Wednesday, February 8, 2012

"The Scarlet Ibis" by James Hurst

Source: Miette's Bedtime Story Podcast (mp3)
Length: 39 minutes
Reader: Miette

The story: When I first read this short story in early high school, it was presented as sort of an "Introduction to Symbolism" text. I don't know how at the time I thought the symbolism obtuse, when reading it again it seems so explicitly stated. Having just read and enjoyed Moby Dick, it's interesting to see how far I've come in my lifetime as a reader.

The story itself is presented as a childhood memory. Hurst contrasts the idyllic nostalgia of the relationship between him and his little brother Doodle with the darker undertones of the story. These causally mentioned themes - the desire to kill Doodle as a baby, the cruelty that grows out of the narrator's pride, and the background of the carnage of World War I - combine with other more subtle, morbid clues to make a story that's worth rereading.

Rating: 8 / 10

The reader: Miette is a charming reader. She's by no means perfect - her reading at two seperate times is hilariously interrupted by a tweeting bird and a chiming tone - but this, and her embarrassed "Sorry" just adds to the charm. She reads slowly, but with meaningful inflection. I find her accent lovely, but some people may have trouble understanding a few words. As the title of the podcast suggests, this is not a professional reading, but the kind of intimate storytelling you would expect at your bedside.

2 comments:

mel u said...

I think Miette is a brilliant reader and I love her voice and even enjoy the background noises!

Dalene @ A Date with a Book said...

New follower from the Book Blogger Hop! New to audios, but loving. Can't wait to read the reviews :) Would love a follow back at http://datesbooks.blogspot.com