have listened to from him. This is a narrator who allows the words to do the work, he doesn’t overload the words by emoting as if we should react as he did, but allowing moments to digest the meaning, the import and the author’s intentions to ring true. It cannot be an easy task to present a story without overwhelming a reader with your own perspectives, but allowing the work to stand. Halstead does this with style, and presents a listen that is both engaging and entertaining.
Stars: 4 Narration 4 Story 4
Title: One More Body in the Pool
Author: Ray Bradbury
Genre: Literary Fiction, Short Story
Narrator: Graham Halstead
Published by: Hachette Audio, Mulholland Books
Published on: 6 September, 2016
Source: Hachette Audio
Audio Length: 13 minutes
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Ray Bradbury, the master of American science fiction, offers an intriguing answer to the question that all writers dread: Where do you get your ideas?
One evening in South Florida, an author is dozing beside a swimming pool in when a stranger interrupts his peace. The newcomer, a self-professed fan and a literary agent of sorts, has a proposal for the author . . . one that may shape the course of literary history. With just a few thousand words, this charming short story from Ray Bradbury may change the way you look at classic literature forever.
"One More Body in the Pool" by Ray Bradbury is one of 20 short stories within Mulholland Books's Strand Originals series, featuring thrilling stories by the biggest names in mystery from the Strand Magazine archives. View the full series list at mulhollandbooks.com and listen to them all!
A copy of this title was provided via Hachette Audio for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.