Welcome to Freshwater Seas Audiobooks!
We hope you enjoy our work; we certainly enjoyed preparing it for you!
We're still very proud of our first production:
A Bite of Bierce
Five wonderful stories by Ambrose Bierce, full of vivid characters, precise and evocative language, surprises and suspense. Written more than a century ago, these stories still capture the imagination with vivid, precise language that bites--and may even draw blood! This Freshwater Seas production presents these five classic stories performed by Susie Berneis and Robert Bethune, with subtle musical underscoring to enhance and enrich Bierce's words. Playing time: one hour and thirteen minutes.
Staley Fleming's Hallucination (MP3 excerpt)
The ghost of a Newfoundland dog with a white forefoot--and hungry for revenge!
The Damned Thing (MP3 excerpt)
A wild, ferocious animal determined to drive a man off his land-or or drive him insane,
once he realizes the
An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge (MP3 excerpt)
A life, flashing before the eyes, and a miraculous escape from certain death, suddenly becomes--something else entirely. Bierce's strangest and most famous fantasy. (By the way, in 1963 a movie version of this by Paul De Roubaix and Marcel Ichac won the Academy Award for live action short subject--and the Twilight Zone version of it is, of course, justly famous.)
Diagnosis of Death (MP3 excerpt)
A doctor whose incredibly accurate diagnoses are not at all conducive to a long and healthy life.
The Boarded Window (MP3 excerpt)
A window forever boarded up; a love forever gone.
There is a nice presentation of the text of this story along with our audiobook recording at The Moonlit Road, a website that specializes in ghost stories about the American South.
Recorded on CD by Robert Bethune and Susie Berneis, with musical underscoring by Robert Bethune.
A Bit About Bierce
The American writer Ambrose Bierce, born in Ohio in 1842, started his literary career while still in his teens, working as a printer's devil--did that start the devilry that marks his stories? He served in the Civil War and war is a very important element in his work. In his early work, he was already unusual--he developed his prose style by writing tracts defending atheism--hardly the normal view for the time! Soon he was writing for a variety of newspapers and magazines.
In 1887, William Randolph Hearst hired him as a writer for the San Francisco Examiner--and at a very good salary, too. He wrote for the Hearst paper for more than twenty-one years, the period of his greatest professional success and his greatest personal tragedy, for his eldest son committed suicide and he became estranged from his wife, who later died, as did his other son. These experiences are probably what darkened his writing into the cutting tone that earned him the nickname, "Bitter Bierce."
In 1913, he vanished while traveling in Mexico--a country then in the throes of revolution. No one knows how or where he died, but many believe he joined Pancho Villa's army and may have fallen at Ojinaga in the battle of January 11, 1914. It would seem that he died as he would have liked--with a heavy dose of mystery, just as in his writings death is always a mystery.
Bierce on the Web
The Ambrose Bierce Appreciation Society offers a substantial set of articles on Bierce's life and death, his work, and works related to Bierce--films, plays, and news of Bierce-related publications.
Andrew Graham offers The Language of Serpent in the Enlarged Devil's Dictionary, with the entries in Hopkin's edition of the Dictionary hyperlinked for endless surfing. It works better on a high-speed line, but more and more folks have that these days. It's from the Keele Univesity Department of American Studies in the UK.
Alan Gullette maintains a set of Bierce-related pages that include news about new Bierce-related publications, reprints of a Bierce fanzine, a directory of online Bierce texts, and other goodies.
Don Swaim maintains The Ambrose Bierce Site, which contains a nice variety of information about Bierce-inspired art, fiction, scholarship and film. It also offers original scholarship on Bierce. There is also a message board for Bierceophiles and materials for education and teaching about Bierce.
There is a well-done page at the Literary San Antonio website that goes into excellent detail about the mysteries of Bierce's death.
Bierce is among the most quotable of authors, being a great lover of the epigram and very good at writing them. You can enjoy quite a collection of Bierce-isms at the Bierce Quotations Page.
And when it comes to quotations, you cannot beat the Devil's Dictionary as a goldmine of them. Aloysius West and Erik Max Francis have put together a very nicely done hypertext edition.
And last but hardly least, you can Google Ambrose Bierce to your heart's content.