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Tales To Terrify No 15 Peter Crowther

April 20, 2012 by Tony C. Smith

Coming Up

Cover Art: MJ Preston

Short Short: Monster by Max Booth III 02:15

Fiction: Sins Of The Living by Barbara Barnett-Stewart 11:30

Main Fiction: Jewels In The Dust by Peter Crowther 34:00

Narrators: Joe Sammarco, Amy H. Sturgis

Slices of Flesh

Comments

  1. A great show this week with new art. This week, the image is by MJ Preston, author of THE EQUINOX. Enjoy world.

  2. This is a great podcast. Monster was one of my favorite stories out of Slices of Flesh. It is so horrifying, it made me cry everytime I read it. And listening to it read this way made the hair on the back of my neck stand on end and made me want to cry all over again.

  3. Glad you enjoyed the reading, Lori. And thanks for taking the time to let us know.

  4. I agree with Lori, Monster is a (touching – haha) horror story which is brought to life by the narrator. Well written Max Booth III, looks like you have learned a thing or two about story writing over the years… I’m sure we will be hearing more from you in the coming years.

  5. I feel I must start here by addressing the criticism another listener levelled against Larry and his manner of presentation mentioned in the opening comments of the episode. I do not find the style to be long-winded – or really much of a ‘style’ for that matter as that descriptor implies a strong artificial quality and Larry’s words seem to issue forth quite naturally to my ear; maybe ‘approach’ is a choicer term. Sure, there is a deliberate effort to establish a mood, what with the talk of the nook, the weather outside, the coming in and the going out, et cetera, but I find that business quite light and knowing and personally I feel that it enhances proceedings. (And what’s so wrong about following a script in any case? There’s no way I’d be able to operate without one should I ever find myself broadcasting.) I like listening to Larry’s voice. I’ve no hesitation in calling it avuncular: warm and welcoming with a burr of hard won wisdom and peace resting behind it like pipe smoke: just what’s required in a host of this sort of material. By happy coincidence, I also detect a faint echo of Vincent Price in some of the vowel sounds, which is a bonus for those of us familiar with ‘The Man in Black’ (and no, I don’t mean Johnny Cash). Ramble on Larry, I say! And you have my permission at least to supply, if you ever find the time, the Ray Bradbury rejection slip story.

    As for the content, ‘Monster’ was solid, a violent little sketch that achieved what it set out to do, nothing too ambitious of course but then it’s flash fiction. Revenge stories always have their appeal. ‘Sins Of The Living’ was less successful I thought. The idea behind it was an intriguing one but I’m not sure I fully understood what was happening or some of the characters’ motivations. I was put in mind of the Hammer Horror ‘Witchfinder General’ (Vincent Price once again) as it had a similar melodramatic quality. As for ‘Jewels In The Dust’, I could float in the cool, crisp waters of Amy H. Sturgis’ tones all day long so that was a treat to begin with. The story itself was pleasing and the family dynamic was well drawn – a tale of good, decent folk coping with what life throws at them the best they can. It was the type of story that unashamedly went for the heart and earnt its emotional payoff. It might be argued the family, the old lady, Abigail, especially, was drawn a touch too noble and endearing to be realistic – but I’m glad we had a little barrier erected against the harsh realities of age and its associated frailties. It’s part of the way stories of this kind operate. I’m still young, or rather young-ish, but I think once a sensitive person enters their thirties they’re perfectly aware, if more from a theoretical position than a practical one, of what lies waiting for them at the end of the track. In other words, I’m not sure an opinion on this sort of material does alter that much with age unless one lives in a state of denial of one’s mortality – but maybe that’s exactly what everyone believes at my age. We shall see; such questions are only answerable in hindsight – and then we’ve the capacity to mislead ourselves. That said, I don’t think it’s a story that will stick with me. Nearly a week on from first hearing ‘Jewels In The Dust’ I’d almost forgot it to be honest. It was sentimental, and I don’t mean for that judgement to have either positive or negative connotations. I admired the work a lot but it wasn’t really anything that resonated too deeply, but that’s really just my tastes. In all, I found this episode of ‘Tales To Terrify’ to be the weakest of the ones I’ve listened to thus far, but paradoxically I do have an affection for it as it was the first I experienced.

  6. @LarrySantoro It would be disappointing indeed if you changed your hosting style.

    I consider the intonation and cadence you use to create the atmosphere of the nook a rare treat among the many podcasts I listen to, and one that greatly enhances Tales to Terrify.

  7. <blockquoteI feel I must start here by addressing the criticism another listener levelled against Larry and his manner of presentation mentioned in the opening comments of the episode. I do not find the style to be long-winded – or really much of a ‘style’ for that matter as that descriptor implies a strong artificial quality and Larry’s words seem to issue forth quite naturally to my ear; maybe ‘approach’ is a choicer term. Sure, there is a deliberate effort to establish a mood, what with the talk of the nook, the weather outside, the coming in and the going out, et cetera, but I find that business quite light and knowing and personally I feel that it enhances proceedings. (And what’s so wrong about following a script in any case? There’s no way I’d be able to operate without one should I ever find myself broadcasting.) I like listening to Larry’s voice. I’ve no hesitation in calling it avuncular: warm and welcoming with a burr of hard won wisdom and peace resting behind it like pipe smoke: just what’s required in a host of this sort of material. By happy coincidence, I also detect a faint echo of Vincent Price in some of the vowel sounds, which is a bonus for those of us familiar with ‘The Man in Black’ (and no, I don’t mean Johnny Cash). Ramble on Larry, I say!

    This was said so well I figured I would just +1 it. Please do ramble on, you set up the stories to come and create the perfect atmosphere. (I’m a bit behind on listening, hence why I am commenting now.)

  8. Aloha Terror Tribe!
    Here Here! Here’s to a long winded horror host! Love it! Speak on, I pray, Larry, Speak…. SPEAK!

  9. It’s worth the money to see if it works for you.

  10. Okay, so I know I’m a little behind the curve here, but I just started listening to this now that I’m caught up on the HP-Podcratf. Anyway, I just wanted to say I could not agree more with the complaint about Mr. Santoro (sorry, Larry). Maybe I’m a stick-in-the-mud , but I’m here for the stories and not a tiresome, make-believe intro where I’m arriving at the spooky-room (nook) with tons of spooky books (Apparently there’s three walls that are solid bookshelves, pictures, a bed, and -assumedly- a door? Do we get in through a trapdoor or something? Is the bed sitting the middle of the room?).

    I don’t have anything against Mr. Santoro on a personal/voice-quality basis, but the setup is SO LAME. I would just skip it, but I mostly listen to this on road trips and don’t have the luxury of being able to exploratorily tap around the progress bar on my smart phone.

    I don’t have anything against immersion/atmosphere and that’s why it bothers me this one falls on its face so hard. I will never in a million years be convinced I’m being read stories in the spooky-room, and am not sure why I would want to be. Shouldn’t the goal be getting sucked into the stories themselves rather than the idea we are having them read to up in a spooky-room?

    Also: Was the material selected for this episode punishment for the guy complaining about Mr. Santoro? I don’t want to be an asshole (more than I already have) but Monster was as painfully predictable as it was pointless, Sins of the Living was so poorly written it seemed the author only understood the emotional spectrum men as ranging from angry to angry+violent, and Jewels in the Dust was FINE – but not horror in any discernable way. The only thing wrong with Jewels in the Dast (besides its inclusion on the podcast) was the author forgetting to “turn it off” when writing some of the dialogue.

    I dunno, sorry to be a dick. I have really, REALLY liked everything else I’ve heard on here (Except, Black Glass. Don’t get me started on Black Glass.) but the obnoxiously tedious framing device Mr. Santoro uses is almost more than I can bear sometimes. It’s like Aphrodite wrote her number down on a piece of paper, wadded it up, and threw it into a pool full of razor blades and AIDS blood before giggling “Okay, go find it.”

  11. Amazing ! I agree with you, nice design. Reallu Monster is horror playing vital role in this kind of role to make horror.

Links to this post
  1. […] in the meantime, my story “The Sins of the Living” is part of the latest podcast at Tales to Terrify, along with other stories by some other fine horror-writing folks. Like this:LikeBe the first to […]

  2. […] is, why don’t you take a stroll over to Tales to Terrify, where the ever so kind host has recorded my story, MONSTER, on his podcast. And let me just say–holy shit, it is […]

  3. […] to “Jewels In The Dust” by Peter Crowther at Tales to […]

  4. […] Sins of the Living” (audio reprint) — Tales to Terrify, no. 15, April 20, […]

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