"Playing Possum": Sookie Stackhouse brings enough birthday cupcakes for her nephew's entire class but finds she's one short when the angry ex-boyfriend of the school secretary shows up.
"Dahlia Underground": Venerable vampire Dahlia Lynley-Chivers survives an attack by an anti-vampire terrorist group, only to show them they tried to blow up the wrong bloodsucker.
"Two Blondes": Harris dispatches Sookie Stackhouse on a weekend getaway with an errand to a strip club that involves more than Sookie bargained for.
"Death by Dahlia": Harris takes vampire Dahlia Lynley-Chivers to a lavish party that turns deadly. And with so many different creatures of the night in attendance, Dahlia will have a hard time identifying the most likely suspect.
"If I Had a Hammer": An original story featuring Sookie, JB, Tara and Sam
"Playing Possum" was first published in the anthology An Apple for the Creature, edited by Charlaine Harris and Toni L.P. Kelner. "Dahlia Underground" was first published in the anthology Crimes by Moonlight: Mysteries from the Dark Side, edited by Charlaine Harris. "Two Blondes" was first published in the anthology Death's Excellent Vacation, edited by Charlaine Harris and Toni L.P. Kelner. "Death By Dahlia" was first published in the anthology Down These Strange Streets, edited by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois. "If I Had a Hammer" was first published in the anthology Home Improvement: Undead Edition, edited by Charlaine Harris and Toni L.P. Kelner.
©2012 Charlaine Harris, Inc., Toni L. P. Kelner, and Tekno Books (P)2013 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
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"Where is Johanna Parker!?!"
The narrators! Johanna Parker is the voice of Sookie Stackhouse. So very disappointed by this and doubt that I will finish listening to it. Amanda Ronconi is just wrong and she mispronounces names. At least listen to previous audiobooks or read the series to learn how they should be pronounced!
I have every other book
"Interesting mix of good and not so good..."
Playing Possum is an anthology of short stories that Harris has written over the years, all centering around the Sookie Stackhouse Series. Three out of the five stories are staring Sookie herself, and the other two stories surrounding Dahlia the vampire, a side character in the Sookie Universe. Because each story was written at different times for other anthologies, they each have a different narrator. Here are my thoughts on each story and its narrator.
Playing Possum was the first story read. Now to be fair, the narrator was not introduced at the beginning, or end so I had no idea who read this one. After I finished the book I did some research, and found out that Angela Dawe is the narrator for this story.
Sookie and her second cousin Hunter star in this thrilling tale of a psycho ex-boyfriend that tries to kill them all! Sookie was asked by Hunter if she would make cupcakes for his class party, and while she is there, all hell breaks loose! The school secretary has unresolved issues with her ex-boyfriend, who apparently is off his rocker. When he shows up at the school meaning harm, Sookie's super powers are activated, and the ride begins. Any story that involves Hunter is a great story! Hunter is such an adorable little boy, that not only has Sookie's ability as well, but also has the maturity that needs to come along with it. Sookie fans will truly enjoy this one, now on for the narrator...
Angela Dawe as Sookie, NO! I'm not sorry to say that I am a huge Johanna Parker fan. Johanna has been the voice for Sookie for the entire Stackhouse series, and did a fang tastic job! To use someone else as Sookie is just an insult, and although I did try my best to give her a fair shake, Angela fell short of my expectations. And YES, I did have expectations because we are talking about Charlaine Harris, and Sookie!
Dahlia Underground was about a vampire nest out of Rhoades where The Summit took place in Book 7, All Together Dead. The hotel that The Summit taking place at got blown up in an attempt to kill all the vamps attending, Dahlia emerges from the rubble, and is on the hunt. This story ends up capturing my heart, and bringing a character from the Sookie Universe front and center that I don't even remember that well. Dahlia's character is really rough around the edges, but does have some humanity left in her enough to connect and bond with her rescuers, and leave a happily ever after ending.....awe.
The narrator was Natalie Ross. Second strike! I did not care for Natalie Ross at all. I mean, we are talking about a 400+ year old vampire. The tone of this woman's voice was just all wrong for the character, and the story in my opinion. Next please!
Two Blondes another thrilling tale starring Sookie and Pam. Pam takes Sookie on a girls weekend vacation, or so Sookie thought. During the long car ride to their destination, Sookie finds out from Pam the real reason they are going out of town. The story fit right into the feel and essence of the Sookie world, and I loved it!
Narrating this story was a well known narrator to me, Amanda Ronconi. I must admit, I love me some Amanda Ronconi, but did she have what it takes to fill some big shoes? The answer should be obvious to anyone that knows her....YES! Although Sookie does have a heavy southern drawl, and Amanda doesn't, it was alright, I was alright, everything was good. It's not the tone, or accent of the narrator, it's the attitude, the spark, the “IT” factor, and Ronconi possess it! Now I wouldn't go as far as saying better than Parker, but an acceptable and satisfactory stand in for. Excellent choice Harris.
Death by Dahlia tanked me on the whole Dahlia world. I was unimpressed with the characters, the story line, and yes the narration as well. Nicola Barber delivered a better job as Dahlia than Natalie Ross, at least I thought, but didn't increase the value of the story for me. Bummer.
If I had a hammer was an excellent come back from the previous story Death by Dahlia! It was all about my favorites, Sookie, Sam, Tara, and JB. Tara had just had the twins, and they needed more room, so they recruited the help from Sookie and Sam. During the renovation, a bloody hammer is discovered, and that coupled with a supe as a nanny and BAM, a great hit! I loved the story in it's entirety, and it left me wanting more. I forgot how cool the Sookie Universe is, and this short sucked me right back in as if it never left me. Big props for this one Harris! The narrator was again Amanda Ronconi. I am so glad because after the other disappointments, I don't know if I could have stood for another. Thank you Ronconi for doing a great job with Sookie and her friends.
"Love 💟 it"
l love all of Charlaine's books. I hate to stop listening or reading them. I recommend all of her books.
"Three out of five ain't bad"
I didn't like the 2nd story, 'Dahlia Underground' and the 4th story 'Death by Dahlia'. I kept looking at the summery on Audible because I couldn't believe that those stories were written by Charlaine Harris. I was equally put off with the narrators for both stories. The way they talk is very distracting and keeps you from being able to lose yourself in the plots. The first story was good, but I really loved the 3rd story, 'Two Blondes' and the last one 'If I had a Hammer' Amanda Ronconi's narration definitely adds to the appeal. Over all I think this makes it worth purchasing.
of the short stories included, 3 (1/2 of them) are included in other collections. DISAPPOINTING!
"Narrators are awefull!!"
I love Charlaine Harris but who ever was narrating the first story was aweful! I couldn't stomach it and stopped listening after 2 minutes.
YES. WHERE THE HELL IS JOHANNA PARKER??!!!
I truly hated the people that read them. They didn't even get names pronounced right.
"good short stories; excellent performances"
Amanda Ronconi as Sookie! It works! well crafted, stand alone stories, although part of a bigger story, which you don't have to know to appreciate these stories.
"story Goods narrator sucks"
the storyline for this is very very helpful for keeping track of the series but the narrator is painful to listen to
"Short Stories Tie ins for True Blood Series"
These were an accumulation of short stories, which tie in with Sookie Stackhouse's novels. There are four different narrators and this makes it a bit different then the narrated novels. I can't rank them among all the audiobooks I've read, but since I love Ms. Harris's books, and it does tie in with Sookie's books, I'd have to give it an 8.
I usually do not read/listen to short stories, but because these were Sookie tales, I would have to compare them with her full novels.
I just love Amanda Ronconi and Nicola Barber. I've listened to their narrations before, Ronconi's narration of the Half Moon Hollow series and Barber's narrations of the Molly Murphy's Mysteries. They both bring all the characters alive in their narrations. I may or may not have listened to either Angela Dawe's or Natilie Ross's narrations before, at least none come to memory. However they did an fine job on their narration within this book.
I would think these could be done on cable, for those of us who miss the True Blood tv series. Maybe True Blood Tales.
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