Ambrose Gwinnett Bierce (1842 ¿ 1914?) was the tenth child in a family of thirteen born on a simple farm in Meigs County, Ohio. He joined the Union army as a private and distinguished himself in many engagements throughout the War Between the States, including the horrific battle of Shiloh. By war's end, he had been commissioned a major. But Bierce despised war and grew to see in it nothing but pain and wasted lives. He moved to San Francisco in the 1870s and drifted into a career as a journalist and then as a writer of short stories. To his friends he was known as "Bitter" Bierce. A well-traveled and troubled man, he constantly relived the horror of war, and was obsessed by the specter of sudden death. Disappearing into Mexico in 1913, he was never seen again.
Included in Volume 1 is "The Moonlit Road", one of the most unforgettable ghost stories ever written. Other examples in this volume of his power to chill are "Beyond the Wall", "An Adventure at Brownville", and "An Inhabitant of Carcosa". "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" draws on Bierce's war experiences and the ever-present reality of death. Masterpieces of this genre include "One of the Missing", "Parker Adderson", and "A Baffled Ambuscade".
© and (P)2004 Audio Connoisseur
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"Bierce is a Treasure"
Loved the book, even though the ending of the stories became predictable. I'll always read or listen to Ambrose Bierce.
"Death is fascinating"
It is September, the start of hunting season in Michigan, and I listened to Ambrose Bierce as I skinned squirrels and made a stew. My son had shot the squirrels, and he was quite proud of it. I had been with him, and watched as they fell from the trees. I watched one squirrel, looking as he fell as if he was quite confident that he could handle it, that he would survive if he could just negotiate the branches... the ground broke his fall, and his neck. He had looked so competent, so eager, so certain of his survival. I mourned him as I listened to this collection of short stories. Ambrose Pierce is a great read if one is wanting to look at the thin line between now and, what happens last. The quality of the reading was great. The sound effects in the background stabilized the stories, where, without sound effects, you might have become lost. The production quality was quite good. It is funny to see that Ambrose Bierce wrote tales of death and the macabre well over 100 years ago. He expresses the same emotions I felt as I watched that squirrel hurdling at terminal velocity with punctured lungs, still saying to himself "I can do it!" The sadness and futility of life in its final moments are eloquently examined.
"Execellent yet dated"
I had never encountered Bierce until recently when I got a quote of the day from Bierce???s Devil???s Dictionary, so I started looking for some Bierce. These stories are very good and I really enjoyed the listen. There is an interesting mixture of agelessness and datedness throughout these stories; a mixture of almost modern humor and existentialism mixed with somewhat quaint themes. The stories all share a dark outlook with very dark humorous twists. The sound effects were a bit much for my tastes but did not detract much. The narration is quite good.
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