Susie Berneis and Robert Bethune (readers) Audiobooks

Lost Hearts

Sunday, March 30th, 2014

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by M R James
24 minutes, 24 seconds
Unabridged Ghost Story
1895

MR James

An early ghost story by James about a kidnapper/dabbler in the occult who has a keen interest in removing the hearts of children. You’re welcome. Performed by Susie Berneis.




Funding A Free Audio Library

Originally for sale on March 30, 2009, and released free with a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial License five years later. See the Mission page for why.


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Tales of the Jungle

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

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by Rudyard Kipling
1 hour, 14 minutes
Unabridged Story Collection
1894, 1895

Rudyard Kipling

Two classic Rudyard Kipling stories of the Indian jungle:

The King’s Ankus (1895)


The python Kaa takes the manchild Mowgli to the ruined city of Cold Lairs, seeking treasure but finding something far worse.

“These are the Four that are never content,
that have never been filled since the Dews began:
Jacala’s mouth, and the glut of the Kite,
and the hands of the Ape, and the Eyes of Man.”

The Miracle of Purun Bhagat (1894)


A rich man casts away all possessions in the quest for (or from?) his true identity.

“The night we felt the earth would move
We stole and plucked him by the hand,
Because we loved him with the love
That knows but cannot understand.”

Performed by Robert Bethune.



Funding A Free Audio Library

Originally for sale on January 14, 2009, and released free with a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial License five years later. See the Mission page for why.


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The Water Ghost of Harrowby Hall

Saturday, November 30th, 2013

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by John Kendrick Bangs
21 minutes, 41 seconds
Unabridged Christmas Ghost Story
1894

John Kendrick Bangs

A humorous ghost story in which a particularly damp apparition appears on Christmas Eve.

“Far be it from me to be impolite to a woman, madam, but I’m hanged if it wouldn’t please me better if you’d stop these infernal visits of yours to this house. Go sit out on the lake, if you like that sort of thing; soak the water-butt, if you wish; but do not, I implore you, come into a gentleman’s house and saturate him and his possessions in this way. It is damned disagreeable.”

Performed by Susie Berneis.



Funding A Free Audio Library

Originally for sale on November 30, 2008, and released free with a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial License five years later. See the Mission page for why.


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The Haunted Dolls’ House

Saturday, October 26th, 2013

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by M R James
29 minutes, 53 seconds
Unabridged Ghost Story
1923

MR James

Probably the most famous of the ghost stories of M R James. Commissioned by Queen Mary for her doll house library, which is still on display at 1:12 scale in Windsor Castle. Performed by Susie Berneis.



Funding A Free Audio Library

Originally for sale on October 26, 2008, and released free with a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial License five years later. See the Mission page for why.


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The Romance of Certain Old Clothes

Sunday, September 29th, 2013

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by Henry James
44 minutes, 35 seconds
Unabridged Fantasy/Horror Story
1868

James

The first ghost story of Henry James, and was part of a gothic literature revival in the 1880s. First appeared in The Atlantic Monthly. Performed by Susie Berneis.



Funding A Free Audio Library

Originally for sale on September 29, 2008, and released free with a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial License five years later. See the Mission page for why.


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The Story of the Inexperienced Ghost

Thursday, August 29th, 2013

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by H G Wells
32 minutes, 11 seconds
Unabridged Fantasy/Horror/SF Story
1902

Wells

A classic Victorian ghost tale, framed by Wells’s trademark love of mystery, adventure, and scientific philosophizing. Performed by Robert Bethune.

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Tales of the Elephant

Wednesday, July 31st, 2013

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by Rudyard Kipling
1 hour, 15 minutes
Unabridged Story Collection
1891, 1894, 1902

Rudyard Kipling

Three classic elephant stories by Rudyard Kipling:

The Elephant’s Child (1902)


“In the High and Far-Off Times the Elephant, O Best Beloved, had no trunk. He had only a blackish, bulgy nose, as big as a boot, that he could wriggle about from side to side; but he couldn’t pick up things with it. But there was one Elephant–a new Elephant–an Elephant’s Child–who was full of ’satiable curtiosity, and that means he asked ever so many questions.”

Moti Guj Mutineer (1891)


“Once upon a time there was a coffee planter in India who wished to clear some forest land for coffee planting. When he had cut down all the trees and burned the under-wood the stumps still remained. Dynamite is expensive and slow-fire slow. The happy medium for stump clearing is the lord of all beasts, who is the elephant.”

Toomai of the Elephants (1894)


“Kala Nag stood ten fair feet at the shoulders, and his tusks had been cut off short at five feet, and bound round the ends, to prevent them splitting, with bands of copper; but he could do more with those stumps than any untrained elephant could do with the real sharpened ones.”


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Told After Supper

Friday, July 13th, 2012

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by Jerome K Jerome
1 hour, 2 minutes
Unabridged Humor/Ghost/Christmas Novella
1891

Jerome K Jerome

A Christmas mystery story where even the narrator can’t be trusted to stay sober or keep his clothes on.

“There must be something ghostly in the air of Christmas–something about the close, muggy atmosphere that draws up the ghosts, like the dampness of the summer rains brings out the frogs and snails.”

Performed by Susie Berneis and Robert Bethune.



Funding A Free Audio Library

Originally for sale on July 13, 2007, and released free with a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial License five years later. See the Mission page for why.


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A Bite of Bierce: Owl Creek Bridge and Other Stories

Monday, June 21st, 2010

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by Ambrose Bierce
1 hour, 14 minutes
Unabridged Story Collection
1891, 1894, 1909

Ambrose Bierce

Susie Berneis and Robert Bethune narrate five stories by Bierce, full of vivid characters, precise and evocative language, surprises and suspense.

An Occurrence on Owl Creek Bridge
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. A French film adaptation of “Owl Creek Bridge” won the Academy Award for short film in 1963, and also became the hightest-rated episode of The Twilight Zone.

Staley Fleming’s Hallucination
The ghost of a Newfoundland dog with a white forefoot–and hungry for revenge!

The Damned Thing
A wild, ferocious animal determined to drive a man off his land-or or drive him insane, once he realizes the strange truth about the danger he faces.

Diagnosis of Death
A doctor whose incredibly accurate diagnoses are not at all conducive to a long and healthy life.

The Boarded Window
A window forever boarded up; a love forever gone.

Written 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 classics performed by Susie Berneis and Robert Bethune, with subtle musical underscoring to enhance and enrich Bierce’s words.

Note: The podcast includes only “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge.” All five stories are included in the downloadable bundles.

Funding A Free Audio Library

Originally for sale on June 21, 2005, and released free with a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial License five years later. See the Mission page for why.



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The Vacant Lot

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

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by Mary E Wilkins Freeman
32 minutes, 40 seconds
Unabridged Mystery/Ghost Story
1902

Mary E Wilkins Freeman

“David gave one stride toward the black veil, but it rose from the floor and moved away before him across the room at exactly the same height as if suspended from a woman’s head…”

First published in Everybody’s Magazine. Performed by Susie Berneis.

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Freshwater Seas can be found online at freshwaterseas.com. [new window]


Funding A Free Audio Library
This recording will be released under the Creative Commons Non-Commercial Attribution License on May 27, 2014 or after 100,000 purchases, whichever comes first. Read more.