Gather Round the Sound: Holiday Stories from Beloved Authors and Great Performers Across the Globe
Reviewed By: Jessica
Date Listened to: December 5, 2018
Length: 1 hour 12 minutes
Jessica’s Rating: 2 stars
Audible’s 2017 holiday collection includes:
Zip Code 12345
This mini-documentary centers around a peculiar holiday tradition at General Electric’s headquarters in Schenectady, NY. For two decades, GE has been receiving thousands of letters from kids – children who think they’re reaching Santa Claus. And every year, a handful of GE employees give up their December lunchbreaks to respond to each and every letter.
An Aussie Night Before Christmas, by Yvonne Morrison, performed by Magda Szubanksi
This rollicking rewrite of the famous old poem ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas gives the original version a hilarious Aussie twist. Magda Szubanski, Australia’s most trusted personality, caries this incredibly fun romp. Kangaroos pulling the sleigh, a beer for Santa, and all the over-the-top Australian lingo, it’s everything you’d expect.
The Music Coming from the House, by Paulo Coehlo, performed by Daniel Frances-Berenson
In this magical story from the author of The Alchemist – the master of the modern parable – a disguised king visits a poor village, and what he sees through the window of a house changes his life, and those of the occupants.
The Signal-man, by Charles Dickens, performed by Simon Callow, Dan Starkey, and John Banks
For literature lovers, the holiday season needs a little Dickens. We dug up a story of his that you may not be familiar with, originally published in the Christmas edition of a Victorian short story periodical. Of course, ghosts are involved in this 19th century work told by Simon Callow (Outlander) and Dan Starkey (Dr. Who).
A Very Improvised Holiday Musical
What would the holidays be without some carols? Vern, a New York City-based improv troupe, performs a few improvised holiday songs
Gather Round the Sound was free on Audible and there was a good reason for that: It really did not need to be made into a compilation of short stories/performances. This one was a big miss for me. The best short was Zip Code 12345: I really enjoyed it and wish it had been expanded. If this had been the whole ‘book’ that would have been fine with me!
Apparently I am not a Dickens fan as The Signal-man wasn’t for me. When it was over I had no idea what had happened. Maybe it was the narrators with their accents that ruined it for me. The ‘musical chapters’ were also subpar. They were meant to be funny and entertaining, but were far from that.
I cannot recommend this compilation: I say listen to the first chapter Zip Code 12345 and skip the rest. I hate saying this, but it just did not deliver.