Listen free for 30 days

The James Thurber Audio Collection

Fables and Selected Stories by James Thurber
Narrated by: Keith Olbermann
Length: 3 hrs and 2 mins
3.5 out of 5 stars (5 ratings)

£7.99/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime

Summary

"My father was in the hospital and every night when I visited him, I read aloud to him. James Thurber. And one night he said, 'You really should do that on your show,' and I said, 'Dad, it’s a television newscast. I’d love to, but how could it possibly fit?' And he said, 'How often have I ever suggested anything for your shows?' And I remembered that he never had. But I also reminded him that there were things like copyrights and bills, to which he said, 'Try it. You never know.'

"I began to read Thurber once a week on television, and continue to do so whenever and wherever I can. I’m happy to say this has sparked a mini-revival, which I hope erupts into a full-scale newfound appreciation for a man whose writings are nearly perfect. He did not intend them to be read aloud, but they are ideally suited for the task: clean, economical, vivid, full of crashes and thuds - and silences, too. And for that matter, they make wonderful tributes to memories - memories of my dad, and Rosemary Thurber’s."
—Keith Olbermann, May 19, 2011

Stories included in The James Thurber Audio Collection: "There’s No Place Like Home", "The Bear Who Let It Alone", "The Greatest Man in the World", "The Night the Ghost Got In", "I Went to Sullivant", "The Unicorn in the Garden", "How to Relax While Broadcasting", "The Tortoise and the Hare", "A Box to Hide In", "The Owl Who Was God", "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty", "If Grant Had Been Drinking at Appomattox", "The Moth and the Star", "The Dog That Bit People", "The Topaz Cufflinks Mystery", "The Little Girl and the Wolf", "The Macbeth Murder Mystery", "The Rabbits Who Caused All the Trouble", "The Night the Bed Fell", "Sex Ex Machina", "The Scotty Who Knew Too Much", "The Car We Had to Push", and "The Peacelike Mongoose".

©1956 Rosemary A. Thurber (P)2011 HarperCollins Publishers
What members say
Average customer ratings
Overall
  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    2
  • 4 Stars
    1
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    0
Performance
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    2
  • 4 Stars
    1
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1
  • 4 Stars
    0
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

GREAT STORIES WELL PRESENTED<br />

Blind Thurber wrote for the ear so this audio is welcome. Listen and make pictures .

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Rather good but..

The book had a good comedic yet wise feel but felt a bit sluggish at times and rushed in others if it was paced better it could score a higher rating

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for MsBellinghamster
  • MsBellinghamster
  • 05-09-12

Olbermann a lttle over the top

Thrurber's oddities are thoroughly enjoyable, but may have been even more so if most had been presented by a less frenetic narrator. Olbermann did, however, have his moments, and the way he came to this was very touching...

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Devlin Faust
  • Devlin Faust
  • 23-04-12

Superb

Any additional comments?

I had downloaded this book some time ago, and kept it as a 'buffer', to listen to when one audiobook ran out and there was no quick replacement. When I finally got to listen to it, I was pleasantly surprised. Olberman does a masterful job, and gets things out of the reading that truly adds to the enjoyment of these Thurber classics.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Elizabeth S. Smith
  • Elizabeth S. Smith
  • 14-03-17

Keith olbermann all wrong for Thurber

Despite his self-laudatory first chapter, Olbermann is too heavy handed for Thurber's subtle understatement. Olbermann reads everything--including the news-- like he's the most important element. He's not. His overly dramatic reading spoiled Thurber. Don't waste your money on this.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Tom Maynard
  • Tom Maynard
  • 23-06-16

Way overacted

The narrator's use of excessive emphasis and grunting and groaning distracts from the economy of Thurber's prose.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Kristi R.
  • Kristi R.
  • 30-11-11

James Thurber and Keith Olbermann? Wonderful!!!

I remember James Thurber from high school when we did a play called "The Unicorn in the Garden". I enjoyed that so much I read some other short stories he had written like, "The Night The bed Fell" and the different fables he wrote.
All of these and more are included here and for the most part they really hold up today.

Keith Olbermann's introduction explains that he read these to his dying father in the hospital and his father told him he should do this for a living. So this selection is lovingly done with his father in mind.

I can't recommend this enough. It will have you falling on the floor laughing!

Enjoy!

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for DRoberts
  • DRoberts
  • 21-11-11

And THAT'S the STORY for NOW!!

More Thurber in audiobook form should cause jubilation, and the 23 selections are among the most beloved of the author's writing (the cartoons are missing, of course). Keith Olbermann is therefore to be commended for undertaking the project.

One wishes, however, that the broadcaster's delivery was not so melodramatically urgent. Hard-sell punch was perfect for ESPN, and less so for his evening news/talk cable shows. With Thurber, it often creates the kind of cognitive dissonance that would occur if one was shaken awake by someone screaming, "I love you!"

One is pleased to find Audible also offers "My World and Welcome to It," read by a less-histrionic John Cullum, who allows the wit to sneak up on you rather than being shot from a cannon.

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Jenny J
  • Jenny J
  • 06-08-18

how is this the only Thurber on Audible?!

I agree with the narrator that Thurber was one of America's best writers of the 20th century. I only discovered him on accident in highschool, though. He isn't taught. Nobody seems to know him anymore. I think he's hilarious.
Well, as far as collections go this one is adequate. I wish the stories were more cohesive as they are in the original collections. Also, that they were read by an actor, not a sportscaster. But! I am glad it is here! I hope there will be more Thurber soon! If you don't know Thurber, but like comedy, dont be put off by the over-enthusiastic reading, or confused by the disjointed stories, go ahead and buy it; he's hilarious in any form!

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for E.
  • E.
  • 01-02-20

Insulting performance

I have a soft spot for Thurber from when I was younger and thought this audiobook would be a great way to reconnect with his writings. Unfortunately I lasted 5 minutes with the narrator's hysterical shrieks and overacting, which is unbearable to listen to and incredibly insulting to the source materials (as it seems to imply that the text requires this circus show in order to be entertaining). Would not recommend unless you are a fan of Olberman as his wild performance does not leave room for the material to shine in its own right.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Rick
  • Rick
  • 27-02-20

Olbermann's delivery is just wrong

I am glad Keith Olbermann has a great fondness for Thurber's writing and has worked to make this audiobook possible. I wish there was more Thurber available in audio format. This particular performance is very difficult for me to listen to, though, because to my ears, Keith Olbermann's delivery is much too emphatic and bombastic for Thurber's gentle and subtle writing style. Many other reviews have said essentially the same thing, and I am just adding my voice to the many.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Debbie Kimm
  • Debbie Kimm
  • 03-08-18

Loved Keith Olbermann”s narration!

I was hooked after listening to Keith Olbermann read the first story in James Thurber’s Collection. I couldn’t help laughing out loud. I chose this book because my paternal grandmother was a Thurber and I was unfamiliar with James’ writings. I was delighted James Thurber turned out to be such a talented, clever, witty author!